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Celtics have huge 4th, beat Warriors in Game 1 of NBA Finals

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Celtics have huge 4th, beat Warriors in Game 1 of NBA Finals

Once Boston’s balanced roster of NBA Finals first-timers found a groove from long range, the determined Celtics delivered a memorable comeback and rallied past Stephen Curry and the Golden State old guard.

Jaylen Brown fueled the late charge and scored 24 points, Al Horford hit six 3-pointers, and the Celtics rode the most lopsided fourth quarter in NBA Finals history to a 120-108 victory over the Warriors in Game 1 on Thursday night.

Horford finished with 26 points and the Celtics outscored the Warriors 40-16 in the final 12 minutes after trailing by 15 points late in the third quarter. The 15th-year big man, who turns 36 Friday, played in 141 previous postseason games, most ever before playing in the NBA Finals.

“I felt like the guys kept finding me time after time. Also Derrick White hit some tough shots there, too,” Horford said. “I was just getting the looks, knocking them down. That’s that.”

Boston made its first seven tries from long distance in the fourth and wound up 9 of 12 beyond the arc in the period as almost everybody got involved in the 3-point flurry. Jayson Tatum was the lone Celtics regular who struggled offensively, finishing 3 for 17, though he did have 13 assists.

Curry scored 34 points in his return to the NBA’s big stage for the first time in three years, but the Warriors couldn’t sustain momentum from a 38-point third quarter that put them ahead 92-80.

“It’s not ideal but I believe in who we are and how we deal with adversity, how we responded all year, how we respond in the playoffs after a loss,” Curry said. “So learn a lot from that fourth quarter, obviously they made a lot of shots. It seemed like they didn’t miss ’til deep into the fourth. When you have a team that just finds a little bit of momentum like they did and they keep making shots, it’s tough to kind of regain that momentum.”

Game 2 is Sunday night back at Chase Center.

The Celtics were the first team to trail a finals game by 10 or more points after three quarters and win by 10 or more, according to Sportradar. They are 8-2 on the road in these playoffs.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling just to be here and competing at this level against such a dynamic franchise the last couple years,” Boston guard Payton Pritchard said. “I think we’re all just looking forward to the challenge to go through the series and try to get it done.”

White’s 3-pointer over Curry with 5:40 remaining tied the game at 103, then Horford hit from deep the next time down as the Celtics took their first lead since halftime.

Boston is looking to capture its record-breaking 18th title, which would move the Celtics past the Lakers — and now is just three wins away from doing it.

Brown, who starred at nearby California for one college season, made consecutive baskets that tied the game at 47 with 5:03 left before halftime and the Celtics led 56-54 at the break. Golden State then used a signature third-quarter spurt, pouring in 38 points to build a big lead.

Brown scored five quick points early in the fourth and assisted on an alley-oop dunk to Robert Williams III as the Celtics pulled back within 92-87 with 9:35 remaining. The lead was four midway through the fourth before Boston blew past Golden State with a 20-2 run that made it 117-103.

Andrew Wiggins scored 20 points in his finals debut and Draymond Green grabbed 11 rebounds before fouling out with 48.3 seconds left. Klay Thompson contributed 15 points as the Warriors began their sixth finals in eight years after making five straight trips from 2015-19 and winning three championships.

They’ll have to win this one from behind after going 21-2 in their previous Game 1s under Steve Kerr.

“It’s a different feeling. You obviously go into Game 2 with more of a sense of desperation. That’s all part of this stuff. We’ve been in this position before,” Kerr said. “Boston played a brilliant quarter. They came in and earned the win.”

Curry scored a smooth 21 points in the opening period on 7-for-8 shooting, including 6 of 8 made 3s — missing a half-court heave at the buzzer. And Boston struggled to keep up with the Warriors’ snappy ball movement and shooters at every spot on the floor.

Otto Porter Jr. returned from a two-game absence to score 12 points off the bench for the well-rested Warriors. Golden State ended its Western Conference final in Game 5 against Dallas a week earlier at home, while Boston was pushed to the limit with a Game 7 victory at Miami last Sunday.

Golden State dropped to 9-1 this postseason at home, where a sellout crowd in yellow finals T-shirts chanted “M-V-P!” for Curry at every chance.

Marcus Smart scored 18 points with four 3s for Boston. The Celtics star took criticism from Kerr for what the Golden State coach called “a dangerous play” lunging at Curry’s left foot on March 16 in a 110-88 Boston rout that sidelined the 2021 scoring champion for a month before his return in Game 1 of the first round facing Denver.

CURRY’S FIRST QUARTER

Curry’s six 3s in the opening 12 minutes were the most ever in any quarter of the NBA Finals. In addition, the 21 points were most since Michael Jordan’s 22 in the fourth quarter of Game 4 vs. Phoenix in 1993.

The Celtics and Warriors combined for 20 3s by halftime, an NBA Finals first-half record.

TIP-INS

Celtics: Williams started after being listed as questionable with soreness in his surgically repaired left knee and finished with eight points and four blocks while playing 24 minutes. Coach Ime Udoka expected him to be limited to about 20 minutes as has been the recent pattern. … Boston and the Warriors were even on the boards at 39. … Tatum scored 12 points.

Warriors: F Andre Iguodala (injured disc in neck), G Gary Payton II (broken left elbow) and Porter (left foot soreness) all were back though Payton didn’t play. 2015 NBA Finals MVP Iguodala checked in with 2:36 left in the first to huge cheers after he missed 12 games. … Golden State is 21-3 in postseason Game 1s dating to the 2014-15 season when the Warriors captured the franchise’s first championship in 40 years — and they had won 13 straight playoff series openers at home, third-longest streak in NBA history, before this.

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Reps To Investigate Subsidy Regime From 2017 To 2021

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Reps To Investigate Subsidy Regime From 2017 To 2021

The House of Representatives on Wednesday resolved to set up an ad-hoc committee to investigate the petroleum products subsidy regime from 2017 to 2021.

The resolution followed a motion by Honourable Sergius Ogun who stated that component costs in the petroleum products subsidy value chain claimed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is highly over-bloated while the transfer pump price per litre, used by the NNPC in relation to Petroleum Pipeline Marketing Company (PPMC), is underquoted.

The lawmaker described this as fraudulent while also expressing worry that the subsidy regime has been used by the NNPC and other critical stakeholders to subvert the nation’s crude oil revenue to the tune of over $10 billion.

The committee is to report back to the House within eight weeks for further legislative action.

Wednesday’s move by the lawmaker came on the same day that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mele Kyari ruled out the possibility of a subsidy for diesel.

He made the comments while appearing before the House of Representatives Committee on Downstream, alongside the CEO of Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), Farouk Ahmed, among others.

“In our country today, we do not produce AGO and we regret that our refineries are not working,” he said. “Are we doing anything about it? Yes. I have heard the honourable members lamenting; yes, they (the refineries) are not working.

“This is the truth. I don’t want to bore you with why they are not working, but they are not working; I admit they are not working but we regret it. I will invite this committee at your convenience to join us to see how much work we have done to get them back to work, but they will not come back tomorrow.

“They will not! You cannot start it tomorrow. We regret this; we regret this situation, and we are doing everything possible. As a matter of fact, we have decided to do a quick fix for the Warri refinery. The reason is very simple: we don’t even want to go the long route of doing comprehensive turnaround maintenance because we are concerned.”

 

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2023: Presidency Must Return To Southern Nigeria, Fayose Insists

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2023: Presidency Must Return To Southern Nigeria, Fayose Insists

A former governor of Ekiti State Ayodele Fayose has insisted that the southern part of Nigeria must produce the country’s president in 2023.

Fayose, a two-time governor under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said this in a series of tweets on his official handle on Wednesday, pinning his argument on the party’s constitution.

“The PDP Constitution provides for a rotational Presidency. Section 3(c) provides that the Party shall pursue its aims & objectives by “adhering to the policy of the rotation & zoning of Party & Public elective offices in pursuance of the principle of equity, justice, and fairness’,” Fayose maintained.

“The current President of Nigeria is a 2-term Northern Presidency, thus implying that it MUST be a Southern Presidency in 2023 or NOTHING. Awa ‘South’ lo kan’. Nigerians should await details soon.”

Fayose, who contested the PDP presidential primary, lost out to former Vice President Atiku Abukar in the exercise held earlier this month.

He has been one of the strong advocates for a power shift to southern Nigeria despite the party Atiku from the northern region, as the party’s flagbearer.

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, who also lost in the exercise, had campaigned, among others, based on a power shift to the south.

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), however, is fielding a southerner – Bola Tinubu – as its presidential candidate to honour the power-sharing deal called zoning between the north and south.

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Senate confirms Buhari’s ministerial nominees

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Senate confirms Buhari’s ministerial nominees

The senate has confirmed seven persons nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari for ministerial positions.

The upper legislative chamber confirmed the nominees on Wednesday after they were screened by the “committee of the whole” chaired by Senate President Ahmad Lawan.

The ministers-designate will replace those who resigned to pursue political bids.

Rotimi Amaechi, Ogbonnaya Onu, Godswill Akpabio and Emeka Nwajiuba are some of the ministers who resigned to pursue presidential bids.

The ministers confirmed on Wednesday are Henry Ikoh (Abia), Umana Okon Umana (Akwa Ibom), Ekuma Joseph (Ebonyi), Goodluck Nana Obia (Imo), Umar Ibrahim Yakub (Kano), Ademola Adewole Adegorioye (Ondo), and Odo Udi (Rivers).

During screening, Ikoh said as a way of tackling employment in the country, “technical” graduates can be job creators.

“On the unemployment situation, we need more technical graduates to do most of the things we are doing right now. If you are a technical graduate, you can employ yourself and employ others,” he said.

On his part, Umana said the country could boost its foreign exchange earnings with its free trade zones.

“On the issue of how to boost foreign exchange, I want to say that even the free zones platform is a veritable platform for this,” he said.

“The free zone is a platform that can drive production because when you produce for export, you earn foreign exchange.”

Nakama said the federal government must be ready to make some compromise to end the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

“On tackling the issue of ASUU, my answer is that there will be leave of compromise. Government and ASUU will have to come to a compromise and through this, we will able to solve these incessant strikes once and for all,” he said.

The remaining four nominees were asked to “take a bow and go” on the grounds of their experience.

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