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Celtics beat Clippers in double overtime

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Marcus Morris Sr. had a pre-game wish.

“I’d love to come back to Boston,” said the Clippers forward, who wasn’t talking about a uniform change.

Instead, Morris envisioning a scenario where the Celtics and Clippers reach the NBA Finals — something more than a pipe dream as evidenced by last night’s nationally-televised, cross-coast, double-overtime showcase.

Though Morris did his part to push this preview, sending the game into overtime with a 3-pointer and hitting another big three in the first overtime, it was his old Celtics teammate, Gordon Hayward, who carried this one home in the Celtics’ 141-133 win.

Hayward heated up after a slow start and scored seven of his 21 points in the last 1:35 of the second overtime, including a 3-point dagger, to seal this one.

Hayward came in strong behind Jayson Tatum, with 39 points, and Marcus Smart, with another 31.

The Celtics thus held off a 35-point onslaught by the most explosive sixth man in the game — Lou Williams. Kawhi Leonard scored another 26.

Kemba Walker opened the second overtime with a 3-pointer for a 130-127 lead, followed by a rare missed free throw by Williams, who hit the second. Next time down, Montrezl Harrell muscled in for the tie.

But Smart scored off a deflected rebound and, after Gordon Hayward blocked Landry Shamet, Tatum spun into the paint for a 134-130 Celtics lead with 2:02 left.

Harrell wind-milled over Grant Williams, but Hayward, 5-for-19 to that point, hit his third trey for a 137-132 lead with 1:35 left.

Hayward then blocked Williams – his second rejection of the period – rebounded his own missed trey to keep the possession alive, and went to the line with 13.9 seconds left to hit twice for a 139-132 lead.

Williams, under pressure from Celtics rookie Grant Williams late in the first overtime, missed from downtown, and Tatum spun to the rim with a finger roll for a 125-124 lead with 53.5 seconds left.

Leonard front-rimmed a jumper under pressure from Tatum, who once again converted, this time off a Kemba Walker feed, for a 127-124 Celtics lead with 24.8 seconds left.

Though Gordon Hayward appeared to foul Lou Williams as the latter hit a corner three, the shot was waved off. But Landry Shamet buried a left side trey for a 127-127 tie. Tatum missed at the buzzer, sending the game into a second overtime.

Leonard opened overtime by scoring off his own miss, and when Daniel Theis missed a dunk down the other end, Montrezl Harrell hit the first of two from the line for a 117-114 Clippers lead.

Tatum, fouled by Leonard on a drive, hit twice for a one-point deficit. The whistles continued, this time with Theis fouling out fighting Harrell for a rebound. The Clippers center front-rimmed his first attempt and also missed the second.

Tatum drove again for a foul but missed the second of two, leaving the game in a 117-117 tie until Williams scored with a floater. But the Celtics forward continued to attack, even if with 2:55 left he could once again only go 1-for-2 from the line.

Morris, who had sent the game into overtime with a 3-pointer, buried another bomb for a 122-118 lead. Though Smart answered from downtown, Williams scored for a three-point edge that Smart cut to a point from the line with 1:22 left.

Morris hurt his old team at both ends, first, with 45.9 seconds left hitting a 3-pointer for a 114-114 tie, and then stealing the ball from Smart down the other end.

The Clippers called timeout with 25.8 seconds left. Leonard isolated on Gordon Hayward, but Walker slid over to draw a charge on the dribbling Clippers star with 10.7 seconds left.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers challenged the call, unsuccessfully, and LA, with a foul to waste, fouled Tatum with 5.6 seconds left.

Walker missed from 15 feet at the buzzer.

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Sanders’ Rivals ‘Might As Well Crown Bernie To Take On Trump’ If They Won’t Stop Splitting Vote, Says Laurence Tribe

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Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Democratic rivals “might as well crown” him as the candidate to “take on Trump,” unless they are willing to stop splitting up the vote in the primary race, Harvard Law School Professor Laurence Tribe warned.

With Sanders projected to win big at the Nevada caucuses, strengthening his status as the Democratic frontrunner to take on President Donald Trump, Tribe warned that the race was too crowded for the democratic socialist’s rivals to take him down.

All six of the democratic socialist’s top competitors “have plenty to offer as alternatives to Sanders,” Tribe, the Carl M. Loeb University Professor at Harvard Law School, said in a statement on Twitter. However, he said, unless they “triage and reduce the 6 to 1, they might as well crown Bernie to take on Trump.”

“It’s tough,” said Tribe, who has been an outspoken critic of Sanders throughout the 2020 Democratic race. “I know, but it is what it is.”

Naming former Vice President Joe Biden, Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar, former Mayors Mike Bloomberg and Pete Buttigieg, and philanthropist Tom Steyer, as the top six Democratic hopefuls competing with Sanders in the bid to take on Trump, Tribe suggested that they consolidate their strengths and throw their weight behind one candidate.

It is unclear which of the six contenders Tribe believes should be the one to go toe-to-toe with Sanders. But his primary argument appeared to be that unless Democratic contenders cut down the competition, Sanders may always come out ahead. Newsweek has contacted Tribe for further comment.

While Tribe has been critical of Sanders’ candidacy for president in the past, he has also made clear that the notion of supporting Trump over the democratic socialist is “incomprehensible” to him.

Some people on Twitter disagreed with the professor’s assertion that the only way for another Democratic contender to defeat Sanders would be to cut down the competition.

“If you think Bloomberg and Warren should unite based on their [ideological] similarities to stop Bernie, your brain is broken,” television writer Guy Endore-Kaiser said in response to Tribe’s plan.

Others suggested that it was still too early in the race for Sanders’ competitors to either step down or hand the democratic socialist the crown.

Democratic presidential candidate Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks following the Nevada caucuses during a campaign rally at Cowboys Dancehall on February 22, 2020 in San Antonio, Texas. Sanders celebrated as he was projected to win big at the Nevada caucuses.
Drew Angerer/Getty

Indeed, there is still a long way to go until a Democratic nominee can be confirmed.

While Biden did not see the results he likely anticipated in Iowa and New Hampshire, the former vice president appeared to hold second place in Nevada, as of early Sunday morning.

Sanders, however, was declared the winner not long after results streamed in Saturday night. By early Sunday morning, with 50 percent of precincts reporting, Sanders held 46.6 percent of the vote, compared to Biden’s 19.2 percent, according to the Associated Press. Meanwhile, Buttigieg was at 15.4 percent, Warren at 10.3 percent, Klobuchar at 4.5 percent and Steyer at 3.8 percent. Bloomberg was not on the ballot.

Sanders was quick to celebrate his apparent victory.

“We won Nevada!” he said on Twitter. “We are building an unprecedented grassroots movement, and together, there is nothing we cannot accomplish,” he said.



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Walmart.com banned me, and I don’t know why

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Q: I’m having two problems with Walmart. When I order food online, Walmart has repeatedly delivered expired and rotten food. Also, I’ve had problems with Walmart.com. I’ve been getting error messages on the site for the past 10 days when I try to check out. I can’t make a purchase.

Christopher Elliott 

Walmart customer service has given me all kinds of insane excuses for these issues. It continues to engage in unethical antics that insult and ridicule me as a homebound disabled person.

For example, Walmart customer service has repeatedly advised me to “go to the store” for my groceries, since the website is not working. I have explained that I am disabled and cannot physically get to the store.

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Can Ovechkin catch Gretzky? NHL’s new Mr. 700 has a chance

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Alex Ovechkin is making the seemingly impossible appear to be not so far-fetched after all.

Wayne Gretzky’s 894 career goals has, for decades, loomed as one of hockey’s most untouchable records. The “Great One” set the bar so high it appeared out of reach for even the NHL’s best scorers.

Ovechkin, on Saturday, became the second-fastest and second-youngest player to reach 700 goals behind only Gretzky. Because he’s only 34 and shows no signs of slowing down, belief is growing that Ovechkin can challenge Gretzky’s mark.

“Alex is going to score another probably 150 goals, maybe more, before he retires,” Hall of Famer and fellow 700 goal-scorer Phil Esposito said. “He’s got a chance to catch Wayne. There’s no doubt about that.”

Gretzky scored his 894 goals in 1,487 games over a 20-year career with the Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues and New York Rangers. A vast majority of his goals came during the sport’s highest-scoring era, and Gretzky reached 40 in a season for the last time at age 30.

Ovechkin is in the midst of his fifth 40-goal season since turning 30. Last season, he became the oldest to win the goal-scoring title since Esposito in 1974-75, and he’s on pace for 57 this year.

“I think he’ll score 50 until he’s 50 years old it seems like,” Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon said. “I never thought (catching Gretzky) would happen. I hope he can get close.”

Ovechkin is under contract through next season and would likely need to play four more seasons to take a legitimate shot at the mileston. Longtime running mate Nicklas Backstrom just signed on for five more years, so it’s not impossible to think Ovechkin stays around long term.

Asked what Ovechkin needs to do to approach Gretzky’s record, Esposito said: “Stay with the Washington Capitals. Stay with a good team.” They’d sure like that.

“He loves to score and continues to bring that to rink every day,” Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said. “I think he’s energized by seeing where he can finish in the top 10, and it’s kind of fun to watch an older guy keep it going like he has.”

Gretzky recently told NHL.com he’s rooting for Ovechkin to break his record, with staying healthy and playing on a good team the two necessary ingredients. Ovechkin has been one of the most durable players in hockey during his career, and the Capitals could extend their run of contending for several more years.

“The guy’s missed 17 games in 15 years due to injury — that’s freaking incredible,” former player and executive-turned NHL Network analyst Brian Lawton said. “They have a quality team that has staying power. He’s going to get three or four more years of being on an elite team.”

Backstrom, center Evgeny Kuznetsov and defenseman John Carlson are all signed long term after winning the Stanley Cup with Ovechkin in 2018. Wrapping up his playing days back home in Russia could be alluring to Ovechkin, so it’s unclear how many more years he wants to remain in the NHL.

“It just depends on how long he wants to play,” said Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, who allowed Ovechkin’s 600th goal. “You know he’s going to put up anywhere from 40 to 50 goals a year, and he’s going to be dangerous no matter what his age is or what his team’s like. You know he’s got a phenomenal team around him, and you know he’s just going to continue to beat goalies.”

Ovechkin wasn’t always scoring at this pace. At the low point of his career, he scored 32 goals in 2010-11 and 38 in 2011-12 before Washington bowed out in the second round of the playoffs.

An elite NHL goal-scorer’s prime usually ends in his mid-20s, and doubt crept in that the same would happen to Ovechkin. Not so fast.

“I think everyone halfway through his career would’ve said, no, he’s going to tail off at some point,” Calgary Flames captain Mark Giordano said. “But he hasn’t stopped, so he has a chance.”

Two-time NHL leading scorer Connor McDavid grew up watching Ovechkin play plenty against his idol, Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby, and has been impressed with the consistency of the goals piling up.

“He just seems ageless and just keeps on scoring goals,” McDavid said. “I don’t see any reason he can’t keep doing that.”

The desire is still there. Veteran coach Todd McLellan enjoys watching Ovechkin’s excitement for scoring goals — except against his own team — and because of that is hoping he cracks 894.

“It’s great for our game to see him,” McLellan said. “As long as that excitement stays there, he’s still going to have the skill and the shot. He’s going to have a great team around him. I think he can do it.”

Lawton has run the numbers and can’t imagine Ovechkin not breaking Gretzky’s record. He’s conservatively predicting a 55-goal season, which would mean Ovechkin at his career rate needs to play roughly 300 more games to get close.

“Alex is in a completely different position (than Gretzky),” Lawton said. “Back then, players, we didn’t know and understand as much about nutrition and training as we do today. … Overall, looking in the future, I just don’t see there’s any way how he doesn’t break it.”

Boston’s David Pastrnak, who is currently neck-and-neck with Ovechkin and Toronto’s Auston Matthews in the goal-scoring race and might one day be the NHL’s next 700-goal scorer, “can’t really see” Gretzky’s record being broken. Pastrnak thinks Ovechkin will join Gretzky and Gordie Howe by surpassing 800, though Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy wonders about the goals beyond that.

“I think health-wise will determine that,” Cassidy said. “If he can stay healthy to at least 38, 39, 40, I don’t see why he won’t at least push up against it.”

Ovechkin is already in elite company in the 700 club with Gretzky, Howe, Jaromir Jagr, Brett Hull, Marcel Dionne, Esposito and Mike Gartner. He recently climbed past Mario Lemieux, Steve Yzerman and Mark Messier on the all-time list.

Yzerman closed a video message for passing him to Ovechkin by saying, “If you ever do break Wayne Gretzky’s all time record for the most goals in the league, after watching your Stanley Cup celebrations, I want to be invited to your party.”

Perhaps Ovechkin would party like it’s 2018, and it would possibly be an accomplishment that’s never matched again.

___

Follow AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWhyno

___

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports



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