James’ dunk lifts Lakers to 107-106 win over Hawks
By BETH HARRIS
AP Sports Writer
Monday, November 12
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tyson Chandler had quite a week with the Lakers.
Plucked from last-place Phoenix, Chandler played a key defensive role in his first three games with his new team, helping them win three straight for the first time this season.
LeBron James dunked for the winning basket with 15 seconds to go and Chandler blocked Trae Young’s driving layup to preserve a 107-106 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday night.
James shouted and hugged Chandler in celebration of the Lakers’ fifth win in six games.
“I find myself acting like a kid in a candy store again,” said Chandler, who couldn’t hear James amid the din of music and cheering.
“I said, ‘That’s my dawg,’” James yelled across the Lakers’ locker room.
Chandler’s defense helped the Lakers prevail in wins against Minnesota and at Sacramento after having his contract bought out and coming to Los Angeles on Tuesday.
“He’s been big,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said. “Not only the way he is on court but the way he talks in the huddles. Very happy to have him.”
James scored 26 points and Kyle Kuzma added 18 points. Chandler had three blocks.
Kuzma’s layup tied the game at 104-all with 1:34 to go.
Kent Bazemore was called for a technical for yelling at the referees at the end of that play and Kuzma made the free throw for a 105-104 lead.
Vince Carter dunked to put the Hawks back up 106-105.
“Vince is every bit of half man and half amazing. Whoever coined that years ago was right on,” Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce said. “Who knew he’d still be able to impact games at 41 years old?”
James got fouled at the other end and missed both. But the Lakers got the offensive rebound and several of them batted the ball around trying to get it to the rim.
Kuzma charged into the paint amid three defenders for a shot from the left side. It missed.
James was waiting on the right, dunking for a 107-106 lead.
“All of a sudden, the beast comes out of nowhere for the win,” Chandler said.
Taurean Prince led the Hawks with 23 points, Bazemore added 21 and Trae Young had 20 for Atlanta, which still has just one road win on the season.
“It was a battle for sure. The way the whole game went, back and forth,” Young said. “They made a lot of plays, we made a lot of plays. I feel like I could have done a little bit more to help get my team the win.”
Alex Len’s dunk started a 7-0 run that put Atlanta ahead 102-98 in the fourth.
James’ basket drew the Lakers within one, but then he missed two long jumpers on the same possession.
The Hawks trailed by nine to start the fourth. Their first three baskets in the fourth came on 3-pointers by Prince (two) and Young (one).
The Lakers dominated the third, outscoring Atlanta 32-22 to take an 84-75 lead into the fourth.
James’ dunk that tied the game midway through the second quarter got started with Rajon Rondo. He tossed up an alley-oop pass that Brandon Ingram batted back as he ran out of bounds to a trailing James, who provided the thunderous finish.
Hawks: They haven’t beaten the Lakers at Staples Center since March 4, 2016. … Prince was called for a flagrant-1 foul on James in the first quarter. … C Dewayne Dedmon wasn’t with the team while awaiting the birth of his first child.
Lakers: James earned his 768th career victory, overtaking Reggie Miller for 21st on the NBA’s all-time victories list. … They’ve won five in a row against the Hawks and are 24-5 against them at home since 1991.
MOMENT OF SILENCE
The Lakers had a moment of silence to honor the 12 people killed in the bar shooting in Thousand Oaks earlier in the week. Public address announcer Lawrence Tanter read each name and both teams wore T-shirts with “Enough” on the front and the victims’ names on the back, something started by the Bucks and Clippers a day earlier.
Hawks: Visit Golden State on Tuesday.
Lakers: Host Portland on Wednesday. The teams split their first two meetings.
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5 things to know about Fabiano Caruana and his quest to become world chess champion
November 9, 2018
Associate Professor of International Business, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
Daaim Shabazz does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
When Bobby Fischer became the first American-born world chess champion in 1972, it spurred a dramatic increase in interest in chess. For instance, after Fischer’s world championship victory against the Soviet Union’s Boris Spassky, membership in the United States Chess Federation swelled from just under 31,000 in 1972 to more than 59,000 the following year.
Could there be a similar effect if Fabiano Caruana defeats reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen, of Norway, in London this month to become the first American-born world chess champion since Fischer? In a Q&A with education editor Jamaal Abdul-Alim, Daaim Shabazz, an international business professor and chess journalist, explains what a Caruana victory could mean for the United States, where an estimated 35 million people are regular chess players.
What characteristics enabled Fabiano Caruana to become a contender for the world chess championship?
One of the things I saw in Fabiano early on was not being afraid to play the strongest competition available. He didn’t fear losing. I once saw Caruana lose a game when he was around 9 or 10 and he didn’t seem to carry any of the usual childish pouting from a loss.
This self-control may have been developed because of his early diet of competitive open tournaments. In these competitions you must forget about a bad result quickly or risk distraction in the next game. In a recent interview, he mentioned his ability to come back from losses as one of his top strengths.
In his November 2018 Chess Life article “Caruana versus Carlsen,” Grandmaster Ian Rogers described Caruana’s “hard-working, calculation-heavy, fearless style.”
I believe this to be an essential trait in his psychological makeup. Given the comments made in a recent interview by Chess.com, he seems self-assured in his chances against Carlsen.
What are Fabiano Caruana’s odds of winning?
In many chess circles, Carlsen is the considered the favorite. Surprisingly, some predictions are as high as 75-25 in his favor. A September ChessBase.com poll put Carlsen’s advantage at 56-43. I have looked at articles showing a number of games between the two, but some offer the safe prediction that the match would be close. Caruana stated at the 2018 Sinquefield Cup that his “chances are about 50-50.”
As one who has closely followed Caruana’s rise to the top of the chess world, I believe Carlsen is in for a fierce battle. What makes it interesting is that both players are at different trajectories. In the past couple of years, Carlsen has not shown the same dominance that led him to be the top-rated player seven years ago.
Meanwhile Caruana gradually ascended to the number two position some years ago, but battled inconsistency. In the past couple of years, he has stabilized his play, won various top-level tournaments and – as of November 2018 – Carlsen is only three rating points higher than Caruana. The margin is so close that it makes them virtually indistinguishable in terms of their chess ratings, which indicate their strength as chess players. Carlsen has a definite advantage in match experience and tenacity, while Caruana’s advantage may come in his composure and theoretical preparation. In my view, Caruana has an even chance.
What will be the impact of a Caruana victory?
On an international level, a new champion would shake the seven-year grip that Carlsen has had as the world’s top-rated player. This may prove healthy for the global expansion of chess as players from other nations see that they have a chance at the title.
When Fischer broke Soviet domination, it also had similar globalizing effect.
Also, chess may gain more appeal as an educational tool. Caruana was home-schooled and spent time traveling abroad – as did Carlsen – so more people may consider home schooling as a way to position their children for success in life.
On the other hand, a Caruana win may not have a lasting impact on the general public. As Daniel Rensch, an international master and vice president of content at Chess.com, stated in the Fall 2018 edition of American Chess Magazine: “November may come and go with no tangible change for chess in the U.S.”
Will a Caruana victory have the same impact as the Bobby Fischer victory in 1972?
Nothing can replicate the “Fischer boom” that occurred after his politically charged Cold War era victory over the Soviet Union’s Boris Spassky. With the world gripped in an ideological battle, chess had two combatants who were polar opposites.
The mercurial Fischer mostly worked alone while Spassky had the weight of the Soviet empire behind him. The match almost didn’t happen, but last-ditch attempts by high U.S. chess officials got Fischer on a jet to Reykjavik, Iceland, and he won a thrilling match charged with controversy. However, Fischer became the darling of the world and spawned a wave of interest in chess never seen before.
Whether a Caruana victory can spark the same interest in chess remains to be seen. However, his genial personal should do much to dispel the faulty notion – sometimes reinforced by media and popular culture in movies such as “Pawn Sacrifice” – that chess is a game for rarefied geniuses who tend to be socially awkward.
If Caruana wins the championship, it could also lead young players to stick with chess longer than they would otherwise.
If Caruana loses, how long will it be before we see another American contender for the world chess championship?
Given America’s recent re-emergence to prominence in chess, even if Caruana loses the championship, we could see another contender within a decade. Caruana is only 26 and currently the No. 2 player in the world, so he’ll be back.
Wesley So, a Filipino who represents the U.S., is a possibility, and I believe Hikaru Nakamura still stands an excellent chance to compete for the world championship.
Incidentally, there is a wave of talent emerging in American chess, but the question is one of retention. While at the 2018 Chess Olympiad in Batumi, Ray Robson, a three-time member of the Olympiad team and recent graduate of chess powerhouse Webster University, told me his plans to focus on chess in the coming year to see how far he can go. I reminded him of the young grandmasters like Jeffery Xiong, Samuel Sevian and Awonder Liang nipping at his heels. He acknowledged this and also mentioned several foreign arrivals, such as Cuba’s top player Leinier Dominguez, who is now living in the U.S.
There are many scenarios, but American chess will have world champion contenders in the near future.
Louisville fires head coach Bobby Petrino with team 2-8
By GARY B. GRAVES
AP Sports Writer
Monday, November 12
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville’s seven-game skid was bad enough. Worse were the large margins of defeat and opponents’ apparent ease in lighting up the scoreboard.
That combination spelled the end of coach Bobby Petrino’s second chapter with the Cardinals.
Louisville fired Petrino on Sunday morning with two games left in a spiraling season that includes five blowout losses in which the Cardinals allowed at least 50 points.
The school announced Petrino’s dismissal with a statement from athletic director Vince Tyra, who wasn’t confident the coach could turn things around next season. He said a new head coach would be chosen soon to restore the program to national prominence.
The AD said at a news conference later that he considered a number of factors in Petrino’s status, but noted that the three games since Louisville’s bye showed no progress.
“It was clear the players weren’t responding,” he said. “The coaches’ and the players’ efforts have to go in the right direction, but I didn’t feel it was going that way.”
Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm, a former Louisville quarterback who later became an assistant under Petrino, has frequently been mentioned as the top candidate to replace him. Tyra said he had “a list in mind” but didn’t want to interfere with potential candidates with the season still in progress.
For now, second-year safeties coach Lorenzo Ward, 51, would coach Louisville on an interim basis.
Also let go were quarterbacks coach Nick Petrino, the coach’s son; linebackers coach Ryan Beard and defensive line coach L.D. Scott, Petrino’s sons-in-law; and fifth-year director of football operations Andy Wagner.
Louisville (2-8) lost 54-23 at No. 12 Syracuse on Friday night, dropping to 0-7 in Atlantic Coast Conference play.
Petrino, 57, departs with a 77-35 mark in two stints with Louisville, including 36-26 since returning in 2014. His exit will be expensive for Louisville, which owes him $14 million under terms of his contract extension signed in April 2016. Tyra said Petrino would receive the full buyout.
The school was left with little choice but to release Petrino with Louisville struggling and sections of empty seats at Cardinal Stadium recently after opening a new north end section in a $63 million renovation project.
Louisville’s stunning freefall comes a season after 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson capped one of the program’s most remarkable periods under the offense-minded Petrino. Besides becoming the school’s first Heisman winner, Jackson had the program as high as No. 3 in The Associated Press Top 25 and within reach of the College Football Playoff at No. 5 that November.
But other than sharing the 2016 Atlantic Division title with Clemson, Louisville wasn’t a consistent ACC contender after leaving the Big East.
This season, the Cardinals have failed to beat a Power Five school and needed second-half rallies to beat FCS Indiana State and Western Kentucky.
An offensive falloff was expected following the departure of the dynamic Jackson, who broke numerous school and conference records before being selected by the Baltimore Ravens in the first round of last spring’s NFL Draft.
However, Jackson’s exit ended up revealing a host of deficiencies as Louisville struggled to score. The Cardinals rank at or near the bottom of several ACC offensive categories and Petrino has shuffled quarterbacks Jawon Pass and Malik Cunningham.
Their defensive weaknesses have been more glaring and left them looking up at the rest of the ACC statistically. The Cardinals have been outscored 291-125 in that span, including a 77-16 thumping at No. 2 Clemson on Nov. 3.
Petrino remained hopeful of improvement, but another lopsided loss ended with him being shown the door.
The Montana native is 119-56 overall in a college career that included stops at Arkansas and WKU. He also coached 13 games with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons in 2007. His career has included a lot of wins and some controversy and hard feelings left behind.
He was 31-9 with Louisville from 2003-06, taking the Cardinals to the Orange Bowl, while also constantly coming up as a candidate for other jobs. He left college for the Falcons and lasted less than a season before taking the Arkansas job.
That ended with embarrassment. He was fired after getting into a motorcycle accident, which exposed an extra-marital affair with an athletic department employee and Petrino’s lies to his boss.
Petrino resurfaced at WKU for the 2103 season before Louisville gave him another chance. Then-athletic director Tom Jurich re-hired Petrino as the program transitioned from the Big East to the ACC.
But Jurich is gone as part of the fallout from a series of scandals involving the men’s basketball program that also felled Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino.
Petrino is now out as well, leaving Tyra to make his second major coaching hire after basketball coach Chris Mack in March. In the meantime, Ward must close the season on a high note that proved elusive for Petrino and the Cardinals.
“Talent-wise, we’ve got enough to win with,” Tyra said. “There’s a lot to build on in terms of skill and I’m excited about that part of it. But we’ve got to draw it out of them and teach them what it’s like to play their (butt) off in a Cardinal uniform.”
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AP Top 25: No. 24 Northwestern ranked after winning division
By RALPH D. RUSSO
AP College Football Writer
Monday, November 12
The day after earning a spot in the Big Ten championship game, Northwestern is ranked in The Associated Press college football poll for the first time this season.
The Wildcats (6-4) were No. 24 in the Top 25 after beating Iowa to clinch the Big Ten West with two games to play.
The rest of the Top 25 was fairly stable, especially at the top where the only difference in the first 11 teams from last week was No. 8 Washington State moving past No. 9 Ohio State and No. 10 LSU.
Alabama is a unanimous No. 1, followed by Clemson, Notre Dame, Michigan and Georgia. Oklahoma is six and West Virginia seventh. UCF is still No. 11.
Northwestern was ranked 17th at the end of last season, but lost three of four to start 2018.
The Wildcats have had a strange season, losing early to Duke and Akron and late to Notre Dame, to become the first team in FBS to win a division without winning a nonconference game, according to ESPN Stats and Info. But they are 6-1 in Big Ten play, with only a 20-17 loss against Michigan. Northwestern has won four Big Ten games by four points or less, and beat Michigan State by 10.
Northwestern is consistently a program that lives on the edge, playing lots of close games. Coach Pat Fitzgerald, who is 93-69 in 13 seasons with the Wildcats, said what has made this team different is how it has managed adversity.
Northwestern started the season with quarterback Clayton Thorson still being eased back after a knee surgery. Early on the team was without starters on the offensive line, tight end and it lost its most productive running back, Jeremy Larkin, who was diagnosed with a spine condition that required him to quit football. Later in the season, the injury bug hit the secondary and linebacker Nate Hall.
Fitzgerald said having a veteran coaching staff helped the team get through the bumpy patches.
“We didn’t panic,” he said Sunday. “We just tried to do what we do, but do it better.”
He said even after the rough start, the players never abandoned hope for a successful season.
“There’s a special brotherhood with this group,” Fitzgerald said. “That type of brotherhood is easy to say, but hard to do. The tut their work in and are peaking at the right time.”
The number of teams with at least three losses increased from seven to 10 this week, including two teams (Northwestern and No. 25 Mississippi State) with four losses. Last year, the Top 25 released after week 11 of the regular season included six teams with three losses and none with four.
The last time two four-loss teams were ranked this early in the season was Nov. 7, 1999, when No. 22 Purdue and No. 24 Ohio State were each 6-4.
Army was the first team in others receiving votes this week, falling five points short of No. 25 Mississippi State. The Black Knights (8-2) have not been ranked since 1996.
No big jumps into the top 10, but No. 19 Cincinnati moved up six spots and No. 15 Florida, No. 16 Penn State and No. 18 Iowa State all jumped five places.
No. 20 Kentucky had the biggest fall of the weekend among ranked teams. The Wildcats fell eight spots after losing to Tennessee. Kentucky is on a two-game losing streak after reaching No. 9.
— Fresno State fell out after losing to Boise State. The victory lifted the Broncos back in the rankings for the first time since September.
— North Carolina State is out after losing at home to Wake Forest.
— Michigan State’s fourth loss dropped the Spartans from the rankings.
No. 21 Utah moved back into the rankings after beating Oregon after losing its top quarterback and running back to injuries in the previous week.
SEC — 6 teams (1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25).
Big Ten — 4 (4, 9, 16, 24).
Big 12 — 4 (6, 7, 13, 18).
ACC — 3 (2, 12, 22).
Pac-12 — 3 (8, 17, 21).
American — 2 (11, 19).
Mountain West — 2 (14, 23).
Independent — 1 (3).
RANKED vs. RANKED
No. 3 Notre Dame vs. No. 12 Syracuse in New York. The most significant college football game at Yankee Stadium maybe since the 1940s.
No. 19 Cincinnati at No. 11 UCF. ESPN’s “College GameDay” comes to Orlando, Florida. Knights fans can complain about their team’s ranking in person.
No. 18 Iowa State at No. 13 Texas. Both teams can still reach the Big 12 championship game.
Follow Ralph D. Russo at https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and listen at https://www.podcastone.com/AP-Top-25-College-Football-Podcast
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