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Irving, James lead Cavaliers past Knicks, 119-104

Carmelo Anthony was still a member of the New York Knicks when he awoke from his afternoon nap Thursday. Once the game started, the Cleveland Cavaliers made sure the Knicks’ nightmarish season continued. LeBron James recorded his 48th career triple-double and Kyrie Irving scored 23 points, leading the Cavaliers to a 119-104 victory over the Knicks, who hung on to Anthony and Derrick Rose at the trade deadline.

James scored 18 points and had 13 rebounds with 15 assists for his sixth triple-double of the season. Anthony, the subject of trade rumors because of a strained relationship with Knicks President of Basketball Operations Phil Jackson, scored 20 points, going 9 of 25 from the field.

“I’m at peace,” Anthony said. “I’ve been at peace. I’m happy I won’t be talking about trades or any of this stuff the rest of the season.”

Anthony anticipated he would remain with the Knicks.

“Nobody likes to be in limbo, especially when it’s involving you, but that’s not the way it is in this sport,” he said. “Obviously, we all knew kind of what was going on out there, but nothing happened.”

Kyle Korver scored 20 points for Cleveland, which is 8-1 in February and has beaten New York 10 straight times. The defending NBA champions were 7-8 in January.

“We got back to playing our type of basketball,” James said. “I’ve always felt good about our team, but it was just about the way we were playing. I feel really good about the way we’re playing right now.”

Courtney Lee had 25 points for New York, which has lost six of seven and is 12th in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis, the team’s second-leading scorer, left the game with a sprained right ankle in the second quarter and didn’t return. He left the arena in a walking boot and will be re-examined Friday.

New York took an early lead in the first game since the All-Star break for both teams, but the Cavaliers closed the first half on a 25-8 run. Cleveland built the lead to 72-51, but Anthony scored eight points in the third quarter and kept New York in the game. The Knicks trailed 87-79 entering the fourth, but the Cavaliers quickly regained control. James scored on two layups while Korver and Channing Frye each hit two 3-pointers, pushing the lead to 110-91.

“The rest paid dividends for us,” James said. “A couple of possessions guys got a little tired because we hadn’t played in a week, but it was a good start for us after the break.”

James, who had eight assists in the fourth, also turned in two outstanding defensive plays. He swatted Rose’s layup attempt into the courtside seats in the second quarter and pinned Lee’s breakaway drive against the backboard in the fourth. Rose, another subject of trade rumors as the deadline approached, scored 13 points.

TIP-INS

Knicks: C Joakim Noah (sore left hamstring) traveled with the team to Cleveland, but coach Jeff Hornacek said no timetable has been set for his return to action. … Lee has been battling an illness, but has stayed in the lineup despite not being fully healthy. Cavaliers: James’ missed layup earlier in the quarter fooled the arena PA announcer, who began calling the four-time MVP’s name as the ball spun out. …. Irving missed a free throw in the second quarter, snapping a streak of 29 made foul shots in a row. OAKLEY RETURNS

Former Knicks forward Charles Oakley watched his former team in his hometown. Oakley sat next to Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert in a front row seat adjacent to Cleveland’s bench.

Oakley attended his first Knicks game since being arrested after getting into an altercation with security guards at Madison Square Garden earlier this month.

“It’s always great to see him,” James said. “He’s like an uncle of mine.”

MOVES UPCOMING

The Cavaliers were quiet at the deadline, but general manager David Griffin is expected to add at least one player soon. Veteran point guard Deron Williams is available after being waived by Dallas on Thursday. UP NEXT

Knicks: Host Philadelphia on Saturday night. Cavaliers: Host Chicago on Saturday night.

Kelly: No use of US military to enforce immigration

Seeking to tamp down growing unease in Latin America, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly pledged Thursday that the United States won’t enlist its military to enforce immigration laws and that there will be “no mass deportations.”

Only hours earlier, President Donald Trump suggested the opposite. He told CEOs at the White House the deportation push was a “military operation.”

Kelly, speaking in Mexico’s capital, said all deportations will comply with human rights requirements and the U.S. legal system, including its multiple appeals for those facing deportation. He said the U.S. approach will involve “close coordination” with Mexico’s government.

“There will be no use of military forces in immigration,” Kelly said. “There will be no repeat, no mass deportations.”

Yet while Kelly and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson tried to alleviate Mexico’s concerns, Trump was fanning them further, with tough talk about “getting really bad dudes out of this country at a rate nobody has ever seen before.”

“It’s a military operation,” Trump said Thursday while his envoys were in Mexico City. “Because what has been allowed to come into our country, when you see gang violence that you’ve read about like never before and all of the things, much of that is people who are here illegally.”

It was an altogether different message from Kelly and Tillerson, who traveled here to meet with top Mexican officials at a time of intense turbulence for U.S.-Mexico relations. Indeed, Trump acknowledged he had sent his top diplomat south of the border on a “tough trip.”

In contrast to Trump, Tillerson and Kelly emphasized a U.S. commitment to work closely with Mexico on border security, illegal immigration and trafficking of drugs and weapons issues Trump has made a central focus of his young presidency, much to Mexico’s dismay. Both Tillerson and Kelly appeared to downplay any major rift between the U.S. and Mexico.

“In a relationship filled with vibrant colors, two strong sovereign countries from time to time will have differences,” Tillerson said. “We listened closely and carefully to each other as we respectfully and patiently raised our respective concerns.”

For Mexico, that patience was running short. Foreign Relations Secretary Luis Videgaray noted the “public and notorious differences” between the countries and said the Mexicans had raised the “legal impossibility” of a government making “unilateral” decisions affecting another country. Videgaray has previously raised the prospect Mexico could seek recourse at the United Nations or elsewhere for U.S. moves violating international law.

“It is an evident fact that Mexicans feel concern and irritation over what are perceived as policies that may hurt Mexicans and the national interest of Mexicans here and abroad,” Videgaray said. The divergent tones from Trump and from his Cabinet officials left Mexico with an uncomfortable decision about whom to believe. Throughout Trump’s first weeks, foreign leaders have grown increasingly skeptical as Trump’s envoys deliver soothing messages that are then negated by the president.

Mexico has been incensed that the U.S. announced without Mexico’s sign-off that people caught crossing the border illegally will be sent back to Mexico even those from third countries who have no connection to Mexico. Interior Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, Kelly’s Mexican counterpart, said that concern had come up Thursday, too. Both countries said it was positive that the neighbors remained committed to working through the disputes diplomatically, though there were no indications they were any closer to a resolution. As the Americans wrapped up their Mexico visit, they remained at odds with their hosts over the deportations and over the massive border wall Trump has vowed to construct at Mexico’s expense. Trump spoke during the presidential campaign about using a “deportation force.” His Homeland Security Department at one point considered using the National Guard to help with deportations, although the White House has said that idea has been ruled out.

The Homeland Security Department didn’t immediately respond to requests to clarify why Trump’s remark about “a military operation” had conflicted with that of Kelly, who blamed the media for “misreporting.” At the White House, spokesman Sean Spicer said Trump hadn’t been speaking literally. He said Trump used the “military operation” phrase “as an adjective” to describe the precision with which immigration enforcement was being carried out. Tillerson and Kelly also met behind closed doors with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto before returning to Washington. Pena Nieto’s office said he told the visitors that Mexico’s top priorities are “the protection of Mexicans in the United States and respect for their rights.” The U.S. declined to release any details about what was discussed in the meeting. Pena Nieto recently canceled a trip to Washington over Trump’s insistence that Mexico pay for the wall. It has not been rescheduled.

In addition to sending border-crossers from third countries into Mexico, new memos signed by Kelly this week call for prioritizing deportation for anyone charged or convicted of any crime, rather than just serious crimes. That potentially subjects millions in the U.S. illegally to deportation, many Mexicans included. Those policies have stoked fears in Mexico about the possibility of deportee and refugee camps emerging along Mexico’s northern border. Mexican officials were also apprehensive that a forthcoming report ordered by Trump’s administration listing all current U.S. aid to Mexico is intended to threaten Mexico into compliance over immigration or the wall. Mexico has also raised concerns about Trump’s pledge to overhaul the trade relationship and possibly apply steep taxes to Mexican products, a move with profound impacts for Mexico’s export-heavy economy. Tillerson said the leaders had agreed the trade relationship needed to be modernized and strengthened.

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Associated Press writer Mark Stevenson in Mexico City and Jonathan Lemire in New York contributed to this report.

Wilders’ security officer held for suspected data leak

Dutch police have detained a security official in the group responsible for protecting anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders on suspicion of leaking classified information, a spokesman said Wednesday. The extent of the security breach and whether it has had any effect on the tight security cordon that constantly surrounds the far-right Wilders was not immediately clear, but the leader of the populist Party for Freedom reacted angrily on Twitter.

“If I can’t blindly trust the service (DBB) that has to protect me, I can no longer function. This is unacceptable,” Wilders said in a tweet directed at Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Wilders has lived for more than a decade under around-the-clock protection and in anonymous safe houses following death threats.

Dutch media reported, citing unnamed sources, that the suspect is a police officer with a Moroccan background who had passed on information to a Dutch-Moroccan criminal organization. The story first appeared on the website www.NRC.nl . Wilders was convicted last year for anti-Moroccan comments and, while campaigning last weekend, referred to “Moroccan scum” who commit crimes in the Netherlands. The revelations came three weeks before the Netherlands holds a parliamentary election. Wilders’ party is riding high in the polls, although mainstream parties have said they will not form a coalition with him if he wins the popular vote because of his hard-line anti-Islam stance. His manifesto includes closing Dutch borders to all migrants from Muslim nations, banning the Quran and shutting all mosques in the Netherlands.

In an indication the government is taking the alleged leaks seriously, the Dutch prime minister and the minister for security and justice on Wednesday visited the heavily-guarded wing of Parliament that houses Wilders’ party offices. Rutte declined to say if he had met Wilders or to discuss the nature of his visit.

Wilders later tweeted that the security breach “is a serious case that fortunately is also being taken seriously by the Cabinet.”

Police spokesman Dennis Janus revealed few details of the case, saying it was still under investigation. He said an officer from the DBB security team was detained Monday on suspicion of “sharing classified police information in the private sphere.”

The DBB is responsible for security around politicians, the Dutch royal family and diplomats based in the Netherlands.

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