The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Indianapolis (AFP) — Evan Turner came off the bench to score the go-ahead basket with 90 seconds left as the Indiana Pacers edged out reigning league champs Miami 84-83 to clinch the Central Division title.

Turner came into the game as a replacement for Lance Stephenson who was ejected earlier in the National Basketball Association contest in front of a crowd of 18,165 at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse arena.

The physical contest between the Eastern Conference powerhouses featured a couple of ejections, including Indiana’s Stephenson who was thrown out after receiving a second technical foul in the fourth quarter when he walked up to Miami guard Dwyane Wade and said something.

That left the Pacers were without their starting point guard for the final five minutes of the game.

“I am a very emotional and physical player. I let my teammates down,” Stephenson said. “We knew this game was going to be physical.”

Chris Bosh had a chance to win the game, but his shot at the buzzer missed the mark for Miami, who have lost five of their last nine games.

“It was a team win, it wasn’t just one or two guys. It was a team win and we stuck with it,” Turner said.

Paul George finished with 23 points and eight rebounds, Roy Hibbert had 21, and Stephenson tallied 15 for the Pacers who lost game seven to the Heat in last year’s league semi-final playoff series.

LeBron James paced the Miami attack with 38 points, eight rebounds, and five assists. James also committed six of Miami’s 19 turnovers.

The Pacers won the division title for the second straight season. They came into the game averaging 97.8 points per game and this was their sixth win in their last nine contests. They now own a league best 33-4 record at home, where they have won four straight.

Hibbert was left bloodied by a James’ elbow to the mouth in the fourth. The hit left Hibbert woozy as the trainers took him to the dressing room to get checked out.

Hibbert returned following a brief visit to the locker room and got his revenge soon after when he split a pair of free throws to make it a three-point game, which helped spark Indiana’s fourth-quarter rally.

Miami led 45-44 at the half and by three, 68-65, at the end of the third.

“This is the champions we beat. It’s one game. But this is one step closer to playing good basketball to end this year up,” said Pacer George.

Bosh blamed the Pacers for the rough play and said the officials missed some calls.

“Our guys are getting punched in face and clothes-lined. We get an offensive foul called. I don’t feel they (Pacers) were going for the ball,” said Bosh.

Said James, “It is very frustrating. If I can jump in the air and elbow someone in the face and still finish the play, then I have to be a kung fu master or something.”

This was the first of three straight games on the road for Miami, who next travel to Detroit and Milwaukee.

The game marked the return of Wade to their lineup after he missed the two previous games with a sore knee. Wade shot six-of-11 from the field and finished with 15 points. Like James, he had a half dozen turnovers.

The Heat also played without Ray Allen, who was out with a virus.

Indiana has won two of three games this season with the Heat, including a 90-84 victory in their first meeting. Miami won the other contest, 97-94, on December 18 at home.

© / Andy Lyons



Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

The privilege of beholding the corals of Belize, the second largest reef system on earth, is a complete marvel that can never be taken for granted. The school of nine squid in perfect alignment that stared at us like transparent sentinels ,the green barracuda that floated as if in suspended animation, looking for prey. Those moments of utter awe were soul transformative not only for a child, but also for parents nurturing a young human to the ultimate reason to exist on this earth, to care for life.

Over the next few years, a battle was waged between environmentalists and those who saw dollars in the form of oil extraction in the reef. Thankfully on December 1, 2015, right after the Cop21 Paris Climate Accord, Belize made the tremendous decision to ban drilling outright -- and is working hard to restore coral. The same cannot be said for many other fragile parts of the world particularly the warming Arctic, where Russia has a near stranglehold of more than half the Arctic Ocean.

Keep reading... Show less
Youtube Screenshot

The saturation of the ranks of our police forces with far-right extremists is one of the harsh realities of American life that bubbled up during the police brutality protests of 2020 and was laid bare by the January 6 insurrection. The presence of these extremists not only is a serious security and enforcement threat—particularly when it comes to dealing with far-right violence—but has created a toxic breach between our communities and the people they hire to protect and serve them. Too often, as in Portland, the resulting police culture has bred a hostility to their communities that expresses itself in biased enforcement and a stubborn unaccountability.

Much of this originates in police training, which are the foundations of cop culture. And a recent Reuters investigative report has found that police training in America is riddled with extremists: Their survey of police training firms—35 in all—that provide training to American police authorities found five of them employ (and in some cases, are operated by) men whose politics are unmistakably of the far-right extremist variety. And these five people alone are responsible for training hundreds of American cops every year.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ }}