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The Sports Report: Lakers fall to 76ers

Tobias Harris goes up for a shot against the Lakers during the second half.
Tobias Harris goes up for a shot against the Lakers during the second half.
(Associated Press)

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

Dan Woike on the Lakers: A night that began with a moment of silence in remembrance of Kobe Bryant, ended with a game-winning elbow jumper with a familiar number – 2.4 – on the clock.

But this time the Lakers had to watch someone else make a Mamba shot.

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Tobias Harris’ jumper from the left wing over Alex Caruso’s hand gave Philadelphia a 107-106 win and handed the Lakers their first road loss of the season in 11 games.

Harris’ jumper with 2.4 left were the 76ers’ only points in the final three minutes of the game.

“A great shot against good defense,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said.

Anthony Davis’ tried to heave a miracle shot while near half court at the buzzer but it wasn’t close.

After praising his team’s fourth-quarter defense and grit pregame, Doc Rivers had to watch the Lakers’ blitz Philadelphia in the final three minutes, scoring 13 straight points to end up taking a lead thanks to a brilliantly designed play that led to an easy Anthony Davis layup.

“We never believed we couldn’t get back in the game,” Vogel said.

But for a lot of the Lakers were never fully in it.

They trailed by as many as 16 in the first quarter thanks to a pair of threes from old friend Danny Green and to physical domination from Joel Embiid, who the Lakers couldn’t keep off the foul line.

Embiid, who didn’t play against the Lakers last season, shot six free throws and had 13 points in the first quarter, showing why he’s near the top of the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award ladder. He finished with 23 – his last basket coming after he blew past Davis on the baseline before making an incredible double-clutch reverse layup.

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ANGELS

Maria Torres on the Angels: The Angels have been searching for a rotation ace for years. Every attempt made to lure one in previous offseasons was rebuffed, forcing them to take one-year risks on pitchers who ultimately provided negative value on the mound.

The arrival of a new general manager a few months ago should have signaled a change in the approach to starting pitching acquisitions. Yet, it hasn’t.

With a few weeks remaining until the scheduled start of spring training, the Angels have yet to land a frontline starter. Unless there is a significant philosophical shift, they won’t. And that means the likelihood of signing top free-agent starter Trevor Bauer is practically zero.

The Angels have been mentioned as a suitor for Bauer, last season’s Cy Young Award winner in the National League, all winter. A union makes sense on some levels. He is 29 and coming off a season in which he posted a sterling ERA (1.73) and improved strikeouts-per-nine-innings rate (12.3) while wielding one of the most polished arsenals in the sport. He is a native of Southern California. Bauer would change the complexion of an Angels rotation that ended last year with a 5.52 ERA.

But he’s not a great fit in Anaheim, according to people with knowledge of the Angels’ thinking, even if the team were to offer him the record-setting annual value (greater than $36 million) he reportedly seeks.

Finances are a factor. The Angels’ payroll in relation to the luxury tax stood at $186.5 million after last week’s addition of starter José Quintana. It is unclear how close owner Arte Moreno is willing to get to the luxury-tax threshold of $210 million but he has never spent more than the $194 million he committed to the 2020 opening-day roster.

MLB

After Curt Schilling came up short in the Baseball Hall of Fame vote again this year, the former pitcher wrote on Facebook that he has asked for his name to be removed from next year’s ballot.

Hall of Fame Board Chairman Jane Forbes Clark said in a statement the board “will consider the request at our next meeting.”

The Baseball Writers’ Assn, of America responded Wednesday and said “Schilling’s request to remove himself from the ballot is a violation of the rules set forth by the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s board of directors” and urged the board to reject the request.

The BBWAA said Schilling “should remain on the ballot for consideration by the voting body for what would be his final year on the BBWAA ballot in 2022.”

Next year would be Schilling’s 10th and final year to be eligible to appear on the writers’ ballot. Schilling said he’d have no problem being considered by a veterans’ committee after that.

NFL

Chuck Schilken on the NFL: If Tom Brady is the GOAT, Eli Manning is the GOAT slayer.

Headed to his first Super Bowl as quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Brady is 6-3 in his previous appearances in the big game, all with the New England Patriots.

Two of the losses were to Manning and the New York Giants. Seems like something Manning would want to bring up every opportunity he gets. But the now-retired quarterback told the New York Post that’s not the case.

Apparently Brady is the one who won’t shut up about it.

“I’ve been around Tom numerous times, and I’ve never brought up a Super Bowl or our games versus them,” Manning said. “He actually brings it up. It still bothers him a little bit, especially the ’07 one when they had the chance to go down as the greatest team of all time.”

THIS DATE IN SPORTS

1901 — The American League is founded. The league plans for a 140-game schedule, set player rosters at 14 and recognizes the Players Protective Association, the players’ union.

1943 — Max Bentley of Chicago has four goals and three assists in a 10-1 rout of the New York Rangers. Bentley scored all four goals and an assist in the third period. Max’s brother, Doug, has four assists in the third period.

1949 — Monte Irvin and Ford Smith are signed by the New York Giants. They are the first Black players to sign with the club.

1984 — Wayne Gretzky’s record 51-game scoring streak is halted. Over the 51 games, Gretzky scored 61 goals and 92 assists.

1990 — The San Francisco 49ers beat the Denver Broncos 55-10 in the most lopsided Super Bowl. The 49ers are the first repeat NFL champion in a decade and tie the Pittsburgh Steelers with four Super Bowl wins.

1992 — Brett Hull becomes the second player in NHL history to score 50 goals in 50 games more than once in a career when the St. Louis Blues tie the Kings, 3-3.

1996 — The Dallas Cowboys become the first team to win three Super Bowls in four seasons with a 27-17 win over the Pittsburgh Streelers. Larry Brown, the first cornerback named the game’s MVP, records two interceptions in the second half.

2001 — Baltimore’s brazen defense backs up its bragging by beating the New York Giants 34-7 in the Super Bowl. The Ravens intercept Kerry Collins four times, the final pick returned 49 yards for a touchdown by Duane Starks.

2007 — Roger Federer captures his 10th Grand Slam singles title without dropping a set at the Australian Open, beating Fernando Gonzalez 7-6 (2), 6-4, 6-4. The last man to go through a major without dropping a set was Bjorn Borg at the 1980 French Open.

2011 — Oklahoma State shuts out Northern Colorado 44-0 to become the second Division I wrestling program in NCAA history to reach 1,000 wins in dual matches. Oklahoma State, winner of an NCAA record 34 team national championships, joins Iowa State as the only programs with at least 1,000 wins.

2011 — Deresse Mekonnen wins the Wanamaker Mile, becoming the first person other than Bernard Lagat to win the Millrose Game’s marquee event since 2004.

2012 — Towson ends its NCAA record 41-game losing streak with a 66-61 victory over North Carolina Wilmington. The victory is the first career win at Towson for coach Pat Skerry and the Tigers’ first win since a win at La Salle on Dec. 29, 2010.

2014 — Calling the NCAA a dictatorship, Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter and the United Steelworkers announce plans to form the first labor union for college athletes. Colter details the College Athletes Players Assn. at a news conference in Chicago, flanked by leaders of Steelworkers union that agree to pay legal bills for the effort.

2017 — Serena Williams wins her record 23rd Grand Slam singles title with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over her older sister Venus in the Australian Open final.

2017 — Arrogate beats California Chrome again, winning the $12 million Pegasus World Cup in his rival’s last race before retirement.

2018 — Roger Federer becomes the first man to win 20 Grand Slam tennis singles titles, defeating Marin Cilic 6-2, 6-7 (7-5), 6-3, 6-1, 6-1 to capture his record-tying sixth Australian Open championship.

And finally

Roger Federer’s emotional journey to his 20th Grand Slam singles title. 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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