The Mavericks handed the Clippers their worst loss in franchise history

The Dallas Mavericks gave the Los Angeles Clippers all they could handle in the opening round of the 2020 NBA Playoffs inside the bubble. While the heavily-favored Clippers would eventually win the series in six games, it was a tough, physical matchup that included a magnificent Luka Doncic buzzer-beater and certified Dallas as a team to watch in the future.

The Mavs knew they only had to wait until the third game of the new season to extract some level of revenge, and they did it in a big way on Sunday afternoon. With Kawhi Leonard resting, Dallas walloped the Clippers 77-27 in the first half. The Mavs’ 50-point lead was the biggest at the half in league history since the NBA adopted the shot clock.

Dallas would go on to win the game, 124-73. The 51-point loss is the biggest in Clippers franchise history.

The Clippers just suffered their worst loss EVER!

• 48-point loss to Blazers in ’94

• 49-point loss to Sonics in ’94

• 50-point loss to Sonics in ’88

• 51-point loss to Mavs in ’20 pic.twitter.com/eZ9J9f8JBD

— SB Nation (@SBNation) December 27, 2020

Mavs 77, Clippers 27 at the half. Per @ESPNStatsInfo, that’s the biggest halftime deficit in an NBA game during the shot-clock era, which started in 1954-55.

— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) December 27, 2020

Doncic finished with 24 points in 26 minutes despite missing all five of his three-point attempts. Doncic almost out-scored the Clippers by himself in the opening half, entering the break with 18 points, seven rebounds, and four assists, which is one more assist than Los Angeles had as a team.

Luka was getting whatever he wanted.

None of Leonard’s Clipper teammates could pick up the slack with him out. Los Angeles shot just4 34 percent from the field and hit only 4-of-33 attempts (12.1 percent) from three-point range. The Clippers also got dominated on the glass 54-36 despite star big man Kristaps Porzingis being out for Dallas.

The Mavericks forced the Clippers into 12 turnovers and finished with just six themselves.

The Mavericks entered this game at 0-2 and the Clippers entered at 2-0, but you’d never know it from this game. Kawhi Leonard might have an MVP case off the box score from this one alone.

Let’s hope this is a precursor to another great playoff series.

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The last-second Game 5 finish of the 2016 WNBA Finals demands a deep rewind

The ending of the 2016 WNBA finals raises my heart rate no matter how many times I watch it. Elimination game, no timeouts, tie score, nine seconds left. This is the stuff of driveway fiction, the sort of scenario you create as a kid at your backyard hoop. And like, not to make it all about me, but uh, the fact that back up PG Chelsea Gray has the ball in the final seconds? Um, I was a backup PG! … this game is like weirdly specific to my personal driveway fiction.

On top of my personal drama, let’s add the context everyone else cares about for this particular moment. If the Minnesota Lynx win, they’ll ascend to dynasty status, matching the legendary Houston Comets with four titles. Sure, they aren’t four in a row like the Comets, but … I think we can safely say that would still be pretty impressive. And on the other end, the always-coming-up-short LA Sparks are ready to simply stop coming up short and reach their long-predicted potential.

I’d argue even the most imaginative kid on their backyard hoop couldn’t come up with the narrative which we chart in the video above. Let’s rewind.

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Sabonis sinks go-ahead shot in final seconds as Pacers defeat Celtics 108-107

INDIANAPOLIS — With Indiana down one in the final seconds Sunday, coach Nate Bjorkgren asked Domantas Sabontis to bail out the Pacers.

The All-Star forward delivered. He put the ball on the floor, drove hard toward the basket, muscled in the go-ahead layup and drew a foul with 8.4 seconds to play.

Sure, he missed the free throw, but Indiana’s defense forced an errant 3-pointer with 1.8 seconds left and held on for a 108-107 victory over Boston.

“Coach is a genius. He has a different play for everything,” Sabonis said. “He trusts every single one of us and that makes it easier for the players. We all trust him and just try to execute as best we can.”

So far, Sabonis has thrived in Bjorkgren’s new system.

He followed Saturday’s triple-double, with 19 points, 10 rebounds and five assists — his third double-double in three games and No. 100 in his career.

And Sabonis had plenty of help, too.

Malcolm Brogdon scored a season-high 25 points and T.J. Warren added 17 as the Pacers improved to 3-0 for the first time since 2013-14, sweeping their first back-to-back of the season — barely.

“Yes, it was designed that way,” Bjorkgren said after drawing up the play for Sabonis during Indiana’s final timeout. “But I thought the other four guys really moved and shifted the defense, too, and that helped open it up for Domas.”

The Celtics spent most of the second half playing catch up before finally taking a 107-106 lead when Robert Williams III stole an inbound pass and found Marcus Smart for a breakaway layup with 11.8 seconds to go.

After a missed free throw Sabonis, Boston called timeout to set up a play and Jayson Tatum‘s long 3 was off the mark. Tatum finished with 25 points and Jaylen Brown had 18 as the Celtics lost their second straight.

“We definitely beat ourselves tonight and there was still an opportunity to win the game,” Brown said. “We gave it up at the end. We’ve got to come back and be better, be more physical and more solid on defense.”

Malcolm Brogdon on the @Pacers‘ win over the Celtics: “It felt good in here. We miss our fans, but we created our own energy tonight. We’re coming off a back-to-back to beat a really good team like that on the second night — that’s an accomplishment.” pic.twitter.com/Zduoz9rhdg

— FOX Sports Indiana (@FSIndiana) December 28, 2020

TIP-INS

Celtics: Tatum also had 11 rebounds and five assists. … Payton Pritchard added 13 points off the bench. … Smart finished with 11 points and six assists. …. Robert Williams III had 12 points. … Boston had 18 turnovers and got outrebounded 37-34.

Pacers: Brogdon had five rebounds and five assists. … T.J. Warren had 17 points and Doug McDermott added 16 off the bench. … McDermott has had three straight double-figure games and went 3 of 7 on 3s. … Myles Turner had 10 points, seven rebounds and five blocks and now has 17 blocks in three games. … Indiana had 23 assists on 45 baskets. … It’s only the seventh time in the Pacers NBA history they’ve started 3-0.

OLADIPO OUT

The Pacers deactivated two-time All-Star guard Victor Oladipo for the second game of a back-to-back. Officially, the reason given was injury management — a reference to the ruptured quad tendon in his right knee, an injury he suffered in January 2019. Unofficially, this was something Pacers president of basketball operations Kevin Prtichard wanted when he was searching for a new coach this fall. Coach Nate Bjorkgren responded by mixing and matching his rotations.

HE SAID IT

“I think that final play was tough,” Brown said. “It was not all of his (Williams’) fault. When Sabonis gets going with his left hand, he’s tough. He got one tonight on us.”

UP NEXT

Celtics: Planning to stick around Indianapolis for an unusual Tuesday night rematch against the Pacers.

Pacers: Will try to win their fourth straight under Bjorkgren against Boston on Tuesday.

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Cavaliers rout 76ers 118-94 to improve to 3-0

CLEVELAND (AP) — Andre Drummond scored 24 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and made three steals as the Cleveland Cavaliers won their third straight game to start the season, 118-94 over the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday night.

Collin Sexton added 22 points and Darius Garland had 14 points and seven assists for Cleveland, which finished with the second-worst record in the NBA last season at 19-46. The Cavaliers are 3-0 for the first time since winning six in a row to begin 2016-2017.

The @cavs had the ball moving beautifully tonight.#BeTheFight pic.twitter.com/aeNbiedK0E

— FOX Sports Cleveland (@FOXSportsCLE) December 28, 2020

“We want it. We want it bad,” said Drummond, who is averaging 20.3 points and 14.7 rebounds per game. “We play hard each and every time, and guys are ready when their number is called. We have a long season ahead of us and we’ll celebrate tonight, but we’ll be ready for our next game.”

Three games. Three double-doubles. Three @cavs wins.

An admittedly exhausted @AndreDrummond joins @Angel_Gray1 after another energetic and victorious effort.#BeTheFight pic.twitter.com/BOLnzwco2o

— FOX Sports Cleveland (@FOXSportsCLE) December 28, 2020

Tobias Harris had 16 points, nine rebounds and five assists for Philadelphia, which fell to 2-1 and played without center Joel Embiid (back tightness). Ben Simmons scored 15 points and Dwight Howard had nine points and four fouls filling in for Embiid.

“Joel was planning on going, but when he went out on the floor, he had some stiffness,” 76ers coach Doc Rivers said. “He was such a late scratch, we couldn’t even add another big man to the active list.”

Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love (right calf strain) left in the second quarter and did not return. Love missed the season opener with the same injury and will undergo an MRI on Monday.

Cleveland, which shot 52.7% from the field, took its largest lead at 108-76 on Cedi Osman’s driving layup with 8:30 left. Osman scored 14 points off the bench and Larry Nance Jr. had 13 points and five assists.

“I still don’t think we’ve put our best four quarters together yet, but that’s our goal,” Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “Playing agenda-less basketball, that’s what the guys have bought into.”

“How do you handle success?”

J.B. sees the @cavs‘ 3-0 start as another test.#BeTheFight pic.twitter.com/923ETxTjSd

— FOX Sports Cleveland (@FOXSportsCLE) December 28, 2020

Drummond, who has three double-doubles, netted 15 points and 10 rebounds in the first half as Cleveland carried a 64-50 advantage into the break.

The Cavaliers forced 22 turnovers, six by Simmons, and turned them into 35 points.

“I thought our spacing was bad,” Rivers said. “I want Ben to attack the basket, but I also want him to make plays and have a good balance. We won two games, but we just didn’t play well tonight.”

Both teams completed their first back-to-back set of the season. Cleveland beat Detroit 128-119 in double overtime Saturday, while Philadelphia won 109-89 in New York.

“It was a good back-to-back win because I am exhausted,” Drummond said, laughing.

WAITING GAME

Cavaliers G Kevin Porter Jr. (personal reasons) has yet to dress for a game as the front office mulls whether to discipline him for an offseason arrest. The second-year pro was expected to serve as Cleveland’s sixth man. “We’re still having those conversations, still working through the plan, organizationally,” Bickerstaff said.

TIP-INS

76ers: Embiid, a three-time All-Star, averaged 28 points and 12 rebounds in the first two games, leading the team in both categories against Washington and New York. … Howard committed a flagrant foul against Dante Exum in the second. … F Danny Green spent his rookie season with the Cavaliers, appearing in 20 games in 2009-10.

Cavaliers: Rookie F Isaac Okoro (left foot sprain) did not play after being injured at Detroit. The No. 5 overall draft pick started the first two games. … G Matthew Dellavedova (concussion) and rookie F Dylan Windler (broken left hand) also were inactive. … Cleveland debuted its rock-and-roll themed black alternate uniforms.

UP NEXT

76ers: Host Toronto on Tuesday. Philadelphia dropped three of four games to the then-NBA champion Raptors last season, but won the only matchup at Wells Fargo Center.

Cavaliers: Host New York on Tuesday. Cleveland then heads on the road for six games — its longest trip of the season — before returning home to play Memphis on Jan. 22.

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Rodgers, Adams shine in Packers’ 40-14 victory over Titans

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams created a picturesque atmosphere as they connected for three touchdown passes on a snow-covered Lambeau Field.

The Green Bay Packers teammates would love the opportunity to produce plenty of similar scenes next month by staying home throughout the NFC playoffs.

More Packers coverage from FOX Sports Wisconsin

Rodgers threw four touchdown passes as the Packers trounced the Tennessee Titans 40-14 for their fifth consecutive victory Sunday night.

“It’s tough to play in the cold,” said Rodgers, who went 21 of 25 for 231 yards with an interception. “It’s tough to play at Lambeau. I think we proved that tonight.”

Playing in the cold at Green Bay is tough for road teams, anyway. The Packers showed they can thrive on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field.

The Packers (12-3) already have clinched the NFC North title and can earn the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs if they win at Chicago (8-7) or Seattle (11-4) loses at San Francisco (6-9) next week.

This game showcased why the Packers want to make sure the playoffs go through Lambeau after losing on the road in three of the last six NFC championship games. With snow falling throughout the first half and continuing to cover much of the field the rest of the game, Green Bay moved the ball at will all night.

“People definitely don’t want to play in the cold,” Adams said. “It’s tough, man. It’s tough. It makes you a little bit less physical. It takes your speed away. If you don’t get to practice in this and get used to the temperature, the snow and all of that stuff, as you’ve seen, it can obviously take a toll. I think that team (Tennessee) is a really, really solid team that played with a lot less speed than they typically do.”

Green Bay ran wild behind 124 yards and two touchdowns from A.J. Dillon and 94 yards from Aaron Jones. Dillon, a second-round pick from Boston College, had run for just 115 yards all season during a rookie year in which he spent over a month on the COVID-19 reserve list.

Tennessee (10-5) squandered an opportunity to clinch its first AFC South championship since 2008. The Titans still can clinch a division title by winning at Houston (4-11) next week.

Adams’ three touchdown catches gave him 17 this season, one off the Packers’ single-season record that Sterling Sharpe set in 1994. Adams, who caught 11 passes for 142 yards Sunday, leads the NFL in touchdown receptions despite missing two games with a hamstring injury.

The Packers’ defense also played well while picking off two passes from Ryan Tannehill, who went 11 of 24 for 121 yards. Tennessee’s Derrick Henry rushed for 98 yards on 23 carries, ending his streak of nine consecutive road games in which he’d run for at least 100 yards.

Green Bay pulled ahead 19-0 when Rodgers threw touchdown passes on each of their first three possessions. Mason Crosby missed extra-point attempts after two of those touchdowns.

Adams capped Green Bay’s first drive by catching a pass behind the line of scrimmage, slipping out of Adoree Jackson’s grasp and diving into the right corner of the end zone.

Green Bay’s second series resulted in Equanimeous St. Brown’s first career touchdown on a 21-yard pass.

After Darnell Savage picked off Tannehill’s pass to give the Packers the ball in Green Bay territory, Adams beat Jackson again on a 7-yard touchdown early in the second quarter.

“I don’t think you can do that against anybody, with the mistakes that we made and the start that we had,” Titans coach Mike Vrabel said. “(It’s) just not going to be good enough and just too inconsistent.”

Tennessee got back in the game by scoring two touchdowns in a 3 ½-minute span midway through the game

Tannehill’s 12-yard touchdown pass to Jonnu Smith with 43 seconds left in the second quarter made it 19-7. On the opening series of the second half, Tannehill faked a handoff and raced 45 yards untouched to cut Tennessee’s lead to 19-14.

The Packers then capitalized on good fortune.

Aaron Jones bounced off someone around the line of scrimmage and then raced down the left sideline for a 59-yard gain that set up Rodgers’ 8-yard touchdown pass to Adams. The Packers snapped the ball just after a replay showed Jones stepped out of bounds during that run and gained well over 30 yards afterward.

“By the time the ball was snapped, that was the first view that we got as it was coming down,” Vrabel said. “That was unfortunate. I wish we’d been able to tackle him and set the edge when we had him in the backfield.”

INJURY REPORT

The Packers played without running back Jamaal Williams due to an injured quadriceps. Offensive tackle Rick Wagner suffered a knee injury.

UP NEXT

The Titans are at Houston.

The Packers are at Chicago.

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If Jared Goff’s thumb injury requires surgery, his season could be in jeopardy | DR. MATT

Dr. Matt Provencher breaks down the possibilities following Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff injuring his thumb on Sunday. He may be able to play through it, but if it requires surgery, his 2020 season could potentially be over.

3 HOURS AGO・National Football League・1:46

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Brandon Ingram scores 28 points, Pelicans beat Spurs 98-95

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Brandon Ingram had 28 points and 11 rebounds and the New Orleans Pelicans held on for a 98-95 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday night.

The Spurs had a chance to tie it after Steven Adams, whose put-back dunk put New Orleans up 97-91 with two minutes left, missed a pair of free throws with 11 seconds to go.

But Eric Bledsoe blocked DeMar DeRozan‘s 3-point attempt from behind in the final seconds to preserve the victory for New Orleans.

Zion Williamson had 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Pelicans, scoring about half of his points on dunks. Lonzo Ball had 16 points and five steals, and Josh Hart had 12 points and 11 rebounds off the bench.

Rudy Gay scored 22 points and Lonnie Walker IV had 16 for the Spurs, who lost for the first time after winning their first two regular season games. Keldon Johnson had 14 points and 11 rebounds, and Dejounte Murray had 13 points, but also turned the ball over six times.

New Orleans led by 15 in the third quarter when JJ Redick hit a pull-up jumper while being fouled by Gay and completed the 3-point play to make it 79-64.

The Spurs then suddenly seized momentum with a 21-3 run that put them back in front early in the fourth quarter.

Patty Mills‘ scored seven during the surge, starting with his 3-point. Murray added a banked, driving floater and layup, and Gay’s back-to-back layup and driving floater put San Antonio in front 85-82

The game remained tight after that, with the lead changing hands three more times.

The Pelicans, who finished the previous season in the NBA’s bubble at Disney World because of the COVID-19 pandemic, were playing their first regular-season game in New Orleans since March 6.

About 750 ticketed fans were permitted to attend the game in the lower bowl, but none within five closest rows to the court. A number of luxury suites that hang below the upper deck also were occupied. Team guests occupied a couple rows of floor seating opposite benches and spaced farther from the sideline that in normal times. Masks were required.

Many fans wore Pelicans or Spurs gear and gleefully danced in the stands during timeouts.

TIP INS

Spurs: DeRozan had 10 assists, and Mills finished with 10 points. San Antonio had won the previous four meetings, with its last loss in the series coming Nov. 19, 2018, in New Orleans. … The Spurs were playing their second game in two nights after beating Toronto in San Antonio on Saturday night. … San Antonio turned the ball over 15 times to the Pelicans’ eight turnovers.

Pelicans: Williamson and Ingram combined to shoot just 5 of 20 from the field in the first half, but New Orleans led 47-45 at halftime. … Redick missed his first six of his 3-point attempts, normally his forte, and New Orleans shot just 20.8% (5 of 24) from deep.

UP NEXT

Spurs: Host the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night in the first of three straight home games.

Pelicans: Begin a two-game road trip at Phoenix on Tuesday night.

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Coaches: Jones’ ‘fight IQ’ will be the difference maker at heavyweight

Jon Jones’ fight IQ alone makes him a nightmare matchup for just about everybody in the UFC heavyweight division, according to ‘Bone’s’ coaches Brandon Gibson and Mike Winkeljohn.

Jones recently vacated his UFC light heavyweight title and is expected to move up to heavyweight next year and, when he does, the 33-year-old will be just as dominant at heavyweight as he was at light heavyweight.

The difference maker will be his high fight IQ, say Gibson and Winkeljohn.

“Heavyweight’s a different animal, but Jon’s spent a lot of his career training with some of the best heavyweights in the world,” Jones’ coach Brandon Gibson told MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin in a recent interview. “I’ve seen Jon do hundreds of rounds with guys like [Alistair] Overeem and [Andrei] Arlovski and Travis Browne. We’ve had a plethora of great heavyweights come through Jackson’s, and Jon has been Jon Jones with all of them.

“Jon’s skill level is so high, his fight IQ is so high, that I don’t think somebody having a 20-pound advantage over Jon is going to make that much of a difference. He’s just such a skilled martial artist. I think the weight class intrigues Jon.”

“Jon has always done very well [against heavyweights],” Winkeljohn added. “He’s always had the ability to change up things and as far as fight IQ, Jon’s that guy. If he’s fighting a guy like Andrei Arlovski with a big overhand, he knows how to nullify it. If he’s fighting a guy like Alistair Overeem, who throws a big hook into a knee to the body, he knows how to avoid that.

“He’s very good at reading a fighter and knowing what the fighter’s going to do, sometimes before the fighter even knows himself. He’s wiped out a division, so it makes sense [to go to heavyweight]. I put money on Jon going to heavyweight and dominating there, too.”

Jones’ first fight at heavyweight hasn’t been booked but the pound-for-pound No. 2 is expected to fight for the title in his HW debut. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reports that the UFC would like Jones to face the winner of Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou, who are slated for a rematch in the new year.

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Covington: Poirier will ‘get sparked’ in the first by McGregor

Colby Covington thinks that the main event rematch between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 will end the same way as their first outing.

Covington is a former teammate of Poirier’s from when the pair both trained at American Top Team in Florida. “Chaos” left the team earlier this year after trading barbs with several members of the gym, such as Poirier and Jorge Masvidal.

Talking recently to Submission Radio, Covington said that Poirier will fall short to McGregor in their upcoming fight at UFC 257 and proceed to “cry to the world”.

“All I gotta say guys is make sure you guys got the Kleenex ready at the press conference,” Covington said. “Cause you know Dustin Sore-ier is going to break down on the mic.

“He’s gonna cry to the world, get everyone to feel sympathy and feel bad for him. He’s going to get sparked again in the first round ’cause he’s completely washed up and has no chin anymore and no heart. It’s not going to be competitive. I think Conor’s just going to spark him in the first round.”

McGregor stopped Poirier in the first round when they met at UFC 178 in September 2014. The two men are at very different points in their careers now, with Poirier winning the interim lightweight title last June whilst McGregor has only fought once in two years.

“Just get the Kleenex ready, cause Dustin’s gonna be crying up a storm at the press conference and get everybody to feel bad for him.

‘Wah-wah, feel bad for me, I didn’t accomplish my dream.’ Yeah, ’cause you’re a bitch. You didn’t work hard enough for it. What is up with society these days? People think everybody should get a participation trophy. Dustin needs his safe space. Go to your safe space, Dustin.”

Covington (16-2) last fought in September defeating Tyron Woodley by fifth-round TKO at UFC Vegas 11.

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Not bad for a ‘tablet’ but the 4gb kills and its only $139 more…

Best Buy is trying hard to get rid of its 4 GB Microsoft Surface Pro 7 stock for $560 USD (Source: Best Buy)

The low RAM capacity will instantly turn away most buyers. If that doesn’t bother you, however, then the sale isn’t so bad considering the display and support that come with the Surface family.

The Microsoft Surface Pro series is home to some of the best Windows tablets in the market. However, that doesn’t mean every configuration is a good deal. The cheapest SKUs often come with very low RAM and storage that will quickly fill up even for moderate applications.

The latest deal at Best Buy is for the Surface Pro 7 at its base-level configuration with a passively-cooled Core i3 Ice Lake CPU, 4 GB of RAM, and 128 GB SSD. These specifications are the bare minimum nowadays which make it sufficient for web browsing, emailing, and video playback. If that’s all you plan on doing, then the sale might be of interest especially since it includes the Type Cover keyboard. Otherwise, skip or invest in the a SKU with 8 GB of RAM for longer legs.

See our review on the Surface Pro 7 to learn more about the tablet and its features. Microsoft is rumored to launch a Surface Pro 8 in the first half of 2021.

  • 10th gen Core i3-1005G1
  • 12.3-inch  2736 x 1824 IPS touchscreen
  • USB-A, USB-C w/ DisplayPort and Power Delivery, 3.5 mm combo audio, Surface Connect
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 128 GB SSD
  • Wi-Fi 6
  • Rear 8 MP camera + front 5 MP camera
  • 8.5 x 292 x 201 mm
  • <1.067 kg

Allen Ngo, 2020-12-24 (Update: 2020-12-24)

After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There’s a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I’m not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.

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