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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.

Cortez Masto: Administration hypocritical to move against pot

LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV)

The White House said the Trump Administration, led by a law-and-order conservative Attorney General, may be moving against the recreational use of marijuana.

I do believe you will see greater enforcement of it, says White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, drawing a distinction with medical use. That is very different than recreational use, which is something the Department of Justice, I think, will be further looking into, said Spicer. In November, Nevada voters approved Question Two, which legalized the recreational use of marijuana by a 54% to 46% margin. Nevada joined seven other states and the District of Columbia, which allow marijuana for recreation.

So, first of all, it would be hypocritical, said Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nevada, responding to reporters questions about her take on any pot crackdown. Nevada s new Senator says it doesn t square with an administration and a Republican Party that trumpets states rights. Her message for US Attorney General Jeff Sessions?

If he’s going to go down that path, he’s not going to take on just me, he’s going to be taking on many other elected in those states who promote and support those types of activities in their states, she said.

This is her first senate recess since replacing Harry Reid. What a week. Tuesday, the administration unveiled guidelines that expand who could be deported, broadening the definition of the types of criminals who could get kicked out. The White House says the President is carrying out a campaign promise to secure the border and keep the country safe, while immigrant allies say the expanded guidelines mean virtually anyone here illegally could be at risk.

Because of it I introduced my bill to rescind it, she told me.

It s continuing down the path of preying on hard working families who have done nothing other than come here for a better opportunity for themselves and their kids, said Cortez Masto adding, they re not criminals.

The White House says there are no plans for mass roundups. Cortez Masto doesn t buy it, especially after reports surfaced last week about a draft Homeland Security memo that called for calling up the National Guard to help with deportations. The report was quickly batted down by the White House, which says the plan never made it to the Homeland Security Secretary and that it was never under serious consideration. No matter, says Nevada s junior Senator.

So that tells me there s a mindset, whether or not it s implemented, there s a mindset to do everything they can to widen that net, to take on everyone who is here, undocumented, she said. Wednesday the Administration rescinded the Obama-era protection for transgender students, saying it s a matter better left to the states. The Administration also says there will be no tolerance for discrimination.

It s terrible, said Cortez Masto, reacting to the move. We need to continue to fight against discrimination, she says, adding, they don t care about that.

A short time later…she was at a Las Vegas Metro Chamber lunch. I asked the who’s who of local business what this new Democrat should do in Republican Washington.

Infrastructure spending is something that, regardless of the fact that you re a Democrat or you’re a Republican, it’s something that can create jobs and business opportunities for everyone, said Ken Evans, the President of the Urban Chamber of Commerce. That was the Senator s message: I want to make sure we are doing everything we can to fight for those federal dollars to invest in our infrastructure here in Nevada, Cortez Masto told the audience. She’s been in office 51 days.

Just curious: Anybody from the White House call…to say hi?

Not yet. Looking forward to it, she says.

All-in on Justice’s vision for West Virginia

On Dec. 21, Gov. Jim Justice announced that I would be his Cabinet Secretary for the state Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety. From that point on, I, like other Cabinet members, have been working every day to do what is right for West Virginia. I have personally devoted an average of 71 hours per week to respond to the governor s marching orders. Those orders are clear: with the state facing desperate times, its leaders needed to come forward and work together to make West Virginia proud. I spent from Dec. 21 to Inauguration Day mapping out a plan to make Military Affairs and Public Safety more efficient. The chief of staff approved this proposed reorganization on Jan. 27. Initially, these changes will reduce Military Affairs and Public Safety from 13 agencies to nine. My plan will unite Homeland Security State Administrative Agency, the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and the West Virginia Intelligence Fusion Center under a single West Virginia Homeland Security entity.

As a next step, a new Division of Corrections Operations will absorb the Regional Jail and Corrections Facility Authority and the divisions of Corrections and Juvenile Services. As this will require legislation, this major change will take additional time. So far, no delegate or senator I have spoken to has raised any concerns. Legislators have instead told me that these changes are long overdue. My reorganization plan also focuses on rented real estate. An initial review shows that Military Affairs and Public Safety pays $1.2 million each year just for administrative offices. I envision a single headquarters for all of Military Affairs and Public Safety, except for the West Virginia State Police, with shared staff and such common office space as conference rooms. This will reduce space and costs. I was on hand to applaud Gov. Justice s State of the State Address, and I support his proposed budget. I hope that in West Virginia, all parties come together and vote to approve it. It is the right thing to do based on a detailed evaluation of the state s financial situation.

I have never been accused of being a yes man. With a degree in accounting and certified as a fraud examiner, I would directly tell the governor and his staff if I did not support the proposed budget. However, I believe in and support the governor s approach to solve the state s financial problems. Our legislators have worked hard over the past three years. They have cut and reduced our state s budget by millions of dollars. In his budget, the governor proposes $26.6 million in responsible cuts. The issue at hand now is: will further cuts affect the function of our government? The answer is not difficult to see after just a month in Charleston. Here are some examples from within Military Affairs and Public Safety:

Citizens across West Virginia are afraid they could lose their local State Police detachments to additional cuts. Previous spending reductions have already forced the State Police to eliminate more than 50 vacant trooper positions. The State Police do not have the funding to train a new trooper cadet class.

The West Virginia National Guard and our Emergency Management team saved lives and delivered immediate relief after last year s devastating flooding. Further cuts could threaten the state s disaster response and weaken ongoing efforts to prepare and lessen the impact of such events. I talked to a state employee that has worked for the State of West Virginia for 19 years. He handles millions of dollars in federal grants. He is making $26,000 per year, has not received a pay raise in over a decade, and his counterparts in surrounding states make 2 to 3 times more. A correctional officer called me crying that it embarrasses him and his family to go to a grocery store and pay with food stamps. The officer never dreamed that he would work full-time and qualify for food stamps and would need them.

Cutting over $450 million in spending may balance the budget, but the damage to state government would take years to recover from. As for the proposed revenue enhancements, I believe we need to look at the end result proposed by the governor: these measures will allow West Virginia to eliminate the state s personal income tax. I m from Wood County. I know that it has hundreds of retirees, from teachers to corporate executives, who have purchased homes in Florida. They live there six months and one day to avoid West Virginia s state income tax. Most of these men and women love West Virginia, and moved to Florida strictly as a real estate investment and to avoid paying West Virginia personal income taxes.

We have so much to offer in West Virginia. Our state should be seen as a place where people can work, live, and then retire income tax-free to enjoy West Virginia s beauty. This theory works in at least eight states: Florida; Nevada; New Hampshire; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Washington; and Wyoming. The governor has provided a long-range plan, not a short-term fix. Once it is implemented, imagine the growth as people relocate to West Virginia to live. These people will need all of life s basic living needs, from groceries to health care. That means that West Virginia must focus on quality roads, bridges, sewage treatment facilities, and education; on keeping the crime rate low; and on developing venues attractive to citizens from children to retirees. We must look past a one-year budget, and instead focus on where we want to be in eight years.

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