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James Harden Erupts for 44 Factors as Rockets Beat Jimmy Butler, Timberwolves

Invoice Baptist/Getty PhotosJames Harden apparently is not slowing down within the playoffs after an unimaginable common season. The Houston Rockets ...

 
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 15: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets handles the ball against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Game One of Round One of the 2018 NBA Playoffs on April 15, 2018 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)

Invoice Baptist/Getty Photos

James Harden apparently is not slowing down within the playoffs after an unimaginable common season. 

The Houston Rockets star scored 44, together with 13 within the fourth quarter, to assist the No. 1 seed within the West survive with a 104-101 Recreation 1 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. 

Andrew Wiggins scored 18 for the Timberwolves of their first playoff recreation in 14 years, but it surely wasn’t sufficient to maintain up with Harden and the Rockets offense.

The Timberwolves refused to go away down the stretch, slicing a seven-point deficit with 90 seconds left down to 3 with the ball. Nevertheless, Jimmy Butler air-balled a deep two (he meant to take a 3 however had his foot on the road), and Houston held on. 

Whereas both sides had key moments, it was Harden who stole the present whereas pulling down pictures from all around the flooring:

He additionally added eight assists and two steals. A private 7-Zero run additionally helped flip a one-point lead within the fourth quarter to an eight-point benefit that ended up deciding the sport.

Maybe most significantly, he was capable of knock down pictures in a recreation the place his teammates could not make something from the surface.

Harden completed 7-of-12 from behind the arc whereas the remainder of the Rockets had been Three-of-25 mixed.

They as an alternative needed to rely on manufacturing inside, and Clint Capela was there to assist from the opening tip. The middle had 20 factors and 10 rebounds within the first half, serving to the favorites get off to a fast begin:

In the meantime, Cities did not discover a lot room to roam with simply three factors by halftime.

The one-sided play within the put up did not imply a lot, nevertheless, because the Wolves remained in hanging distance at 54-47 at intermission. A 9-Zero run after halftime put the Timberwolves in entrance, and Derrick Rose made a big effect off the bench (together with hitting a go-ahead three with three minutes to go within the third quarter) earlier than ending with 16 factors.

Nonetheless, Harden did loads of injury on his personal to assist the house workforce regain the lead going into the fourth quarter:

Minnesota’s protection prevented the Rockets from pulling away, but it surely could not make the most of errors within the last minutes and didn’t get sufficient out of its key gamers.

Jeff Teague virtually earned a triple-double with 15 factors, 9 rebounds and eight assists, however Jimmy Butler (13 factors) and Cities (eight factors) hardly confirmed up within the loss. The defeat additionally represents the 11th straight loss for Minnesota in Houston.

The groups will get a little bit of a break earlier than returning for Recreation 2 on Wednesday on the Toyota Heart. One other loss for the Timberwolves would put them in deep trouble.

Dow closes down greater than 700 factors on commerce warfare fears

 

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Shares fell sharply Thursday, pressured by worries of a possible commerce warfare and a decline in tech shares. The broader market was additionally pressured by a decline in financial institution shares.

The Dow Jones industrial common dropped 724 factors, with Caterpillar, 3M and Boeing as the most important decliners. The 30-stock index briefly entered correction territory for the primary time since final month, falling 10 p.c from its 52-week excessive at one level late within the day.

The S&P 500 fell 2.5 p.c, with seven of 11 sectors, together with tech and financials, dropping greater than 2 p.c. The Nasdaq pulled again 2.four p.c. Promoting intensified into the shut, with the Dow shedding greater than 250 factors within the closing hour of buying and selling. 

Earlier, the Trump administration unveiled tariffs designed to punish China for mental property theft, imposing about $ 60 billion in retaliatory expenses. Equities have been beneath stress not too long ago because the Trump administration ramps up a protectionist commerce agenda. Earlier this month, Trump introduced the implementation of tariffs on metal and aluminum imports, elevating issues a couple of potential commerce warfare.

“You can see extra stress [on stocks] if the commerce challenge” grows, stated Bruce McCain, chief funding strategist at Key Non-public Financial institution. “The query is: What’s the actuality of that taking place? Most agree this might damage the economic system.”

Boeing dropped 5.2 p.c, whereas shares of Caterpillar and 3M each closed decrease.

The 10-year Treasury yield posted its greatest one-day drop since September of final 12 months as traders bid up bond costs, whereas gold futures gained zero.5 p.c. Treasurys and gold are seen as safer belongings to carry than shares.

Financial institution shares, in the meantime, fell together with Treasury yields. The SPDR S&P Financial institution ETF (KBE) fell three.7 p.c, whereas Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Chase and Financial institution of America all traded decrease.

The Cboe Volatility index (VIX), extensively thought-about one of the best gauge of worry out there, rose above 22.

“Trump’s protectionism is making traders nervous,” Dario Perkins, managing director of world macro at TS Lombard, stated in a word Thursday. “Previous expertise suggests these insurance policies are flawed, whereas even reasonable commerce obstacles might disrupt at this time’s complicated international provide chains.”

Losses in tech additionally helped shares fall. Tech shares have been beneath stress recently amid a pointy decline in Fb shares. Information broke not too long ago that information analysis agency Cambridge Analytica gathered information from 50 million Fb profiles with out the permission of its customers. Shares of Fb have been beneath stress all week, sliding eight.5 p.c by Wednesday’s shut.

On Thursday, they fell 2.7 p.c. Fb CEO Mark Zuckerberg broke his silence over the information, telling CNN it had been “a significant breach of belief, and I am actually sorry that this occurred.”

The information raised concern that U.S. lawmakers might draw up regulation on information utilization for Fb and different main tech corporations. “They don’t seem to be going to write down the regulation only for Fb, stated Shawn Cruz, supervisor of dealer technique at TD Ameritrade, noting regulators are going to focus on all the sector. “That would flip right into a headwind for these shares.”

The PowerShares QQQ Belief (QQQ), which tracks the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 index, dropped 2.5 p.c, breaking under its 50-day shifting common, a key technical degree. Google-parent Alphabet fell three.6 p.c and dipped into correction territory.

Tech corporations are additionally among the many corporations that may very well be within the cross-hairs of a U.S.-China commerce warfare.

Buyers additionally assessed the U.S. Federal Reserve’s newest financial coverage resolution. As extensively anticipated by the markets, the Fed raised rates of interest by 25 foundation factors on Wednesday and upgraded its financial outlook, saying that financial exercise and jobs good points had been robust in latest months.

Market watchers count on the central financial institution to hike 3 times in 2018, whereas the Fed introduced that it was rising its rate-hike forecast for 2019. Shares closed decrease Wednesday after the announcement.

“Typically, the upward momentum in shares is damaged,” stated Maris Ogg, the president at Tower Bridge Advisors. “It needed to break. You were not going to go up in a straight line ceaselessly.” “What’s taking place is the typical investor is extra attuned to rebalancing and taking income when their positions get outsized,” Ogg stated. 

CNBC’s Jeff Cox contributed to this report.

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