Why Jalen Rose Believes Celtics Will End Up With East’s No. 2 Seed — NESN.com

The Celtics jumped up to the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference with their win over the Miami Heat on Wednesday. Seedings, obviously, will shuffle around quite a bit as the season unfolds, but Jalen Rose likes Boston’s chances of being in that exact spot when the 2019-20 playoffs commence. Rose explained his reasoning…

Why Jalen Rose Believes Celtics Will End Up With East’s No. 2 Seed — NESN.com

ROCKETS AT RAPTORS PREGAME NOTES: The Rockets swept the season series (2-0) with the Raptors in 2018-2019. It was the sixth time in franchise history Toronto was swept by Houston. Pascal Siakam averaged 19.5 points, 11.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists in the two losses last year.


Houston Rockets Frazier, Michael Out G League – Two-Way – Gordon, Eric Out Injury/Illness – Right Knee; Arthroscopy – Green, Gerald Out Injury/Illness – Left Cuneiform; Fracture – Hilario, Nene Out Injury/Illness – Left Adductor; Strain – House Jr., Danuel Questionable Injury/Illness – Illness; Illness – Toronto Raptors Johnson, Stanley Out Injury/Illness – Left Groin; Stress reaction – McCaw, Patrick Out Injury/Illness – Left Knee; Surgery – Thomas, Matt Out Injury/Illness – Left Finger; Middle; fracture – distal phalanx –



• The Toronto Raptors conclude their three-game homestand (Nov. 1-5) Thursday night when they host the Houston Rockets at Scotiabank Arena. The Rockets swept the season series (2-0) with the Raptors in 2018-2019. It was the sixth time in franchise history Toronto was swept by Houston. Pascal Siakam averaged 19.5 points, 11.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists in the two losses last year.

Norman Powell recorded a game-high 23 points and a season-high tying eight rebounds as a reserve in Tuesday night’s loss to the Heat. It was his fourth 20-point game of the season and first coming off the bench. Over his last nine games, Powell is averaging 18.4 points (eight game starts).

• The Raptors scored 17 fast break points Tuesday night against Miami. Toronto is averaging 19.6 fast break points this season – most in the NBA. Kyle Lowry is tied with Giannis Antetokounmpo to the lead the league with 6.7 fast break points per game, while Pascal Siakam ranks sixth 4.3 fast break points.

• Fred VanVleet has scored 20 or more points in five of the last seven games (Nov. 20 – Dec. 3). VanVleet is averaging 21.4 points, while shooting .445 (49-110) from the floor and .396 (21-53) from three-point distance during this stretch. VanVleet has reached the 20-point mark nine times this season; something he did seven times in his first three seasons combined (2016-19).

• Toronto’s bench accounted for 40 per cent (44 points) of the team’s scoring Tuesday night against Miami. The Raptors’ reserves are averaging 37.0 points over the last 10 games, compared to 31.9 points in the first 10 games. This season, Toronto’s bench is shooting 49.4 per cent from the field which ranks second— behind only Detroit (50.6 per cent) and fourth in three-point field goal percentage (39.1).

• The Raptors will play 11 of 16 games at home in the month of December after playing eight of 13 on the road in November. December is Toronto’s busiest month of the season and includes three back-to-back sets. The Raptors’ 11 games at Scotiabank Arena tie the franchise record for most home games in a calendar month – Toronto also played 11 games at home in March 2016.

• Toronto ranks second in the NBA in three-point percentage (.393) trailing only Detroit (.399) and fourth in three-pointers made per game (14.3) behind Houston (15.7), New Orleans (14.8) and Dallas (14.8). Toronto has made 287 three pointers this season – fifth-most in the NBA.

• The NBA announced Monday that head coach Nick Nurse was named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for games played in October and November. This marks the second time Nurse has earned the honour after he won for games played in October and November in 2018. Nurse coached the reigning NBA champions to a 14-4 record to start the season while facing several roster challenges along the way. The Raptors had eight different players miss games due to injury, including Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka

. • Giants of Africa and Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri will host a youth summit in honour of Nelson Mandela on the anniversary of his passing, Thursday Dec. 5. The youth event marks the sixth consecutive year that Giants of Africa, the not-for-profit founded by Ujiri, will pay homage to the late South African president and Nobel Peace Prize winner.



MIN: 29.6 REB: 5.5 AST: 1.7 STL: 1.2 TO: 1.2 BLK: 0.9 PTS: 10.9

• Finished with six points, three rebounds and one block in 21 minutes Dec. 3 vs. Miami. • Ranks ninth in the NBA in three-point field goal percentage (.456); has made three or more threes six times. • Toronto is a perfect 10-0 this season when Anunoby scores 10 or more points (Last: 10 – Dec. 1 vs. Utah).


MIN: 36.9 REB: 8.6 AST: 3.9 STL: 0.9 TO: 2.9 BLK: 078 PTS: 25.1

• Recorded eighth double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds in 39 minutes of play Dec. 3 vs. Miami. • Ranks 11th in the NBA in scoring (25.1) and third in minutes per game (36.9). • Has scored 30+ points eight times; had five 30-point performances in 80 games played last season

. C – MARC GASOL #33

MIN: 28.7 REB: 6.4 AST: 3.4 STL: 0.5 TO: 1.3 BLK: 1.0 PTS: 6.5

• Scored a season-high 14 points Dec. 3 vs. Miami; added three rebounds in 33 minutes. • Reached 12,000 career points in the NBA Nov. 16 at Dallas. • Has collected 10+ rebounds three times this season, including a season-high 12 rebounds Nov. 2 at Milwaukee.


MIN: 36.7 REB: 4.4 AST: 7.0 STL: 1.1 TO: 3.1 BLK: 0.4 PTS: 20.7

• Recorded his first double-double of the year with 12 points and a season-high 11 assists Dec. 3 vs. Miami. • Missed 11 games (Nov. 10 – Dec. 1) with a left thumb; distal phalanx fracture. • Needs one double-double to tie Antonio Davis (110) for third on the Raptors’ all-time list (see page 3 for top-five).


MIN: 37.8 REB: 3.8 AST: 7.4 STL: 2.0 TO: 2.5 BLK: 0.1 PTS: 18.7

• Finished with 19 points, six assists and three steals in a game-high 43 minutes of play Dec. 3 vs. Miami. • Leads the NBA in minutes per game (37.8) and ranks 10th in assists per game (7.4). • Toronto is 8-1 this season when VanVleet scores 20 or more points (Last: 21 – Dec. 1 vs. Utah).

INJURY REPORT Stanley Johnson (Left groin; stress react) – Out Patrick McCaw (Left knee; surgery) – Out Matt Thomas (Left middle finger; distal phalanx fracture) – Out

NEXT GAME DETAILS Opponent: Houston Rockets Date: Thursday, December 5 Tip-Off: 7:30 p.m. (ET) Venue: Scotiabank Arena Television: TSN Radio: Sportsnet 590 The FAN



0-2 0-1 0-1

ALL-TIME 20-27 15-8 5-19

STREAKS Lost 2 Lost 1 Lost 1

LAST WIN: March 9, 2018 (108-105)

LAST HOME WIN: March 9, 2018 (108-105)

LARGEST MARGIN OF VICTORY: +21, January 2, 2009

LARGEST MARGIN OF DEFEAT: -30, November 20, 1997


GAME 65 – MARCH 5, 2019 HOUSTON 107, TORONTO 95

TORONTO — James Harden scored 19 of his 35 points in the final quarter, Gerald Green had 11 of his 18 in the fourth and the Rockets beat the Toronto Raptors 107-95 … Eric Gordon and Austin Rivers each scored 13 points as the Rockets won their sixth straight … Kawhi Leonard scored 26 points and Serge Ibaka had 10 points and 15 rebounds for Toronto … Pascal Siakam had 17 points, and Danny Green 14 as the Raptors had their seven-game home winning streak snapped … Harden, made 12 of 30 shots, including three of nine from long range … The Raptors overcame a 22-point second quarter deficit to reclaim the lead in the third, but couldn’t hold on in the fourth … The Rockets turned it on, connecting on seven of their first eight shot from 3-point range … Houston made 15 of 34 attempts from beyond the arc … The Rockets outscored the Raptors 23-7 on fast break points and turned 13 Toronto turnovers into 26 points … Houston opened the second with a 19-4 run to take a 42-23 lead at 7:28 … Green and Rivers each scored seven in the quarter and Houston led 55-37 at halftime … Toronto roared back as Houston missed 11 of its first 12 attempts to begin the second half … Siakam’s basket at 4:44 of the third put the Raptors up 60-59 … Siakam scored 15 in the quarter as Toronto took a 71-69 lead into the fourth.

1 2 3 4 TOT HOUSTON 23 32 14 38 107

TORONTO 19 18 34 24 95

NEXT GAME DETAILS Opponent: Philadelphia 76ers Date: Sunday, December 8 Tip-Off: 6 p.m. (ET) Venue: Wells Fargo Center Television: TSN Radio: TSN 1050 Toronto



1-0 1-0 0-0

ALL-TIME 55-38 30-16 25-22

STREAKS Won 2 Won 14 Won 1

LAST WIN: November 25, 2019 (101-96)

LAST ROAD WIN: February 5, 2019 (119-107)

LARGEST MARGIN OF VICTORY: +34, October 21, 2017

LARGEST MARGIN OF DEFEAT: -35, January 7, 2012


GAME 16 – NOVEMBER 25, 2019


TORONTO — Pascal Siakam scored 25 points, Fred VanVleet added 24 and the Raptors held Joel Embiid scoreless for the first time in his career in a 101-96 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night … Embiid shot 0-for-11, missing all four of his shots from 3-point range and going 0for-3 at the free throw line … Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Raptors, who posted their 14th consecutive home victory over the 76ers … Josh Richardson scored 25 points, Tobias Harris had 18 and Mike Scott 12 for the 76ers, who have not won a regularseason game in Toronto in more than seven years … The 76ers used a 70 run to build a 94-88 lead with 5:16 left to play … Norman Powell and VanVleet hit 3-pointers that cut the gap to two, 96-94, but Toronto missed three straight chances to tie it … Siakam ended Toronto’s drought with a three-point play, giving the Raptors a one-point edge, 97-96, with 1:01 left … VanVleet was fouled and made two shots, giving the Raptors a threepoint cushion … Harris and Ben Simmons missed 3-pointers before Siakam finished it with a thunderous dunk.

1 2 3 4 TOT

PHILADELPHIA 34 15 31 16 96

TORONTO 28 23 30 20 101


GAME 20 – DECEMBER 3, 2019


AWAY GAME #11 HOUSTON ROCKETS (13-7) vs. TORONTO RAPTORS (15-5) Thursday, December 5, 2019 • Scotiabank Arena• 6:30 p.m. CT AT&T SportsNet • NBA TV • KBME 790 / KTRH 740 • SPANISH: KEYH 850 AM / KNTE 101.7 FM

Record Overall Home Road Overtime Streaks Overall Home Road Overall

13-7 8-2 5-5 0-1 Current Lost 1 Won 2 Lost 3

Eastern 5-3 3-1 2-2 0-0

Longest (Winning) 8 (11/4-11/18) 6 (10/26-11/18) 4 (11/4-11/16)

Western 8-4 5-1 3-3 0-1 Longest (Losing) 3 (11/20-11/24) 1 (2 times) 3 (11/20-12/3)


Forward Danuel House Jr. MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG TPG FG% 3PT% FT%

#4 6-6 / 215 29.7 12.4 4.6 1.1 1.29 0.71 0.9 .474 .444 .794
Last Game RESULT MIN FG/FGA 3FG/3FGA FT/FTA OR DR TR A PF ST TO BS +/- PTS 12/3 at SA L133-135 (2ot) DNP – ILLNESS

Notes/Career Highlights Has missed six of the past 10 games due to injury/illness including two straight… averaged 19.5 points on 52.2% shooting over his past two games played… has played 30+ minutes nine times in 14 games played this season after doing so 9 times in 39 GP in 2018-19.


#17 6-5 / 245 35.5 9.8 6.4 1.5 1.50 0.55 1.0 .534 .458 .833
Last Game RESULT MIN FG/FGA 3FG/3FGA FT/FTA OR DR TR A PF ST TO BS +/- PTS 12/3 at SA L133-135 (2ot) 51:33 4-8 2-5 0-0 2 7 9 2 5 3 1 2 11 10

Notes/Career Highlights Played a career-high 52 minutes at San Antonio on 12/3 and is averaging 38.2 mpg over the past five games… has scored 10+ points in three of the past four games after doing so three times the 13 games prior… shooting 53.4% from the floor (39.3% past 2 seasons).

Center Clint Capela MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG TPG FG% 3PT% FT%

#15 6-10 / 240 32.7 15.1 15.1 1.1 0.88 2.00 1.5 .657 — .469

Last Game RESULT MIN FG/FGA 3FG/3FGA FT/FTA OR DR TR A PF ST TO BS +/- PTS 12/3 at SA L133-135 (2ot) 45:25 9-9 0-0 4-6 8 13 21 2 4 1 1 2 16 22

Notes/Career Highlights Has grabbed 19+ rebounds in each of his past eight games played; according to Elias, that’s the longest streak going back to 1969… has grabbed 20+ rebounds seven times in 16 game played this season after doing so seven times in 295 games his first five seasons.

Guard Russell Westbrook MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG TPG FG% 3PT% FT% #0 6-3 / 200 34.1 21.9 7.8 7.1 1.50 0.33 4.3 .410 .229 .732

Last Game RESULT MIN FG/FGA 3FG/3FGA FT/FTA OR DR TR A PF ST TO BS +/- PTS 12/3 at SA L133-135 (2ot) 48:25 7-30 1-6 4-4 2 8 10 10 6 2 5 1 -8 19

Notes/Career Highlights Shooting 44.0% from the floor while averaging 18.8 FGA in wins this season compared to 36.7% with 21.0 FGA per game in losses… recorded his fourth triple-double of the season at San Antonio on 12/3… past 11 GP, shooting 79.7% from the line (62.8% first 7 GP).


#13 6-5 / 220 37.4 39.5 6.1 7.8 1.80 0.50 5.2 .433 .344 .876

12/3 at SA L133-135 (2ot) 48:31 11-38 4-20 24-24 3 6 9 6 4 4 4 0 -3 50
Notes/Career Highlights Had 50 points at San Antonio on 12/3 after scoring 60 vs. Atlanta on 11/30, marking 4th time scoring 50+ in consecutive games in his career (2nd-most all-time)… Devin Booker is only other player to have scored 50+ points in consecutive games dating back to 2007-08.

6th Man Austin Rivers MPG PPG RPG APG SPG BPG TPG FG% 3PT% FT%

#25 6-3 / 200 24.7 8.4 2.7 1.4 0.50 0.15 0.7 .421 .325 .714

12/3 at SA L133-135 (2ot) 39:47 6-8 5-6 2-2 1 3 4 1 3 1 3 1 -13 19
Notes/Career Highlights Has 33 points over the past two games, marking his highest two-game total this season… has 7 3FGM on 58.3% shooting over the past two games after having 5 3FGM on 13.9% shooting the eight games prior… over the past 13 games, averaging 28.2 mpg.

INJURY/STATUS REPORT Michael Frazier (G League – Two Way); Eric Gordon (Not With Team – Right Knee Arthroscopy); Gerald Green (Not With Team – Left Cuneiform Fracture); Danuel House Jr. (Missed Past 2 Games – Illness); Nenê (Not With Team – Left Adductor Strain).

6/12: Claimed Deyonta Davis off waivers from Atlanta… 7/3: Signed Chris Clemons, William McDowell-White and Shamorie Ponds… 7/16: Traded Chris Paul along with two future first round picks and other draft considerations to Oklahoma City in exchange for Russell Westbrook… 7/17: Re-signed Danuel House Jr. and Austin Rivers… 7/18: Signed Tyson Chandler… 7/22: Re-signed Gerald Green… 7/23: Signed free agent Ben McLemore… 7/25: Signed Anthony Bennett… 7/30: Waived Chris Chiozza and Deyonta Davis… 9/4: Extended Eric Gordon’s contract… 9/6: Re-signed Nenê… 9/23: Signed Jaron Blossomgame… 9/27: Waived McDowell-White… Signed Ryan Anderson and Jaron Blossomgame… 10/10: Waived Bennett… 10/11: Claimed Ray Spalding off waivers… 10/17: Waived Blossomgame and Frazier; signed Matur Maker… 10/19: Waived Maker, Ponds, and Spalding… 10/20: Signed Frazier as a Two-Way player… 10/21: Signed and waived Ronshad Shabazz; converted Clemons to Two-Way contract… 11/18: Waived Anderson.

TONIGHT: Here are some notes about tonight’s game and other matters that just didn’t fit in anywhere else:

• Since winning eight in a row from 11/4-11/18, the Rockets have lost four of their past six games… Houston is 13-7 overall this season… the Rockets were 11-14 at one point last season before going 42-15 over the final 57 games. • Following tonight’s game, the Rockets will play four of six at home from 12/7-12/16… after that , Houston will play five of six on the road from 12/1912/29. • Houston is 8-2 at home this season, including six straight wins from 10/26-11/18… the Rockets went 31-10 at home last season and have won 30+ home games in five of the past six seasons after doing so five times the 22 seasons prior. • The Rockets have lost three straight on the road after winning four in a row prior… Houston is 5-5 on the road this overall season… the Rockets won 13 of its final 19 road games in 2018-19 after starting 9-13 on the road. • Houston has led by double-digits in 17 of the 20 games this season (13-4 mark)… the Rockets were 45-13 when leading by 10+ points in 2018-19. • The Rockets have trailed by double-digits eight times this season (3-5 mark)… Houston was 10-24 in games in which it trailed by 10+ last season… the Rockets never led at Miami on 11/3 or vs. Dallas on 11/24. • The Rockets are 11-3 when leading after three quarters of play this season (42-6 in 2018-19) and 2-4 when tied or trailing (11-23 in 2018-19). • Houston is 3-2 in games decided by five or fewer points this season, including 2-2 by three or fewer… the Rockets were 13-12 in games decided by five or fewer points last season, including 5-7 in games decided by three or fewer. • The Rockets are outscoring opponents by 5.4 points per game this season (fifth in NBA w/+4.7 in 2018-19)… Houston has won five games by 10+ points this season (29 in 2018-19), including four by 20+ (12 in 2018-19). • The Rockets have lost by double-digits three times this season, including 20+ once (29 at Miami on 11/3)… Houston lost 12 games by double-digits last season, including four by 20+ with the worst loss coming by 28 points at Philadelphia on 1/21/19. • Houston has lost four straight games against teams from the Western Conference after winning the its first eight (32-20 in 2018-19)… the Rockets are 5-3 against the East this season, including 1-2 on the road, after going 21-9 in 2018-19 (8-7 on the road). • The Rockets lost in double-overtime at San Antonio on 12/3, marking their first OT game of the season… since winning their first five overtime games under head coach Mike D’Antoni, Houston has gone 2-5 (all coming since the start of 2018-19). • The Rockets are 2-0 in the second game of back-to-backs this season after going 8-4 in 2018-19… Houston has nine back-to-backs remaining this season with the next coming at Orlando on 12/13 and vs. Detroit on 12/14. • Both James Harden and Russell Westbrook are averaging 20+ points this season… the last time Houston had two players average 20+ points in a single season was 2007-08 (Yao Ming: 22.0 ppg; Tracy McGrady: 21.6 ppg).

NBA 2K HARDEN: James Harden had 50 points at San Antonio on 12/3 after scoring 60 vs. Atlanta on 11/30. It is the fourth time he has scored 50+ points in consecutive games in his career. Dating back to 2007-08, Devin Booker is the only other player to have scored 50+ in consecutive games. In NBA history, the only players besides Harden with multiple streaks of scoring 50+ are Elgin Baylor (twice) and Wilt Chamberlain (a lot). Harden has scored 50+ points three times this season. and 21 times in his career (4th most all-time; 3rd is Kobe Bryant with 25 in 561 more games played).

WE CAN ALL SLEEP BETTER NOW: The NBA added stats to the Rockets game vs. Miami on 11/27. James Harden now has an extra field goal attempt and the Heat have an extra block with Houston getting a team rebound. Because of the added missed shot, Houston no longer outshot Miami for the game. In other news, Harden’s dunk at San Antonio on 12/3 that was but wasn’t still isn’t.
THE SWISS WORM: Clint Capela has grabbed at least 19 rebounds in each of his past nine games played. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that is the longest streak by any player going back to 1969. Capela is second in the NBA with 15.1 rpg this season. He increased his rebounding by close to 2 boards a game in each of his first five seasons (+3.4 from Season #1-2, +1.7 from #2-3, +2.7 from #3-4, +1.9 from #4-5) and is averaging +2.4 more this season than he did in 2018-19. Capela has recorded 20+ rebounds seven times in 16 games played this season after doing so seven times in 295 games played over his first five seasons.

ZERO TO SIXTY IN THREE QUARTERS: James Harden scored 60 points vs. Atlanta on 11/30 without playing in the fourth quarter. Here are some notes from that performance: • It marked the fourth 60-point performance of Harden’s career, tying him with Michael Jordan for the third-most in NBA history; only Kobe Bryant (6) and Wilt Chamberlain (32!!!) have more… it was also Harden’s 20th time scoring 50+ points (fourth-most all-time; third is Kobe with 25). • Harden scored all 60 of his points without playing in the fourth quarter… with 5:44 left in the third, Atlanta had 60 points and Harden had 51… according to ESPN Stats & Info, Harden became the third player over the past 25 seasons to have scored 60+ through three quarters of play. • Harden scored his 60 points in 31 minutes of play… that marked the second-fewest minutes played in a 60-point game (Klay Thompson w/29). • Harden scored his 60 points in 24 field goal attempts… that marked the fewest FGA in a 60-point game in NBA history. • Harden had a plus/minus rating +50 in his 31 minutes of play… dating back to 2000-01, he became the seventh player to recorded a plus/minus rating of 50 or better.

YIKES: James Harden has scored 789 points in 748 minutes of play this season and is averaging a league-high 39.5 ppg.. That is the highest total by a player through the first 20 games of a season since Wilt Chamberlain had 1,045 (!!!) in 1962-63. Harden led the NBA in scoring in each of the past two seasons (30.4 ppg in 2017-18; 36.1 ppg in 2018-19). His 36.1 ppg in 2018-19 was the highest scoring average by a player since Michael Jordan’s 37.1 ppg in 1986-87. Harden finished with 2,818 points in 2,867 minutes played last season.

BARNS WERE BURNED: The Rockets defeated the Wizards 159-158 on 10/30. Here are some notes from that defensive struggle: • The Rockets 159 points broke the franchise single-game scoring mark of 156 points set at Denver on 1/10/91. • Houston had 159 points while Washington had 158… it marked the 15th game in NBA history that both teams scored 150+ points and the sixth in a non-overtime game… the last time both teams scored 150+ points in a non-overtime game was San Antonio vs. Denver on 11/7/90. • According to ESPN, the 317 combined points by the Rockets and Wizards was the highest in game decided by a single point in NBA history. • The Rockets and Wizards combined for 317 points… that marked the ninth-highest scoring game in NBA history and the third-highest in a nonovertime game: (Golden State and Denver with 320 points on 11/2/90; Denver and San Antonio with 318 points on 1/11/84). • Houston hit 23 3-pointers while Washington hit 20… it marked the third time in NBA history that both teams hit 20+ 3FGM and just the second time in a non-overtime game. • James Harden scored 38 of his 59 points in the second half, marking the second-highest scoring half by a Rocket in franchise history (Harden w/39 in 2nd half vs. Brooklyn on 1/16/19)… the 59 points broke Harden’s own mark for the most by a Washington opponent in a single game.

CALIFORNIA LOVE: The Rockets have four players who were born in California, including three who went to high schools located south of Los Angeles. Tyson Chandler was born in Hanford near Fresno and attended Dominguez High School in Compton in L.A. county. James Harden was born in Bellflower in L.A. county and attended Artesia High School in Lakewood of that same area. Russell Westbrook was born in Long Beach which is south of L.A. and attended Leuzinger High School in Lawndale in L.A. County. Austin Rivers was born in Santa Monica in L.A. county while his father, Doc, was playing for the Clippers, but went to high school near Orlando.

20K CLUB: Russell Westbrook needs 747 points to reach 20,000 for his career while James Harden is 584 shy of 20,000. Westbrook topped 7,000 assists for his career. LeBron James, Gary Payton, and Oscar Robertson are the only players in NBA history with at least 20,000+ points and 7,000+ assists in their careers. Westbrook is 100 rebounds shy of 6,000 for his career. LeBron and Oscar are the only players with career totals of at least 20,000 points, 7,000 assists, and 6,000 rebounds.

BIG OH: Russell Westbrook recorded his first triple-double as a Rocket, and the 139th of his career, with 28 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds vs. New Orleans on 10/26. That moved him past Magic Johnson for the second-most triple-doubles in NBA history. Westbrook now has 142 career tripledoubles, trailing only Oscar Robertson’s 181. James Harden has the ninth-most triple-doubles (42), needing two to surpass Fat Lever for eighth place.

CREEPING UP: James Harden needs 1,329 points to surpass Calvin Murphy (17,949) for the second-most in franchise history. Harden has scored at least 2,191 points in each of he past five seasons, including 2,300+ four times, and a career-best 2,818 points in 2018-19.

GET OFF THEIR LAWN: Tyson Chandler is in 19th NBA season while Nenê is in his 18th. Nenê turned 37 on 9/13 while Chandler turned 37 on 10/2. The only players currently on NBA rosters who were older heading into the season were Vince Carter (42), Udonis Haslem (39), Pau Gasol (39), and Kyle Korver (38). The only player currently on an NBA roster with more experience than Chandler is Carter (21); Gasol is also in his 19th season. Nenê has the fourth-most experience.

THE BEARD AND BRODIE: On 7/16, the Rockets acquired eight-time All-Star Russell Westbrook from Oklahoma City. James Harden was teammates with Westbrook in Oklahoma City during Harden’s first three NBA seasons from 2009-10 through 2011-12. Their last game together with the Thunder was in the 2012 NBA Finals. Here are some notes from this historic pairing:
• Harden (2017-18) and Westbrook (2016-17) have won two of the past three MVP awards… this marks the fourth time a duo has played together after both players won an MVP award within the previous three seasons: Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant for Golden State (2016-17), Julius Erving and Moses Malone with Philadelphia (1983-84), Bob Cousy and Bill Russell with Boston (1958-59 and 1959-60). • Westbrook and Harden both finished top-10 in MVP voting in each of the past five seasons, with both placing in the top-five in the same season three times over that span. • Harden and Westbrook entered 2019-20 joining LeBron James as the only players to have averaged at least 25.0 points, 8.0 assists and 6.0 rebounds over the past five seasons (2014-15 through 2018-19). • Westbrook and Harden are two of the five players in NBA history to have led the league in scoring and in assists at least once during their careers, joining Tiny Archibald, Jerry West, Oscar Robertson. • Harden and Westbrook won two of the past five scoring titles… this marks the fourth time teammates have played together after both already led the league in scoring multiple times (Paul Arizin and Neil Johnston for the Philadelphia Warriors in 1957-58 and 1958-59 (Johnston’s final two seasons), Arizin and Wilt Chamberlain with the Warriors in 1961-62 (Arizin’s final season), and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bob McAdoo with the Los Angeles Lakers from 1981-82 through 1984-85 (both won all of their scoring titles prior to 1976-77).
SCHEDULE NOTES: Here are some noteworthy items from the Rockets 2019-20 regular season schedule:
• From 11/13-12/16, Houston will play 10 of 17 at home… following that stretch, the Rockets will play eight of 12 on the road, including a Christmas Day game at Golden State. • The Rockets have a season-high four-game homestand from 1/15-1/22… Houston then plays four straight on the road before hosting five of seven at Toyota Center heading into All-Star break. • Post All-Star break, Houston will play 12 of its first 20 games on the road, including a season-long five-game road trip from 3/23-3/31… the Rockets close out the regular season by playing six of their final eight games at home. • Houston has 11 back-to-backs this season, eight of which come prior to All-Star break… the final two back-to-backs occur in April when the Rockets close out the season by playing seven games in 11 days. • The Rockets will face every NBA team at least once at home and once on the road, including Western conference opponents twice both home and away, except for the following: L.A. Lakers (1 home, 2 road), Okla. City (2 home, 1 road), Sacramento (2 home, 1 road), and Utah (1 home, 2 road).

Fred VanVleet praises James Harden’s isolation ability, calls him an ‘alien’ — The Sports Daily

James Harden is one of the most dominant offensive forces the NBA has ever seen, and his isolation style has completely changed how opposing (…)

Fred VanVleet praises James Harden’s isolation ability, calls him an ‘alien’ — The Sports Daily

Ben Simmons – Melbourne Boy Under Scrutiny — Sports Floors by Nellakir – Latest News

Ben Simmons will play for Australia at the next Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020. The former Junior from Knox Raiders and Whitefriars College in Melbourne’s leafy Eastern Suburbs was last year’s Rookie of the Year (2018). As is often the case, awards bring greater scrutiny . The scribes are now questioning his ability to […]

Ben Simmons – Melbourne Boy Under Scrutiny — Sports Floors by Nellakir – Latest News

Bucks’ winning streak at 13 after 127-103 rout of Pistons — New Delhi Times

Giannis Antetokounmpo was ready to go toe to toe with Blake Griffin during a second-quarter flareup between division rivals Milwaukee and Detroit. The game was turning contentious. It wouldn’t stay close for long. “They’re just a great defensive team and just play really physical,” Antetokounmpo said. “They want to be physical, they want to be […]

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Mike Soroka wins Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s Tip O’Neill Award

Mike Soroka wins Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s Tip O’Neill Award

St. Marys, Ont. – Calgary native Mike Soroka has been named the winner of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s 2019 Tip O’Neill Award.

Canada’s baseball shrine presents this honour annually to the Canadian player judged to have excelled in individual achievement and team contribution while adhering to baseball’s highest ideals.

Soroka, who finished second in the National League Rookie of the Year voting and sixth in the Cy Young Award voting, is a first-time winner of the award. He staved off strong competition from last year’s winner James Paxton (Ladner, B.C.) to secure the honour.

“Mike Soroka put together one of the best rookie seasons by a Canadian pitcher in major league history,” said Scott Crawford, the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame’s director of operations. “He not only had an outstanding regular season with the Atlanta Braves, but he was also dominant in his first post-season start. He’s definitely a worthy recipient of the award.”

Mike Soroka By: Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves
Photo by Kevin D. Liles for the Atlanta Braves

In his first full major league season, Soroka posted a 13-4 record and a 2.68 ERA, while striking out 142 batters in 174-2/3 innings in 29 starts for the Braves. His ERA ranked third in the National League, while his road ERA (1.35) was the best in the circuit and the fifth lowest in major leagues since 1913 (minimum 15 games started).

Among National League rookie hurlers, Soroka had the best ERA, was third in wins and fourth in games started, innings pitched and strikeouts. For his efforts, he was named to the National League All-Star team and a starting pitcher on Baseball America’s MLB All-Rookie team.

The Canuck right-hander was also masterful in his first post-season start, limiting the St. Louis Cardinals to one run on two hits, while striking out seven, in seven innings in Game 3 of the National League Division Series.

Selected in the first round of the 2015 MLB draft, the PBF Redbirds and Junior National Team alum made his big league debut on May 1, 2018. In five starts for the Braves last season, he registered a 2-1 record and a 3.51 ERA.

On top of his strong on-the-field performance in 2019 , Soroka has also been active in charitable and community endeavors. He worked with a number of charities that the Braves Foundation supports, including the Dave Krache Foundation and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. He also worked with CHOA’s epilepsy unit during the season to host a number of children and their parents at a game. Back in his home province, he serves as an ambassador for KidSport Calgary.

“When I had been told I would be the recipient of the 2019 Tip O’Neill Award, it really did put me back in a sense of awe,” said Soroka. “Having had the opportunity to grow up through the Canadian Baseball Program (Junior National Team), I have always felt a sense of pride when there are Canadians excelling in this game. I am always sure to mention to anyone watching other games in the clubhouse when a Canadian is at the plate or on the mound. I am beyond humbled to have the honour of sharing this award with some of the greats of not just Canadian baseball, but Major League Baseball period. This sense of pride has stemmed from others who represented Canadian baseball so well before me, and is something I hope to carry on as well.

“I am extremely thankful to have been considered for the Tip O’Neill, as it will be something I carry with great pride.”

Details about the presentation of the 2019 Tip O’Neill Award will be announced in the coming months.

The Hall’s Tip O’Neill Award is named after Woodstock, Ont., native James “Tip” O’Neill, who was one of Major League Baseball’s first legitimate stars. With the American Association’s St. Louis Browns in 1887, O’Neill set big league records in hits, doubles, slugging percentage and total bases, while compiling a major league record .492 batting average. Walks were counted as hits in 1887, but if O’Neill’s average was calculated by today’s standards, it would be .435, the second-highest in big league history to Hugh Duffy who hit .440 in 1894.

To determine the winner of the Tip O’Neill Award, the Hall takes into account a number of criteria, including each candidate’s on-the-field performance, contributions to their team, community and charitable endeavors and support in fan voting. Starting on November 15, the Hall had encouraged fans to vote for their top three candidates and they responded by casting their votes via e-mail and on the Hall’s website.

Past winners of the James “Tip” O’Neill Award:

1984 – Terry Puhl
1985 – Dave Shipanoff
1986 – Rob Ducey
1987 – Larry Walker
1988 – Kevin Reimer
1989 – Steve Wilson
1990 – Larry Walker
1991 – Daniel Brabant
1992 – Larry Walker
1993 – Rob Butler
1994 – Larry Walker
1995 – Larry Walker
1996 – Jason Dickson
1997 – Larry Walker
1998 – Larry Walker
1999 – Jeff Zimmerman
2000 – Ryan Dempster
2001 – Corey Koskie
2001 – Larry Walker
2002 – Eric Gagné
2002 – Larry Walker
2003 – Eric Gagné
2004 – Jason Bay
2005 – Jason Bay
2006 – Justin Morneau
2007 – Russell Martin
2008 – Justin Morneau
2009 – Jason Bay
2010 – Joey Votto
2011 – Joey Votto
2011 – John Axford
2012 – Joey Votto
2013 – Joey Votto
2014 – Justin Morneau
2015 – Joey Votto
2016 – Joey Votto
2017 – Joey Votto
2018 – James Paxton
2019 – Mike Soroka

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ROCHESTER 4, MARLIES O: “They came out extremely hard. That first period they gave it to us pretty good. It just didn’t seem like we were ready to go. By the time we got our competitiveness up, the game was already half over and that’s way too late to get started then.” A.J. MacLEAN (asst. coach).

TORONTO MARLIES (15-4-2-1 – 33 Points) vs. ROCHESTER AMERICANS (14-3-2-2 – 32 Points)





Toronto: No goals
Goaltender: J. Woll (27/31)

Rochester: Z. Redmond (3) PP (L. Pilut, A. Hammond), P. Aquin (1) (C. Fitzgerald, J. Gilmour), C. Lazar (5) (J. Dea), C. Fitzgerald (2) (B. Vail, C. Lazar)
Goaltender: A. Hammond (20/20)


  • Joseph Woll stopped 27 of 31 shots he faced. Woll is now 4-3-1-1 on the season with a 0.892 Save Percentage and a 3.30 Goals Against Average.


  • This is the first game this season Toronto has been shutout.
  • The Toronto Maple Leafs announced on December 1 that Greg Moore was named head coach of the Toronto Marlies. He will join the Marlies on December 16.
  • Assistant coaches Rob Davison and A.J. MacLean assumed duties behind the bench for tonight’s game against Rochester. Toronto is 5-2-0-0 under Davison and MacLean.
  • Toronto was 3-for-4 on the penalty kill and was 0-for-3 on the power play.
  • Rochester had a 31-20 edge in shots in all situations. Multiple playersled the Marlies with two shots on goal.
  • The Marlies are 7-2-2-1 against North Division opponents and are 1-1-0-0 against the Rochester Americans.


  • Goals: K. Agostino (11)
  • Assists: J. Bracco (17)
  • Points: P. Aberg (24)
  • PPG: E. Korshkov (4)
  • Shots: P. Aberg (69)
  • +/-:  B. Harpur (+11)
  • PIMS: G. Wilson (45)


  • The Marlies are 5-1-1-0 when trailing after the first period and 3-2-2-0 when trailing after the second period.
  • Toronto is 8-3-1-1 when outshot by their opponent.
  • The Marlies are 2-2-0-0 in Wednesday games and are 1-1-0-0 in December.


  • No current point streaks


  • Kevin Gravel (illness) did not dress for today’s game against Utica.


  • December 4: Activated forward Mason Marchment from injured non-roster by Toronto (NHL) and loaned to Toronto (AHL).
  • December 4: Returned forward Nic Petan on loan from Toronto (NHL).
  • December 4: Returned defenceman Martin Marincin on loan from Toronto (NHL).
  • December 3: Reassigned forward Aaron Luchuk by Toronto (NHL) from Newfoundland (ECHL).
  • December 3: Recalled defenceman Martin Marincin on loan by Toronto (NHL).



On whether there was a point in the game Toronto had the game they wanted to:
I don’t really think so. By the time we got the game we wanted to, it was already over. They came out extremely hard. That first period they gave it to us pretty good. It just didn’t seem like we were ready to go. By the time we got our competitiveness up, the game was already half over and that’s way too late to get started then.

On what the difference was between the two teams:
I think it was just competitiveness. I think Rochester came out, they worked really hard, our feet weren’t moving as much as we wanted them to and it really showed in that first period.

On what he saw out of Rochester:
They’re extremely motivated especially when they’re playing us, they bring their game every time. It’s up to us to match and exceed that.

On Mason Marchment’s return to the line with Adam Brooks and Jeremy Bracco:
It’s been awhile since he got himself into a game and he’s had some success with those guys so we wanted to get him with some familiar line mates and get him feeling good. I think as the game wore on, they were like everyone else, they got a bit better and more into it so hoping this weekend, everyone brings everything right from the get go.


December 7 vs San Antonio – 4:00 p.m. ET
December 8 vs San Antonio – 4:00 p.m. ET
December 11 at Utica – 7:00 p.m. ET
December 14 vs Belleville – 4:00 p.m. ET
December 15 vs Rockford – 4:00

AVALANCHE 3, MAPLE LEAFS 1 POSTGAME QUOTES: “The way the guys got called out after last game, I figured I wanted to be out there battling with them. That’s why I asked to play.” –FREDERIK ANDERSEN.


On what he liked from tonight’s performance:

I liked that our guys competed. I thought we stayed in the game all the way through it. At times when they had their push, I thought we withstood it fine and then had pushes of our own. After that, obviously I really liked how our penalty kill dug in in the third period and found its way through a tough task. We were set up pretty well after that getting a power play thereafter. Of course, I don’t like how that one finished. All in all, I liked the fight in our team. We just have to find ways to generate more offence.

On Johnsson’s status:

The only update is just that he was too sore to return. It’s not looking like anything serious at this point, but we’d love to get some pictures and stuff like that.

On if the decision to shuffle the lines was to spark offence:

That’s part of it, but also, as you say, losing Johnsson, it does change things quite a bit. We’re trying to get a spark and trying to score and trying to move things around, but I do intend on moving things around a little bit with those top guys, in particular, but probably not as much as I had to there in the third.

On Spezza taking blame for the loss after a miscue on the power play:

It’s a tough play. I’m sure he’d like to have that one back, but things happen on the ice and it’s unfortunate how that one worked out. I don’t think there’s any ill-intent there at all for us.

On the way the penalty kill rebounded in the third period:

Obviously, the first one, the goal went in in a hurry on us the first time. The confidence is — you’re not quite there when you’re going in and have to kill a double minor, but the guys did a terrific job all the way through it. I thought it was a big moment in the game, it gave us momentum, I thought, with the power play soon thereafter. We couldn’t get anything really established, had the puck on the power play there and we shot and missed the net and didn’t get things going really from there. Worst case scenario when it went in our net at the end.

On if he’s worried about a long road trip without extra skaters available:

I’m not concerned about the extra bodies; we’ll manage that if we need to. We’ll have enough guys to get through.

On why the team doesn’t draw many penalties:

It’s a good question, it’s one I’ve been asking. It’s not the first time for this team. I think last season there were long stretches of a very similar situation, so we’ve got to figure that out. The natural thing for me is to say we’ve got to get the puck to more dangerous areas and we’ve got to attack the middle of the ice a lot more. We do have to skate a little bit harder and be a little more competitive to fight through situations and things like that to perhaps cause infractions. It is a concern and something we have to look at and go back to last season to look at what the situations might be and see what we can do a little bit differently to hopefully generate something. Now, we don’t take a lot of penalties either. I think that in itself creates a situation where you’re not going to get a lot. We certainly want to generate more than we are.

On the sense of urgency within the team:

I think it’s high and I think our play reflected that. That’s a very good team, a rested team, sitting here waiting for us. We’ve been watching them. We played them not too long ago ourselves, but just watching them in the pre-scouts, they’re feeling pretty good about themselves and scoring a lot. It was a real challenge for us defensively today. I thought the urgency was fine and I think some of the adjustments we’ve been working at and focusing on defensively have been there for us, today in particular. At times not so much yesterday, but today I thought we withstood a pretty potent offence and that top line, for the most part. While our attention has gone there, we’ve gotten away from some of the things offensively we focused on in the early going and that has caused us to revert back to some things we don’t necessarily like. We’ll have to try to fix that.

On if Hutchinson will play on the upcoming road trip to give Andersen a night off:

Yeah, that’s something we’ve talked about. When Freddie was pushing us to play here and compete with his teammates, we sort of said that would probably be one of the things that we’ll have to make an adjustment on and get Hutch a game on the road here. I’m not sure exactly which one, but we would intend on doing that.

On the defensive pairings:

We just thought that given the back-to-back and given the challenge of the game today and the way that things went yesterday for us, we just thought a change would be good. We changed not just the pairs but the matchups to just try and get guys different looks, just spread it out a little more and manage minutes a little better. We were just trying some different things.

On Muzzin and Holl matching up against Colorado’s top line:

We wanted to see what it would look like and the challenge was great for them today so we did want to see what it would look like. We think Holl has really been making great progress, not just in his defending but also he’s using his feet and his skating to move the puck up the ice, which is a big part of playing against the other teams’ best players and then Muzzin has done that a great deal over his career and in his time here. We wanted to give that a look today and for the most part we liked it. We’ll have to look a little closer to see how everything else worked out.


On why he wanted to play tonight’s game:

The way the guys got called out after last game, I figured I wanted to be out there battling with them. That’s why I asked to play.

On the way the team performed tonight:

I think we responded well. We played well; they just found a way to get the win on special teams. It’s a good team and I thought we played well, especially 5-on-5.

On the challenge of fatigue playing both games in a back-to-back:

Obviously, you’re going try to get some rest to get up for the second game. I thought I felt pretty good and just unfortunate I couldn’t get the win.


On how he felt in his first game back from injury:

It was good, it felt nice to be back with the guys and back on the ice with them. Not the outcome we wanted, but I thought we competed well tonight.

On his conditioning level:

There weren’t many times out there that I felt like I was out of breath or felt like I couldn’t go right away again. I really just focused on trying to keep my conditioning up and making sure I was ready when I came back and felt that I was tonight.


On his takeaways from tonight’s game:

I thought we worked hard. I’d have to go back and watch it, but I thought we battled for a back-to-back. I thought we wanted to play better after what we did last night, so I thought we did that. Obviously, not the outcome we wanted, but we’ll move forward.

On his play with Spezza that led to the game-winning goal:

I’d have to watch it again. I know he broke a stick and I think he tried to play it with his feet. Not sure.


On the play that led to Colorado’s winner:

Obviously, a tough play. I’m coming downhill, I got a good look at the net, stick breaks, I’m going to the bench and then I hear somebody yell the puck is coming, so I make a split second decision to play it and [Rielly] yells that he’s there. I kind of just froze to try to not get in his way and, in turn, got in his way more. That game falls on me now. I thought we were playing good up to that point.

On moving past that play going forward:

Yeah, we made a push after that, but it’s frustrating now. You work to get — we don’t have many power plays; you work to get that power play. You want to score the goal, not give up a shorthanded goal. A game of inches and split-second decisions. I made the wrong one tonight there and it cost us.


On tonight’s effort:

I thought overall we competed extremely hard and gave ourselves a chance to win. We obviously just weren’t able to get a couple behind him. We had a lot of good looks in the third and unfortunately, we gave the one up that put us behind. Just have to stay with it and the effort tonight and the way we responded was a real positive. We’ve got to bounce back and get some results heading into this weekend and then a road trip out west.

On Andersen wanting to play the second game in the back-to-back:

He’s a real leader for us and he’s one of the best in the league, so no question his determination, his confidence, he sets a real tone for us and the backbone of our group. He played great, he gave us a great chance to win, it’s too bad we didn’t reward him.

AVALANCHE 3, MAPLE LEAFS 1 POSTGAME NOTES: Zach Hyman put the Maple Leafs on the board at 12:42 of the second period. Hyman has three goals and an assist in 11 games played this season.

COLORADO AVALANCHE (17-8-2 – 36 Points) vs.

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (13-13-4 – 30 Points)



GAME SUMMARY         |           EVENT SUMMARY        |           FACEOFF SUMMARY


  • Zach Hyman put the Maple Leafs on the board at 12:42 of the second period. Hyman has three goals and an assist in 11 games played this season. He has a pair of goals in two games against Central Division opponents and has scored all three of his goals against Western Conference opponents.
  • Alex Kerfoot recorded the primary assist on Hyman’s second period goal. Kerfoot’s assist is his first career point against Colorado. He played 157 games for the Avalanche from 2017-19 and had 34 goals and 51 assists. Six (3-3-6) of his nine points have come on home ice.
  • Cody Ceci had the secondary assist on Hyman’s second period goal. Ceci has a goal and four assists in 30 games this season. All four of his assists have come on home ice this season. He has three assists in five games against Central Division opposition.
  • Frederik Andersen stopped 27 shots in the loss.

SHOTS ON GOAL (5-on-5 in brackets)

COLORADO10 (10)13 (12)8 (2)31 (24)
TORONTO12 (12)11 (11)16 (10)39 (33)

SHOT ATTEMPTS (5-on-5 in brackets)

COLORADO17 (17)30 (29)12 (4)59 (50)
TORONTO19 (19)18 (18)23 (15)60 (52)


Record at Home7-4-4 (15 Games)
All-Time Record vs. Colorado32-40-9-3 (84 Games)
All-Time Record vs. Colorado at Home:18-22-4-1 (45 Games)
Record vs. Western Conference6-4-0 (10 Games)
Record vs. Central Division2-3-0 (5 Games)


Shots6 (Tavares)
Shot Attempts(Rielly, Tavares)
Faceoff Wins11 (Tavares)
Faceoff Win Percentage100% (Hyman, Mikheyev)
Hits4 (Kapanen)
Blocked Shots(Barrie)
TOI25:41 (Rielly)
Power Play TOI1:12 (Marner, Tavares)
Shorthanded TOI2:42 (Hyman)
Shifts28 (Marner)
5-on-5 Shot Attempt Percentage64.0% (Mikheyev – 16 for, 9 against)


Opponent scores first7-11-3
Tied after 15-4-2
Tied after 24-5-1
Do not score a power play goal5-9-2
Allow 1 power play goal4-6-3
Outshoot opponent7-3-1


  • The Maple Leafs went 2-for-3 on the penalty kill and 0-for-1 on the power play tonight.
  • Zach Hyman was 3-for-3 (100%) on faceoffs in the offensive zone and 2-for-2 (100%) on defensive zone draws.
  • Mitch Marner was on the ice for a team-high 24 Toronto shot attempts-for at 5-on-5 tonight. Marner finished the game with a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 63.2 percent (24 for, 14 against).
  • Auston Matthews won 71 percent (5 won, 2 lost) of his offensive zone draws.
  • Morgan Rielly skated in his 500th career NHL game.


  • Saturday, December 7, 7:00 p.m. at St. Louis Blues (Sportsnet, TSN 1050)
  • Tuesday, December 10, 10:00 p.m. at Vancouver Canucks (TSN4, TSN 1050)
  • Thursday, December 12, 9:00 p.m. at Calgary Flames (TSN4, TSN 1050)
  • Saturday, December 14, 7:00 p.m. at Edmonton Oilers (Sportsnet, FAN 590)
  • Tuesday, December 17, 7:00 p.m. vs. Buffalo Sabres (TSN4, TSN 1050)