Blue Jackets Add Matt Duchene, Making First Big Move Before Trade Deadline

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Blue Jackets Add Matt Duchene, Making First Big Move Before Trade DeadlineImageCenter Matt Duchene, traded to Columbus on Friday, was Ottawa’s second-leading scorer this season, with 58 points.CreditCreditPaul Sancya/Associated PressBy The Associated Press
Feb. 22, 2019The Columbus Blue Jackets acquired Matt Duchene from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for two top prospects on Friday, adding a veteran center as they make a push for a playoff spot.
Duchene, 28, one of the best players available ahead of Monday’s N.H.L. trade deadline, was dealt for forwards Vitaly Abramov and Jonathan Davidsson. Columbus also got the minor league defenseman Julius Bergman as they two teams prepared for a game in Ottawa on Friday night.
Columbus will send an additional draft pick to Ottawa if it is able to sign Duchene to a contract extension. He will be an unrestricted free agent after the season.
Duchene is the second-leading scorer on the Senators with 58 points (27 goals, 21 assists).
“E..

On Pro Basketball: LeBron James ‘Activated’ in Lakers’ Comeback Win Over Rockets

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On Pro Basketball
LeBron James ‘Activated’ in Lakers’ Comeback Win Over RocketsImageLeBron James was defended by P.J. Tucker. The Lakers won, and are beginning their playoff push.CreditCreditMarcio Jose Sanchez/Associated PressBy Scott Cacciola
Feb. 22, 2019LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Lakers described last weekend’s N.B.A. All-Star break as an opportunity for a much-needed reset, with the hope that they could ultimately make a playoff push after spending a few days apart. None of it sounded very convincing.
But when the team reconvened for practice on Wednesday morning, LeBron James said his level of intensity had been “activated,” as if he were a superhero who had flipped a switch. He does not usually activate himself this early in the season, he said, but the Lakers need all of him now — in large part because they had lost so much ground when he was sidelined for about a month with a groin injury.
“We would have loved to have had success when I was out, but we didn’t, ..

A Star’s Shoe Breaks, Putting College Basketball Under a Microscope

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A Star’s Shoe Breaks, Putting College Basketball Under a MicroscopeVideoWilliamson, one of college basketball’s biggest stars, injured his knee after one of his Nike shoes broke less than a minute into Duke’s game against North Carolina.CreditCreditStreeter Lecka/Getty ImagesBy Marc Tracy and Kevin Draper
Feb. 21, 2019When the left sneaker of college basketball’s biggest star split open on national television Wednesday night 30 seconds into the biggest game of the season, what spilled out was not only his foot but also questions about the future of a marquee player and about the huge influence shoe companies hold over big-time college basketball.
The episode occurred in a game between the archrivals Duke and North Carolina. Zion Williamson, a Duke freshman, pivoted with the ball above the foul line, and the sheer force of his 285-pound frame and acrobatic versatility appeared to cut the shoe almost in two, as though severed by a sharp knife.
Former President Barack Obama, ..

On Baseball: After Hitting Rock Bottom, the Orioles Turn to Data, and a New G.M.

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On Baseball
After Hitting Rock Bottom, the Orioles Turn to Data, and a New G.M.ImageMike Elias joined the Orioles in November after spending several years in the Houston Astros’ front office.CreditCreditPatrick Semansky/Associated PressBy Tyler Kepner
Feb. 22, 2019SARASOTA, Fla. — The Baltimore Orioles won the first World Series of Mike Elias’s lifetime in 1983, when he was 9 months old. They have not been back since.
Elias, Baltimore’s new general manager, grew up in Northern Virginia and remembers watching the Orioles at Camden Yards in the mid-1990s. Those teams were stuffed with future Hall of Famers — Cal Ripken Jr., Mike Mussina, Roberto Alomar — and twice made deep playoff runs.
“I just remember you felt so close to the field, and the stadium was packed to the brim, and the passion of the town and the fan base was on full display,” Elias said on Thursday in his office at Ed Smith Stadium. “Even today, I can see how important this team is to the city and what a baseb..

On Soccer: Tottenham, Pochettino and the Cost of Everyday Excellence

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On Soccer
Tottenham, Pochettino and the Cost of Everyday ExcellenceImageMauricio Pochettino, winner of games but not trophies.CreditCreditManu Fernandez/Associated PressBy Rory Smith
Feb. 22, 2019LONDON — At the start of February, Lionel Messi broke another record. When Messi converted a penalty against Valencia, a few minutes before halftime, it was his 20th Liga goal of the season. He had reached that mark every year for the last 11 years. No player had done that before.
It is a fairly common occurrence, of course, Messi breaking a record. He broke two others in December: reaching the most wins for Barcelona, overtaking Xavi Hernández, and becoming the first player to score 10 Liga goals in 13 consecutive seasons. November, by contrast, was quiet: He only broke one, for Champions League goals scored for a single club.
Sometimes, he etches his name on significant milestones — highest scorer in Spanish history; most goals in a calendar year — and sometimes his feats seem m..

N.H.L. Roundup: Devils Blank Senators, but Who Didn’t Play May Be Bigger News

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N.H.L. Roundup
Devils Blank Senators, but Who Didn’t Play May Be Bigger NewsImageDevils goalie Cory Schneider stopped all 30 shots he faced in a 4-0 victory against the Senators on Thursday.CreditCreditJulio Cortez/Associated PressBy The Associated Press
Feb. 21, 2019Cory Schneider made 30 saves in posting his first shutout since November 2017, and the host Devils beat the undermanned Ottawa Senators, 4-0, on Thursday night in a game in which both teams gave indications they were preparing to make trades soon.
Travis Zajac, Steven Santini, Kurtis Gabriel and Miles Wood scored for the Devils, who won for the third time in four games.
Anders Nilsson had 27 saves for the Senators, whose 22-33-5 record is the worst in the N.H.L. this season.
Ottawa showed clear intentions to deal before Monday’s trading deadline. Mark Stone, Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel, the Senators’ first-, second-a nd fourth-leading scorers, were healthy scratches.
Trade rumors have swirled about the forw..

Trail Blazers 113, Nets 99: Enes Kanter Makes Big Return to New York as Trail Blazers Beat Nets

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Trail Blazers 113, Nets 99
Enes Kanter Makes Big Return to New York as Trail Blazers Beat NetsImageEnes Kanter, putting up a shot against Ed Davis of the Nets, had 18 points and 9 rebounds in his Trail Blazers debut on Thursday night.CreditCreditAl Bello/Getty ImagesBy The Associated Press
Feb. 21, 2019When Jusuf Nurkic went to the bench, the Portland Trail Blazers inserted a player who barely knew their offense.
Imagine how good Portland’s center combination can be once that player, Enes Kanter, gets up to speed.
Nurkic had 27 points and 12 rebounds, Kanter added 18 points and 9 rebounds in his Portland debut, and the Trail Blazers beat the Nets, 113-99, on Thursday night at Barclays Center.
The center tandem was so good that the Trail Blazers did not even need a big night from the All-Star guard Damian Lillard, who was just 5 for 21 from the field. He finished with 13 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists.
They’re going to change the dynamic for a lot of teams, how they guard..

Zion Williamson’s Injury Has Some Saying He Should Quit Duke

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Zion Williamson’s Injury Has Some Saying He Should Quit DukeImageThe Duke star Zion Williamson sprained his right knee when his Nike shoe broke apart in the first minute of a game on Wednesday.CreditCreditGerry Broome/Associated PressBy Marc Tracy
Feb. 21, 2019A freakish injury to Duke’s Zion Williamson, college basketball’s best and most prominent player, only seconds into a game on Wednesday night has instantaneously renewed a debate about the contradictions of the sport’s economic foundation, shining a harsh new light on the N.C.A.A.’s policy of amateurism and the influence of billion-dollar shoe companies.
It also raised an important question: Should Williamson ever suit up for another college game?
Fans were asking the question. An N.B.A. player was, too, even before Duke announced that Williamson had sprained his right knee in the fall.
“It’s a legitimate question,” said Ramogi Huma, the founder and president of the College Athletes Players Association, an advocate f..

The Yankees’ Lineup Has Plenty of the Right Stuff. Would Another Lefty Help?

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The Yankees’ Lineup Has Plenty of the Right Stuff. Would Another Lefty Help?ImageAaron Judge, right, and Giancarlo Stanton highlight the Yankees’ righty-dominated lineup.CreditCreditChang W. Lee/The New York TimesBy James Wagner
Feb. 21, 2019TAMPA — For all the power in the Yankees’ lineup, which smashed a major league-record 267 home runs last season, it lacks the balance that is often a trademark of standout teams.
That’s because nearly all of the Yankees’ power-hitting everyday players hit from the right side, from Aaron Judge to Giancarlo Stanton to Gary Sanchez to Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres.
That is particularly useful when squaring off against a left-handed pitcher. But when the Yankees face a right-hander this season, the only left-handed batters in the lineup might be outfielders Brett Gardner and Aaron Hicks, a switch-hitter; at least, that might be the case until the return this summer of the left-handed-hitting shortstop Didi Gregorius, who is still rehab..