The Sports Report: NBA games are canceled on Thursday, but will resume at some point

NBA playoffs court
NBA players have agreed to resume the postseason, although Thursday’s games were postponed while the league and players continued to work out details of the restart.
(Kim Klement / Associated Press)

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

Andrew Greif on the NBA: NBA players have agreed to resume the postseason, although Thursday’s slate of playoff games will be postponed while the league and players continue to work out details of the restart, a person with knowledge of the decision confirmed.

The three games scheduled for Thursday, including Game 6 of the Clippers’ first-round series against Dallas, will be played at a later date.

Members of the Clippers and Lakers voted not to play the rest of the season during a players-only meeting Wednesday evening at the NBA’s Disney World campus. But as players continued to meet and talk through the following morning, their position changed. A second meeting between players Thursday morning occurred at the same time as an emergency meeting of the league’s Board of Governors.

The stoppage began Wednesday when the Milwaukee Bucks refused to play Game 5 of their postseason series against Orlando. The Bucks’ arena is 40 miles north of Kenosha, Wis., where Jacob Blake was shot by police over the weekend. The shooting sparked protests against police brutality in Kenosha and quickly led players and coaches inside the NBA bubble to renew calls for racial justice.


Mike Bass, an executive vice president and spokesman for the NBA, said in a statement released Thursday that games will resume Friday or Saturday and that representatives from the owners and players groups will discuss the near future.


LZ Granderson: A tale of two viruses: COVID-19 has nothing on racism

Editorial: Slogans and T-shirts aren’t working. The NBA players’ strike was the most powerful message they could send

News Analysis: NBA season saved, social reform still at forefront for players

Complete coverage: Athletes protest shooting of Jacob Blake

Lakers-Trail Blazers schedule


Game 1: Portland 100, Lakers 93
Game 2: Lakers 111, Portland 88
Game 3: Lakers 116, Portland 108
Game 4: Lakers 135, Portland 115
Game 5: TBD
Game 6*: TBD
Game 7*: TBD

*-if necessary

Clippers-Mavericks schedule

Game 1: Clippers 118, Dallas 110
Game 2: Dallas 127, Clippers 114
Game 3: Clippers 130, Dallas 122
Game 4: Dallas 135, Clippers 133 (OT)
Game 5: Clippers 154, Dallas 111
Game 6: TBD
Game 7*: TBD

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Helene Elliott on the NHL: The NHL postponed two Stanley Cup playoff games that were scheduled on Thursday and two others scheduled for Friday, a decision made after league officials drew wide criticism for their initial mild reaction to percolating social justice issues that have shaken up the sports world. Those issues, brought back to the forefront by the shooting of Jacob Blake by police in Kenosha, Wis., prompted teams in the NBA and WNBA to refuse to play their playoff games on Wednesday and also led several MLS and Major League Baseball teams to decline to play in protest of racial injustice.

The NHL’s postponements, announced Thursday, involved second-round games in the league’s two playoff hubs. The Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders had been scheduled to face off at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto with their series tied at one game each, and the Vegas Golden Knights had been scheduled to face the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Place in Edmonton in a series also tied at 1-1. Friday’s postponements encompass Game 4 of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s series against the Boston Bruins, and Game 4 of the Colorado Avalanche’s series against the Dallas Stars. Tampa Bay and Dallas each hold a 2-1 series lead.

“After much discussion, NHL Players believe that the best course of action would be to take a step back and not play tonight’s and tomorrow’s games as scheduled. The NHL supports the Players’ decision and will reschedule those four games beginning Saturday and adjust the remainder of the Second Round schedule accordingly,” according to a statement issued jointly by the NHL and the NHL Players’ Assn.


Thue Nhi Nguyen on the WNBA: After postponing three games Wednesday, the WNBA will extend its stoppage at least through Thursday’s games in light of the Jacob Blake shooting, but players are committed to continuing the season in Bradenton, Fla., after what Sparks forward and WNBPA president Nneka Ogwumike called a “moment of reflection.”


“As a group, we decided last night that we want to play,” Ogwumike said Thursday during an interview on ESPN. “There are games scheduled tomorrow, and that’s what we’re ready to do, but that doesn’t come without demands of the players to continue to amplify our voices in more ways than when we came here. We realize that the work is not easy, but we also understand the work is never done.”

The WNBA will work to reschedule the three games originally planned for Thursday — Chicago-Indiana, Dallas-New York and Las Vegas-Seattle — along with the three games missed Wednesday.


Jorge Castillo on the Dodgers: Mookie Betts didn’t plan on playing Thursday. One game, a doubleheader. It didn’t matter. The Dodgers star right fielder left Oracle Park on Wednesday intending to protest racial injustice and police brutality following Jacob Blake’s shooting by sitting out again. And the first lineup the Dodgers released for Game 1 of their doubleheader against the San Francisco Giants reflected those feelings. Betts’ name wasn’t listed.

But Betts told Dodgers manager Dave Roberts on Thursday morning that he had changed his mind. He wanted to play after igniting the Dodgers and Giants’ collective decision to have Wednesday’s game postponed, creating the first scheduled seven-inning doubleheader in franchise history.

The change, according to Roberts, arose after Betts spoke to Black players around the league. Betts determined he could better use his platform by playing. So, Roberts changed the lineup for his best player. Betts batted first and played right field in the Dodgers’ 7-0 and 2-0 seven-inning wins.

“Just to not divide each and every one of us,” Betts said after Game 1 when asked why he elected to play on the television broadcast. “We have a great clubhouse here and I don’t want to put anybody in an uncomfortable position. So, I’ll go play and I’ll make sure I take care of those off-the-field things.”



Maria Torres on the Angels: General manager Billy Eppler entered this season as a lame duck, feeling pressure to field a contender in the last year of his contract. Now Monday’s trade deadline is approaching and the Angels aren’t buyers.


Eppler will spend the next few days fielding calls and trying to ensure the long-term viability of the team. All while coming to grips with the probability that nothing he does will save his job.

“I just try to approach everything with a vision of how to continue to keep this organization well-positioned,” he said by phone Wednesday. “Control the controllable and do your job. Try to keep it simple. Start thinking about too much, then you get caught up in the fog.”

Angels owner Arte Moreno declared vaguely in February, before the coronavirus outbreak struck the U.S., that Eppler had to satisfy “a lot of pieces” to receive a new deal. Then Moreno specified one thing: “As a group, we need to win.”

Eppler, hired in October 2015, has never celebrated a winning record in Anaheim — or even a .500 finish. Barring a miracle, Trout and the Angels will miss the postseason for a sixth year despite an expanded playoff field.


First round (all games in Orlando, Fla.)
All times Pacific



No. 3 Denver Nuggets vs. No. 6 Utah Jazz

Game 1: Denver 135, Utah 125 (OT)
Game 2: Utah 124, Denver 105
Game 3: Utah 124, Denver 87
Game 4: Utah 129, Denver 127
Game 5: Denver 117, Utah 107
Game 6: TBD
Game 7*: TBD

No. 4 Houston Rockets vs. No. 5 Oklahoma City Thunder

Game 1: Houston 123, Oklahoma City 108
Game 2: Houston 111, Oklahoma City 98
Game 3: Oklahoma City 119, Houston 107
Game 4: Oklahoma City 117, Houston 114
Game 5: TBD
Game 6: TBD
Game 7*: TBD


No. 1 Milwaukee Bucks vs. No. 8 Orlando Magic

Game 1: Orlando 122, Milwaukee 110
Game 2: Milwaukee 111, Orlando 96
Game 3: Milwaukee 121, Orlando 107
Game 4: Milwaukee 121, Orlando 106
Game 5: TBD
Game 6*: TBD
Game 7*: TBD



No. 2 Toronto vs. No. 3 Boston Celtics

Game 1: TBD
Game 2: TBD
Game 3: TBD
Game 4: TBD
Game 5:* TBD
Game 6*: TBD
Game 7*: TBD

* – If necessary


No. 1 Philadelphia Flyers vs. No. 6 New York Islanders

Game 1: NY Islanders 4, Philadelphia 0
Game 2: Philadelphia 4, NY Islanders 3 (OT)
Game 3: Saturday, 9 a.m., NBC
Game 4: TBD
Game 5: TBD
Game 6*: TBD
Game 7*: TBD

No. 2 Tampa Bay Lightning vs. No. 4 Boston Bruins

Game 1: Boston 3, Tampa Bay 2
Game 2: Tampa Bay 4, Boston 3 (OT)
Game 3: Tampa Bay 7, Boston 1
Game 4: Sunday, 5 p.m., NBC
Game 5: TBD
Game 6*: TBD
Game 7*: TBD

Western Conference, all games in Edmonton

No. 1 Vegas Golden Knights vs. No. 5 Vancouver Canucks


Game 1: Vegas 5, Vancouver 0
Game 2: Vancouver 5, Vegas 2
Game 3: Saturday, 5 p.m., NBCSN
Game 4: TBD
Game 5: TBD
Game 6*: TBD
Game 7*: TBD

No. 2 Colorado Avalanche vs. No. 3 Dallas Stars

Game 1: Dallas 5, Colorado 3
Game 2: Dallas 5, Colorado 2
Game 3: Colorado 6, Dallas 4
Game 4: TBD
Game 5*: TBD
Game 6*: TBD
Game 7*: TBD

*-if necessary


All times Pacific.

Dodgers at Texas, 5 p.m., Sportsnet LA, AM 570

Seattle at Angels, 6:30 p.m., FSW, KLAA 830


1908 — Fred McLeod wins the U.S. Open golf title with a one-stroke victory over Willie Smith in a playoff.

1922 — The oldest American international team golf match, the Walker Cup, is established with the United States beating Britain 8-4.

1949 — The United States wins the Davis Cup, beating Australia 4-1.

1950 — Althea Gibson becomes the first black player to compete in the U.S. Open. Gibson wins her first round match, defeating Barbara Knapp of Britain 6-2, 6-2, at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, N.Y.

1956 — Australia sweeps the United States 5-0 to capture the Davis Cup.

1959 — Bye Bye Byrd sets a world record for the mile pace on a half-mile track in 1:57 4-5 at Roosevelt Raceway.

1976 — The Toronto Metros win the NASL championship with a 3-0 victory over the Minnesota Kicks.


1989 — Eighteen-year-old Pete Sampras wins his first U.S. Open singles match in four sets over Agustin Moreno of Mexico.

1990 — Stefan Edberg becomes the first top-seeded player, since John Newcombe in 1971, to lose in the first round of the U.S. Open. Edberg loses to Alexander Volkov of the Soviet Union, 6-3, 7-6, 6-2.

1993 — Pinch-hitter Jeremy Hess’ bases-loaded single with two outs in the sixth inning gives Long Beach, Calif. a 3-2 victory over Panama in the championship game of the Little League World Series.

1994 — Tiger Woods, 18, becomes the youngest winner in the history of the U.S. Amateur Golf Championship, capturing the last three holes of his 36-hole title match against Trip Kuehne.

1995 — Monica Seles, plays in her first Grand Slam tournament in more than 2 1/2 years and beats Ruxandra Dragomir 6-3, 6-1 in first round of the U.S. Open.

2008 — In one of the biggest upsets in the sport’s history, top-seeded Ana Ivanovic is ousted from the U.S. Open. Ivanovic is beaten by 188th-ranked Julie Coin 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in the second round. Never before in the Open era that began in 1968 had the No. 1 woman lost this early in the tournament.


2009 — Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva bounces back from losing her world title by setting a world record of 16 feet, 7 1/4 inches in the Weltklasse meet in Zurich.

2011 — Three-time PGA Tour winner Kirk Triplett won the News Sentinel Open in Knoxville, Tenn. to become the oldest winner in Nationwide Tour history. At 49 years, 4 months, 29 days, Triplett closes with his second straight 4-under 68 for a one-stroke victory over Marco Dawson.

2014 — Acknowledging he “didn’t get it right” with a two-game suspension for Ravens running back Ray Rice, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announces tougher penalties for players accused of domestic violence, including six weeks for a first offense and at least a year for a second.

2014 — Kenny Hill breaks Johnny Manziel’s single-game passing record with 511 yards and No. 21 Texas A&M beat No. 9 South Carolina 52-28. Hill, in his first career start, finishes 44 of 60 with three touchdowns.

And finally

The Dodgers discuss why they didn’t play Wednesday. Watch it here.

Until next time...

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