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Winderman’s view: Bam Adebayo does it, with more needed, plus other Heat-Celtics thoughts



Ravens kicker Justin Tucker’s record-breaking kick honored as NFL’s Best Moment of the Year

Observations and other notes of interest from Saturday night’s 109-103 NBA playoff victory over the Boston Celtics:

– Heat coach Erik Spoelstra rarely shows his hand before a game.

– Any hand. Any game.

– Saturday morning was different.

– With Bam Adebayo averaging a meager eight points two games into this series, on an average of five shots, he knew more had to be done.

– And that Adebayo had to be doing more.

– “We want him more involved,” Spoelstra said before noon at TD Garden. “And I have to do a better job of that, of making sure that he’s involved, engaged, giving us some triggers.”

– Spoelstra paused, as if to make clear he wasn’t talking about handing the keys to Adebayo.,

– “It might not necessarily be what everybody thinks it may be,” he said. “But he’s a very important part of our offense and how we function.”

– So they treated him as such.

– And Adebayo treated himself as such.

– “I think we’ll be able to get him in places where he can be assertive in how he was all season,” Spoelstra said.

– That mission was accomplished in the opening minutes, Adebayo up to a series-high 10 points with 6:23 remaining in the opening period.

– Now all that is needed is for Adebayo to do it again.

– Because with Jimmy Butler’s right knee again inflamed, there might not be any other choice.

– Even with Kyle Lowry back.

– Even with Victor Oladipo available.

– The twists keep coming.

– But at least the Heat on Saturday night untangled Adebayo.

– With Lowry (hamstring) and P.J. Tucker (knee) available, the Heat got back to their primary starting lineup, one rounded out by Butler, Adebayo and Max Strus.

– With their starts, Butler and Lowry both tied Terry Porter for 79th on the all-time NBA playoff list, moving them past Moses Malone and Dennis Rodman for 80th.

– With Spoelstra mindful of Lowry’s minutes, previous starting point guard Gabe Vincent was the first reserve off the Heat bench.

– Dewayne Dedmon followed, and then Tyler Herro and Caleb Martin together.

– Then, briefly, Duncan Robinson.

– And eventually Oladipo out of necessity.

– Butler’s first point moved him past Rick Barry for 79th on the all-time NBA playoff list.

– Butler’s third point moved him past Cliff Hagan for 78th on the all-time NBA playoff list.

– Adebayo’s 12th point moved him past Tim Hardaway for 10th on the all-time Heat playoff list.

– Lowry’s first 3-pointer moved him past JJ Redick for 27th on the all-time NBA playoff list and tied him with Rasheed Wallace for 26th.

– Lowry’s first steal moved him past Tony Allen, Jamaal Wilkes and Terry Porter for 62nd on the all-time NBA playoff list.

– Strus’ second 3-pointer moved him past Damon Jones for 20th on the all-time Heat playoff list.

– Spoelstra went in stressing that he knew if his ailing players could play they would.

– “We have a locker room full of these kinds of guys,” he said. “There’s been so much narrative in this league about load management, guys resting, guys sitting out for better or worse. We don’t have guys wired like that.”

– Celtics coach Ime Udoka went in seeking a solid start in order to inspire the home crowd.

– “I’d say in general, our starts at times weren’t the best in the Milwaukee series, even Brooklyn to some extent early,” Udoka said pregame. “To get the crowd into it, you want to have good starts.”

– He added, “I don’t think we focus on home or road as much as some other teams maybe. We’ve been really good on the road at times, as you saw in the Milwaukee series. And so for us it’s neither here nor there.”

– Udoka pregame also discussed the emotional approach of guard Marcus Smart toward his Celtics teammates.

– “I’ve always said guys have been receptive to constructive criticism and they have the freedom to discuss, debate and talk back if they have something to say,” he said. “So an open line of communication from all of us I think has been beneficial. Feelings don’t get hurt.”

– He added, “Guys that have been together for a while can get on each other and respond in the proper way. And so Marcus is a guy that plays with his emotions on his sleeve, says what comes to mind at times. I don’t think guys are sensitive to the delivery. It’s more so what’s being said.”

– Spoelstra also addressed Smart’s fire, “You have to respect Marcus as a competitor more than anything.”




Fundraising for North Dakota abortion clinic move tops $500K



Fundraising for North Dakota abortion clinic move tops $500K

FARGO, N.D. — A fundraising campaign to help North Dakota’s sole abortion clinic move a few miles away to Minnesota has raised more than half a million dollars in two days.

The Red River Women’s Clinic in Fargo will have to shut down in 30 days as part of the state’s trigger law that went into effect Friday, when the U.S. Supreme Court removed the constitutional right to abortion.

Tammi Kromenaker, owner and operator of the independent clinic, said Saturday she has secured a location across the river in neighboring Moorhead but stated earlier that she didn’t know how she would fund the move.

A GoFundMe page set up Friday to benefit the transition had raised over $515,000 from more than 6,000 donors as of late Saturday afternoon. The original goal was $20,000.

Abortion is legal in Minnesota and the state’s governor signed an order to help protect people seeking or providing abortions from facing legal action from other states.

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Wisconsin’s Tony Evers looks for boost from anger over abortion



Wisconsin’s Tony Evers looks for boost from anger over abortion

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin’s Democratic Gov. Tony Evers hopes to translate anger over the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade into votes this fall as he vows to fight a 173-year-old state abortion ban, including offering clemency to any doctor convicted and not appointing prosecutors who would enforce the prohibition.

Evers, who won election in the battleground state four years ago by just over 1 percentage point, told The Associated Press ahead of his appearance Saturday at the Wisconsin Democratic Party convention that abortion will energize key independent voters to support him and other Democrats.

“Any time you take half the people in Wisconsin and make them second class citizens, I have to believe there’s going to be a reaction to that,” Evers said.

At a rally Saturday before the convention, Evers said: “I have seven granddaughters who are girls or young women. Yesterday they were made second-class citizens, and that’s (expletive).”

Wisconsin’s governor’s race is expected to be one of the hardest fought in the country this year. It’s a priority for Democrats given the importance of swing state Wisconsin in the 2024 presidential election. Evers is also the only thing standing in the way of the Republican-controlled Legislature. In his first term, he issued more vetoes than any other governor in modern history.

Democrats running to take on Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson will also speak Sunday at the convention in La Crosse. Five Republicans are running for a chance to take on Evers. Wisconsin’s primary is Aug. 9.

About 1,000 people attended the convention that kicked off Saturday night.

Evers told the AP that he feels confident abortion will be a winning issue for his party because polls have consistently shown about 60% of Wisconsin residents support it being legal in most or all cases.

“You can’t ignore the fact that we now have politicians making decisions for women and their health care,” Evers said. “So we’ll be talking about that a lot.”

Evers vowed to do whatever he can to evade the state’s abortion ban that was passed in 1849 but hasn’t been in effect since the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling. That includes supporting lawsuits to overturn it, not appointing district attorneys who would enforce it and offering clemency for doctors convicted under it.

“We’re looking at everything,” he said.

Wisconsin Republican Party Chairman Paul Farrow said Evers’ position on abortion was appealing only to “his activist base and going against the will of the people.” He downplayed the significance of the court’s ruling on the election.

“All they really did yesterday was, 50 years ago an activist bench made a decision that wasn’t constitutional and put that into play, so they’re correcting that,” Farrow said. “Is it causing any change to the political landscape? There is a standard that people have. Republicans know that we’re pro-life.”

In addition to abortion, Evers said his reelection campaign and message to Democrats will focus on successes from his first term, including using federal money to fix roads and support small businesses. Evers said he will also emphasize what’s at stake if Republicans win, “including voter suppression and voting rights.”

Evers is a supporter of Wisconsin’s bipartisan commission that oversees elections, but all of his Republican opponents want to do away with it. Evers also vetoed a series of bills that would make it more difficult to vote absentee in the state.

President Joe Biden carried Wisconsin by about 21,000 votes, an outcome that some Republicans have refused to accept even though it has withstood two recounts, multiple lawsuits, an independent audit and even a review by a conservative group.

Republicans hope to harness unhappiness about gas prices, inflation and crime to knock off Evers.

No governor who was the same party as the sitting president has won election in Wisconsin since 1990. A Marquette University Law School poll this week showed Evers slightly ahead of his Republican challengers, while Johnson was about even with each Democrat running against him.

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Saints’ seven runs enough to put away Buffalo



Saints’ seven runs enough to put away Buffalo

Eliot Soto went 4 for 5 with three RBIs, and Aaron Sanchez worked in and out of trouble for five innings as the Saints beat the Buffalo Blue Jays, 7-4, on Saturday at Sahlen Field.

Soto’s two-run single in the fourth inning gave St. Paul a 2-0 lead. He scored on Spencer Steer’s one-out single for a 5-3 lead, and his two-out single gave the Saints a 7-3 lead in the ninth.

The Saints have led every game in this six-game series in the eighth inning or later yet take a 2-3 record into Sunday’s series finale, a 12:05 p.m. first pitch.

Michael Helman went 3 for 5 with a pair of solo home runs, and John Andreoli added a solo homer as the Saints beat the first-place team in the International League East Division.

Sanchez (2-0) allowed five hits and five walks in five innings but limited the Blue Jays to three runs. He struck out three. JC Ramirez pitched a scoreless inning, walking two, for his second hold.

Juan Minaya pitched the ninth, giving up a leadoff homer to Samad Taylor, and putting two more on base before retiring Chavez Young on a liner to center to close out the Saints’ second win of the series.

Thomas Hatch (4-4) took the loss, charged with four earned runs on eight hits and a pair of walks. He struck out five.

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