The Sports Report: Clippers ready to do ‘whatever it takes’ to beat Jazz

Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George passes the ball
Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George says the team isn’t worried about limited rest and will do whatever it takes to beat the Jazz to open their playoff series Tuesday night.
(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

Howdy, I’m your host, Iliana Limón Romero, filling in for Houston Mitchell, who is on vacation (probably wondering whether MLB’s sticky stuff ban will kill the free Jumbo Jack promotion). Let’s get right to the news.

Andrew Greif on the Clippers: Nearly two hours after playing 43 minutes during the Clippers’ 126-111 victory over Dallas to advance to the second round of the playoffs, Paul George emerged for his postgame videoconference after receiving treatment. Every moment of recovery since the final horn had become precious, not that the Clippers will complain — their season is still alive.

Their reward for a first-round victory over the Mavericks is a quick turnaround against the top-seeded and well-rested Utah Jazz, who will have gone six days between games after beating Memphis in five.


Tipoff for Game 1 of the best-of-seven series is Tuesday at 7 p.m. PDT in Salt Lake City.

“At this point everyone has something going on” physically, George said Sunday. “I just try to get to a mindset to go out and perform and just help my team keep the series and the season alive.

“At this point, it’s just all-in. It’s just all-in, committed to doing whatever it takes, and you know, help try to keep us going.”

Clippers-Jazz series schedule.
(Tim Hubbard / Los Angeles Times)


Kevin Baxter on soccer: Major League Soccer will play its midseason all-star game at Banc of California in August after being forced to postpone the match last summer because of COVID-19.

The game, to be played Wednesday, Aug. 25, will match a team of MLS all-stars against a team of Liga MX all-stars for the first time, a league source told the Los Angeles Times. The league, which had been expected to keep the game in Los Angeles, called a Wednesday morning news conference at Banc of California, where MLS commissioner Don Garber and Mike Arriola, the executive president of Liga MX, will make a formal announcement.

The unique cross-border format marks the latest in a series of cooperative endeavors between CONCACAF’s top two leagues, following Campeones Cup, which matches the respective league champions, and the Leagues Cup, an eight-team summer tournament.

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Jack Harris on the Angels: Speaking to reporters on Monday afternoon, injured Angels center fielder Mike Trout gave a simple evaluation of his team’s performance in recent weeks.

“It seems like some games, we score a lot of runs and then the next game it’s pretty quiet from an offensive standpoint,” he said.

Monday night was definitely the former.

In an 8-3 win over the Kansas City Royals, the Angels scored four runs in the first inning en route to a series-opening victory at Angel Stadium.

Max Stassi had three hits, including a home run and double, and three RBI. Anthony Rendon, José Iglesias, Juan Lagares and David Fletcher all drove in runs, as well. And Dylan Bundy gave up only two runs in 5 ⅔ innings to earn his first winning decision of the season.


Jorge Castillo on the Dodgers: PITTSBURGH — The Dodgers’ 2021 season so far resembles the cryptocurrency market, cycling through spikes and dips, in the green but still waiting to blast to the moon.

The club, pegged as the overwhelming World Series favorites two months ago, is now navigating through another downswing. The Dodgers lost two of three games to the Atlanta Braves over the weekend. They’ve lost six of nine games and sit in third place in the National League West. The stretch comes after they began the season 13-2 then went 5-15 then went 13-2 again.

What was projected as a two-team race between the Dodgers and San Diego Padres has a third wheel out front — the San Francisco Giants sitting in first place.

The Dodgers’ three games in Atlanta were the first of 15 games against teams under .500. Next up is a three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the team best known this season for letting Javy Báez toy with them on the bases, starting Tuesday at PNC Park.


Dan Woike on the Lakers:On his way into free agency, veteran Wesley Matthews made it clear that he wanted to re-sign, the pain from the Lakers’ unrealized potential after a first-round playoff exit forcing him to declare his desire to “run it back.”

While the Lakers universally said they thought this team was good enough to win it all had it not been for key injuries, roster changes are almost always assured.

The NBA is projecting a $112.4-million salary cap for next season, with teams spending more than $136.6 million subject to luxury tax penalties.

Here’s a quick look at who is under contract, who can walk in free agency and how the Lakers can keep some key role players.

The Core (2021-22 salaries via Spotrac)

LeBron James — $41.2 million

Anthony Davis — $35.4 million

Any roster building happens around this foundation, a good head start for the Lakers’ front office.


Roberto José Andrade Franco on boxing: On June 7, 1996, Julio César Chávez faced Oscar De La Hoya. Promoters called the fight “Ultimate Glory.” Held outside of Las Vegas’ Caesars Palace on a hot Friday night, the fight was, in many ways, a clash of opposites.

Chávez, 33, was a Mexican national hero entering the 100th professional fight of his career. De La Hoya, 23, was a once-in-a-generation Mexican American boxer about to enter his prime. But more than a fight between a once-great boxer versus another with expectations of greatness, Chávez versus De La Hoya symbolized something more in the United States’ Mexican community.

Chávez versus De La Hoya divided people, even families, splitting them along generational, gender and class divides.

The fight between Chávez and De La Hoya became a proxy for all the complexities that come from being of Mexican ethnicity, living in a place that was once Mexico. And when the fight began, 15,283 people gathered in Las Vegas. Across Mexico and the United States, hundreds of thousands more gathered to watch Chávez, a man some saw as a god, box against De La Hoya, a man who sought to escape from the Mexican’s shadow.

This is the story of that fight — 25 years ago — between a man who epitomized everything Mexican boxing was and a man who’d be criticized for not being Mexican enough.


Sam Farmer on the NFL: Jim Fassel, a longtime NFL offensive coach who was the league’s coach of the year in 1997, has died. He was 71.

Fassel’s son, John, confirmed his father’s death to the Los Angeles Times on Monday night, saying he got the news during a phone call in the afternoon. John Fassel formerly was the Rams’ special teams coach and briefly served as the team’s interim head coach.

Jim Fassel, who lived in Las Vegas, suffered chest pains Monday and was taken to a local hospital by a friend. He died of a heart attack while under sedation, his son said. The entire family has since convened in Las Vegas.

Jim Fassel was coach of the New York Giants from 1997 to 2003. He is one of three coaches to lead the Giants to the Super Bowl. His team lost to the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XXXV at the end of the 2000 season.


Jeff Miller on the Chargers: Justin Herbert’s influence is so substantial that he is impacting both coaches’ decisions and coaching decisions.

The quarterback became the NFL’s offensive rookie of the year in 2020 with a performance that dictated so many of the things the Chargers attempted to do with the football.

Then, after the season, following the dismissal of coach Anthony Lynn and most of his assistants, Herbert’s presence was one of the main reasons Shane Day agreed to join the new staff.

Asked Monday what appealed to him about the job, Day mentioned Herbert first before citing head coach Brandon Staley and offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi.


Gary Klein on the Rams: With the NFL’s offseason program conducted virtually last year, Cam Akers missed out on real-time, on-field opportunities to learn coach Sean McVay’s offense.

Akers, a second-round draft pick from Florida State, proved a quick study, emerging as the starter for the season opener. Injuries sidelined him for three games, but Akers finished with a dynamic second half and established himself as a key player for a team that, following the addition of quarterback Matthew Stafford, is regarded as a Super Bowl contender.

Akers, who turns 22 on June 22, spent the last few weeks participating in organized-team activity workouts. On Tuesday, the Rams begin a three-day minicamp that will conclude Thursday with a practice before fans at SoFi Stadium.

The Rams’ running back corps also includes third-year pro Darrell Henderson, Xavier Jones, Raymond Calais and rookie Jake Funk. But Akers is the lead back — and comfortable with the status.


Thuc Nhi Nguyen on softball: OKLAHOMA CITY — Odicci Alexander winced in pain as a not-as-soft-as-advertised ball bounced off her left foot in the batter’s box. James Madison’s star pitcher would lose some toenails after getting hit by the pitch in a game Sunday, ESPN reported the day after, but Alexander dutifully stepped back into the circle when called. When she pitched, the right-hander dragged her injured foot through the dirt.

“Blood, sweat and tears,” Alexander said. “I was going to keep pitching for my teammates.”

Alexander’s heroic effort pitching James Madison to the national semifinals — the longest run for an unseeded team at the Women’s College World Series — won hearts as she became the latest pitcher to step into the spotlight on college softball’s biggest annual stage.

Along with an electrifying defensive play and trending on Twitter, the redshirt senior threw 434 pitches in four games in Oklahoma City, where No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 10 Florida State play in a best-of-three championship series starting Tuesday.


All times Pacific


No. 1 Utah vs. No. 8 Memphis

Memphis 112, Utah 109
Utah 141, Memphis 129
Utah 121, Memphis 111
Utah 120, Memphis 113
Utah 126, Memphis 110
Utah wins series, 4-1

No. 2 Phoenix vs. No. 7 Lakers

Phoenix 99, Lakers 90
Lakers 109, Phoenix 102
Lakers 109, Phoenix 95
Phoenix 100, Lakers 92
Phoenix 115, Lakers 85
Phoenix 113, Lakers 100
Phoenix wins series, 4-2

No. 3 Denver vs. No. 6 Portland

Portland 123, Denver 109
Denver 128, Portland 109
Denver 120, Portland 115
Portland 115, Denver 95
Denver 147, Portland 140 (2OT)
Denver 126, Portland 115
Denver wins series, 4-2

No. 4 Clippers vs. No. 5 Dallas

Dallas 113, Clippers 103
Dallas 127, Clippers 121
Clippers 118, Dallas 108
Clippers 106, Dallas 81
Dallas 105, Clippers 100
Clippers 104, Dallas 97
Clippers 126, Dallas 111
Clippers win series, 4-3


No. 1 Philadelphia vs. No. 8 Washington

Philadelphia 125, Washington 118
Philadelphia 120, Washington 95
Philadelphia 132, Washington 103
Washington 122, Philadelphia 114
Philadelphia 129, Washington 112
Philadelphia wins series, 4-1

No. 2 Brooklyn vs. No. 7 Boston

Brooklyn 104, Boston 93
Brooklyn 130, Boston 108
Boston 125, Brooklyn 119
Brooklyn 141, Boston 126
Brooklyn 123, Boston 109
Brooklyn wins series, 4-1

No. 3 Milwaukee vs. No. 6 Miami

Milwaukee 109, Miami 107
Milwaukee 132, Miami 98
Milwaukee 113, Miami 84
Milwaukee 120, Miami 103
Milwaukee wins series, 4-0

No. 4 New York vs. No. 5 Atlanta

Atlanta 107, New York 105
New York 101, Atlanta 92
Atlanta 105, New York 94
Atlanta 113, New York 96
Atlanta 103, New York 89
Atlanta wins series, 4-1

All times Pacific


No. 1 Utah vs. No. 4 Clippers
Today: at Utah, 7 p.m., TNT
Thursday: at Utah, 7 p.m., ESPN
Saturday: at Clippers, 5:30 p.m., ABC
*Monday, June 14: at Utah, TBD, TNT
*Wednesday, June 16: at Clippers, TBD, ESPN
*Sunday, June 20: at Utah, TBD, TBD

No. 2 Phoenix Suns vs. No. 3 Denver Nuggets
Phoenix 122, Denver 105
Wednesday: at Phoenix, 6:30 p.m., TNT
Friday: at Denver, 7 p.m., ESPN
Sunday: at Denver, 5 p.m., TNT
*Tuesday, June 15: at Phoenix, TBD, TBD
*Thursday, June 17: at Denver, TBD, ESPN
*Sunday, June 20: at Phoenix, TBD, TBD


No. 1 Philadelphia vs. No. 5 Atlanta
Atlanta 128, Philadelphia 124
Today: at Philadelphia, 4:30 p.m., TNT
Friday: at Atlanta, 4:30 p.m., ESPN
Monday: at Atlanta, TBD, TNT
*Wednesday, June 16: at Philadelphia, TBD, TNT
*Friday, June 18: at Atlanta, TBD, ESPN
*Sunday, June 20: at Philadelphia, TBD, TBD

No. 2 Brooklyn Nets vs. No. 3 Milwaukee Bucks
Brooklyn 115, Milwaukee 107
Brooklyn 125, Milwaukee 86
Thursday: at Milwaukee, TBD, ESPN
Sunday: at Milwaukee, Noon, ABC
*Tuesday, June 15: at Brooklyn, TBD, TNT
*Thursday, June 17: at Milwaukee, TBD, ESPN
*Saturday, June 19: at Brooklyn, TBD, TNT


All times Pacific

East Division

New York Islanders vs. Boston

Boston 5, New York 2
New York 4, Boston 3 (OT)
Boston 2, New York 1 (OT)
New York 4, Boston 1
New York 5, Boston 4
Wednesday: at New York, 4:30 p.m., NBCSN
*Friday, June 11: at Boston, TBD, TBD

Central Division

Tampa Bay vs. Carolina

Tampa Bay 2, Carolina 1
Tampa Bay 2, Carolina 1
Carolina 3, Tampa Bay 2 (OT)
Tampa Bay 6, Carolina 4
Today: at Carolina, 3:30 p.m., NBCSN
*Thursday: at Tampa Bay, TBD, TBD
*Saturday, June 12: at Carolina, TBD, TBD

West Division

Colorado vs. Vegas

Colorado 7, Vegas 1
Colorado 3, Vegas 2 (OT)
Vegas 3, Colorado 2
Vegas 5, Colorado 1
Today: at Colorado, 6 p.m., NBCSN
Thursday: at Vegas, TBD, TBD
*Saturday, June 12: at Colorado, TBD, TBD

North Division

Winnipeg vs. Montreal

Montreal 5, Winnipeg 3
Montreal, 1, Winnipeg 0
Montreal 5, Winnipeg 1
Montreal 3, Winnipeg 2
*Wednesday: at Winnipeg, 5 p.m., CNBC
*Friday, June 11: at Montreal, TBD, TBD
*Sunday, June 13: at Winnipeg, TBD, TBD

*-if necessary


1935 — Omaha, ridden by Willis Saunders, becomes the third horse to win the Triple Crown by capturing the Belmont Stakes with a 1½-length victory over Firethron.

1950 — Boston beats the St. Louis Browns 29-4 at Fenway Park, and the Red Sox set six major league records: most runs scored by one team; most long hits in a game with 17 (nine doubles, one triple and seven homers); most total bases with 60; most extra bases on long hits with 32; most runs for two games with 49 (20 a day earlier); and most hits in two games with 51.

1958 — Mickey Wright beats Fay Crocker by six strokes to win the LPGA Championship.

1980 — Sally Little wins the LPGA Championship by three strokes over Jane Blalock.

1985 — Creme Fraiche, ridden by Eddie Maple, becomes the first gelding to win the Belmont Stakes, beating Stephan’s Odyssey by a half-length.

1986 — Larry Bird scores 29 points to lead the Boston Celtics to a 114-97 victory over the Houston Rockets and their 16th NBA title.

1990 — The “Indomitable Lions” of Cameroon pull off one of the greatest upsets in soccer history, 1-0 over defending champion Argentina in the first game of the World Cup.

1991 — Warren Schutte, a UNLV sophomore from South Africa, shoots a 5-under 67 to become the first foreign-born player to win the NCAA Division I golf championship.

2000 — Mike Modano deflects Brett Hull’s shot at 6:21 of the third overtime, ending the longest scoreless overtime game in Stanley Cup finals history and helping the Dallas Stars beat the New Jersey Devils 1-0 in Game 5.

2005 — Freshman Samantha Findlay hits a three-run homer in the 10th inning to lead Michigan to a 4-1 win over UCLA for its first NCAA softball title. Michigan is the first team from east of the Mississippi River to win the national championship.

2008 — Rafael Nadal wins his fourth consecutive French Open title in a rout, again spoiling Roger Federer’s bid to complete a career Grand Slam. Dominating the world’s No. 1 player with astounding ease, Nadal wins in three sets, 6-1, 6-3, 6-0.

2008 — Yani Tseng of Taiwan becomes the first rookie in 10 years to win a major, beating Maria Hjorth on the fourth hole of a playoff with a 5-foot birdie on the 18th hole to win the LPGA Championship.

2012 — I’ll Have Another’s bid for the first Triple Crown in 34 years ends shockingly in the barn and not on the racetrack when the colt is scratched the day before the Belmont Stakes and retires from racing with a swollen tendon.

2013 — Serena Williams wins her 16th Grand Slam title and her first French Open championship since 2002, beating Maria Sharapova 6-4, 6-4.

2014 — Rafael Nadal wins the French Open title for the ninth time, and the fifth time in a row, by beating Novak Djokovic 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4. Nadal improves his record at Roland Garros to 66-1.

2015 — The NCAA approves multiple rule changes to men’s basketball for the 2015-16 season, including a 30-second shot clock and fewer timeouts for each team. The shot clock was last reduced, from 45 to 35 seconds, in 1993-94.

2018 — Golden State romps to its second straight NBA championship, beating Cleveland 108-85 to finish a four-game sweep. Stephen Curry scores 37 points and Kevin Durant, who is named MVP for the second straight finals, has 20 for the Warriors. It’s the first sweep in the NBA Finals since 2007, when James was dismissed by a powerful San Antonio team in his first one.

And finally

Illustration of Shohei Ohtani in manga style.
Illustration for Dylan Hernandez column on Shohei Ohtani as a manga baseball star. Alycea Tinoyan / For The Times
(Alycea Tinoyan / For The Times)

Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani is tied for fifth in Major League Baseball home runs this season, reaching sweet 16 this week. Click here to watch every homer he’s hit so far this season.

The Times recently featured an illustration of Ohtani as a Japanese Manga character on our sports cover, highlighting the ways the Angels’ starting pitcher and designated hitter most resembles a comic book hero he grew up reading about in Japan. A poster version of the cover is now on sale in The Times store and can be purchased by clicking on this link.

Until next time...

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