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Sports news from Los Angeles and beyond
Seahawks' Richard Sherman, Doug Baldwin call NFL policies 'hypocritical'

Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch has been criticized for the way he talks -- or doesn’t talk -- to the media, a practice that recently cost him $100,000 in NFL fines.

On Tuesday, two of his teammates, wide receiver Doug Baldwin and cornerback Richard Sherman, took a turn at critiquing the league's policies in a mock news conference at the Seahawks facility.

"You know the other day, Marshawn Lynch got fined $100,000," Sherman said, via the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. "Did you know that? They wouldn't have paid him $100,000 if he had talked. Doug, do you think they would have paid him?"

Baldwin, hiding behind a cardboard cutout of himself responded: "No, they sure would not.”

The pair went on to name-drop several of their sponsors, which do pay the players, before getting in a few more digs at the league.

"It seems like we’re in a league where they say: 'Players, you know, you don't endorse any alcohol. Please don’t endorse alcohol; no DUIs please.' But yet, a beer sponsor is...

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What we learned from the Kings' 4-3 shootout loss at Nashville

What we learned from the Kings’ 4-3 loss to Nashville in a six-round shootout Tuesday:

The Kings don’t do well in long shootouts against Nashville

As center Anze Kopitar recalled, they lost an eight-round shootout to Nashville on Jan. 31, 2013. The Predators’ goaltender that night, as on Tuesday, was Pekka Rinne. Jonathan Quick was the Kings’ goalie in that eight-round tiebreaker; Martin Jones was their goalie on Tuesday.

“Jonesy gave us a chance and we just couldn’t score,” Kopitar said Tuesday.

Jones, incidentally, won a nine-round shootout in his NHL debut last Dec. 3. The opponent that time was the Ducks. So maybe he likes long shootouts.

Winning on the road is still a problem for the Kings

Yes, the Kings are a solid 10-2-1 at home, but they’ve got to improve on a road record that’s so far merely 1-4-4. Their last road game in November -- on Wednesday in St. Paul, Minn. -- is the finale of this trip, but in December they’ll play eight of 14 games away from home.

Defenseman Jamie...

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USC starts second half strong, gets stops at end to defeat Fullerton

USC nearly blew a 14-point second-half lead but held on to defeat Cal State Fullerton, 53-49, on Tuesday night at the Galen Center.

With less than two minutes to play, the Titans had slashed USC's once-comfortable lead to only two points.

But the Trojans' defense stiffened and a dunk by USC guard Julian Jacobs with four seconds left sealed a victory that lifted USC's record to 3-3. Fullerton dropped to 1-3.

USC Coach Andy Enfield said he was especially pleased with a win that completed a stretch of six games in 11 days for the Trojans, including three games at the Charleston Classic tournament. The team flew home from South Carolina on Monday.

"We held them to 32%," Enfield said of the Titans' 18-for-56 shooting.

USC forwards Darion Clark and Nikola Jovanovic combined for 25 rebounds, 14 by Clark.

"They really helped us inside," Enfield said.

Jovanovic also led the Trojans in scoring with 13 points.

Even so, Enfield said, "We still missed a lot of easy shots. At some point you've got...

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UCLA rises to No. 8 in latest College Football Playoff rankings

UCLA's win over crosstown rival USC last weekend helped move the Bruins to No. 8 in Tuesday's College Football Playoff rankings.

UCLA has two weekends to reach the No. 4 playoff spot.

If the Bruins beat Stanford on Friday, they will advance to the Pac-12 title game against Oregon.

This week's top four remained the same: Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Mississippi State. Texas Christian remained at No. 5, followed by Ohio State, Baylor, UCLA, Georgia and Michigan State.

Mississippi fell from No. 8 to No. 19 after last week's 30-0 loss to Arkansas.

Arizona moved up four spots to No. 11, two spots ahead of No. 13 Arizona State.

The top four teams in the final rankings of Dec. 7 will advance to semifinal games at the Rose and Sugar bowls. The winners will meet Jan. 12 for the national title at AT&T Stadium in Texas. 

Tuesday marked the debut of two "Group of 5" conference schools in the top 25. Boise State (9-2) entered the rankings at No. 23 while Marshall (11-0) is No. 24.

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NHL franchise values soaring, according to Forbes ranking

The average value of the NHL’s 30 franchises rose to a record $490 million over the past year, and three franchises reached or topped the $1-billion mark, according to data published Tuesday by Forbes.

The Toronto Maple Leafs led the list with an estimated value of $1.3 billion, followed by the New York Rangers ($1.1 billion), the Montreal Canadiens ($1 billion), the Chicago Blackhawks ($825 million) and the Vancouver Canucks ($800 million).

The value of the Canadian franchises was boosted by the league’s media rights agreement with Rogers Communications, a deal reportedly worth $4.6 billion over 12 years.

Here’s a link to the full list from Forbes.

The Kings were ranked 10th at a value of $580 million, up 29% from a year ago. Their 2013-14 operating income was put at $21.4 million. The Ducks were ranked 18th, with a value of $365 million, up 22% over a year ago, with an estimated 2013-14 operating loss of $3.7 million.

Representatives of the Kings and Ducks declined to comment on the...

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Clippers praise DeAndre Jordan's defense in win over Hornets

DeAndre Jordan had 11 points and 12 rebounds in the Clippers' 113-92 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Monday. He also held Al Jefferson, who averages 20.7 points a game, to 16.

After the win, Jordan's teammates were singing his praises on the defensive end.

"Al [Jefferson] scored a couple of times in the first half, and I hear him getting down on himself," Blake Griffin said of Jordan. "I'm like, 'They throw it to him all the time, and he had 10 points at half and finished with 14.'"

The Clippers think that Jordan has been passed over for defensive awards, after he didn't win defensive player of the year last season or even make the all-defensive team.

Griffin apparently thinks that Jordan undersells himself as well.

"I just don't think he understands his impact unless he's actually blocking every single shot -- because sometimes, he does do that," Griffin said.

"When you have a game like that where you block every shot, not every shot, but are playing at such a high level defensively...

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