Myanmar, Russia pose early tests for Biden’s foreign policy

first_imgWASHINGTON (AP) — A military coup in Myanmar and a mass crackdown on dissidents in Russia are presenting early tests for the Biden administration as it tries to reestablish American primacy as a worldwide pro-democracy leader. President Joe Biden and his nascent foreign policy team have been confronted with two serious challenges in two parts of the world. The U.S. has invested decades of time, energy and money into promoting democracy in both Myanmar and Russia but now faces challenges in each that could affect the global balance of power. Yet, the tools at its disposal — sanctions — have proved unreliable in prompting change in the past.last_img

Anthony Davis flashes all-around skills as Lakers squeak by Thunder

first_img Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersDavis, who finished with a team-high 33 points (24 after halftime), 11 rebounds and seven assists, notched some of the most memorable plays of the evening, including two 3-pointers while being fouled (and finishing both four-point plays).The Thunder had back-to-back layups by Chris Paul (18 points) and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (24 points) to cut the Lakers’ lead to a single point twice in the final 12 seconds. But the Lakers inbounded both times to Davis, who entered Friday night shooting nearly 87 percent from the line and was a perfect 11 for 11 at Chesapeake Energy Arena.“There’s no one like him in the NBA, that’s how unique it is,” Coach Frank Vogel said. “And the amount of ways he impacts the game, both at the basket and shooting the 3-ball – four threes, two four-point plays tonight – and elite defense all over the place. It’s something special.”His confidence at the line was needed as LeBron James (23 points, 14 assists) missed several late dagger attempts in the closing minutes.The back-to-back home-and-home series is unusual in the NBA regular season, and Vogel compared the second game against the Thunder to planning a playoff series. While Oklahoma City is a longshot to make a playoff bid, the two teams scrapped like series opponents, combining for three technical fouls in the first half. Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error But only one team brought a consistent postseason-like focus – or perhaps best described as hunger. Gilgeous-Alexander, Darius Bazley and Hamidou Diallo cut through the Lakers’ second-ranked defense with the urgency of a group trying to turn things around for the struggling Thunder.The Lakers’ often stout interior was a sieve: They gave up 21 of 31 on 2-point shots before halftime. Foul trouble plagued Dwight Howard, who had three in the first half, and JaVale McGee looked unsteady at times protecting the paint. While the Lakers didn’t pay for sloppy perimeter play, they allowed a host of open looks.It helped, then, that Davis’ touch was especially good around the 3-point line, where Davis, (a sub-30 percent shooter this season) was 4 for 7. The key, he said, was something Vogel pointed out, which was that he had been hesitating on his 3-point attempts.Davis’ guiding principle seemed a little like Mamba Mentality.“The ones that I miss I’m either falling back or hesitant on a shot because I want to make the right play,” he said. “I probably drive or find another player for a shot or I’m not getting my feet set or whatever. Now I’m always shot-ready. Knowing that if it comes to me I’m going to shoot it.”Not that Davis was selfish on his shot selection: His seven assists matched a season-high.A change in the winds for the Lakers started two-and-a-half seconds before the intermission. Rajon Rondo, a former high school quarterback, tossed a 70-foot inbounds pass to James, a former high school receiver, who dished it to Caldwell-Pope on the wing for a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to close the halftime gap to a single point.Related Articles Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions center_img How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years That carried over into a supersonic start for the Lakers in the third quarter, when they scored 28 points in the first five minutes. The Lakers hit their first five 3-point attempts, and the offensive tear hit a high point when Davis leaped and tipped a pass back in transition to James, who casually hammered the dish home.But more careless mistakes added up, including ones that transcended court strategy. Rondo was ejected early in the fourth quarter with a flagrant-2 foul for lifting his right leg to strike Dennis Schroder in the groin. Rondo later declined to go into detail on why he disagreed with the call: “Just did.”A 15-point third-quarter lead was erased in the fourth, when Paul hit a 3-pointer that tied the score at 116 with 6:25 left.The Lakers, who made a season-high 17 3-pointers, stressed that a lesser team could have folded at that moment. Even when they’re not their best, folding hasn’t been part of their character so far this season.“Anytime you play a team in back-to-back situations in the same week, you know you’re going to get their best punch,” James said. “We got that and we still were able to get the win.” PreviousLos Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo (9) is ejected during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)Lakers center Dwight Howard defends as Thunder guard Dennis Schroder during the first half of Friday’s game in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)Oklahoma City Thunder guard Hamidou Diallo (6) shoots in front of Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) and guard Alex Caruso (4) during the fist half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsLos Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) loses the ball after a foul by Oklahoma City Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari (8) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) grabs a rebound in front of Los Angeles Lakers guard Danny Green, left, in the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)Los Angeles Lakers guard Danny Green, right, reaches in to knock the ball away fro Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroeder (17) shoots in front of Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo (9) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, right, shoots as Oklahoma City Thunder forward Mike Muscala (33) defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)Oklahoma City Thunder guard Hamidou Diallo dunks in front of Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo (9) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis, left, forces a jump ball with Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)Oklahoma City Thunder forward Mike Muscala, top, defends against Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) dunks in front of Los Angeles Lakers center JaVale McGee (7) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)Los Angeles Lakers center JaVale McGee, center, reaches for the ball with Oklahoma City Thunder guard Terrance Ferguson, front, in front of guard Dennis Schroeder during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) dunks in front of Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) celebrates with center JaVale McGee (7) during a timeout in the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (3) goes to the basket in front of Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (2) shoots over Los Angeles Lakers guard Alex Caruso (4) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo (9) is ejected during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)Lakers center Dwight Howard defends as Thunder guard Dennis Schroder during the first half of Friday’s game in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)NextShow Caption1 of 17Lakers center Dwight Howard defends as Thunder guard Dennis Schroder during the first half of Friday’s game in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)ExpandOKLAHOMA CITY — At 6-foot-10, he can loom above his defender for the inbounds pass. And then he has a touch light enough to make all of his free throws.He can dunk furiously in the lane against a center as stout as Steven Adams, but also has the grace to tip back an errant pass to a teammate on a fast break.Really, what can’t Anthony Davis do?A Friday nail-biter strained the limits of that question, as the Brow executed an impressive late-game sequence: A four-point play, a forced jump ball, a key defensive rebound and four straight free throws in the final eight seconds. It was a big night for Davis, but more importantly a win for the Lakers, who improved to 13-2 with a 130-127 victory over their Oklahoma City hosts, their sixth straight. Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers last_img read more