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Harden scores 34 as Rockets hold off Timberwolves

first_imgLights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Timberwolves: All-Star Jimmy Butler, who hurt his knee in the last matchup with Houston on Feb. 23, spoke to reporters before the game for the first time since the injury and said he’s targeting a return before the end of the regular season. He had meniscus surgery on Feb. 25, with an initial recovery timetable of four to six weeks. … Towns had 18 rebounds and notched his league-leading 59th double-double of the season. … Crawford had his fourth 20-point game of the season.UP NEXT:Rockets: at Portland on Tuesday night.Timberwolves: against the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Cabuyao City rising above the ashes through volunteerism Houston Rockets James Harden (13) celebrates with teammate Trevor Ariza (1) after hitting a three-point shot against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game Sunday, March 18, 2018, in Minneapolis. The Rockets defeated the Timberwolves 129-120. (AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)MINNEAPOLIS — For the Houston Rockets, finally facing a challenge from Minnesota and a hostile crowd on the road was a good test to prepare for the postseason.The Timberwolves, meanwhile, are left holding on for dear life in a tightening playoff race.ADVERTISEMENT The game was seemingly over by halftime. Houston shot 63 percent, hit 11 3-pointers and led by as many as 24 in the first half while turning the ball over only three times. Harden had 10 assists in the first half, when the Wolves were as close as three before Houston reeled off a 12-0 run and didn’t allow Minnesota to recover.Minnesota’s 19-6 run made it 115-110 with 3:58 to play before Trevor Ariza hit a 3, and the Rockets were able to answer every Wolves bucket to hold off the rally.“We’ve got a team that’s fighting for positioning in the playoffs, and they’re going to come back and they’re going to make a run,” Harden said. “We just held our composure and closed the game out.”WHEN PUSH COMES TO SHOVEThe Wolves got a burst of energy after a fourth-quarter scuffle between Gorgui Dieng, Paul and Gerald Green. Green was ejected for coming to Paul’s defense after a frustrated Dieng pushed him down after a foul. With the pumped-up crowd chanting “Gor-Gui!” Derrick Rose had back-to-back layups to pull the Wolves to 109-102. But Paul hit a jumper with Crawford in his face, and Harden easily drove past Dieng for a layup to give the Rockets some breathing room.Dieng said Paul gave him a cheap shot. Green, though, sounded contrite. “I learned my lesson, got ejected, try not to get that again and hopefully we’re going to move forward from this,” Green said.ROSE GETS COMFORTABLERose had his best performance since joining the Wolves on March 8. He finished with 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting in 19 minutes, and was matched up against Harden in the fourth. “He’s got to keep doing what he’s doing,” Thibodeau said.TIP INSRockets: It wasn’t Houston’s first 70-point half against the Wolves this season. The Rockets scored 72 in the second half during last month’s win in Minneapolis. … Capela had 12 rebounds for his 36th double-double of the season and Harden had his 27th. Scarlett Johansson, Sterling K. Brown among SAG Awards presenters Conor McGregor seeks to emerge from controversy in UFC comeback “We get a little stagnant here and there, but we’re figuring it out,” Paul said. “We haven’t played too many close games all season long, so down the stretch we need that stuff.”If these two teams do end up facing each other in the first round, the Wolves will need a much more consistent effort.“We put ourselves in too big of a hole, you can’t do that,” said coach Tom Thibodeau, who bemoaned his team’s lack of intensity in the first half. “With where we are right now, the fight has to be greater.”Jeff Teague led Minnesota with 23 points, Andrew Wiggins had 21, and Karl-Anthony Towns and Jamal Crawford each added 20.“I know for me personally, I don’t look at it every day because it’s going to change 10 more times before the season is over with, and you’ll drive yourself crazy,” Crawford said of the playoff standings. “Especially when you can kind of control your own destiny. If you do what you have to do, you don’t have to worry about what everyone else is doing.”ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img MOST READ Recto seeks to establish Taal rehab body to aid community, eruption victims In Liverpool, Man United sees the pain and path to recovery James Harden had 34 points and 12 assists and helped the Rockets fend off a fourth-quarter rally and beat the Timberwolves 129-120 on Sunday night. The win was Houston’s 26th in 28 games, and it dropped Minnesota into the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference.Houston led by as many as 25 before the Wolves, who started the day in a three-way tie for the West’s fifth spot, pulled within five in the fourth. Harden had 11 points in the final 6:34, including a 3-pointer with 58 seconds left that effectively secured the win.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk“It’s good for us, man,” Harden said. “We needed it. We needed to be in games like that. Obviously, having a big lead and losing it, we can’t let it happen, but if it does we’ve got to make sure we can keep our composure and get a good shot every time.”Just another day for the West’s top team, which also got 16 points apiece from Chris Paul and Clint Capela. Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina LATEST STORIES Comeback for the ages: Nevada tops Cincinnati in NCAA Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player awardlast_img read more

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Reclaiming Vahun as a Pristine, Viable, Tourist Destination

first_imgWe are happy that Vice President Joseph Boakai, during his recent weeklong visit to Lofa County, touched this very remote, somewhat isolated Liberian town named Vahun.It is a town whose people are mainly Mende, although there are some Kissi from Foya among them.The Mende are most likely the relations of those of the same ethnic group across the border in Sierra Leone. Remember how arbitrarily the imperialists—Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Portugal—divided up the African continent? They placed boundaries wherever they wished, dividing families in half. Because Sierra Leone was colonized by the British, Sierra Leoneans became English-speaking with a British accent.So when, for example, Thomas N. Brima, who hailed from Vahun but graduated from the Episcopal Church’s Bolahun Mission, came to Cuttington College and Divinity School (now Cuttington University) in 1960 as a freshman, only few understood why he had a Sierra Leonean accent. It was because, just as our Correspondent, Alaskai Moore Johnson who covered the VP’s Lofa visit reported, most of the Vahun people deal more with Sierra Leoneans than with their fellow Liberians. Most of their commerce is with Sierra Leone to the south because it is so much closer to Vahun than Foya, ancestral home of the Kissi, Kolahun, of the Gbandi and Voinjama, the Lofa capital, of the Lorma and Mandingo. The brilliant and astute Tom Brima rose high in government, serving first as an official in the State Department, Superintendent of Lofa County, and in various ministerial capacities, including Minister of Internal Affairs. He later became Liberian Ambassador to Sierra Leone, a most fitting post for him, given his connections as a Mende-speaking Vahunian. Mende is one of Sierra Leone’s major languages. The problem with Vahun—and with the Liberian government—is that the town, which is in the middle of a very dense forest, has been allowed to remain isolated for far too long.Due to the very bad road conditions, this mountainous and heavily forested area was almost completely cut off from Liberia until around 2013 when then Public Works Minister Samuel Kofi Woods rehabilitated the road linking Kolahun and Vahun. The people were so happy that they gowned him.But we all know that with trees and forests come very heavy rains, which afflict laterite roads with erosion (wearing/washing away). So this road has again for months been barely passable, especially at a deep curve where vehicles often get stuck.During the VP’s visit, the Vahun people pleaded with him to fix the road leading through Gbarpolu County to Bomi County, which cuts by more than half, the distance to Monrovia. The Vahun people are Liberians and they deserve to be connected to their fellow Liberians in Lofa, Bong, Gbarpolu, Bomi and, of course, Montserrado County, seat of the nation’s capital. So it is incumbent (binding) on the Liberian government to find a permanent solution to the roads leading to Vahun, so that Vahunians may be firmly and constantly reconnected to their native Liberia and be able to interact freely and trade with their own people. We meanwhile extend a word of gratitude to the Sierra Leoneans for befriending and maintaining excellent social and trade relations with their Liberian brothers and sisters across the border. Many of them are most likely blood relations with Liberians since they are all Mendes, separated more than a century ago by the imperial and colonial machinations (plots).But there is yet another extremely important reason the Liberian government should take Vahun VERY SERIOUSLY: Vahun has immense tourist potential. Only a few Liberians know about Vahun’s dense forest, in which can be found so many prized wildlife including elephants, hippopotamuses, lions, leopards, many varieties of reptiles (snakes, etc.), many different kinds of monkeys and baboons, and even the beautiful zebra! There is also in Vahun a cave of bats of all kinds, where tourists can visit unmolested by these dark, winged creatures.We reckon that one day, hopefully soon, when Liberia becomes blessed with a well organized tourism industry, and when Vahun is well connected with all weather roads through Kolahun, Bomi and Sierra Leone, this pristine (immaculate, unspoiled) area will become one of West Africa’s prime tourist destinations.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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