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Atlanta lights up Timberwolves from deep as Minnesota drops third straight

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Atlanta lights up Timberwolves from deep as Minnesota drops third straight

The Timberwolves seem to have a clear matchup problem — elite shooting teams light them up from deep.

Much like Charlotte did last week, Atlanta chowed down on a feast of open triples Monday at Target Center, going 25 for 49 from 3-point range en route to a 121-110 victory.

Minnesota’s lone lead of the game was 2-0.

The Hornets and Hawks entered Monday as the League’s top-two 3-point shooting teams.

The loss was the Wolves’ third straight as they struggle to navigate the most difficult portion of their schedule to date. It doesn’t get any easier Wednesday, when Utah comes to town.

The Jazz currently rank sixth in 3-point shooting percentage.

Minnesota has given up a bevy of wide-open 3-point attempts all season — often to the opponent’s third, fourth and fifth offensive options — as a product of the team’s aggressive, fly-around defense.

The Wolves are always scrambling and recovering, so enough ball movement generally leads to an open triple. But opponents haven’t been able to connect on those open looks for most of the season.

Teams like Atlanta (13-12) almost always will. The Hawks’ lineups always feature four or five shooters. Eight different Atlanta players hit triples Monday. Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot hit seven. Former Wolves center Gorgui Dieng went 3 for 4 from deep. Jaden McDaniels said the Wolves didn’t do a good enough job closing out hard and running shooters off the 3-point line.

“It’s just something we come in with and we know they shoot the three ball tremendously well. If we do a great job of defending the three and making it at least difficult on them, they’re not going to shoot 51 percent from three, giving ourselves a better chance,” Karl-Anthony Towns said. “Even if we get them to shoot 40 percent today, we’re talking about a whole different game and a whole different postgame (press conference). It wasn’t the offense for us that was the problem. It was the defense tonight, which was the flip in the narrative we have of us.”

Some of Atlanta’s offensive success came in transition, but the Hawks also had plenty of success from deep in the half-court sets. Atlanta shot just 15 for 41 from inside the arc, but that doesn’t matter when you’re lighting it up from deep.

Timberwolves coach Chris Finch said the Wolves didn’t possess their usual urgency to contest shots.

“A lot of them were just short closeouts or not getting out to guys who we didn’t think could shoot the ball,” Finch said. “When I look at the tape, in terms of our scheme, I was pretty happy. I didn’t think we were being picked apart in the initial. It’s just that we didn’t keep moving around.”

Hawks star guard Trae Young posted 29 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds. Clint Capela had nine points, 16 rebounds, four blocks and four assists.

Minnesota (11-13) shot well from deep, as well — a welcomed change from the norm this season. The Wolves shot 43 percent from three. Malik Beasley went 6 for 13 on triple tries en route to 24 points. Anthony Edwards had 20 points and seven assists, but shot just 6 for 19 from the floor, while Towns finished with 31 points and 16 rebounds.

Minnesota was without D’Angelo Russell, Jaylen Nowell and Patrick Beverley. It’s been short-handed in each of its three losses, but Finch noted other guys simply have to step up more than they did Monday.

“There’s no margin for error for our team no matter what you’re talking about — rotation, effort or defense or shooting. We just don’t have much margin for error,” Finch said. “That’s why we’ve got to play basically full throttle and get back to guarding people. When we do that we have a chance.”

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“Tiger King” Joe Exotic resentenced to 21 years in prison in murder-for-hire case involving his chief rival

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“Tiger King” Joe Exotic resentenced to 21 years in prison in murder-for-hire case involving his chief rival

OKLAHOMA CITY — A federal judge resentenced “Tiger King” Joe Exotic to 21 years in prison on Friday, reducing his punishment by just a year despite pleas from the former zookeeper for leniency as he begins treatment for cancer.

“Please don’t make me die in prison waiting for a chance to be free,” he told a federal judge who resentenced him on a murder-for-hire charge.

Joe Exotic — whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage — was convicted in a case involving animal welfare activist Carole Baskin. Both were featured in Netflix’s “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.”

Wearing an orange prison jumpsuit, Maldonado-Passage still had his trademark mullet hairstyle, but the bleach-blonde was fading to gray.

Baskin and her husband also attended the proceedings, and she said she was fearful that Maldonado-Passage could threaten her.

“He continues to harbor intense feelings of ill will toward me,” she said.

Friday’s court proceedings came about after a federal appeals court ruled last year that the prison term he’s serving on a murder-for-hire conviction should be shortened.

Supporters packed the courtroom, some wearing animal-print masks and shirts that read “Free Joe Exotic.” His attorneys said they would appeal both the resentencing and petition for a new trial.

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Illinois Department of Public Health offers 225k free at-home COVID tests

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Illinois Department of Public Health offers 225k free at-home COVID tests

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – 225,000 free rapid COVID-19 self-administered test kits are now available to residents in certain zip codes in 14 Illinois counties from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The tests are available through Project Access Covid Tests (Project ACT). It is a new direct-to-consumer mail-order program that works in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation, health care technology company CareEvolation, test manufacture iHealth Labs, Inc., and Amazon.

The tests are available to residents living in the following counties: Cook, DuPage, Henry, Jackson, Jefferson, Kankakee, Lake, Macon, Madison, Marion, Peoria, St. Clair, Will, and Winnebago. Click here to see the specific zip codes.

“Testing is still a critical component for slowing transmission of COVID-19 and helping prevent further infections,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “With readily available at-home testing, individuals can find out very quickly if they are positive and take action to isolate for five days while alerting those with whom they had close contact that they should also test. Readily available tests can help us chart a course for the new normal and help us learn how to coexist with COVID-19.”

Click here to order your free COVID tests.

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Pittsburgh bridge collapses hours before Biden visit about infrastructure

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Pittsburgh bridge collapses hours before Biden visit about infrastructure

PITTSBURGH, Pa. (WTAJ) –A four-lane bridge collapsed in Pittsburgh, prompting rescuers to rappel nearly 150 feet while others formed a human chain to help rescue multiple people from a dangling bus.

The collapse comes just hours before President Joe Biden arrived in Pittsburgh to push his $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan and efforts to strengthen supply chains in America.

The collapse happened in the Frick Park area of the city Friday morning before 7 a.m. Several cars and a Port Authority bus were involved. It was reported by Pittsburgh Public Safety on Twitter that an odor of natural gas was detected and asked all residents to avoid the area.

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Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire Chief Darryl Jones said three or four vehicles were involved in the collapse and there were 10 minor injuries with three, who were on the bus, taken to the hospital. None of the injuries were life-threatening, Jones said.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki tweeted out that President Biden is grateful to the first responders who rushed to assist the drivers who were on the bridge at the time. The President will proceed with his trip planned for today and will stay in touch with officials on the ground about additional assistance we can provide.

The Red Cross is also on scene to assist.

Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey said the bridge over Hot Dog Dam Dog Park was inspected just last September, CBS reports.

Nexstar and Associated Press contributed to this story.

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