The Sports Report: Clippers win a tough Game 3 against Denver
Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.
Andrew Greif on the Clippers: The Clippers were beat back on defense multiple times Monday. They allowed Denver star Nikola Jokic to walk into open three-point looks. Boxing out was a problem. Denver put the Clippers in several holes but the Clippers, at times, were just as happy to grab the shovel, too.
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Yet when it came time to stop playing around, the second-seeded Clippers finally proved clutch in a 113-107 victory in Game 3 to grab control of the series with a 2-1 lead.
Paul George was the sharpest Clipper throughout the night, scoring 32 points and making five three-pointers, but Kawhi Leonard produced its most indelible moment when he blocked – using only his middle finger – Denver point guard Jamal Murray’s dunk attempt at the rim with 1:47 remaining in a six-point game.
It was part of a quarter the Nuggets would like to forget, after making just one of their last nine three-pointers. The Clippers ended a 12-6 run to win, keyed by the defense that had appeared absent for much of the previous three quarters.
Leonard finished with 24 points, 14 rebounds and six assists.
Denver’s Jokic scored 32 points, with 12 rebounds and eight assists and Murray added 14 points.
No. 2 Clippers vs. No. 3 Denver
All times Pacific
Game 1: Clippers 120, Denver 97
Game 2: Denver 110, Clippers 101
Game 3: Clippers 113, Denver 107
Game 4: Wednesday, 6 p.m., ESPN
Game 5: Friday, TBD, TNT
Game 6*: Sunday, TBD, ESPN
Game 7*: Tuesday, Sept. 15, TBD, ESPN
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Tania Ganguli on the Lakers: On Sunday night, Rajon Rondo had a bounce-back game, one that caused his teammates and coaches to gush about his impact. Whereas Rondo was mostly a liability in a Game 1 loss to the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference semifinals, he was instrumental in the Lakers’ win in Game 2. His plus/minus rating was the highest on the team at plus-28. He finished with 10 points, nine assists, five steals and three rebounds.
“He was just extremely aggressive, not only offensively but defensively — taking the challenge on James [Harden], taking the challenge on whoever he was guarding,” Lakers forward LeBron James said. “Just trying to lead. I mean, that’s what ‘Do is. He’s a leader. And for us to have him back in the postseason, it’s a key for our team.”
No. 1 Lakers vs. No. 4 Houston
All times Pacific
Game 1: Houston 112, Lakers 97
Game 2: Lakers 117, Houston 109
Game 3: Tuesday, 6 p.m., TNT
Game 4: Thursday, TBD, TNT
Game 5: Saturday, TBD, ESPN
Game 6*: Monday, TBD, TNT
Game 7*: Wed., Sept. 16, TBD, TNT
Jeff Miller on the Chargers: The NFL is about to be introduced to Joe Burrow.
For the Chargers, the meeting Sunday will be more a case of getting reacquainted.
With the preseason canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Burrow’s first appearance for Cincinnati will come against the Chargers in the teams’ season opener.
While the Chargers can’t know for certain how the Bengals’ offense will look behind the quarterbacking of Burrow, they do know exactly how the No. 1 NFL draft pick will look.
“We did a lot of work on him last year just like on all the quarterbacks,” general manager Tom Telesco said. “We saw a lot of him, as far as his skill set.”
Having the sixth pick in this year’s draft, the Chargers interviewed Burrow at the combine and had at least one video call with him.
Cincinnati, which held the top selection, was the obvious frontrunner to take Burrow. But, in doing their pre-draft work, the Chargers studied him just in case.
Gary Klein on the Rams: The Rams are working on moves to reconfigure the bottom of the roster before Sunday’s opener against the Dallas Cowboys. The top of the roster — specifically the contract situations of star cornerback Jalen Ramsey and receiver Cooper Kupp — remains subject to urgent maneuvering.
Ramsey and Kupp are beginning the final year of their rookie contracts, and both are seeking extensions.
Monday’s practice was closed to reporters but Ramsey and Kupp participated and were “dialed in and ready to go” for the season, according to general manager Les Snead.
Snead and coach Sean McVay, in separate video conferences with reporters, declined to detail where negotiations stood with Ramsey’s and Kupp’s representatives. In the last two years, the Rams awarded massive contracts to defensive tackle Aaron Donald and quarterback Jared Goff in the days leading up to the opener.
“If we’re able to get something done, it’s usually right in these next couple of days is that window of time that’s kind of been consistent for some of our guys,” McVay said, adding, “Whether or not we’re able to get that done, we remain optimistic.”
Serena Williams has advanced to the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open for a 12th consecutive appearance.
It wasn’t easy, though.
Williams needed to come from behind in the third set before taking another step closer to Grand Slam title No. 24 by edging Maria Sakkari 6-3, 6-7 (6), 6-3 on Monday. Williams was in a three-set comeback win over Sloane Stephens in the previous round.
This was a rematch from less than two weeks ago at the Western & Southern Open. That one was won by Sakkari, also in three sets, when Williams dealt with leg cramps and faded down the stretch.
This time, Williams was two points from victory at 6-all in the tiebreaker but dropped the next two points and the set. Then she trailed 2-0 in the third before turning things around.
Williams, who turns 39 in less than three weeks, will face an unseeded opponent — either Alize Cornet or Tsvetana Pironkova — for a semifinal berth.
She has won six of her 23 major singles championships at the U.S. Open.
NBA PLAYOFFS SCHEDULE
No. 1 Milwaukee vs. No. 5 Miami
Game 1: Miami 115, Milwaukee 104
Game 2: Miami 116, Milwaukee 114
Game 3: Miami 115, Milwaukee 100
Game 4: Milwaukee 118, Miami 115 (OT)
Game 5: Today, 3:30 p.m., TNT
Game 6*: Thursday, TBD, ESPN
Game 7*: Saturday, TBD, TNT
No. 2 Toronto vs. No. 3 Boston Celtics
Game 1: Boston 112, Toronto 94
Game 2: Boston 102, Toronto 99
Game 3: Toronto 104, Boston 103
Game 4: Toronto 100, Boston 93
Game 5: Boston 111, Toronto 89
Game 6: Wednesday, 3:30 p.m., ESPN
Game 7*: Friday, TBD, TNT
* – If necessary
NHL PLAYOFFS SCHEDULE
All Times Pacific
No. 2 Tampa Bay Lightning vs. No. 6 NY Islanders
Game 1: Tampa Bay 8, NY Islanders 2
Game 2: Wednesday, 5 p.m., NBCSN
Game 3: Friday, 5 p.m., USA
Game 4: Sunday, noon, NBC
Game 5*: Tuesday, Sept. 15, 5 p.m., NBCSN
Game 6*: Thursday, Sept. 17, 5 p.m., NBCSN
Game 7*: Saturday, Sept. 19, 4:30 p.m., NBC
No. 1 Vegas Golden Knights vs. No. 3 Dallas Stars
Game 1: Dallas 1, Vegas 0
Game 2: Today, 5 p.m., NBCSN
Game 3: Thursday, 5 p.m., NBCSN
Game 4: Saturday, 4 p.m., NBC
Game 5*: Monday, 5 p.m., NBCSN
Game 6*: Wed., Sept. 16, 5 p.m., NBCSN
Game 7*: Friday, Sept. 18, 6 p.m., NBCSN
TODAY’S LOCAL MAJOR SPORTS SCHEDULE
All times Pacific.
Lakers vs. Houston, 6 p.m., TNT
Dodgers at Arizona, 6:30 p.m., Sportsnet LA, AM 570
Angels at Texas, 5 p.m., FSW, KLAA 830
Sparks vs. New York, 4 p.m., CBS Sports Network, Spectrum Sportsnet
THIS DATE IN SPORTS
1946 — Jack Kramer wins his first U.S. singles titles with a 9-7, 6-3, 6-0 win over Tom Brown.
1957 — Althea Gibson becomes the first black to win the U.S. Open, beating Louise Brough, 6-3, 6-2. Australia’s Malcolm Anderson defeats countryman Ashley Cooper in three sets to become the first unseeded player to win the U.S. Open.
1968 — Virginia Wade wins the U.S. Open, upsetting Billie Jean King, 6-4, 6-4.
1969 — Australia Rod Laver wins the U.S. Open and the grand slam of tennis for the second time in his career with a four-set victory over Tony Roche.
1973 — Australia’s Margaret Court Smith wins the U.S. Open for the fifth time with a 7-6, 5-7, 6-2 victory over Evonne Goolagong.
1974 — Billie Jean King wins her fourth U.S. Open with a three-set triumph over Evonne Goolagong.
1984 — The four matches played on stadium court at the U.S. Open are played to the maximum number of sets. Stan Smith defeats John Newcombe in the men’s 35s semifinal, Ivan Lendl edges Pat Cash, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-7, 7-6, in the men’s semifinals, Martina Navratilova beats Chris Evert, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4, for the women’s title and John McEnroe defeats Jimmy Connors, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3, in the second men’s semifinal.
1985 — Ivan Lendl wins his first U.S. Open title defeating John McEnroe 7-6, 6-3, 6-4.
1990 — Gabriela Sabatini prevents Steffi Graf from winning her third consecutive Grand Slam title with a 6-2, 7-6 (7-4) victory in the U.S. Open.
1996 — Pete Sampras and Steffi Graf win the men’s and women’s singles titles, respectively, in the last U.S. Open championship matches played in Louis Armstrong Stadium. Sampras beats Michael Chang, 6-1, 6-4, 7-6, and Graf defeats Monica Seles, 7-5, 6-4.
1998 — Mark McGwire breaks Roger Maris’ 37-year-old home run record, lining historic No. 62 just over the wall in left field with two outs in the fourth inning. McGwire’s shot off the Chicago Cubs’ Steve Trachsel sets off a wild celebration in Busch Stadium.
2001 — Venus Williams wins her second consecutive U.S. Open title by beating her sister, Serena, 6-2, 6-4 in the first prime-time women’s Grand Slam final. The match is the 10th between sisters in a Grand Slam match during the Open era, with the older sister winning every time.
2002 — Pete Sampras beats Andre Agassi 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 to win his 14th Grand Slam title and the U.S. Open for the fifth time. At 31, Sampras is the Open’s oldest champion since 1970.
2008 — Roger Federer salvages the 2008 season by easily beating Andy Murray 6-2, 7-5, 6-2 to win his fifth consecutive U.S. Open championship and 13th major title overall.
2013 — Riquna Williams sets a WNBA record with 51 points to help the Tulsa Shock rout the San Antonio Silver Stars 98-65. The second-year guard surpasses the previous record of 47 points set by Phoenix’s Diana Taurasi and matched by Seattle’s Lauren Jackson.
2013 — Top-seeded Serena Williams wins her fifth U.S. Open championship and 17th Grand Slam title overall by beating No. 2 Victoria Azarenka 7-5, 6-7 (6), 6-1 in a windy final.
2016 — Serena Williams is upset in the U.S. Open semifinals for the second year in a row, beaten 6-2, 7-6 (5) by 10th-seeded Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic. The loss prevents Williams from earning her seventh championship at Flushing Meadows and 23rd major title overall, which would both have been Open-era records. Also Williams’ 3 1/2-year reign at No. 1 in the WTA rankings will end on Sept. 12 by current No. 2 Angelique Kerber, who beats Caroline Wozniacki in the second semifinal.
Althea Gibson appears on “What’s My Line?” Watch it here.
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