In early January, as the Houston Rockets looked to snap what would become a 13-game losing streak , a sleepy morning shootaround saw a jolt in intensity as assistant coach John Lucas barked out orders during a 3-on-3 drill. Lucas implored Houston's backup bigs to bring more energy as screeners, though largely, his ire was directed at young guards Josh Christopher and TyTy Washington. Lazy entry passes drew Lucas' patented hoarse yell, and breaks between possessions were few and far between. For a pair of players often absent from the Rockets' in-game rotation, these practice reps take on increased importance. "They're not always on the floor, so that's a situation where we can get them in competitive situations," Lucas told Chron.com. "With limited time, we're still working to get them ready for when they're called [upon]." The Rockets are engaging in a bit of a delicate dance as they trudge through Year 3 of their rebuild. General manager Rafael Stone took the prudent … [Read more...] about How young Houston Rockets guards are navigating uncertain playing time
On Wednesday evening, Texas plans to execute Wesley Ruiz despite the ongoing controversy surrounding the state’s use of drugs long past their original expiration dates to kill prisoners. Ruiz, 43, was sentenced to death nearly 15 years ago for the 2007 shooting of Dallas police Senior Cpl. Mark Nix following a high-speed car chase. The chase began while police were searching for a murder suspect, according to court documents. Ruiz’s car eventually slid off the side of the road, and Nix rushed over and began smashing the passenger side window with his police baton. Ruiz fatally shot him in the chest through the back passenger window, court filings state. In an active legal battle, Ruiz and other condemned prisoners have argued the state prison system should not be allowed to continue extending the expiration dates of its execution drugs. They claim the use of old drugs violates the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. With fewer pharmacies willing … [Read more...] about Texas set to execute Wesley Ruiz despite ongoing fight over state’s use of old lethal injection drugs
The 2022-23 season isn't exactly going as planned for the Houston Rockets . Stephen Silas's squad approached the year viewed by many as a scrappy unit worth watching, one who could at best challenge for a play-in spot while at the very least earning a spot as a League Pass darling. The latter scenario hasn't even come to fruition thus far. The Rockets enter Friday night with an NBA-worst 10–31 record . They rank last in offensive rating. No team sports a lower assist percentage, and curiously, the NBA's second-youngest teams sits No. 28 in transition scoring. The Rockets aren't just a rebuilding team. They're sadly one of the league's uglier watches on a given night. Let's not be too dour with a half season remaining on the 2022-23 schedule. The Rockets do show flashes of promise amid the extended stretches of poor play, and there are multiple individual pieces with All-Star potential. Growing that talent into a cohesive group is now the challenge. So how should we … [Read more...] about Houston Rockets report card: Grading Stephen Silas’s squad at midseason
Last week, Mazda kicked off a weeks-long teaser campaign for its new CX-90. Today, the first item to be "unboxed" in this virtual build is the heart of the SUV – its new inline-six engine. We already knew an I6 was coming , but now we have some details. The turbocharged 3.3-liter mill develops 340 horsepower (254 kilowatts) and 369 pound-feet (500 Newton-meters) of torque for the CX-90 . At launch, it will become the most powerful production Mazda engine of them all. Moreover, the new teaser confirms the CX-90 will be available as either a plug-in hybrid model, or an SUV with pure internal-combustion power. Of course, being a teaser there's still much we don't know about the CX-90 or its powertrain. The turbocharged six-cylinder is available, and electrification is also coming, but we don't know if they'll be offered together. The 3.3-liter engine already debuted with the CX-60 , making 280 hp (209 kW) for buyers in Japan, Australia, and Europe. The plug-in hybrid CX-60 … [Read more...] about Mazda CX-90 Teaser Reveals 3.3-Liter I6 Turbo Engine With 340 HP
This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigate 12 The Houston Zoo's baby sea lion has a name. Meet Max, a 5-week-old male from California. The pup has begun his swim lessons from his mom, since unlike most marine mammals, sea lions don't swim when they are born. Max's mother, Cali, has been teaching and cautiously allowing Max to play in ever-increasing depths of water under the careful supervision of his trainers. ZOO LATEST: Houston Zoo's rare summer attraction draws big crowds Two of the zoo donors won the honor to name Max at the Zoo Ball earlier this year. Jim and Beverly Postl are longtime Houston Zoo supporters, and Jim serves on the zoo's board of directors. Story continues below... Jim said that he chose the name because "I wanted my grandsons to call me Max. However, my wife and daughters thought I was out of my mind and nixed that." ZOO BIRTHS: … [Read more...] about VIDEO: Houston Zoo’s adorable new sea lion has a name
This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigate 15 Gaggles of girls, broods of boys and packs of parents descended on the Houston Zoo Saturday morning for a novel experience. It was not goggling the new baby elephant or feeding of the giraffes, though plenty did marvel at those creatures as well. In fact, it wasn't any animal that drew the children on a July day with a heat index of 110 degrees. It was snow. Some stayed in their bathing suits and sunhats while other families bundled up their litters in snow boots and gloves to plow through the 4-inches of snow during the zoo's two-day summertime tradition. Some particularly prepared parents pulled from their bags carrots planned for snowmen's noses. While most had inch-long baby carrots, one family brought a hulking 12-inch specimen fit for rabbit royalty. For many of Houston's smallest residents, it was … [Read more...] about Houston Zoo’s rare summer attraction draws big crowds
News organizations tried to decide Friday night whether to broadcast video that was unquestionably newsworthy but horrifically violent - hardly for the first time. In this instance, it was graphic footage of five Memphis police officers fatally beating 29-year-old motorist Tyre Nichols. Hours earlier, it was police body-camera video of a man attacking Paul Pelosi with a hammer. On other days, it's been recordings of mass shootings, war, any other number of atrocities that comprise part of the modern news cycle. Most networks decided to air the Nichols videos shortly after they were released - some before they had reviewed it themselves - and always with copious on-air and verbal warnings for viewers. CNN aired the entire four-part video, after anchor Erin Burnett said the network determined that it is "of great public importance." "The family and the police chief all want the world to see this video," she added. Ahead of a video clip showing paramedics slow to respond, … [Read more...] about News organizations grapple with showing horrific Nichols, Pelosi videos
This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigate 6 At Washington's annual auto show this past week, Shawn Strayhorne and his father made a beeline for Ford's F-150 Lightning. Peering into the electric pickup's front trunk - a cavernous storage space that doubles as a cooler, located where the gas-guzzling engine used to be - they declared themselves impressed. But Strayhorne said he wasn't ready to be "an early adopter" of a vehicle that ranges from $56,000 to $100,000. "In the future, this will go down in price. Right now it's a little too difficult and expensive to buy," he said. Sporting an Air Force veteran cap, his father, Ronald Strayhorne Sr., said it was best to wait until the truck has a longer track record. "Let others do the tryout," he said. Their wait-and-see approach, shared by many at the show, could undermine a centerpiece of the Biden administration's green-energy agenda: a push to have plug-in … [Read more...] about Car buyers love EVs but hate the prices. That’s bad for green-energy hopes.