CARMELO ANTHONY ONLY FOCUSED ON OKC AFTER DEBUT

OKLAHOMA CITY — It appeared a fitting beginning to Carmelo Anthony‘s next chapter, a 3-pointer on his first possession with the Oklahoma City Thunder, playing against his former team.

“I was actually surprised the first shot was that wide open,” Anthony said. “Just happy it went in, got that first shot out of the way and was able to focus on the rest of the game.”

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Then he missed his next seven shots. But like the rest of the Thunder, it was a slow burn as Anthony revved up in the second quarter and into the third, scoring 22 on 8-of-20 shooting in a 105-84 win over the New York Knicks on opening night.

For Anthony, playing the Knicks was an ideal way for him to move on and find some closure from his messy, chaotic departure from New York.

“Yeah, that chapter’s closed. That chapter’s closed. No more Knicks talk,” Anthony said. “We can just focus on the Thunder and moving forward and what we have to do as a team and organization. I can say that chapter’s closed.”

The next chapter is an invigorating one for Anthony, joining All-Stars Paul George and Russell Westbrook, who both showcased their firepower as the Thunder broke lose of the overmatched Knicks, relying on a suffocating defense that forced 26 turnovers.

George finished with 28 on 9-of-23 shooting, hitting six 3-pointers, while Westbrook picked up where he left off in his historic MVP season notching the first triple-double of this season with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 16 assists.

“You guys are used to it. I’m used to watching it. I’m used to going up against it. To now be on the other side of that, be on the same team and reap those benefits of what he brings to the game, I’m excited about what we started out tonight, what we created tonight and where we’re headed.”

Westbrook spent last season running the Thunder virtually single-handily, compiling the highest usage rate in NBA history and leading the team in all three major categories (points, rebounds and assists). Something coach Billy Donovan has repeated throughout training camp is Westbrook’s ability to adapt and adjust his game for the betterment of the team, which, as Donovan noted, was on display against the Knicks.

“There’s nobody that can stay in front of Russ,” George said. “He’s always going to attract two [defenders], he’s always going to have the defense collapsing. A lot of times I’m going to be catching it wide open and more times than not I’ve got to make them pay for it.”

It was noticeable, especially in the first half, that Westbrook was intent on making plays for George and Anthony, putting his own attempts aside. Westbrook was steady and controlled commanding the Thunder’s attack, picking his spots and at times even looking, gasp, passive. Last season, Westbrook led the Thunder in shot attempts 78 times in 81 appearances. On Thursday, George and Anthony attempted 11 and 8 more shots than Westbrook, respectively.

“We’re just getting started,” Westbrook said. “We’re trying to figure it out and I’m just going to constantly keep pushing and finding those guys and obviously that makes it easy for me with those guys on the floor.”

The Thunder’s offense lacked some flow during portions of the game, with some my-turn, your-turn elements creeping in for the three stars. But it was also a case of missed shots, as George and Anthony both misfired on a number of clean looks, particularly in the first half.

“Offensively it’s on us to make those shots. I think for myself, if I can speak for PG, we’ve got to get used to those shots,” Anthony said. “We’re not used to having open looks like that, being wide open for shots like that. We’ve got to get comfortable with that and those shots. Those shots will fall.”

Westbrook cautioned during training camp of overreacting to some ragged offense early in the season, but balance does appear to be something to keep an eye on. In the first half, Westbrook, George and Anthony combined for 44 of the Thunder’s 53 points, and attempted 35 of their 44 total shots. The second half featured a bit more flow as three attempted 20 of their 56.

“I thought we played offensively in terms of just [being] more fluid in the second half,” Billy Donovan said. “But the biggest thing for us was our defense.”

The Thunder, who talked throughout the preseason of their goal to be the top defensive team in the league, suffocated the young Knicks and forced 26 turnovers, including 14 steals. They pushed their lead to 11 right before half as George beat the buzzer on a dunk following a steal by Andre Roberson and carried that boost into the third, swarming the Knicks and methodically building a lead to as much as 23.

“That’s what we pride ourselves on, our defense leading to our offense and holding teams under 100 points,” Roberson said. “Like we talked about all preseason long, trying to be the No. 1 defensive team.”

For the three Thunder stars, the first time out went mostly according to plan. Westbrook was dynamic, George and Anthony got plenty of clean looks, and the defense was athletic and smothering, anchored by Roberson and Steven Adams. It’s only one of 82, but with Anthony playing the Knicks and the debut of the new Thunder, the arena thumped with energy as OKC flashed a glimpse of its firepower.

“Oh man, it was crazy,” George said of the atmosphere. “I thought the first preseason game here was nuts. I thought that’s what ‘Loud City’ was, but obviously it can get louder. I’m looking forward to it, the next 41 of these. And then, when we get in the playoffs.”

IS DRAKE A BABY DADDY TO BE?

Well there are always three sides to every story, so I can’t wait to see who’s telling the truth here.

Word on the curb is that Instagram thot model Layla Lace’s claims of being pregnant by Drake are completely fabricated!

Layla recently made public claims that Drake got her pregnant and started to dodge her once she told him. Lace claims that they met up in London and had sex, and when she reached out to the 6 God and told him they had a baby on the way, he jumped ship.

According to TMZ, sources close to Drake say that Drake has never met the woman, and his team never even reached out to her or threatened her with a lawsuit. They claim she made it all up for attention.

Layla has since deleted the social media posts, and Drake’s team believes she did this because she received the attention she was looking for.

It’s crazy that people really do make up things and publicity stunts for attention. Then again Drizzy is known to hit these Insta thots models raw [see Jhonni Blaze]. Who do you think is telling the truth?

DID DMX GET A BAD RAP OVER THE WEEKEND?

You might have heard DMX didn’t fare so well over the weekend at a Ruff Ryders reunion in Brooklyn.

Now, I read the reports and I thought….”Hmmmm…something ain’t right.” BUT, it was not until I got intel that I began to realize the depths of the lies in the media! And social media! First of all, they said DMX “ranted.” DMX doesn’t rant. He preaches sermons from the stage. Anybody that’s a fan knows this by now. But what happens is social media “reporters” get on the “job” and start opinionating on stuff they don’t know…and its a rant. They had the nerve to compare him to Kanye West’s rambles!! What an insult! DMX was speaking the word of God!

It is my understanding that DMX did indeed have some difficulty at the start of his set at the Barclays. I was told he seemed nervous by somebody that was there. Now, I wasn’t so sure that he was nervous since X has rocked just about every stage imaginable. So that was shaky, but then I saw how sites misquoted DMX to the point where it didn’t make sense. For example, XXL reported X as saying: “Respect me to be a role model.” X didn’t say that. I have the video! That doesn’t even make sense. He said, “Don’t expect me to be your role model” We all know DMX has some issues, and HE IS NOT A ROLE MODEL! But since there was no real issue it seems like the media drilled down on the negative to the point where we don’t even know if the show was hot.

Here is the whole concert.

I heard the show was incredible. Here is a “rant” for you.

CELEBRITY BIRTHDAY AUGUST 29 MICHAEL JACKSON R.I.L

ABOUT
The King of Pop who became the most successful singer in American history for releasing award-winning hits like “Billie Jean” and “Beat It.”
BEFORE FAME
He became the breadwinner in his house at the age of six for singing with the family group, The Jackson 5 alongside Jermaine Jackson, Tito Jackson, Marlon Jackson and Jackie Jackson.
TRIVIA
His 1982 album Thriller became the best-selling album in history, winning thirteen Grammy Awards and having thirteen songs reach #1 on U.S. charts.
FAMILY LIFE
He got married to Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of Elvis Presley, on May 26, 1994. After their divorce on January 18, 1996, he married Debbie Rowe on November 14, 1996.
ASSOCIATED WITH
He is the older brother of pop diva Janet Jackson.

EARTHQUAKES, AFTERSHOCKS CONTINUE IN ITALY

A girl who endured nearly 17 hours in the rubble after this week’s earthquake has undergone surgery and is doing well, Italian national news agency ANSA said late Thursday.

After mostly pulling bodies from the rubble, rescue crews in Pescara del Tronto were overjoyed Wednesday evening to hear what sounded like the cries of a survivor.
“Quiet! Quiet,” they said, getting closer to the source of the sound.
An 8-year-old girl is rescued from the debris of a collapsed building in Pescara del Tronto.
An 8-year-old girl is rescued from the debris of a collapsed building in Pescara del Tronto.
The scene was captured on video by CNN affiliate Sky TG24.
A firefighter clawed at the debris, trying to get to her. “Come on. … Come on. Slowly, slowly. Mind her head,” they said to one another as onlookers applauded in support.
Suddenly there was a foot, a leg, and then the other leg.
The girl, later identified as 8-year-old Giorgia, was finally pulled out with great care to a rousing cheer. The body of her sister, 10, was next to her, ANSA said.
Surveying Italy's earthquake damage

Surveying Italy’s earthquake damage 01:26
Rescuers are desperate to find anyone who might miraculously have survived this week’s quake that killed at least 250 people and injured more than 360 others in central Italy.
The Italian Council of Ministers approved a state of emergency for the regions affected by the earthquake Thursday, allocating 50 million euros of emergency funding.
A 4.1 magnitude aftershock on Thursday shook aid workers as they sorted through debris in the afternoon sun in the town of Amatrice, one of many tremors to have followed Wednesday morning’s 6.2-magnitude quake that reduced villages to rubble.
A CNN crew in Amatrice was filming in front of a house when the structure partially collapsed, and others around it were completely flattened.
“People were just running onto the roads away from buildings in a panic. We saw our cameras shaking, and journalists here too were panicking,” said CNN producer Margot Haddad.
It was more bad news for rescuers, who have been desperately combing through mountains of rubble for a second day. Wednesday’s quake blocked off narrow streets in ancient towns, making the rescue operation extremely difficult.
An emergency hospital camp is set up to treat earthquake victims in Arquata del Tronto.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
An emergency hospital camp is set up to treat earthquake victims in Arquata del Tronto.
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A woman tries to comfort her child in Amatrice on August 24.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
A woman tries to comfort her child in Amatrice on August 24.
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Residents survey a collapsed staircase in Amatrice on August 24.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
Residents survey a collapsed staircase in Amatrice on August 24.
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Residents of Pescara del Tronto care for an elderly earthquake victim on August 24.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
Residents of Pescara del Tronto care for an elderly earthquake victim on August 24.
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Search-and-rescue teams look for survivors in Pescara del Tronto.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
Search-and-rescue teams look for survivors in Pescara del Tronto.
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Survivors sit among the rubble of a house in Amatrice on August 24.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
Survivors sit among the rubble of a house in Amatrice on August 24.
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Residents search for victims in Amatrice.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
Residents search for victims in Amatrice.
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An injured man is rescued from a collapsed building in Amatrice on August 24.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
An injured man is rescued from a collapsed building in Amatrice on August 24.
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A man leans on a wall in Pescara del Tronto.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
A man leans on a wall in Pescara del Tronto.
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A dog searches for people trapped in collapsed buildings in Amatrice.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
A dog searches for people trapped in collapsed buildings in Amatrice.
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Rescuers search for victims in Amatrice on August 24.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
Rescuers search for victims in Amatrice on August 24.
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A man is pulled alive from the rubble.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
A man is pulled alive from the rubble.
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A man surveys damage near a dust-covered car in Amatrice on August 24.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
A man surveys damage near a dust-covered car in Amatrice on August 24.
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Two people huddle together in Amatrice after the earthquake.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
Two people huddle together in Amatrice after the earthquake.
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A rescue worker drives a truck of rubble as cleanup operations begin in Amatrice.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
A rescue worker drives a truck of rubble as cleanup operations begin in Amatrice.
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Rescuers make their way through destroyed houses in Pescara del Tronto, Italy, on Thursday, August 25, after a 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck the central part of the country. Hundreds of people have been killed, and the death toll is expected to rise as rescue teams reach remote areas.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
Rescuers make their way through destroyed houses in Pescara del Tronto, Italy, on Thursday, August 25, after a 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck the central part of the country. Hundreds of people have been killed, and the death toll is expected to rise as rescue teams reach remote areas.
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A bird's eye view of Amatrice, Italy, on Wednesday, August 24, after a magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
A bird’s eye view of Amatrice, Italy, on Wednesday, August 24, after a magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck.
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Rescuers help a woman from the rubble in Amatrice, Italy, on Wednesday, August 24.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
Rescuers help a woman from the rubble in Amatrice, Italy, on Wednesday, August 24.
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Search-and-rescue teams survey collapsed houses in Pescara del Tronto, Italy, on August 24.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
Search-and-rescue teams survey collapsed houses in Pescara del Tronto, Italy, on August 24.
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A man cries as another injured man is helped in Amatrice.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
A man cries as another injured man is helped in Amatrice.
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This woman in Amatrice was wounded during the earthquake.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
This woman in Amatrice was wounded during the earthquake.
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Rescuers carry a man through earthquake debris in Amatrice.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
Rescuers carry a man through earthquake debris in Amatrice.
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Rocco Girardi receives treatment after being rescued from the rubble in Arquata del Tronto, Italy, on August 24.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
Rocco Girardi receives treatment after being rescued from the rubble in Arquata del Tronto, Italy, on August 24.
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The body of a unidentified child lies on a bench in Arquata del Tronto on August 24.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
The body of a unidentified child lies on a bench in Arquata del Tronto on August 24.
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The quake left this house in ruins in Arquata del Tronto.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
The quake left this house in ruins in Arquata del Tronto.
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Two people hug each other next to damaged houses in Pescara del Tronto.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
Two people hug each other next to damaged houses in Pescara del Tronto.
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Two women pass along a stuffed toy in Amatrice on August 24.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
Two women pass along a stuffed toy in Amatrice on August 24.
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Residents take in the damage in Amatrice.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
Residents take in the damage in Amatrice.
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This aerial photo shows damaged buildings in Amatrice. The quake struck at 3:36 a.m and was felt across a broad swath of central Italy.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
This aerial photo shows damaged buildings in Amatrice. The quake struck at 3:36 a.m and was felt across a broad swath of central Italy.
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An emergency hospital camp is set up to treat earthquake victims in Arquata del Tronto.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
An emergency hospital camp is set up to treat earthquake victims in Arquata del Tronto.
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A woman tries to comfort her child in Amatrice on August 24.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
A woman tries to comfort her child in Amatrice on August 24.
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Residents survey a collapsed staircase in Amatrice on August 24.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
Residents survey a collapsed staircase in Amatrice on August 24.
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Residents of Pescara del Tronto care for an elderly earthquake victim on August 24.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
Residents of Pescara del Tronto care for an elderly earthquake victim on August 24.
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Search-and-rescue teams look for survivors in Pescara del Tronto.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
Search-and-rescue teams look for survivors in Pescara del Tronto.
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Survivors sit among the rubble of a house in Amatrice on August 24.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
Survivors sit among the rubble of a house in Amatrice on August 24.
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Residents search for victims in Amatrice.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
Residents search for victims in Amatrice.
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An injured man is rescued from a collapsed building in Amatrice on August 24.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
An injured man is rescued from a collapsed building in Amatrice on August 24.
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A man leans on a wall in Pescara del Tronto.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
A man leans on a wall in Pescara del Tronto.
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A dog searches for people trapped in collapsed buildings in Amatrice.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
A dog searches for people trapped in collapsed buildings in Amatrice.
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Rescuers search for victims in Amatrice on August 24.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
Rescuers search for victims in Amatrice on August 24.
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A man is pulled alive from the rubble.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
A man is pulled alive from the rubble.
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A man surveys damage near a dust-covered car in Amatrice on August 24.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
A man surveys damage near a dust-covered car in Amatrice on August 24.
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Two people huddle together in Amatrice after the earthquake.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
Two people huddle together in Amatrice after the earthquake.
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A rescue worker drives a truck of rubble as cleanup operations begin in Amatrice.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
A rescue worker drives a truck of rubble as cleanup operations begin in Amatrice.
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Rescuers make their way through destroyed houses in Pescara del Tronto, Italy, on Thursday, August 25, after a 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck the central part of the country. Hundreds of people have been killed, and the death toll is expected to rise as rescue teams reach remote areas.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
Rescuers make their way through destroyed houses in Pescara del Tronto, Italy, on Thursday, August 25, after a 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck the central part of the country. Hundreds of people have been killed, and the death toll is expected to rise as rescue teams reach remote areas.
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A bird's eye view of Amatrice, Italy, on Wednesday, August 24, after a magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
A bird’s eye view of Amatrice, Italy, on Wednesday, August 24, after a magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck.
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Rescuers help a woman from the rubble in Amatrice, Italy, on Wednesday, August 24.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
Rescuers help a woman from the rubble in Amatrice, Italy, on Wednesday, August 24.
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Search-and-rescue teams survey collapsed houses in Pescara del Tronto, Italy, on August 24.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
Search-and-rescue teams survey collapsed houses in Pescara del Tronto, Italy, on August 24.
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A man cries as another injured man is helped in Amatrice.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
A man cries as another injured man is helped in Amatrice.
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This woman in Amatrice was wounded during the earthquake.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
This woman in Amatrice was wounded during the earthquake.
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Rescuers carry a man through earthquake debris in Amatrice.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
Rescuers carry a man through earthquake debris in Amatrice.
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Rocco Girardi receives treatment after being rescued from the rubble in Arquata del Tronto, Italy, on August 24.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
Rocco Girardi receives treatment after being rescued from the rubble in Arquata del Tronto, Italy, on August 24.
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The body of a unidentified child lies on a bench in Arquata del Tronto on August 24.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
The body of a unidentified child lies on a bench in Arquata del Tronto on August 24.
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The quake left this house in ruins in Arquata del Tronto.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
The quake left this house in ruins in Arquata del Tronto.
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Two people hug each other next to damaged houses in Pescara del Tronto.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
Two people hug each other next to damaged houses in Pescara del Tronto.
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Two women pass along a stuffed toy in Amatrice on August 24.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
Two women pass along a stuffed toy in Amatrice on August 24.
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Residents take in the damage in Amatrice.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
Residents take in the damage in Amatrice.
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This aerial photo shows damaged buildings in Amatrice. The quake struck at 3:36 a.m and was felt across a broad swath of central Italy.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
This aerial photo shows damaged buildings in Amatrice. The quake struck at 3:36 a.m and was felt across a broad swath of central Italy.
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An emergency hospital camp is set up to treat earthquake victims in Arquata del Tronto.
Photos: Earthquake strikes central Italy
An emergency hospital camp is set up to treat earthquake victims in Arquata del Tronto.
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With heavy lifting equipment just starting to reach isolated villages and towns that were cut off by landslides and building debris, people used tractors, farm equipment and simple hand tools to break through what was left of old stone villas.
Fast facts: All about earthquakes

“Many cases have shown in the past that even after two days, people can be rescued alive,” said Luigi D’Angelo from Italy’s Civil Protection agency. “So we want to continue.”
CNN correspondent Frederik Pleitgen saw machinery moving in through the narrow lanes in Amatrice and rescuers using sniffer dogs to help find more bodies.

BEFORE: GOOGLE, AFTER: FILIPPO MONTEFORTEFILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
But rescuers, including foreign search crews, were also using sound detectors, hoping to find more survivors.
“They know right now it’s a race against time. They believe it’s about 72 hours those people would be able to survive,” Pleitgen said.

“In most cases, unfortunately, the only thing they’re able to retrieve is their bodies and that’s one of the reasons why we’ve seen the death toll rise so much overnight.”
No happy stories here
Giorgia’s survival is sadly an anomaly so far in the massive rescue operation, which involves more than 5,400 rescuers from Italy’s Civil Protection agency, and many more from outside groups.

In Saletta, a town of just 20 homes less than a mile from the quake’s epicenter, an eerie quiet has taken over.
“We saw unfortunately only bodies pulled out,” CNN contributor Barbie Nadeau said from the village, where 22 people were killed.
“We didn’t see any happy stories here,” she added.
More: Chefs rally to help Italy earthquake victims
Nadeau and her crew narrowly escaped injury when a home collapsed behind her in Saletta as she did a Facebook Live session Wednesday.
Building collapses live in Italy

Building collapses live in Italy 00:54
More than 1,200 people have been displaced by the quake, and Italy’s Civil Protection agency said no residents were allowed to sleep in the devastated town of Amatrice on Wednesday night.
‘We lost everything’
One of Thursday’s aftershocks was another blow for Davide D’Angelo, a 78-year-old retired railroad worker who survived Wednesday’s quake with his wife and two visiting adult daughters.
Davide D'Angelo
Davide D’Angelo
The aftershock knocked over what was left of his Amatrice-area home. D’Angelo and his family had escaped the house a day earlier, having been jolted awake by the main quake.
Before Thursday’s collapse, a fireman had entered the damaged home to collect clothes, documents and the family’s cat.
“I spent the best years of my life in these mountains,” he said Thursday at a camp for displaced residents in Amatrice, holding back tears. “We lost everything.”
He and his wife are not planning to rebuild. They intend to move to Aprilia, south of Rome, where his wife has property.
“There is nothing left here,” he said. “There is no reason to stay.”
Banding together
Home rental website AirBnB has offered a free service for those affected, displaying two options: “I need a place to stay” or “I can offer my place for free.”
Some people on Facebook were independently offering up their homes for free, while an Italian report said that 75 refugees living in Calabria had made a donation to the relief effort.

BEFORE: GOOGLE, AFTER: EPA/CRISTIANO CHIODI
Most survived the quake in the village of Sant’Angelo, which is home to just 300 people in the summer and fewer than 100 in the winter. But one mother and her child didn’t make it, killed when the tremor hit as they slept.
On the balconies, bedsheets tied together in thick knots hang down — they were used as escape routes after homes partly crumbled.

BEFORE: GOOGLE: AFTER: GIUSEPPE BELLINI/GETTY IMAGES
A group of teenagers here were listening to music in a field when the ground beneath them began to shake early Wednesday. Among them was Matteo Spuri, 19, who normally lives in Rome but was visiting with friends for a summer holiday.
“We looked back at the village and saw a cloud of dust, and we realized the village was destroyed,” Spuri said.
The group set up a first-aid area in the field, and gave blankets to the elderly.
Valentina Gianni, a 16-year-old among them, said the teenagers had worked all through the night.
“We didn’t know how long it was until … we suddenly realized it was 7 a.m. We have been out helping people throughout the night and we’re so tired,” she said.
“What would really help is if all the damages here were recognized [by insurance companies]. To have [it] recognized 100% so that people can begin to rebuild.”
The teens who set up a first-aid area in a field outside Sant'Angelo, from left to right: Valentina Gianni, Gabriele Paoletti, Matteo Spuri and Frederico Feliziani
The teens who set up a first-aid area in a field outside Sant’Angelo, from left to right: Valentina Gianni, Gabriele Paoletti, Matteo Spuri and Frederico Feliziani
Amatrice ‘is no more,’ says mayor
Italy is no stranger to deadly quakes.

BEFORE: GOOGLE, AFTER: EPA/MASSIMO PERCOSSI
In May 2012, a pair of earthquakes killed dozens of people in northern Italy, while in April 2009, a magnitude-6.3 earthquake hit the Aquila region of central Italy, killing 295. The earthquake Wednesday struck an area close to the 2009 disaster.
The towns at the epicenter of the quake — Amatrice, Accumoli and Arquata del Tronto — are scenes of devastation, with what were once charming three-story buildings pancaked by the disaster.
Collapsed and damaged houses in Pescara del Tronto.
Collapsed and damaged houses in Pescara del Tronto.
The Civil Protection agency said of the people killed, 193 were in the village of Amatrice and 11 in the nearby village of Accumoli. In Arquata del Tronto, which includes Pescara del Tronto, at least 46 were killed.

BEFORE: GOOGLE: AFTER: GIUSEPPE BELLINI/GETTY IMAGES
“The town is no more,” Amatrice Mayor Sergio Pirozzi told Rai.
Amatrice: The town at the quake’s epicenter
The towns, situated amid remote, mountainous terrain, are particularly popular in the summer with tourists seeking a scenic getaway from the heat of the city.
Amatrice, known for its traditional all’amatriciana pasta sauce, had been gearing up to hold a festival celebrating the pork jowl, chili and pecorino recipe this weekend, with many visitors expected.
CNN’s Ray Sanchez, Vasco Cotovio, Tim Hume, Joshua Berlinger, Atika Shubert, Frederik Pleitgen, Madison Park, Bianca Britton, Alla Eshchenko, Faith Karimi, Steve Almasy, Yazhou Sun, Begona Blanco Munoz, Livia Borghese and Carol Jordan contributed to this report. Journalist Angela Dewan wrote from London.

WENDY WILLIAMS

Outspoken talk show host from several radio shows who became known as a shock jockette and later hosted The Wendy Williams Show.
BEFORE FAME
She began working in a radio station to put her communications studies to use.
TRIVIA
She got in a fight with a co-worker and caused her to get fired from the radio station.
FAMILY LIFE
She had one son with her spouse Kevin Hunter.
ASSOCIATED WITH
Tupac Shakur was one of the celebrities who criticized her with music lyrics.

LEBRON LEADS CAVALIERS TO VICTORY IN GAME 3 AGAINST WARRIORS

CLEVELAND – Before continuing the debates about whether the Golden State Warriors could defeat the Showtime Lakers, Shaquille O’Neal’s Lakers, Michael Jordan’s Bulls, Larry Bird’s Celtics, or any of the NBA’s all-time great teams, let’s try to remember one thing: They still have to defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers.

In a dire situation that LeBron James deemed “do-or-die,” the Cavaliers reminded everyone set to prematurely crown the Warriors with back-to-back titles that there is still a playoff series going. With James and Kyrie Irving leading the way in the absence of Kevin Love, the Cavaliers announced their arrival to the NBA Finals in resounding fashion with a 120-90 victory in Game 3 at Quicken Loans Arena.
View photo
.LeBron James imposed his will Wednesday night. (Getty Images)
LeBron James imposed his will Wednesday night. (Getty Images)
“We weren’t ready to play,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “Obviously they just punched us right in the mouth right in the beginning. We’re turning the ball over like crazy. Soft, we were extremely soft to start the game, and then they set the tone with their intensity.”
Cleveland snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Warriors dating to last postseason. And, in the game’s final minute, a few suddenly confident Cavaliers fans started to shout, “Cavs in six!”

The Warriors lead the best-of-seven series 2-1.

A change of venue and a few days to stew over their shellacking in Oakland, Calif., proved to be enough to finally get an inspired performance from the Cavaliers. Irving got the Cavaliers started by scoring 16 of his 30 points in the first quarter, and James took over from there, defying gravity with breathtaking dunks and discovering a jumper that had abandoned him for much of this postseason. The Cavaliers’ All-Star duo needed to take on more responsibility with Love forced to remain in concussion protocol after absorbing a Harrison Barnes elbow to the back of the head Sunday.

“We talked about effort for the last two days, just being aggressive, playing hard, the physicality, and we brought that,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. “When we play that way, we’re tough to beat. And we know we’re not satisfied with one game. We know Friday we have to play even better. But I think the guys are ready for that.”

The Warriors dominated the Cavaliers in the first two games without getting their usual spectacular performances from two-time MVP Stephen Curry and his All-Star backcourt mate Klay Thompson. That should’ve served as an encouraging sign for Golden State as the series shifted to Cleveland, but the inability of their two best players to get going in Game 3 was more disconcerting. Curry finished with 19 points but only had two points at halftime. Thompson missed his first five shots, was forced to head to the locker room in the first half after bumping knees with Cavaliers reserve Timofey Mozgov, and finished with just 10 points.

“He did not start the game well,” Kerr said about Curry. “Turned it over, got beat back door, and he was not his usual self. Now, it happens sometimes. … No matter who you’re talking about, when a team plays poorly, the team deserves criticism. The coach deserves criticism, the players. I always tell our guys, that’s why we get paid. We don’t get paid to show up and shoot baskets every day. We get paid because we’re going to get a lot of criticism, and we deserve it tonight.”

The series that NBA fans have been anticipating all season has yielded three blowouts, with home court appearing to be the ultimate advantage. The Cavaliers improved to 8-0 at home this postseason, while the Warriors continued their struggles in the third game of a playoff series, losing their first road game for the fourth time this postseason. Golden State had an easy excuse for losing to Houston and Portland because Curry was out with injuries to his ankle and knee, respectively, in those series. On Wednesday, the Warriors had Curry in body only as the Cavaliers continued to make it hard on him with physical, smothering defense.

“I’m disappointed that I didn’t do anything to help my team win tonight,” Curry said. “It’s not about living up to a certain expectation other than the one that I have for myself, and I haven’t done that, or I didn’t do that tonight, and I’ve got to be better.”

James was unusually passive in the first two games and drew some criticism for failing to inspire his teammates, who seemed overwhelmed after a relatively easy waltz through the Eastern Conference. He had no such problem leading on Wednesday as he made his presence felt on both ends of the floor. In the third period, James hounded Curry at the top of the key, deflected a pass then leaned down to recover the loose ball. After gaining his balance, James zipped the ball ahead to Irving then elevated high above the rim to catch a poor lob pass and throw down a ridiculous dunk.

It hasn’t been the classic Finals matchup many anticipated, but the teams will have another chance to provide a compelling contest in Game 4 on Friday.