Published: 01:47 EST, 24 December 2017 | Updated: 01:47 EST, 24 December 2017
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Portland Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts was saluting the bench players responsible for ending his team's three-game losing streak when he realized he had made one glaring omission.
Stotts left out Maurice Harkless, who scored 13 points in the fourth quarter – including the go-ahead three-point play with 21.4 seconds remaining.
"I knew I was missing somebody," Stotts said.
Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless celebrates after scoring against the Los Angeles Lakers during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017. The Trail Blazers won 95-92. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)p
Harkless scored 22 points and the Blazers extended their winning streak over the Los Angeles Lakers to 14 games with a 95-92 victory Saturday night.
Harkless followed up CJ McCollum's miss and scored through contact after Lonzo Ball hit a 3-pointer to tie it at 91 with 1:45 remaining. Shabazz Napier added 21 points and McCollum had 17 for Portland.
But it was the Blazers' bench led by Harkless and Zach Collins that made up for the absence of injured star Damian Lillard, who missed his second straight game with a strained right hamstring.
Harkless and Collins combined for the Trail Blazers' first 11 points to open the fourth quarter, with Collins' turnaround leaner putting Portland ahead 74-73 with 10:17 left. Collins finished with 11 points and six rebounds.
"The four guys off the bench really made a great contribution, and I was really happy for Mo. He hasn't been playing much and came through with a lot of big plays," Stotts said.
Kyle Kuzma and Jordan Clarkson each scored 18 for the Lakers, who were missing ailing forward Brandon Ingram. Ball had 10 points, eight rebounds and 11 assists.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope missed a 3 with seven seconds remaining for Los Angeles.
"They just had a little more grit than us," said Lakers guard Josh Hart, who had 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Portland used a 10-2 run over the final 1:38 of the third quarter to tie the game. Napier hit a 3-pointer with 4.5 seconds left to make it 70-all and missed a shot at the buzzer after stealing the ball from Julius Randle.
"We just let them hang around too long," Ball said. "We had opportunities to blow the game out and we never took those opportunities"
Trail Blazers: McCollum and Napier combed for 17 points in the second after making all seven shots from the field. . F Noah Vonleh was inactive with a right hand injury.
Lakers: Kuzma was 6 of 19 from the field after shooting 58 percent (47 for 81) in his previous five games. … C Brook Lopez missed his third consecutive game with a sprained right ankle.
Trail Blazers C Jusuf Nurkic was inadvertently backhanded by Randle on a layup in the first quarter. Nurkic was down on the court for several minutes holding his face. He had four points, two rebounds and one assist before exiting, and did not score again despite returning late in the second quarter.
Ball went to the locker room late in the second quarter with a shoulder injury, but was able to play though it. He said he felt a "pop" but expects to be available on Christmas.
Ingram didn't play because of a bruised right quadriceps and tendinitis in his left quadriceps, and Lakers coach Luke Walton said the second-year forward was day to day.
Ingram played 35 1/2 minutes against the Golden State Warriors on Friday, his lightest workload during a busy eight-day stretch. Los Angeles also played road games at New York and Cleveland, a home game against Golden State and a game at Houston before playing in Oakland.
"He's been playing a lot of minutes and putting on a heavy load for us, so part of our responsibility is to do injury prevention with our guys," Walton said.
Trail Blazers: Host the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday.
Lakers: Host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday.
More AP basketball: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball
Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball shoots between Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum, left, and center Jusuf Nurkic during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless reaches for a loose ball during the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers in Los Angeles, Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017. The Trail Blazers won 95-92. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum, left, shoots next to Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017. The Trail Blazers won 95-92. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum shoots over Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017. The Trail Blazers won 95-92. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Los Angeles Lakers guard Josh Hart, right, collides with Portland Trail Blazers guard Pat Connaughton during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle, right, fouls Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Los Angeles Lakers forward Corey Brewer, right, shoots around Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harklessm during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Portland Trail Blazers center Zach Collins, left, blocks a shot by Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017. The Trail Blazers won 95-92. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Los Angeles Lakers forward Corey Brewer, middle, passes between Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless, left, and guard CJ Wilcox during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball dunks against the Portland Trail Blazers during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Los Angeles Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr., left, is fouled by Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson shoots around Portland Trail Blazers forward Ed Davis during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
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Sydney seaplane crash: Exhaust fumes affected pilot, report confirms
The pilot of a seaplane that crashed into an Australian river, killing all on board, had been left confused and disorientated by leaking exhaust fumes, investigators have confirmed.
The Canadian pilot and five members of a British family died in the crash north of Sydney in December 2017.
All were found to have higher than normal levels of carbon monoxide in their blood, a final report has found.
It recommended the mandatory fitting of gas detectors in all such planes.
British businessman Richard Cousins, 58, died alongside his 48-year-old fiancée, magazine editor Emma Bowden, her 11-year-old daughter Heather and his sons, Edward, 23, and William, 25, and pilot Gareth Morgan, 44. Mr Cousins was the chief executive of catering giant Compass.
The family had been on a sightseeing flight in the de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver plane when it nose-dived into the Hawkesbury River at Jerusalem Bay, about 50km (30 miles) from the city centre.
The final report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) confirmed the findings of an interim report published in 2020.
It said pre-existing cracks in the exhaust collector ring were believed to have released exhaust gas into the engine bay. Holes left by missing bolts in a firewall then allowed the fumes to enter the cabin.
“As a result, the pilot would have almost certainly experienced effects such as confusion, visual disturbance and disorientation,” the report said.
“Consequently, it was likely that this significantly degraded the pilot’s ability to safely operate the aircraft.”
The ATSB recommended the Civil Aviation Safety Authority consider mandating the fitting of carbon monoxide detectors in piston-engine aircraft that carry passengers.
It previously issued safety advisory notices to owners and operators of such aircraft that they install detectors “with an active warning” to pilots”. Operators and maintainers of planes were also advised to carry out detailed inspections of exhaust systems and firewalls.
Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55862128
Australia unlikely to fully reopen border in 2021, says top official
Australia is unlikely to fully open its borders in 2021 even if most of its population gets vaccinated this year as planned, says a senior health official.
The comments dampen hopes raised by airlines that travel to and from the country could resume as early as July.
Department of Health Secretary Brendan Murphy made the prediction after being asked about the coronavirus’ escalation in other nations.
Dr Murphy spearheaded Australia’s early action to close its borders last March.
“I think that we’ll go most of this year with still substantial border restrictions,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Monday.
“Even if we have a lot of the population vaccinated, we don’t know whether that will prevent transmission of the virus,” he said, adding that he believed quarantine requirements for travellers would continue “for some time”.
Citizens, permanent residents and those with exemptions are allowed to enter Australia if they complete a 14-day hotel quarantine at their own expense.
Qantas – Australia’s national carrier – reopened bookings earlier this month, after saying it expected international travel to “begin to restart from July 2021.”
However, it added this depended on the Australian government’s deciding to reopen borders.
Australia’s tight restrictions
The country opened a travel bubble with neighbouring New Zealand late last year, but currently it only operates one-way with inbound flights to Australia.
Australia has also discussed the option of travel bubbles with other low-risk places such as Taiwan, Japan and Singapore.
A vaccination scheme is due to begin in Australia in late February. Local authorities have resisted calls to speed up the process, giving more time for regulatory approvals.
Australia has so far reported 909 deaths and about 22,000 cases, far fewer than many nations. It reported zero locally transmitted infections on Monday.
Experts have attributed much of Australia’s success to its swift border lockdown – which affected travellers from China as early as February – and a hotel quarantine system for people entering the country.
Local outbreaks have been caused by hotel quarantine breaches, including a second wave in Melbourne. The city’s residents endured a stringent four-month lockdown last year to successfully suppress the virus.
Other outbreaks – including one in Sydney which has infected about 200 people – prompted internal border closures between states, and other restrictions around Christmas time.
The state of Victoria said on Monday it would again allow entry to Sydney residents outside of designated “hotspots”, following a decline in cases.
While the measures have been praised, many have also criticised them for separating families across state borders and damaging businesses.
Dr Murphy said overall Australia’s virus response had been “pretty good” but he believed the nation could have introduced face masks earlier and improved its protections in aged care homes.
In recent days, Australia has granted entry to about 1,200 tennis players, staff and officials for the Australian Open. The contingent – which has recorded at least nine infections – is under quarantine.
Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55699581
Covid: Brisbane to enter three-day lockdown over single infection
The Australian city of Brisbane has begun a snap three-day lockdown after a cleaner in its hotel quarantine system became infected with coronavirus.
Health officials said the cleaner had the highly transmissible UK variant and they were afraid it could spread.
Brisbane has seen very few cases of the virus beyond quarantined travellers since Australia’s first wave last year.
It is the first known instance of this variant entering the Australian community outside of hotel quarantine.
The lockdown is for five populous council areas in Queensland’s state capital.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the measure on Friday morning local time, about 16 hours after the woman tested positive.
Ms Palaszczuk said the lockdown aimed to halt the virus as rapidly as possible, adding: “Doing three days now could avoid doing 30 days in the future.”
“I think everybody in Queensland… knows what we are seeing in the UK and other places around the world is high rates of infection from this particular strain,” she said.
“And we do not want to see that happening here in our great state.”
Australia has reported 28,500 coronavirus infections and 909 deaths since the pandemic began. By contrast, the US, which is the hardest-hit country, has recorded more than 21 million infections while nearly 362,000 people have died of the disease.The lockdown will begin at 18:00 on Friday (08:00 GMT) in the Brisbane city, Logan and the Ipswich, Moreton and Redlands local government areas.
Residents will only be allowed to leave home for certain reasons, such as buying essential items and seeking medical care.
For the first time, residents in those areas will also be required to wear masks outside of their homes.
Australia has faced sporadic outbreaks over the past year, with the most severe one in Melbourne triggering a lockdown for almost four months.
A pre-Christmas outbreak in Sydney caused fresh alarm, but aggressive testing and contact-tracing has kept infection numbers low. The city recorded four local cases on Friday.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government has pledged to start mass vaccinations in February instead of March as was planned.
Lockdown interrupts ‘near normal’ life in Brisbane
Simon Atkinson, BBC News in Brisbane
At 8:00 today I popped to the local supermarket for some bread, milk – and because it’s summer here – a mango. I was pretty much the only customer.
When I went past the same shop a couple of hours later it was a different story – 50 people standing in the drizzle – queuing to get inside as others emerged with bulging shopping bags. “Heaps busier than Christmas,” a cheery trolley attendant told me. “It’s off the scale”.
Despite the “don’t panic” messages from authorities, pictures on social media show it’s a pattern being repeated across the city.
While shutdowns are common around the world, the tough and sudden stay-at-home order for Brisbane has caught people on the hop here after months of near normality.
But while such a rapid, hard lockdown off the back of just a single case of Covid-19 will seem crazy in some parts of the world, I’ve not come across too many people complaining.
And I don’t think that’s just because Aussies love to follow a rule. This is the first time the UK variant of the virus has been detected in the community in Australia.
And nobody here wants Brisbane to go through what Melbourne suffered last year. Even if it means going without mangoes.
Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55582836
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