As the San Antonio Spurs took the Oklahoma City Thunder apart Thursday night on their way to winning Game 5 by 28 points, Thunder forward Kevin Durant quietly battled to finish with 25 points. That’s nothing to sneeze at, but it’s still short of the sparkling numbers he had been putting up before the NBA’s Western Conference finals began.Through the first two rounds of the playoffs, Durant had been magnificent, averaging 31.4 points per game and hitting the 30-point mark in nine of 13 games. In the five games against the Spurs, Durant has hit the 30-point mark just once, and in the Thunder’s three blowout losses, he’s averaged just 22.7 points.Durant’s efficiency has also suffered. His shooting accuracy from different areas of the floor hasn’t been significantly different, but the Spurs have forced him away from his preferred spots. Shot location statistics from NBA.com show how the distribution of his true shot attempts has changed in these games (true shot attempts include field goal attempts and trips to the free-throw line, essentially all non-turnover possessions).Kevin Durant’s Distribution of True Shot AttemptsIn the Thunder’s three losses against the Spurs, far fewer of Durant’s true shooting attempts have come around the basket. Durant has been pushed back into the inefficient mid-range zone.This may seem like splitting hairs; we’re talking about a potent scorer from anywhere on the floor. But even a great scorer like Durant is much more efficient in some areas. For example, during the regular season, a Durant trip to the free-throw line had an expected value more than twice that of one of his mid-range jump shots.In fact, if we give Durant his shooting percentage from the regular season but his shot selection from the three losses against the Spurs, Durant would have a true shooting percentage of 54.4. That’s far less his 63.5 regular-season number, which ranked second in the league this season and was the best in NBA history by a player who used at least 32 percent or more of his team’s offensive possessions.Defensive pressure usually conjures images of blocked shots and steals. But by making Durant change his shot selection, the Spurs’ defense turned an elite scorer into merely a good one.
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No one knows where Derek Jeter will end up. . .except in the Baseball Hall of Fame, right alongside Cal Ripken Jr., his childhood idol that he is now tied with in career hits.Thursday night, a single in the seventh inning gave Jeter, 3,184 career hits, which ties him with Ripken for 13th on baseball’s all-time hit list. It’s one thing for Jeter, 38, to be where he is on that list. To be tied with Ripken, the iconic former shortstop, makes it even more special.“Right now, it is kind of hard to sit around and think about it,” Jeter said after the Yankees’ 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox. “I think I’ve told you before what he has represented to the game, being a shortstop, he is someone I’ve always admired. At this moment, now, it is not something I’m thinking about.”If Jeter stays healthy, he will have a shot to catch Nap Lajoie at 3,252 hits this season. Jeter has 96 hits in 73 games this season.Thursday night, Jeter nearly moved past Ripken in dramatic fashion. Down a run with a man on and two outs in the ninth, Jeter nailed an opposite-field drive that sent White Sox right fielder Alex Rios crashing into the wall for the final out.“They are playing no doubles,” Jeter said. “So it either goes out or he catches and he caught it. I thought I had a chance, but it didn’t happen.”Jeter, 38, may try to pursue 4,000 hits. His contract has one more season for $17 million, plus a player option for $8 million in 2014.
OSU then-junior defensive end Joey Bosa (97) during the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1 in Glendale, Arizona. Photo Credit: Lantern File PhotoOn Wednesday, the Chargers announced that former Ohio State defensive end, and third overall pick Joey Bosa has rejected the latest contract offer as his holdout goes on.The Chargers issued a press release saying that they gave Bosa and his party their best offer last night which was rejected today. The initial signing bonus offered to Bosa would have been the largest payment to a rookie in the last two drafts. Bosa would have been the highest paid rookie in the 2016-17 calendar year next to Carson Wentz of the Philadelphia Eagles.The Chargers said they will now have to restructure an offer to best fit all the time missed by Bosa citing his inability to contribute for the full 16 game season without time on the practice field, watching film and preseason games.“Joey’s ability to contribute for an entire rookie season has now been jeopardized by the valuable time he has missed with his coaches and his teammates,” the Chargers said in a press release. “Since Joey will not report at this time, his ability to produce not just early in the season, but throughout the entire season, has been negatively impacted.”A representative from Creative Artists Agency, the agency that represents Bosa, released a statement Wednesday night exerting frustration on the agency’s part that the Chargers decided to go public and “manipulate facts and negotiate in the media.”The statement accuses the Chargers of “remaining silent” and choosing not to reply to a contract offer for 14 days after the agency made an offer on July 28. The Chargers reported to camp on July 29.“At this point, all we can do is continue to fight for a fair contract on behalf of our client, as we do for all our clients,” said Bosa’s representative. “The Chargers can focus on trying to sway public opinion, but out focus will remain on our client and securing a contract for him that is fair and consistent with his draft position.”Bosa is the last drafted Buckeye yet to sign a rookie contract.
With victories against Penn State and then-No. 10 Wisconsin last week by an average of almost 25 points, the Ohio State men’s basketball team retained its No. 1 ranking in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls. A catalyst in both wins for the top-ranked Buckeyes, senior guard Jon Diebler earned Big Ten Player of the Week honors after averaging 28.5 points per game last week and shooting 17-for-20 from 3-point territory. The Buckeyes are followed in both polls by No. 2 Kansas, whose 29-2 record is identical to OSU’s. The Buckeyes received 52 of 65 first-place votes in the AP poll and 25 of 31 in the Coaches poll. The Jayhawks secured all other first-place votes. After Kansas come two Big East squads, No. 3 Pittsburgh and No. 4 Notre Dame. A four-game winning streak, including last week’s victories against then-No. 19 Villanova and then-No. 16 Connecticut, has propelled the Fighting Irish to their highest ranking this season. Purdue and Wisconsin, the only two teams to beat OSU this year, remain the only other Big Ten teams in either set of rankings. Purdue dropped to No. 9 after a loss to unranked Iowa, and Wisconsin fell to No. 13 after its loss in Columbus. The Buckeyes now await the Big Ten Tournament and a matchup with either Minnesota or Northwestern at noon on Friday.
It is a big cat in my mind, there is no doubt about itPhillip White Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. He added: “I am worried for the children because they are more vulnerable. There are lots of families. There is actually a children’s playground nearby so the thought of that is quite concerning.”But Danny Bamping, the founder of the British Big Cats Society, called the footage into question and said it does not show “any sense of scale”. He told the Daily Telegraph he believes it does not show a lynx or leopard but a bengal leopard cat.“They are a domestic species, quite large and expensive, and semi-feral,” he said. “They can hunt over good distances and take rabbits, pheasants and small deer but they are essentially a pet.“People aren’t wrong, they are a big cat, bigger than most dogs. But they are not a ‘big cat’… you’ll probably find a neighbour had a pet.” He added that they were not dangerous and said owners did not need a licence to keep one. The sighting comes after an animal, described as a large feline creature with leopard makings, was spotted in the same area just weeks earlier at 8.20am on October 8.The creature, which is thought to be larger than a fox, was reported by a resident to Alcester Police South Safer Neighbourhood Team.Another resident, Colin Wilks, 60, from nearby Alcester, Warwickshire, also said he heard a creature growl while he was walking his dogs on October 10. “It’s a big cat in my mind, there’s no doubt about it. It looks like a wild cat you normally see in the zoo or a safari park. Either it’s escaped from a private collection or just living in the wild but it was pretty scary to see.”It looked fully grown and was walking around with confidence so its obviously used to its surroundings.”We keep our windows and doors closed at all times now and are always careful when we take our one-year-old daughter out in the garden.”Mr White said he was concerned for the safety of people in the village. This is the chilling moment a big cat was filmed prowling around a field just yards from a sleepy village.Video footage shows the large beast slowly turning around before making its way into a patch of bushes.The adult cat, which appears to be around 4ft in length, has a black tail and has patterned markings similar to a lynx. Phillip White, 39, was looking out of his patio window when he spotted the giant animal in a fieldCredit:SWNS Phillip White, 39, was looking out of his patio window when he spotted the giant animal in a field behind his home in the picturesque village of Great Alne, Warwickshire.Mr White, who works for a waste storage firm, managed to film the animal which padded past his home just 230ft (70m) away from him around 10am on October 29.The father-of-one said: “I’ve seen it before but never had my camera so when it appeared again I just started filming. I saw it on the left and at first I thought it might be a deer.”Then it was on the right and it moved quickly across the field. It was skulking around and that’s when I took the video. Video footage shows the large beast near the picturesque village of Great Alne, Warwickshire
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. The Soil Association last night defended its campaigning, accusing its critics of being “out of step” with popular and scientific opinion.There is broad agreement that unrestricted use of antibiotics in farming has led to antibiotic resistance, leading to new “superbugs” that could cause 10 million unnecessary deaths a year by 2050.Such fears have boosted support for organic farming and increased sales of organic produce on the high street. Last year the market grew by 4.5 per cent to £1.95 billion.But Dr Brown, a clinical research fellow at Oxford University, said these legitimate concerns were now being exploited by the environmental lobby to boost sales.He said: “Campaign groups appear to be exploiting growing concerns over antibiotic resistance in an effort to promote other agendas, such as increasing sales of organic produce or forcing changes in farming systems unrelated to antibiotic use.”Dr Brown said the actions of the Soil Association and others “could set back efforts to tackle resistance and harm animal welfare”.He accused the group, part of the Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics (ASOA), of “misrepresenting facts, figures and scientific findings”.Alongside the Soil Association, ASOA members include The Campaign For Real Farming, which advocates “economic democracies” of community-owned small and medium-sized farms, as well as the Bio-dynamic Agricultural Association, which takes its ideas from anthroposophy, the brainchild of Rudolf Steiner, one of the pioneers of organic farming.The Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture (RUMA) group, which represents commercial farmers, also accused environmental campaigners of harming the agricultural industry at a delicate time, following June’s vote to leave the EU.It accuses the Soil Association and fellow ASOA members of being determined to portray mainstream farming as irresponsible.RUMA, defends medicating animals with prophylactic antibiotics, as long it is not done routinely and the animals in question are at high risk of infection.Its chairman Gwyn Jones said: “There’s a widespread belief in the industry that these groups are using this [AMR] as another weapon to put pressure on commercial farming, which they don’t like very much,” he said. “We need to know what it is they are really aiming at.”The row comes one week after a study by The Department of Environment Agriculture and Rural Affairs found British farmers had reduced their use of antibiotics by an average of nearly 10 per cent in the year up to 2015 and are “setting an excellent example” to the world. A row has broken out over antibiotics in farming after the Government’s top livestock advisor accused green lobbyists of “exploiting” fears over superbugs to sell more organic food.Dr Ian Brown, chair of the Advisory Committee on Animal Feedstuffs, criticised what he called an “orchestrated campaign” to discredit mainstream agriculture by blaming farmers for the rise of drug-resistant bacteria.He suggested the Soil Association, which counts the Prince of Wales among its patrons, is using the issue as a “Trojan Horse” to help its members make more profit. And he claimed green groups had “misrepresented” facts and figures to support their aims. It follows a Government-commissioned report in May by Lord Jim O’Neill, which warned that antimicrobial resistance (AMR) had the potential to return medicine “to the dark ages”.The use of antibiotics to promote the growth of livestock was banned by the EU in 2006 and European farmers are considered among the most advanced in their attempts to alter animal husbandry techniques and reduce their use of the drugs.This month’s DEFRA study showed that sales of antibiotics for use in animals in the UK are at a four-year low, prompting Rural Affairs and Biosecurity minister Lord Gardiner to say: “Our farmers and vets are setting an excellent examples for others around the world to follow.”The poultry industry, where misuse of antibiotics has historically been among the worst, showed a 27 per cent reduction in use between 2014 and 2015.However the Food Standards Agency said on Friday that half the strains of the deadly pathogen Campylobacter, which is common in supermarket chicken, is now resistant to the most advanced antibiotics.Tom Macmillan, director of innovation at the Soil Association, said: “The Soil Association has been campaigning against routine use of antibiotics on farms for over 25 years.“It is an enormous EU-wide problem and all farms can work to lower the risk that agriculture exacerbates the wider crisis of antibiotic agreement.”Mr Macmillan said the recent progress by the UK livestock industry was “welcome” but would be undermined if preventative mass medication continued.He added that organic farmers have been “ahead of the game” in addressing these challenges.The Soil Association has been at the forefront of a movement to ban glyphosate, a chemical used commonly in weedkiller and in commercial farming.The group argues the substance is carcinogenic, but a joint review this year by the World Health Organisation and the UN found the fears unjustified.The EU Commission, however, is considering a ban and will announce its decision next year.The Soil Association did not deny using the AMR emergency to try to boost sales of organically grown food, a market that grew by 4.5 per cent to £1.95 billion last year.A spokesman for ASOA said: “To paint any opposition to the status quo as an attempt to push the organic agenda hugely undermines legitimate calls for ambitious action on farm antibiotic use.”Our key campaign ask, which calls for an end to the routine preventative mass medication of groups of livestock, is fully in line with the UK Government’s official position.“It is concerning that RUMA is so out of step with popular, scientific and official policy opinion on this issue.” “It is an enormous EU-wide problem and all farms can work to lower the risk that agriculture exacerbates the wider crisis of antibiotic agreement.”Tom Macmillan, director of innovation at the Soil Association
An MP has called for US-style border checks in the UK after a murderer was able to holiday in England before launching a hammer attack on two police officers after missing his flight home. Jamshid Piruz, who was born in Afghanistan but has Dutch citzenship, was initially jailed in the Netherlands and served six years of a 12-year jail term after he slit the throat of his female tenant in 2007. Yesterday, Hove Crown Court heard that after arriving in Britain in December 2015 to visit relatives, Dutch citizen Piruz missed his return flight home from Gatwick Airport on January 4 2016. Police Constables Jessica Chick and Stuart YoungCredit:Ben Mitchell/PA Wire “Using a system of tough pre-entry checks paid for by visitors to Britain like the US does would flag up violent criminals before they can step foot on our shores.”We should plan investment in cutting-edge border technology now – doing all we can to keep dangerous criminals and terrorists out of Britain.”He was given two life sentences for the attempted GBH offences to run concurrently, for which he will serve a minimum of five years, as well as nine months for the affray and six months for the burglary. After attempting a break in on January 7, he attacked Police Constables Jessica Chick and Stuart Young with a claw hammer in an incident “akin to a horror film”. Dramatic police bodycam footage showed Piruz being cornered by officers in a tool shed before he lashed out with the weapon.Piruz pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to burglary, two counts of attempting to cause GBH with intent and affray.Jailing Piruz to life with a minimum of six years, Judge Jeremy Gold QC told him: “This was an incident of truly terrifying violence, the officers were in fear of their lives and you had no reason to attack them whatsoever.”Simon Blackford, defending, said his client, who sobbed in the dock, was remorseful for his actions. The case raised questions over Britain’s ability to protect itself from high-risk offenders who travel across borders, and over the sharing of information about criminals among countries.One MP said it was a “shocking case” that highlighted the need to end free movement rules and for Britain to introduce a US-style pre-entry check system paid for by visitors.Conservative Dover and Deal MP Charlie Elphicke said following the case that it highlighted the need for Britain to introduce more robust border checks.He said: “This is a truly shocking case. It’s simply unacceptable that a convicted murderer like this was allowed into Britain. This is why we need to end free movement and take back control of our borders with stronger border checks. The hammer that was used by Piruz to attack two police officersCredit:Sussex Police/PA Wire Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. An image from a body worn video camera issued by Sussex Police of Piruz attacking two officers with a hammer in Crawley last yearCredit:Sussex Police/PA Wire
“Our beloved Brian Matthew passed away last night,” his family said in a statement.”We ask that our privacy is respected at this time.” He presented his last full show in November, and came back for a compilation show in February.Mr Matthew was one of Radio 2’s first DJs, and has presented Sounds of the 60s since 1990. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Brian Matthew on the ‘Thank Your Lucky Stars’ TV Programme, 1961 – 1966Credit:REX/Shutterstock Alan Freeman, George Martin and Brian Matthew at the launch of ‘Beatles live at the BBC’Credit:REX/Shutterstock Someone at BBC just edited Brian Matthew’s Wikipedia page https://t.co/aVdTGPb9ao— Scott Campbell (@scottcampbell) April 5, 2017 BBC Radio 2 broadcaster Brian Matthew is not dead but critically ill, station clarifies after announcing his death https://t.co/imfurzdXcR— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) April 5, 2017 “The BBC have, in their wisdom, just sent me a whole batch of letters from listeners. You should see the mail,” he said. earlier this year. “It’s amazing, people saying ‘We’ve always been fans of the programme, it isn’t the same without you, when are you coming back?’”He began his broadcast career in 1948 and trained as an actor at RADA before joining the BBC in 1954. He stepped down from the show he fronted for years in January because of ill health. The BBC reported earlier today that veteran BBC broadcaster Brian Matthew had died aged 88.However, the broadcaster has now been forced to put out a correction after it was found that the presenter, who hosted Sounds of the 60s on BBC Radio 2, was not in fact dead.The BBC tweeted from their Breaking News feed: “BBC Radio 2 broadcaster Brian Matthew is not dead but critically ill, station clarifies after announcing his death”. The BBC reported he died
A surgeon who parked his car in a disabled bay because he couldn’t find a space in time to see his patients has lost a court battle brought about by the NHS trust. Christopher Darby, a vascular and transplant surgeon, had refused to pay the fine he was given for parking across the bay and on hatched road markings at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. He claimed the “dysfunctional” parking system left him without a space when he was needed at his clinic. He decided his only choice was to park at the site to ensure his patients were not kept waiting.But Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH) handed him a fine for breaching parking regulations, taking him to court after he refused to fork out. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. “I am perfectly aware there is no guarantee of parking but I would expect a reasonable prospect of parking.”The consultant went on to reveal staff face the congested site every day, with some grabbing spots in the visitors’ car park and paying extra despite having a permit.Others working at the hospital risk being handed the fines just to make it into work on time, he said.Mr Darby, who qualified as a consultant in 1997, added: “There are many people at the trust who are parking illegally on a daily basis or being fined just for coming to their regular everyday work. During the hearing, he confessed he parked without permission at the hospital but insisted he had made a “reasonable attempt” to find a spot. I took the least worst option for my patients. I can’t believe I’m here. I did my best on the day for my employerChristopher Darby Mr Darby lost his fight at the civil court and was ordered to hand over £50 for the parking charge, as well £6.18 in interest and £110 in court fees and fixed costs.Deputy District Judge Comiskey said it was “with some regret” she found in favour of the trust, claiming Mr Darby “very probably” made the right decision morally.Speaking at his Oxford County Court hearing on Friday, Mr Darby said: “I do feel that the trust would expect me to go and look after my patients. I did not intend to park illegally.”I took the least worst option for my patients. I can’t believe I’m here. I did my best on the day for my employer.”The claim was brought by OUH against the consultant after he parked illegally on October 7, 2015. Judge Comiskey added: “I do accept Mr Darby’s evidence that parking at the hospital is very difficult for staff members, patients and others who legitimately need to be at the hospital.”However my duty is to apply the law as I understand it to be on the facts of the case.”The OUH has so far declined to comment. Aerial view of the John Radcliffe Hospital in OxfordCredit:Alamy “On our ward, many of the nurses take a fine nearly every week between them. [OUH] breached its contract in not providing a reasonable prospect of parking on the site for which they were charging me. I feel that we shouldn’t have got here and I had a reasonable appeal.”Healthwatch Oxfordshire chairman George Smith said urgent action was needed to combat the daily struggle to find a parking spot at the trust’s sites.He added: “The current parking difficulties at the hospitals affect staff as much as they do patients and visitors.”This is clearly a factor which affects recruitment and retention of staff, and is almost certainly contributing to the worryingly high level of job vacancies which exist at present in our acute hospital.”Travel-to-work issues are very pressing, and need to be addressed in joined-up way, with hospital management, local authorities, staff, patients and visitors all involved together to find the most sensible way forward.”I know that some initial steps are currently under consideration, but the present situation is unacceptable, and requires urgent, major action.”Acting on behalf of the trust, the court heard from Mr Richards, who refused to disclose his forename.Mr Darby was served with a breach of contract notice after parking at the spot and was given the chance to clear his debt on “more than one occasion”, he said.He confirmed staff working for the trust had no guarantee of a parking space, revealing the consultant’s appeal was thrown out by the trust before coming to court. The consultant, who also works at the Churchill Hospital, drove to the area where his permit allows him to park but found the site heaving with vehicles.Double yellow and red lines had already been taken over by a cluster of vehicles and other drivers were also circling around hunting for a space, he said.Mr Darby said: “The service on that day was not fit for purpose. I had patients waiting at the clinic.”My reasonable options were to go home, which would have been ridiculous, to park illegally, or to go to the park and ride, which would have led to a delay of at least an hour.”All of that time, people would have been in the outpatients’ car park and making the parking situation worse, as [patients] would not have been seen.