Celtics Power Past Wizards in Game 7, 115-105

first_imgBOSTON (AP) — Isaiah Thomas said he didn’t feel any pressure entering the first Game 7 of his career.His play backed up his confidence and with the help of Kelly Olynyk and the Boston Celtics bench, Thomas earned the biggest win of his career.Thomas scored 29 points and had 12 assists while Olynyk scored a career-playoff high 26 points as the Celtics used a big fourth quarter to outlast the Washington Wizards 115-105 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Monday night.“I knew it would be a big time game tonight. I knew it wouldn’t be easy at all,” Thomas said. “And we came out on top.”Led by Olynyk, the Celtics got a huge lift from their bench, outscoring their Wizards’ counterparts 48-5. Boston also connected on 11 3-pointers, including 8 of 13 in the second half.Washington Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr., front, and Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart, behind, contend for a rebound during the second quarter of Game 7 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series, Monday, May 15, 2017, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)“We needed it,” Olynyk said. “That’s a tough team that we played seven tough games against and they can score. We needed to help out the starters, help out Isaiah.”Boston advances to the Eastern Conference finals where it will host the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 on Wednesday. It’s the Celtics first appearance in the conference finals since 2012.“What a special opportunity to get a chance to compete against them,” Boston coach Brad Stevens said.For Thomas it serves as the ultimate validation for a team that many felt was unworthy of the conference’s top seed. It also marked the latest big performance by Thomas, in a playoff run that began in the haze of his younger sister’s death in a car accident. The 28-year-old All-Star has called the basketball court his sanctuary and he continues to credit his teammates for giving him the strength to perform at a high level.“That says a lot about the team we are and we believe in each other,” Thomas said. “The game wasn’t always what we wanted it to be and it wasn’t a perfect game. But we kept going and stayed the course.”Bradley Beal led the Wizards — which was playing it its first Game 7 since 1979 — with 38 points, including 24 in the second half.“I don’t care how well I played,” Beal said afterward. “I don’t care if I played bad. The end result…the only thing that matters is getting a win.”Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas makes a pass while sprawled on the floor as Washington Wizards forward Otto Porter Jr., top, defends during the second quarter of Game 7 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series, Monday, May 15, 2017, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)Otto Porter added 20 points. John Wall and Markieff Morris each finished with 18. But Washington also had 15 turnovers, leading to 17 Celtics’ points.Boston trailed 76-72 late in the third quarter before ending the period on a 13-3 spurt. The run grew to 22-5 in the opening minutes of the fourth as the Celtics’ lead became 94-81.But Washington quickly responded, scoring seven straight in just 51 seconds to get back within six.Washington stayed close as Beal continued to score, including a four-point play. But Olynyk then took over. He scored 11 of 13 points for Boston as the Celtics stretched their advantage to 110-100.“He just made shots,” Marcin Gortat said of Olynyk. “He was the difference today — a huge difference.”Brooks played Beal and Wall 46 and 45 minutes respectively but said it was necessary to try to stay in the game.“I knew it would come down to the last six minutes of the game,” Washington coach Scott Brooks said. “They had that little run at the start of the fourth quarter.”The Celtics had the largest lead of the first half at 10-2 but that gap was quickly erased by Washington as Boston started to accumulate fouls.Marcus Smart, Amir Johnson and Olynyk all were whistled for three fouls in the opening 24 minutes, though Smart did inject some life into a second unit that outscored their Wizards’ counterparts 19-5.Wall and Beal each were beneficiaries scoring eight and nine points respectively in the second quarter to help the Wizards take a two-point lead into halftime.“It’s tough. We came out here Game 7 and gave everything we had. Just came up short,” Wall said. “Our goal was to get to Eastern Conference finals and we came up one game short. So it’s not a satisfied season to me.”KYLE HIGHTOWER, AP Sports WriterTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Baker Institute expert Assumptions about oils influence on politics in the Middle

first_imgShareDavid [email protected] [email protected] Institute expert: Assumptions about oil’s influence on politics in the Middle East should be reversedHOUSTON – (July 7, 2016) – Assumptions about oil’s influence on politics in the Middle East should be reversed, according to a new article from an expert at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. Instead of oil buttressing autocracy, the article argues that autocracy among oil exporters buttresses oil by encouraging consumption.Credit: shutterstock.com/Rice University“Energy and the State in the Middle East” was authored by Jim Krane, the Wallace S. Wilson Fellow for Energy Studies at the Baker Institute. It appears in the new book “Delivering Energy Law and Policy in the E.U. and the U.S.: A Reader,” which was co-edited by Raphael Heffron and Gavin Little and published by Edinburgh University Press.“When it comes to energy, the Middle East is best-known as a supplier of commodities to the importing world,” Krane wrote. “Collectively, the region harbors around half of the world’s conventional reserves of oil and natural gas. But recently the countries of the Middle East and North Africa have become recognized as important centers of energy demand.”The MENA region has maintained nearly 6 percent yearly growth in consumption over the four decades since 1973, a much faster rate of growth than the 2 percent average for the world as a whole, according to Krane. His paper examines drivers behind the MENA region’s growing consumption of oil and gas, in particular the government policies that have contributed to the energy intensity of the region.“I argue that hydrocarbon demand is an outgrowth of the pervasive and structural role of oil and gas in the formation of many of these states, which has imposed deep influences on their institutional design and outcomes,” Krane wrote.Among some of the larger oil exporters, the effect of hydrocarbons dates to their origins as sovereign independent states, Krane said. Oil helped finance their emergence from colonial rule and, at times, guided the placement of national borders to encompass known oilfields. “The business of exporting hydrocarbons has also contributed to the character of governance in the Middle East, helping to maintain autocratic regimes in most of these otherwise diverse states,” Krane wrote. “Finally, in many MENA countries, government policies that made available low-priced fuel and electricity contributed to an ‘entitlement mentality’ among citizens toward cheap energy. In turn, these attitudes have encouraged energy-intense habits, influencing the design of the built environment and guiding patterns of human settlement.”In short, the presence of oil and gas has commanded a huge role in sustaining and organizing Middle Eastern states and societies and promoting their integration into the global economy, Krane said. These generalizations are strongest in the region’s energy-exporting countries but remain apparent in most of the Arab Middle East, including among net importers, he added.“Put another way, the old ‘oil influences politics’ adage ought to be flipped,” Krane concluded. “In the Gulf, it is politics that influences oil. Basically regimes stay in power by underpricing and encouraging consumption of oil.”-30-For more information, to schedule an interview with Krane or to receive a copy of the article, contact Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at [email protected] or 713-348-6775.Related materials:“Delivering Energy Law and Policy in the E.U. and the U.S.: A Reader”: https://edinburghuniversitypress.com/book-delivering-energy-law-and-policy-in-the-eu-and-the-us.htmlKrane bio: http://bakerinstitute.org/experts/jim-kraneKrane on Twitter: http://twitter.com/jimkrane @jimkraneFollow the Baker Institute via Twitter @BakerInstitute.Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Founded in 1993, Rice University’s Baker Institute ranks among the top five university-affiliated think tanks in the world. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows, Rice University faculty scholars and staff, coupled with its outreach to the Rice student body through fellow-taught classes — including a public policy course — and student leadership and internship programs. Learn more about the institute at www.bakerinstitute.org or on the institute’s blog, http://blogs.chron.com/bakerblog. AddThislast_img read more