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Notes on a Scorecard

Pat Riley should not have to apologize to anyone for resting Magic Johnson, James Worthy and Mychal Thompson the final night of the regular season in Portland. . . .

It was the wise and proper thing to do. The game was meaningless. Byron Scott already was hurting. Why risk further injuries five days before the start of the playoffs? . . .

The guy stirring up the fuss, Trail Blazer President Harry Glickman, may be using this as a psychological ploy. Just a little something more to arouse the Portland fans should the Lakers and Blazers meet in the playoffs. . . .

If the Lakers beat the Blazers by 29 points--as they did March 31 at the Forum--will Glickman accuse Riley of pouring it on? . . .

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Maybe King Coach Tom Webster should have put Mario Gosselin, not Ron Scott, in the nets at 0:00 of the first period instead of 12:13 of the second period Sunday night at the Forum. . . .

But the real difference in this series is in the other net. Bill Ranford continues to sizzle for Edmonton. He gave up four goals in Game 3, but prevented so many others that he was voted first star. . . .

How important is a hot goaltender at playoff time? Well, just imagine the Dodgers being able to start Orel Hershiser every night in the National League Championship Series and World Series. . . .

Ranford never has been compared to the all-time greats. The Oilers’ injured goalie, Grant Fuhr, has. But Ranford has been to his team the last few games what Richard Brodeur was to the Vancouver Canucks when they reached the Stanley Cup finals in 1982. . . .

Clearly, the Kings have missed the steady, grinding play of Dave Taylor. . . .

Regular King goaltender Kelly Hrudey is 0-6-2 against the Oilers this season. . . .

Wayne Gretzky earned his pay in Game 3, playing courageously and effectively after reinjuring his back. . . .

However, the Great One and Bruce McNall would just as soon forget Sunday. A couple of hours before the Kings took the Forum ice, Frankly Perfect--the stakes runner co-owned by McNall, Gretzky and Jerry Buss--stepped in a hole and was injured during the San Juan Capistrano Handicap at Santa Anita. . . .

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If Clipper owner Donald Sterling expects to sign a big-name coach to succeed Don Casey, he’s going to have to pay big time for it. Hubie Brown, among others, has turned down the job in the past because of meager contract offers. . . .

The Clippers are about to make their 13th coaching change since 1970. During the same period, the Angels have made 11 such changes, the Kings 11, the Lakers five, the Rams four, the Raiders three and the Dodgers one. . . .

Utah (55-27) vs. Phoenix (54-28) is the most attractive first-round matchup since the NBA went to the 16-team playoff format. . . .

Funny how often Jose Canseco gets misquoted out of context--or at least claims he does. . . . With their thin bullpen, Jay Howell is the player could least afford to lose. However, Jeff Hamilton’s injury may prove to be a blessing to the Dodgers because it has given Lenny Harris a chance to play at least against right-handed pitching. . . .

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The Premiere Handicap, which has been changed to the Shoemaker Handicap and will be run Sunday at Hollywood Park, was the only race in which Citation ever finished out of the money. Big Cy either won, placed or showed in each of his 45 career starts except for the 1951 Premiere, in which he finished fifth. . . .

George Foreman, the 1968 heavyweight boxing gold medalist, has been nominated for the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. . . .

Among the highlights of the USC-UCLA track and field meet Saturday at the Coliseum will be the Legends’ eight-man, 800-meter relay. UCLA will feature four former NCAA champions--Warren Edmonson, John Smith, Milan Tiff and Benny Brown. The USC lineup will include two former world record-holders and Olympic Games champions--Rex Cawley and Don Quarrie. . . .

Who do you like in the MISL playoffs? . . .

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Either the Rams made a great deal when they traded a fifth-round draft choice for New York Jet starting cornerback Bobby Humphery or Humphery is no good. . . .

The Herschel Walker trade made it possible for the Rams to draft Bern Brostek in the first round. If Minnesota hadn’t sent its first pick to Dallas, the Vikings most likely would have taken the University of Washington center. . . .

Idaho quarterback John Friesz was the Rodney Peete of this draft. . . .

The Atlanta Falcons must think more of Chris Hinton than Eric Dickerson does. . . .

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Don’t tell Joe Montana that defense is what wins championships. . . .

I wonder if Al Unser Jr. has ever gotten a speeding ticket in Long Beach.


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