The Sports Report: Short-handed Lakers edge Heat in overtime thriller

Laker Russell Westbrook celebrates his basket against the Heat late in the fourth quarter
Laker Russell Westbrook celebrates his basket against the Heat late in the fourth quarter at the Staples Center Wednesday.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Howdy, I’m your host, Iliana Limón Romero, filling for Houston Mitchell (who is off and probably spending extra time tallying his Dodgers Dugout Hall of Fame ballots). Let’s get right to the news.

Broderick Turner on the Lakers: They lost two more bodies to the injury list, leaving the already depleted Lakers with fewer contributors.

That simply meant the Lakers had to lean on Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony more than usual in their time of need.


The Lakers also saw Malik Monk step into a void, doing his part to help Westbrook, Davis and Anthony pull out a 120-117 overtime victory over the Miami Heat on Wednesday night at Staples Center.

It took Westbrook producing a triple-double with 25 points, 14 assists and 12 rebounds for the Lakers to win their second straight overtime game.

It took Davis producing 24 points and 13 rebounds for the Lakers to escape with a win in a game they led by five in the overtime.

And it took 27 points from Monk on 10-for-13 shooting for the Lakers to seal the win.

Laker Russell Westbrook is fouled by Heats P.J. Tucker while driving to the basket
Laker Russell Westbrook is fouled by Heats P.J. Tucker while driving to the basket at the Staples Center Wednesday.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

“I had this role a couple of times last year in Charlotte, the year before that when a lot of guys get hurt and I had to come in and play big minutes and facilitate and do other things that I normally don’t do,” Monk said. “But I work on my game a lot, so I was really prepared for this moment.”

Even in overtime with a 119-114 lead, the Lakers made it hard on themselves.


Westbrook had one of his eight turnovers and Avery Bradley fouled Duncan Robinson shooting a three-pointer. But Robinson made only one free throw.

The Lakers still couldn’t take advantage, Davis fouling Bam Adebayo after he scored. But Adebayo missed his free throw, leaving the Lakers up 119-117 with 23 seconds left.

But with 18.7 seconds left, the Lakers were called for a five-second violation when Anthony failed to inbound the ball, but L.A. held on.

“Trying to find ways to get wins while everyone is getting back healthy,” Davis said. “The last two games have definitely been fun. Guys are having fun. Guys are starting to realize how good of a team we are.”

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Ducks executive vice president and general manager Bob Murray listens during an NHL hockey news conference
Ducks general manager Bob Murray resigned his job effective immediately and will enroll in an alcohol abuse program, the club announced Wednesday.
(Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press)

Helene Elliott on the Ducks: Ducks general manager Bob Murray resigned his job effective immediately and will enroll in an alcohol abuse program, the club announced Wednesday.

Murray, 66, had been put on administrative leave Tuesday based on recommendations of a law firm the Ducks hired to investigate allegations that he had created a toxic workplace by repeatedly shouting at team staffers in an intimidating fashion, sending angry messages to players, and yelling at the coaching staff.

Jeff Solomon will be the Ducks’ interim general manager.

“I want to apologize to anyone adversely affected by my behavior. I vow to make changes to my life, starting with enrolling in a treatment program,” Murray said in a statement released by the Ducks. “I want to thank [owners] Henry and Susan Samueli, and [chief executive] Michael Schulman, as working for them has been one of the highlights of my career. As I step away from the Ducks, I will focus my attention on where it should be: improving my life for the betterment of my family and friends.”

The Samuelis will pay for Murray’s treatment. They said in a statement: “First and foremost, we apologize on behalf of the organization to anyone affected by misconduct from Bob. We expect every member of our organization to be treated with respect and will not stand for abuse of any kind.


Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw heads to the dugout
Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw heads to the dugout during a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Dylan Hernandez on the Dodgers: CARLSBAD — The Dodgers opened the door for him to walk out. They are also holding it wide open in case he wants to come back.

The decision is now Clayton Kershaw’s.

Whether the currently injured Kershaw pitches for the Dodgers again is entirely up to him, Andrew Friedman telling reporters at the general managers’ meetings this week the organization “really” wants him to return.

Friedman reiterated Wednesday afternoon that if Kershaw’s wish is to re-sign with the team as a free agent, “I’m confident we’ll be able to figure something out.”

In that case, the only choice for the 33-year-old Kershaw to make is about retirement.

Because if Kershaw pitches a 15th season in the major leagues, it should be for the Dodgers.

He should spend the remainder of his career with them.

He should retire with them.

Is there really a choice to be made here?

More on the Dodgers from Mike DiGiovanna: CARLSBAD — Andrew Friedman said that “in a vacuum,” the Dodgers would want all five of their premier free agents — pitchers Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw, shortstop Corey Seager, utility man Chris Taylor and closer Kenley Jansen — to return in 2022.

In reality, that’s not going to happen, unless the club is willing to push its payroll beyond the $300-million mark, which seems like a stretch even for the deep-pocketed Guggenheim Partners ownership group.

“I didn’t say that realistically,” Friedman, the team’s president of baseball operations, said at baseball’s general managers meetings Wednesday. “I said in a vacuum, we’d like to have each one. Now, we just have to figure out the specific fits within our roster, within our payroll and the timing of different moves.”

When a reporter prefaced a question about the 2022 payroll by saying, “You have a lot of money coming off the books,” Friedman interjected, “We have a lot of money on the books.”

The Dodgers did shed $107.5 million from their major league-high $262-million payroll when Scherzer, Kershaw, Seager, Taylor and Jansen became free agents the day after the World Series.

But they still have about $207 million in payroll counting against the luxury-tax threshold for 2022, with $144 million of it going to six players — Trevor Bauer, David Price, Mookie Betts, Trea Turner, Justin Turner and AJ Pollock.


Amari Bailey, a member of the Sierra High School boys basketball team, is photographed during the school's media day
Amari Bailey, a member of the Sierra High School boys basketball team, signed with UCLA on Wednesday.
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Ben Bolch on UCLA basketball: Mick Cronin has long talked about having multiple NBA draft lottery picks on the same team.

He could be getting close.

UCLA signed three top prospects Wednesday, including two of the top 18 players in the nation, according’s composite rankings. The website ranked Amari Bailey, a combo guard from Chatsworth Sierra Canyon High, as the second-best prospect nationally, while listing Adem Bona, a 6-foot-9 center from Napa’s Prolific Prep, as the 18th-best player in the nation.

Cronin called Bailey the best player he had ever recruited and the top high school player in the nation.

“He is an unbelievable competitor with tremendous skill,” Cronin told The Times. “It’s so rare to see a guy who is as explosive as he is but shoots it as well as he shoots it. He’s just a special player. He’s as good as there is.”

More on the Bruins: UCLA redshirt senior forward Cody Riley has been diagnosed with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee after hurting it during the team’s season opener, coach Mick Cronin said Wednesday.

Riley will be reevaluated in a week and might miss only a few weeks, which is something of a relief for the Bruins after forward Mac Etienne and guard Will McClendon suffered more serious knee injuries. McClendon is out for the season after tearing an anterior cruciate ligament and Etienne is awaiting confirmation that he has the same injury.


USC running back Keontay Ingram scores a touchdown against Arizona
USC running back Keontay Ingram scores a touchdown against Arizona at the Coliseum on Oct. 30.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times )

Ryan Kartje on USC football: Keaontay Ingram said he feels “great” after rolling his ankle and sitting out the fourth quarter of last Saturday’s loss to Arizona State. But the USC workhorse may soon find himself dealing with stacked boxes the rest of the season after the Sun Devils provided a blueprint to bottle him up.

Ingram expects as much, at least. After rushing for 342 yards over the previous two weeks, he was held to just 54 yards in 14 carries against Arizona State.

“In the box, they always had one extra hat, regardless if that might be a linebacker or a safety,” Ingram said. “Also they were stunting a little bit and also adding a cornerback in there for free runs. It was a little different. Nothing too much we haven’t seen throughout the season, but it is kind of hard to run against a loaded box.”


Chargers linebacker Kenneth Murray Jr. changes direction during a gam against the Chiefs
When linebacker Kenneth Murray Jr. returns from his ankle injury, the Chargers are going to give him some snaps as an edge rusher.
(Kyusung Gong / Associated Press)

Jeff Miller on the Chargers: Spirited defender Kenneth Murray Jr. figures to provide the Chargers with an energy boost when he returns.

He also might bring some newly developed versatility.

Coach Brandon Staley said the team plans on trying Murray as an edge player, potentially expanding his role from inside linebacker.

“That was always the vision for us with him,” Staley said Wednesday, “to get him doing a lot of different jobs because he’s capable of that.”

A first-round pick in 2020, Murray remains on the injured reverse list because of an ankle problem. He resumed practicing last week and could be activated before the Chargers’ next game, Sunday against Minnesota at SoFi Stadium.


Angels two-star Shohei Ohtani smiles at the fans as he waits to bat on July 24
Angels two-star Shohei Ohtani smiles at the fans as he waits to bat on July 24 in Minneapolis.
(Jim Mone / Associated Press)

CARLSBAD — Angels general manager Perry Minasian this week has repeatedly declined to discuss whether the team will explore a potential contract extension with two-way star Shohei Ohtani, citing a personal policy about not commenting on contract-related issues.

On Wednesday morning, Ohtani’s agent at CAA sports, Nez Balelo, said the same thing.

Citing his agency’s policy against discussing negotiations, Balelo declined to say whether there have been any extension talks between the Angels and Ohtani, who is set to make $5.5 million in 2022 and will remain under team control through the end of the 2023 season.

“We just don’t talk about deals, we don’t talk about extensions,” Balelo said during the third day of the league’s GM meetings.


Pictures of people showcased in the latest edition of Image focusing on sports

Image editor-in-chief Ian F. Blair discusses the magazine’s latest issue: Image Issue 6 is dedicated to what moves us. “Energy” is inspired by the people who make the sports culture and style in L.A. what it is — the fans in the nosebleeds, the players, the merch bootleggers, the teams, your Uncle Tony the boxing promoter, the cousins who used to be the plug at the Forum, and everyone in between.

It is said that sports are increasingly about “agency” and “individuals”; sports are tools for something bigger — more than a game, the saying goes. We couldn’t agree more ... well, kind of. “Something bigger” isn’t a platform or a salary. In L.A., “something bigger” simply means we all have a role to play.

Sports are communal. We all share the same home turf. In this issue, the people about town show you the view from their side of the fence. Koreatown Run Club takes you out for a night on foot with the fam. Inspo gawd Angela Manuel-Davis gives you the pep talk that made her “church on wheels” beloved by everyone from Busy Philipps to Bey and Jay. Dodgers announcer Jaime Jarrín teaches you how to cheer that ball out of the park: “La pelota se va, se va, se va, y despídala con un beso!” And the women of UCLA gymnastics reveal the energy they’re on going into the season.


1911 — Carlisle Indian School of Carlisle, Pa., led by Jim Thorpe, beats nationally ranked Harvard 18-15 before 25,000 in Cambridge, Mass. Thorpe scores all the points for Carlisle, a touchdown, extra point and four field goals.

1939 — Texas Tech and Centenary (La.) play to a 0-0 tie in a torrential downpour in Shreveport, La. There are an NCAA-record 77 punts in the game (39 by Tech and 38 by Centenary).

1944 — The New York Rangers beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-2 to end their NHL record of 25 straight games without a win (0-21-4) over two seasons.

1978 — Eddie Lee Ivery rushes for 356 yards to lead Georgia Tech to a 42-21 victory over Air Force.

1981 — The Minnesota North Stars score eight goals in the second period of a 15-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets.

1995 — Eddie George rushes for a school-record 314 yards on 36 carries and scores three TDs as Ohio State routs Illinois 41-3.

2001 — In his sixth career start, Shaun Alexander has 266 yards rushing on 35 carries and an 88-yard touchdown run as Seattle beats AFC West-leading Oakland 34-27.

2002 — The Oakland Raiders, behind record-setting performances, beat the Denver Broncos 34-10. Rich Gannon completes 21 straight passes and Jerry Rice becomes the first player to score 200 career touchdowns.

2004 — Earl Boykins, at 5-foot-5, becomes the smallest player in NBA history to reach 30 points, scoring a career-high 32 in Denver’s 117-109 victory over Detroit.

2006 — Wake Forest beats Florida State 30-0 to become the first team to shutout the Seminoles at Doak Campbell Stadium in Bobby Bowden’s 31 seasons as coach.

2007 — Brett Favre joins Dan Marino as the only quarterbacks to throw for 60,000 yards in a career during the second quarter of Green Bay’s 34-0 win over Minnesota.

2008 — Jockey Julien Leparoux has a record-tying day at Churchill Downs. The 25-year-old Frenchman ties Hall of Famer Pat Day’s track record with seven wins. Day set the record on June 20, 1984.

2011 — Faulkner defeats Union (Ky.) 95-89 in triple overtime to set an NAIA football record. The 184 combined points, smashes the previous mark of 141 set in 1994 when Southwestern (Kan.) defeated Sterling (Kan.) 79-62.

2012 — Antron Brown becomes the first black champion in any NHRA pro series when he wins the Top Fuel title at the season-ending event.

2012 — Atlanta’s Tony Gonzalez catches the 100th TD pass of his career, a 2-yarder from Matt Ryan in the Falcons 31-27 loss at New Orleans. He adds another score on a 6-yard pass and becomes the first tight end with 100 TD receptions.

2017 — Lamar Jackson accounts for four touchdowns and 342 yards while establishing an NCAA milestone in beating Virginia 38-21. Jackson, the Heisman Trophy winner, becomes the first player in NCAA history to post two seasons with 1,000 yards rushing and 3,000 yards passing.

2017 — Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski becomes the first men’s Division I basketball coach to win 1,000 games at one school, when his top-ranked Blue Devils beat Utah Valley 99-69.

And finally

Malik Monk was 10-of-13 shooting during the Lakers’ overtime win over the Heat Wednesday night. Check out highlights from his 27-point performance.

Until next time...

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