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The Sports Report: Stumbling Lakers lose to Wizards in overtime

Wizards guard Russell Westbrook drives and scores against Lakers center Marc Gasol in overtime.
(Luis Sinco)

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

Dan Woike on the Lakers: After the Lakers’ starting five hear their names called, the team gathers in a semicircle, an opening for star big man Anthony Davis to jump into and bring the team together before the game.

But with Davis out recovering from injuries Monday night, it was Jared Dudley’s leap that served as the ritual’s grand finale.

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It’s a reminder of where the Lakers are — down a couple of their best players, searching everywhere for a replacement to handle the responsibilities Davis and point guard Dennis Schroder normally handle.

And despite another instance in which coach Frank Vogel insisted his team had enough “firepower” to win, the Lakers made more than enough mistakes to lose.

With a flurry of turnovers and an offense that quickly reverted to problematic form following a promising start, the Lakers lost in overtime, 127-124, against a 10-17 Washington Wizards team.

LeBron James scored 31 points with 13 assists and nine rebounds, but also had eight turnovers, missed eight of 10 three-point tries and made only one of three from the line.

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The Lakers know Davis will be out through the All-Star break, and Schroder is in quarantine with the hope that he’ll be able to return Friday against Portland.

So, they continue to look for ways to get by.

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USC MEN’S BASKETBALL

Tahj Eaddy scored 24 points and No. 19 USC led by 16 after a blistering start on its way to a 72-58 victory over Oregon on Monday night.

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The Trojans (19-4, 13-3) moved into sole possession of first place in the Pac-12 by dominating the Ducks with just a seven-man rotation. Second-leading rebounder Isaiah Mobley strained his right calf earlier in the day and missed his first start of the season.

LJ Figueroa and Eric Williams Jr. scored 14 points each for Oregon, which had its five-game winning streak snapped. The Ducks (14-5, 9-4) came in tied with USC and UCLA at three losses apiece in league play.

KINGS

Dustin Brown scored two goals and veteran Jonathan Quick stopped 30 shots for his 54th career shutout, lifting the L.A. Kings to a 3-0 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Monday night.

It was the second shutout this season for the 35-year-old Quick, who helped the Kings win two Stanley Cup championships in his career.

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Gabriel Vilardi added a goal for the Kings, who scored in each period and extended their winning streak to five games. Brown closed out the scoring with an empty-net goal at 18:57 of the third.

Vilardi pushed in a loose puck as he was falling down outside the crease at 17:30 of the first period. The power-play goal gave the Kings a 1-0 lead. Los Angeles has scored 16 power-play goals this season over 17 games. The Kings’ only game without scoring a power-play goal was on Jan. 16, against Minnesota.

DUCKS

Christian Dvorak scored two goals and the Arizona Coyotes rallied from a three-goal deficit to beat the Ducks 4-3 in a testy game Monday night.

The buzz heading into the game was the much-anticipated debut of Anaheim top prospect Trevor Zegras.

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Big hits, flying fists and bunches of goals became the focus once the puck dropped.

Arizona goalie Darcy Kuemper was among five players penalized during a lengthy melee that set the physical tone early. The first period ended with two fights and the teams combined for 46 penalty minutes overall.

UCLA MEN’S BASKETBALL

Ben Bolch on the Bruins: Scheduling a basketball game between UCLA and Oregon this season has required the teams to try, try, try again.

After three games between the teams were postponed earlier this season, they might just get to play each other.

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The Bruins added a game against the Ducks at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene on March 3 as part of the Pac-12 Conference’s efforts to reschedule games relevant to the regular-season championship and NCAA tournament selections.

UCLA (16-5 overall, 12-3 Pac-12) is in second place in the conference standings, one-half game behind USC and two games ahead of Oregon.

The Bruins and Ducks had originally been scheduled to meet on Dec. 23 in Eugene before the game officials were unable to work because of COVID-19 issues, leading to a postponement.

SPARKS

Dan Loumena on the Sparks: The Sparks have re-signed 15-year veteran Seimone Augustus, who contributed 5.9 points while shooting 54.5% from three-point range in her first season with the team.

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Augustus, who helped the Minnesota Lynx win four WNBA titles, played in 21 games during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. The 6-foot guard/forward shot 49.1% from the field while stabilizing the second unit with her “invaluable leadership experience,” coach Derek Fisher said in a statement released by the team.

“She brings efficient outside shooting, scoring in bunches, and an elite basketball IQ on both ends of the floor that will be important for us next season,” added Fisher, who is also the Sparks’ general manager. “We’re excited she’ll be continuing her storied career in Los Angeles.”

ANGELS

Mike DiGiovanna on the Angels: It’s like that annoying song you hear on the car radio and can’t get out of your head. Mike Trout reports to spring training after another year in which the Angels failed to reach the postseason, and the three-time American League most valuable player is greeted with the same tiresome question:

How much does not making the playoffs weigh on you?

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“I mean, I hear it every year,” Trout said Monday in a video call before the team’s first full-squad workout in Tempe, Ariz. “The only way to change that is to get to the playoffs. … I’m tired of hearing people say, ‘Hey Mike, is adding this guy or that guy gonna help?’ ”

Trout is 29 and entering the 10th full year of a Hall of Fame career in which he has established himself as the best all-around player in the game.

The star center fielder is among baseball’s highest-paid players, having a signed a 12-year, $426.5-million extension two years ago. His wife, Jessica, had the couple’s first child last summer, a son named Beckham who “has definitely changed my life,” Trout said.

He has not played in a World Series. His teams have not won a playoff game. And it has been six long years since the Angels even reached the postseason, their last trip ending in a three-game AL division series sweep at the hands of the Kansas City Royals in 2014.

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“It would be almost like a mortal sin on the Catholic faith, you just can’t miss out on that kind of an opportunity, where you have that kind of generational talent,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “Ernie Banks never played in a World Series, right? There are a lot of great players who never played in a World Series, and I don’t want that to happen to [Trout].”

THIS DATE IN SPORTS

1938 — Joe Louis knocks out Nathan Mann in the third round to defend his world heavyweight title at Madison Square Garden in New York.

1960 — Figure skater Carol Heiss captures the first gold medal for the U.S. in the Squaw Valley Winter Olympics.

1968 — Wilt Chamberlain becomes first player to score 25,000 points in the NBA.

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1980 — Eric Heiden wins his fifth gold medal and shatters the world record by six seconds in 10,000-meter speed skating at the Lake Placid Winter Olympics.

1983 — Mark Pavelich of the New York Rangers scores five goals in an 11-3 victory over the Hartford Whalers.

1985 — Indiana coach Bob Knight is ejected five minutes into the Hoosiers’ 72-63 loss to Purdue when he throws a chair across the court. Knight, after two fouls called on his team, is hit with his first technical. While Purdue was shooting the technical, Knight picks up a chair from the bench area and throws it across the court, earning his second technical.

1987 — Seattle’s Nate McMillan sets an NBA rookie record with 25 assists to lead the SuperSonics over the Los Angeles Clippers 124-112.

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1991 — North Carolina becomes the first team in NCAA basketball history to win 1,500 games with a 73-57 victory over Clemson.

2000 — Boston’s Marty McSorley is suspended for the rest of the season (23 games) for hitting Vancouver’s Donald Brashear in the head with his stick on Feb. 21.

2001 — Jeremy Roenick records the ninth three-goal game of his career and becomes the third U.S.-born player to reach 400 career goals in leading Phoenix to a 7-3 win over Buffalo.

2002 — The Americans end nearly a half-century of Olympic frustration for the U.S. men’s bobsled team, driving to the silver and bronze medals in the four-man race.

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2006 — Japan’s Shizuka Arakawa, the 2004 world champion, stuns favorites Sasha Cohen of the United States and Irina Slutskaya of Russia to claim the women’s figure skating gold medal at the Winter Olympics.

2007 — Tiger Woods’ winning streak on the PGA Tour, which began in July, comes to a shocking end. Woods fails to notice a ball mark in the line of his 4-foot birdie putt that would have won his third-round match against Nick O’Hern. Woods misses, then loses in 20 holes when O’Hern saves par with a 12-foot putt at the Accenture Match Play Championship.

2010 — Dutch skater Sven Kramer loses the gold medal at the Vancouver Olympics when his coach Gerard Kemkers sends him the wrong way on a changeover during the 25 laps of the 10,000-meter speedskating race. Kramer had not lost a 10,000 in three years.

2012 — National League MVP Ryan Braun’s 50-game suspension is overturned by baseball arbitrator Shyam Das, the first time a baseball player successfully challenged a drug-related penalty in a grievance.

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2013 — Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche makes history just by stepping into the UFC cage. Rousey wins the UFC’s first women’s bout, beating Carmouche on an armbar, her signature move, with 11 seconds left in the first round of their bantamweight title fight at UFC 157.

2014 — Canada defends its Olympic men’s hockey title with a 3-0 victory over Sweden. Canada becomes the only repeat Olympic champ in the NHL era and the first team to go unbeaten through the Olympic tournament since the Soviet Union in Sarajevo in 1984.

2014 — Russia, the host country of the Winter Olympics, finishes with 33 medals overall and 13 gold. It’s the first time Russia topped both medals tables since the breakup of the Soviet Union. The U.S. wins 28 total, including nine gold.

2014 — Jason Collins becomes the first openly gay athlete in the United States four major pro leagues, playing 10 scoreless minutes with two rebounds and five fouls in the New Jersey’s 108-102 victory of the Los Angeles Lakers.

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And finally

Bobby Knight throws a chair. 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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