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The Sports Report: Chip Kelly tested positive for the coronavirus

Chip Kelly
Chip Kelly
(Associated Press)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

Ben Bolch on UCLA football: Coach Chip Kelly tested positive for the novel coronavirus in late March after campus was shut down, according to multiple people close to the football team who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss a private health issue.

Kelly does not know how he contracted the virus, the people close to the team said. He was tested after experiencing mild symptoms and having followed all public health recommendations, including physical distancing, wearing a mask outside his home and not socializing or going anywhere except to obtain essentials such as groceries. His wife, Jill, also tested positive and recovered at home.

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Kelly and UCLA athletic department officials declined to comment on his positive test.

The coach immediately informed athletic department officials, staff and coaches as well as players and their families of his positive test. No one associated with the team or athletic department had to quarantine as a result of Kelly’s positive test. He shared his story with his team to demonstrate how players should take the virus seriously.

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LAKERS

Tania Ganguli on the Lakers: Just as halftime was about to expire, Dwight Howard took a three-pointer and sank it. Then he shuffled to his right and sank another from the top of the arc.

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During the regular season, the Lakers joked about Howard being a three-point specialist given that his shooting percentage was so high. After all, at one point in the season, Howard had made all of the threes he’d taken (1 out of 1).

Howard didn’t get much playing time in Thursday night’s game against the Houston Rockets. The Lakers decided to use smaller lineups against a Rockets team that likes to do the same. They even made starting center JaVale McGee inactive.

At center they played Anthony Davis, who typically prefers to play power forward. They started Kyle Kuzma at power forward, Danny Green at small forward, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope at shooting guard and Quinn Cook at point guard.

The Lakers fell to the Rockets, 113-97. Rockets star James Harden led all scorers with 39 points, playing 35 minutes. Kuzma led the Lakers with 21 points, making eight of his 16 shots, with five rebounds, three assists and two blocks. Davis played 30 minutes and scored 17 points with 12 rebounds and seven turnovers.

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It was a night for experimentation given what players the Lakers had available.

“I don’t think this is going to be a long-term solution for us,” Lakers Coach Frank Vogel said before the game. “It’s something that after we played them last time I wanted to play around with. Really doesn’t have anything to do with how we played the last couple of games offensively. It’s just something that… you collect sample sizes in the regular season for things that work and don’t work against certain matchups and this is something I felt like I wanted to do.”

CLIPPERS

Andrew Greif on the Clippers: Clippers center Ivica Zubac slipped toward the rim Thursday night and, catching a pass, dunked with both hands as a chorus of yells erupted from his team’s bench in the opposite corner inside HP Field House.

Dallas immediately called a timeout, its deficit now eight points with four minutes to play in the third quarter. But before Zubac could reach a padded seat for a moment of rest, teammate Joakim Noah came off the bench and delivered a two-handed shove to Zubac’s chest. The two centers smiled.

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It was one of the few moments Thursday, during a 126-111 Clippers victory, when Zubac encountered resistance getting where he wanted to be. The young center made all his 10 shots to finish with 21 points, tying Charles Smith for the most field goals made in a game without a miss. He also grabbed 15 rebounds — including six on the offensive glass, only few less than the Mavericks’ entire roster managed.

“He was phenomenal,” coach Doc Rivers said.

GOLF

Sam Farmer on the PGA: Jason Day, the 2015 PGA champion, shot a five-under 65 to take the early lead at the PGA Championship, his first bogey-free round at a major since the third round of the 2017 British Open. By the time the sun broke through in the afternoon, creating postcard views, Brendon Todd tied Day at five under. Todd’s best finish in a major was a tie for 12th in the 2015 British Open.

Lurking one stroke behind Day and Todd is a group that includes Brooks Koepka, Zach Johnson, and Martin Kaymer, each of whom has won multiple majors.

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In fact, Koepka is the two-time defending PGA champion and looking to join Walter Hagen as the only players to win the Wanamaker Trophy three years in a row. Hagen actually strung together four such wins from 1924-27.

“I mean, it’s only 18 holes right now,” said Koepka, who had six birdies to offset his two bogeys. “I feel good. I feel confident. I’m excited for the next three days. I think I can definitely play a lot better, and just need to tidy a few things up, and we’ll be there come Sunday on the back nine.”

Tiger Woods is in a group at two-under despite missing seven of 14 fairways, and at one point five in a row. He made birdie putts of eight, 32, 14, and 12 feet, and a nearly 21-footer for par. A four-time PGA champion, Woods shot a 68 for his lowest opening round in this tournament since 2009 (67).

ANGELS

Mike DiGiovanna on the Angels: The quick hook that Angels manager Joe Maddon has wielded with his starting pitchers in the first two weeks of the season — usually to the detriment of his team — was nowhere to be found in T-Mobile Park Thursday afternoon in Seattle.

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Dylan Bundy got into an early rhythm and was so effective and efficient with his four-pitch mix that Maddon rode the burly right-hander down the backstretch and to the finish line of a 6-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

Bundy, acquired in a December trade with Baltimore, became the first Angels pitcher to throw a complete game in more than two years, giving up one run and four hits, striking out 10 and walking none, to help the Angels to their first series win of the season.

Mixing his 91-mph fastball with pinpoint control of an 80-mph slider, 82-mph changeup and 73-mph curve, Bundy needed only 107 pitches — 76 of them strikes — to go the distance, the first Angel to do so since Andrew Heaney’s one-hit shutout of the Kansas City Royals on June 5, 2018.

DUCKS

The Ducks have re-signed defenseman Jacob Larsson to a two-year, $2.4-million deal.

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The Ducks announced the return of their restricted free agent Thursday.

Larsson will make $1.1 million next season and $1.3 million in the 2021-22 campaign.

The 23-year-old Swede has two goals and 14 assists in 113 games over the past three seasons with the Ducks, who drafted him in the first round in 2015. He set career highs with two goals and 11 assists in 60 games last season.

TODAY’S LOCAL MAJOR SPORTS SCHEDULE

All times Pacific.

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San Francisco at Dodgers, 6:30 p.m., SportsNet LA, AM 570

Angels at Texas, 6 p.m., FSW, KLAA 830

Sparks at Las Vegas, 7 p.m., ESPN2

THIS DATE IN SPORTS

Hal Sutton overcame some heart-stopping moments on the back nine at Riviera Country Club that included three straight bogeys on this date in 1983, and edged Jack Nicklaus by one stroke to win the PGA Championship for his first major title.

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Sutton saw a five-shot lead dwindle to just one but he parred the final three holes to hold off Nicklaus who finished second for the 19th time in a major tournament. Sutton’s total for the four rounds was 10-under par 274, a score that was two shots better than what Ben Hogan shot at Riviera in winning the 1948 U.S. Open.

Nicklaus was the first to offer congratulations to Sutton. “That will be the first of many for you.”

More memorable games and outstanding sports performances on August 7 through the years:

1907 — Rookie right-hander Walter Johnson, at 19 years old, recorded the first of his 417 big league victories when he pitched the Washington Senators to a 7-2 win over the Cleveland Indians at Washington. Johnson, known as “The Big Train,” played his entire 21-year career for the Senators and his 417 victories are second on the all-time list behind Cy Young’s 511. He was one of the inaugural members of baseball’s Hall of Fame when he was elected in 1936.

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1982 — Tommy Haughton, 25, was the youngest driver to win the Hambletonian Stakes when he drove Speed Bowl to victory in the classic trotting race’s 10-horse final at Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, N.Y. With Jazz Cosmos ahead after three-fourths of a mile, Speed Bowl closed in on the leader and Haughton urged him to push his neck in front in the final few strides to win in one minute, 57 seconds.

1983 — Distance runner Grete Waitz of Norway won the women’s marathon in the first world track and field championships at Olympic Stadium at Helsinki, Finland. Waitz ran the 26.2 miles in two hours, 28 minutes and nine seconds, ahead of Marianne Dickerson of the United States and Raisa Smekhnova of the Soviet Union. The Norwegian took the lead at the 19-mile mark and won by over three minutes.

1994 — Carolyn Hill won her first and only LPGA tournament when she shot a final-round 69 that gave her a three-stroke victory over Nancy Ramsbottom at the McCall’s Classic at Stratton Mountain Country Club in Stratton Mountain, Vt. Hill, who tied the tournament record of 13-under-par 275, had made a tour-record 359 starts over 14 years without finishing in first place.

1999 — Wade Boggs, 41, who wound up his stellar career in Tampa Bay, was the first major league player to collect his 3,000th hit with a home run when he connected on a two-run shot off of Chris Haney of the Cleveland Indians at Tropicana Field. Despite Boggs’ milestone, the Devil Rays went on to lose 15-10.

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2007 — Barry Bonds, who was suspected of using steroids, broke Henry Aaron’s storied home run record when he hit No. 756 off Mike Bacsik of the Washington Nationals over the right-center field fence in the fifth inning at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Although Aaron did not attend the game, he recorded a congratulatory message in a video tape that was played on the scoreboard.

2012 — Aly Raisman, 18, was the first U.S. woman gymnast to win a gold medal in floor exercise and she also picked up a bronze medal on the balance beam on the final day of competition at the London Summer Olympics. Raisman, the captain of the U.S. team, just missed a medal in the all-around, when she finished with the same score as Russia’s Aliya Mustafina, but dropped to fourth place on a tiebreaker.

2016 — Three years after Jim Furyk became the sixth player to shoot a 59, he took it even lower at the Travelers Championship when he fired a 58 in the final round, the first ever on the PGA Tour, at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn. Furyk had an eagle and seven straight birdies when he made the turn and his last birdie came at No. 16. He finished tied for fifth at 11-under par, three strokes behind the winner Russell Knox.

2016 — Ichiro Suzuki of the Miami Marlins hit a stand-up triple off the wall in the seventh inning from a pitch by reliever Chris Rusin for his 3,000th hit in the major leagues. He became the 30th player and the first from Japan to reach the milestone in a 10-7 win over Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Suzuki’s hit gave him a total of 4,278 for 25 seasons at the time, nine of which were played in Japan.

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SOURCES: The Times, Associated Press

And finally

Ichiro Suzuki gets his 3,000th hit. Watch it here.

Until next time...

That concludes today’s newsletter. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.


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