The Rundown for March 2, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 28,659,784 and the nation’s death toll stands at 514,333, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky yesterday issued a stern warning against easing up on safety measures too soon. She said the U.S. could lose all its recent gains against the coronavirus if highly contagious variants are allowed to spread. New infections are on the rise after weeks of falling case numbers. Last week’s seven-day averages of new cases and deaths increased more than 2 percent over the previous week.

MIGRANT CHILDREN MAY REUNITE WITH FAMILIES… Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced yesterday that hundreds of migrant children still separated from their parents by the Trump administration may be allowed to reunite with their families in the U.S. Mayorkas described reuniting the families as a “moral imperative” and President Biden has made it a priority of his administration. More than 5,500 migrant children were separated from their parents when they entered the U.S. and more than 1,400 parents were ultimately deported without their children.

CARDONA CONFIRMED AS EDUCATION SECRETARY… The Senate voted 64 to 33 yesterday in confirming Miguel Cardona as the next Department of Education secretary. Cardona has served as Connecticut’s education commissioner for the past year and a half and his appointment comes as Americans are divided over the reopening of schools amid the pandemic. Cardona has argued that schools should reopen in order to keep equity gaps from growing ever wider.

GARLAND’S AG NOMINATION PASSES SENATE PANEL… Merrick Garland came one step closer to being confirmed as attorney general yesterday. The Senate judiciary committee approved the appellate court judge by a 15-7 vote and sent his appointment on to the full Senate for a final vote. During his confirmation hearing last week, Garland said his top early priority if confirmed would be overseeing the prosecution of those who attacked the U.S. Capitol building on January 6. He also said other priorities would include addressing racial and social inequalities and an upswing of violent crimes in large U.S. cities. Garland promised that the Justice Department will not be politicized as it was under former President Donald Trump and vowed to consider new federal-level gun control measures, so long as they are consistent with the law.

HYATT SENDS ITS REGRETS… Hyatt Hotels has released a corporate statement expressing regret for hosting the Conservative Political Action Conference over the weekend. The hotel group said it was “extremely disappointed by the disrespect many individuals involved in the event showed to our colleagues” following reports that attendees became abusive when asked to wear masks and socially distance. The hotel group also called symbols of hate “abhorrent” after the design of the CPAC stage was consistent with the Norse rune used by Nazis during World War II.

ENTERTAINMENT
T.I., WIFE FACING SEXUAL-ABUSE ACCUSATIONS
… Rapper-actor T.I. and his wife, musician Tiny, are the targets of disturbing sexual assault accusations. The New York Times reported yesterday that an attorney representing 11 alleged victims is accusing the couple of crimes including sexual abuse, forced ingestion of illegal narcotics, kidnapping, false imprisonment, intimidation, assault and harassment. The attorney, Tyrone A. Blackburn, wants authorities in California and Georgia to open investigations. The Hollywood Reporter reported that T.I. will not be returning for Marvel Studios’ upcoming “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” but it is not clear whether the accusations are behind his departure.

MAYA RUDOLPH TO GUEST HOST ‘SNL’… “Saturday Night Live” is bringing back former cast member Maya Rudolph to guest host the March 27 show. Rapper Jack Harlow will provide the evening’s musical entertainment in the first live episode since the past Saturday’s. The 48-year-old Rudolph starred on SNL from 2000-2007. She has appeared on the show over the past couple years to portray former senator and current vice president Kamala Harris.

SPORTS
NBA SCOREBOARD

Dallas 130 – ORLANDO 124… Luka Doncic scored a game-high 33 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in leading the Mavericks past the Magic. Kristaps Porzingis finished with 17 points and 10 boards.

PHILADELPHIA 130 – Indiana 114… The 76ers got a big lift from their bench in rolling past the Pacers. Shake Milton led all scorers with 26 points. Joel Embiid totaled 24 points and 13 rebounds.

Denver 118 – CHICAGO 112… Nikola Jokic recorded game-highs with 39 points and 14 boards in powering the Nuggets past the Bulls. Jamal Murray tossed in 24 points. Michael Porter Jr. had 17 points and 15 rebounds.

NEW ORLEANS 129 – Utah 124… The Pelicans took control with a big third quarter and hung on to top the Jazz. Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram scored 26 points apiece. Williamson also had 10 boards. Lonzo Ball added 23 points.

Brooklyn 124 – SAN ANTONIO 113 (OT)… The Nets recovered to outlast the Spurs after blowing a 10-point lead at the end of regulation. James Harden piled up 30 points, 15 assists and 14 rebounds. Brooklyn also got 27 points from Kyrie Irving and 23 from Bruce Brown.

Cleveland 101 – HOUSTON 90… The Cavaliers pulled away in the second half and dealt the Rockets their 12th straight loss. Collin Sexton pumped in 39 points. Jarrett Allen pulled down 15 boards to go with his 10 points.

PORTLAND 123 – Charlotte 111… The Trail Blazers shook off a slow start to cruise past the Hornets and snap a four-game skid. Carmelo Anthony led the way with 29 points. Damian Lillard scored 23 points and dished off 10 assists.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Memphis is at Washington…
Boston hosts the L.A. Clippers…
Atlanta is at Miami…
Toronto hosts Detroit…
New York is at San Antonio…
Milwaukee hosts Denver…
Phoenix is at the L.A. Lakers

NHL SCOREBOARD
Carolina 3 – FLORIDA 2 (OT)… Martin Necas found the net 1:59 into overtime to send the Hurricanes past the Panthers. Necas set up two goals in regulation. Goalie Alex Nedeljkovic made 44 saves.

OTTAWA 5 – Calgary 1… Drake Batherson netted two goals in leading the Senators past the Flames. Tim Stutzle had two assists. Matt Murray stopped 27 shots at goal.

Vancouver 4 – WINNIPEG 0… Thatcher Demko stopped all 27 shots in his first career shutout and the Canucks breezed past the Jets. Nate Schmidt had a goal and an assist.

Toronto 3 – EDMONTON 0… Michael Hutchinson made 31 saves in his sixth career shutout and the Maple Leafs skated past the Oilers. Morgan Rielly and William Nylander each had a goal and an assist as Toronto scored all three goals in the first period.

VEGAS 5 – Minnesota 4 (OT)… The Golden Knights came from two goals down in the third period to upend the Wild. Max Pacioretty’s second goal of the game came two minutes into overtime. Pacioretty also assisted on Alex Tuch’s game-tying goal with 42 seconds left in regulation.

St. Louis 5 – ANAHEIM 4… The Blues withstood a third-period rally to edge the Ducks. Zach Sanford netted two goals. Dakota Joshua found the net in his NHL debut. Isac Lundestrom’s three goals weren’t enough for Anaheim.

SAN JOSE 6 – Colorado 2… The Sharks blew past the Avalanche after spotting them a two-goal second-period lead. Six different players found the net. Timo Meier assisted on three goals. Goalie Martin Jones made 33 stops.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
the N.Y. Islanders are at New Jersey…
the N.Y. Rangers host Buffalo…
Philadelphia is at Pittsburgh…
Columbus hosts Detroit…
Ottawa is at Montreal…
Vancouver is at Winnipeg…
Nashville hosts Carolina…
Tampa Bay is at Dallas

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
No. 21 VIRGINIA 62, Miami (Fla.) 51…
No. 17 Oklahoma State 79, No. 16 Oklahoma 75

MLB SPRING TRAINING SCORES
OAKLAND 13, Cincinnati 5…
L.A. DODGERS 10, Colorado 0…
Kansas City 8, CLEVELAND 6…
TEXAS 1, San Francisco 1 (tie)…
Chi. White Sox 4, L.A. ANGELS 4 (tie)…
Chi. Cubs 1, SAN DIEGO 0…
Milwaukee 7, ARIZONA 1…
Atlanta 5, BOSTON 3…
Baltimore 4, PHILADELPHIA 4 (tie)…
N.Y. YANKEES 5, Detroit 4…
Houston 7, WASHINGTON 6…
Minnesota 6, TAMPA BAY 5…
MIAMI 2, N.Y. Mets 0…
TORONTO 2, Pittsburgh 2 (tie)

The Rundown for March 1, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 28,605,669 and the nation’s death toll stands at 513.091, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky approved the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in adults yesterday, making it the third such vaccine available in the U.S. The new vaccine should start getting delivered tomorrow and Biden administration officials hope it helps boost lagging vaccination rates among minorities. Johnson & Johnson says it plans to test the vaccine on infants, newborns and pregnant women.

STATE DEPARTMENT RE-STARTS TALIBAN TALKS… The State Department announced yesterday that U.S. negotiators have arrived in the Middle East to restart peace talks with the Taliban. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad will meet with Afghan government officials and Taliban representatives in Afghanistan and Qatar. Khalilzad helped negotiate last year’s Doha agreement, calling for the Taliban to reduce violence and cut ties with terrorist organizations, among other demands. In exchange, U.S. forces would leave Afghanistan by May 2021.

IRAN NOT READY TO REVIVE NUCLEAR DEAL… Iran continues to demand that the U.S drop its unilateral sanctions before it will engage in talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal. American diplomats say they are disappointed but remain ready to “re-engage in meaningful diplomacy.” The Trump administration imposed the sanctions in 2018 to force Iran to re-negotiate the accord. Iran refused and retaliated by abandoning its commitments. In trying to rejoin the agreement, the Biden administration insists Tehran must return to full compliance first.

CUOMO APOLOGIZES… New York Governor Andrew Cuomo apologized yesterday to the two women who have come forth with sexual harassment allegations against him. Cuomo said Sunday he was “truly sorry” if “some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation.” Earlier yesterday, Cuomo asked the New York state’s attorney general and chief judge to appoint an independent investigator to examine the allegations. New York Attorney General Tish James said she is prepared to lead the investigation.

TRUMP AT CPAC… Former President Donald Trump yesterday targeted disloyal Republicans, repeated his election-fraud lies and hinted at a 2024 during a final-day address at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida. Trump called the Republicans who voted to him “grandstanders” and referred to Wyoming Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney as a “warmonger.” Regarding his future plans, Trump asked supporters to contribute to his political action committees while plans are being made.

ENTERTAINMENT
GOLDEN GLOBES
… “The Crown” won Best TV Drama and “Schitt’s Creek” was honored as Best TV Comedy at last night’s Golden Globe Awards ceremony. “The Crown” stars Emma Corrin and Josh O’Connor won for Best Actress and Actor in a TV Drama, and their co-star Gillian Anderson won for Best Supporting Actress on TV. Catherine O’Hara took the Globe for Best Actress in a TV Comedy for “Schitt’s Creek” and “Ted Lasso” star Jason Sudeikis won for Best Actor in a TV Comedy. Anya Taylor-Joy won the prize for Best Actress in a TV Movie, Limited Series or Anthology Series for “The Queen’s Gambit, which was honored as the Best TV Movie, Limited Series or Anthology Series. Chloe Zhao won the Best Director of a Film award for “Nomadland,” which was honored as the Best Drama Film. The late Chadwick Boseman was named Best Actor in a Drama Film for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and Andra Day picked up the Best Actress in a Drama Film award for “The United States vs. Billie Holiday.”

MORGAN WALLEN REMAINS ATOP ALBUM CHART… Morgan Wallen’s “Dangerous: The Double Album” sold 89,000 copies in becoming the first country album to spend its initial seven weeks atop the Billboard 200 chart. Ariana Grande’s “Positions” finished second after selling 49,000 units. Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon” finished third on sales of 43,000 copies. Lil Durk’s “The Voice” dropped to fourth place after selling 38,000 units. Pooh Shiesty’s “Sheisty Season” remained at No. 5 with 37,000 copies sold.

SPORTS
NBA SCOREBOARD

MILWAUKEE 105 – L.A. Clippers 100… The Bucks closed with a 9-0 run to upend the Clippers for their fifth straight win. Giannis Antetokounmpo keyed the late surge and finished with 36 points and 14 rebounds.

BOSTON 111 – Washington 110… Jayson Tatum made back-to-back driving layups in the final 15 seconds and finished with 31 points in leading the Celtics past the Wizards. Kemba Walker added 21 points and Daniel Theis tossed in 20. Bradley Beal’s 46 points weren’t enough for Washington.

New York 109 – DETROIT 90… Julius Randle scored 17 of his 25 points in the second half as the Knicks cruised past the Pistons. RJ Barrett added 21 points.

MIAMI 109 – Atlanta 99… The Heat made it six straight wins by fighting off the Hawks. Kendrick Nunn scored 24 points to lead a balanced scoring attack. Bam Adebayo had 16 points and 13 boards.

Memphis 133 – HOUSTON 84… Seven players scored in double figures as the Grizzlies dismantled the Rockets. Justise Winslow led the way with 20 points. Brandon Clarke powered his way to 16 points and 12 rebounds. The loss was Houston’s 11th in a row.

L.A. LAKERS 117 – Golden State 91… The Lakers jumped out to a 41-21 lead after the first quarter and never looked back in their blowout of the Warriors. LeBron James scored a game-high 19 points in only 24 minutes.

Phoenix 118 – MINNESOTA 99… Devin Booker scored 31 of his season-high 43 points in the third quarter as the Suns cruised past the Timberwolves. Deandre Ayton put up 22 points and 12 boards.

Charlotte 127 – SACRAMENTO 126… The Hornets came from eight points down with less than a minute remaining to topple the Kings. Malik Monk was fouled as he scored the tying basket with 1.4 seconds left and converted the decisive free throw. Terry Rozier brought Charlotte within range by knocking down a 3-pointer and three free throws. Monk finished with 21 points. P.J. Washington poured in a game-high 42 points. LaMelo Ball had 24 points and 12 assists.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Dallas is at Orlando…
Philadelphia hosts Indiana…
Denver is at Chicago…
New Orleans hosts Utah…
Brooklyn is at San Antonio…
Houston hosts Cleveland…
Charlotte is at Portland

NHL SCOREBOARD
Boston 4 – N.Y. RANGERS 1… Charlie Coyle found the net twice and David Pastrnak set up two goals as the Bruins skated past the Rangers. Charlie McAvoy had a goal and an assist.

Philadelphia 3 – BUFFALO 0… Goalie Carter Hart stopped all 28 shots in the Flyers’ blanking of the Sabres. James van Riemsdyk had a goal and an assist as Philadelphia did all its scoring in the second period. Joel Farabee assisted on two goals.

NASHVILLE 3 – Columbus 1… Eeli Tolvanen’s second-period goal gave the Predators the lead for good in their win over the Blue Jackets. Juuse Saros made 28 saves at goal.

Washington 3 – NEW JERSEY 2… Alex Ovechkin netted a go-ahead goal in the second period and the Capitals hung on to top the Devils. Jakub Vrana had a goal and an assist. Tom Wilson set up two goals.

N.Y. ISLANDERS 2 – Pittsburgh 0… Rookie goalie Ilya Sorokin made 20 saves in his second shutout and the Islanders clipped the Penguins. Oliver Wahlstrom and Jean-Gabriel Pageau netted power-play goals.

CHICAGO 7 – Detroit 2… The Blackhawks scored five third-period goals to put away the Red Wings. Patrick Kane scored his 400th career goal and had two assists. Alex DeBrincat had a goal and three assists. Goalie Kevin Lankinen made 44 stops.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Carolina is at Florida…
Ottawa hosts Calgary…
Vancouver is at Winnipeg…
Edmonton hosts Toronto…
Minnesota is at Vegas…
Anaheim hosts St. Louis…
Colorado is at San Jose

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
No. 9 Iowa 73, No. 4 OHIO STATE 57….
BUTLER 73, No. 8 Villanova 61…
No. 12 HOUSTON 98, South Florida 52

MLB SPRING TRAINING SCORES
TAMPA BAY 9, Atlanta 7…
MINNESOTA 7, Boston 6…
Miami 6, HOUSTON 1…
DETROIT 10, Philadelphia 2…
Pittsburgh 6, BALTIMORE 4…
Toronto 6, N.Y. YANKEES 4…
Washington 4, ST. LOUIS 4 (tie)…
L.A. Angels 5, SAN FRANCISCO 2…
CLEVELAND 5, Cincinnati 1…
L.A. Dodgers 2, OAKLAND 1…
MILWAUKEE 7, CHI. WHITE SOX 2…
KANSAS CITY 3, Texas 2…
COLORADO 5, Arizona 2…
SEATTLE 5, San Diego 4