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The Sports Report: Chargers roll past Giants with Chiefs up next

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert rolls out during the first half.
Justin Herbert rolls out during the first half.
(Ashley Landis / Associated Press)

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

Jeff Miller on the Chargers: Given the opportunity to look past the New York Giants, the Chargers instead rolled through them.

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Now, they can do what everyone else already was doing before Sunday: They can focus on Kansas City.

“It’s gonna be a great ballgame,” coach Brandon Staley said. “It’s gonna be great for the NFL. We got to get right to work.”

Right to work because the Chiefs will be at SoFi Stadium on Thursday for a Week 15 meeting that will be for first place in the AFC West.

Both division rivals were heavy favorites Sunday and neither hiccuped. The Chargers opened a 37-7 lead over the Giants before winning 37-21. Kansas City pounded Las Vegas 48-9.

The Chargers defeated the Chiefs on the road in late September by scoring a touchdown in the final minute.

The rematch will feature limited preparation, the condensed schedule only adding to the intensity.

“We’ll be ready.” Staley said. “They’re a tough cover no matter how many days [you have]. If it was a bye week, it would be a tough cover. What I think makes games like this so unique is both sides have to go through it.”

The Chargers arrived at Chiefs week by handling a weak version of the Giants, who were without their starting quarterback, Daniel Jones, and had to turn to long-time NFL backup Mike Glennon.

After a 7-7 first quarter, the Chargers produced the game’s next 30 points as the defense forced four straight three-and-outs in one stretch and the offense scored on six of seven possessions.

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Chargers rip Giants, but did you see that throw by Justin Herbert?

Chargers’ 37-21 victory over the New York Giants by the numbers

Photos: Justin Herbert and Chargers dominate in victory over Giants

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RAMS

Gary Klein on the Rams: Shortly after signing with the Rams in 2017, Andrew Whitworth played golf with one of the greatest athletes of all time.

Whitworth was a youthful 35 at the time. After their round, hockey legend Wayne Gretzky offered sage advice.

“He told me ... ‘Just make sure you make people tear that jersey off of you and you don’t walk away until you’re ready because you’ll miss it,’” Whitworth said.

Whitworth still wears No. 77. No one is attempting to strip it from his towering frame.

On Sunday, his 40th birthday, the 6-foot-7, 330-pound Whitworth will travel with the Rams to Arizona for a Monday night date with history.

When Whitworth lines up against the Arizona Cardinals, he will become only the fifth NFL offensive lineman to play at age 40, the first to start a game at left tackle.

“Sometimes you take for granted that he’s 40 years old,” coach Sean McVay said. “If you didn’t know with the bald head and stuff like that, I mean he moves around like he’s young.”

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Rams starter Rob Havenstein, reserve Donte Deayon put on reserve/COVID-19 list

NFL Week 14: Patrick Mahomes and Chiefs roll to blowout win over Raiders

LAKERS

Dan Woike on the Lakers: LeBron James flexed his arms. He tossed shots aimed at the high into the sky. He threw faux-uppercuts and slammed home dunks. He begged for life from the Staples Center crowd, his hands above his head asking for more of the cheers he’d created seemingly out of nowhere.

Before the third quarter, Sunday at Staples Center looked like another one of those nights. The kind where you wondered if things would maybe be different if Anthony Davis’ knew wasn’t so sore, if Kendrick Nunn and Trevor Ariza could trade their street clothes for basketball unforms and if Russell Westbrook just looked more comfortable.

But for everything the Lakers aren’t – and man, is that list long – they’re still the one thing that 29 other teams are envious of.

They’re the team that gets to employ James. And he’s the player that gave that led them to a 106-94 win.

With Staples Center sitting mostly lifeless after another clunker half of basketball where the Lakers look like they’re going nowhere, James pushed them into overdrive, leading the team on a 23-0 run in a quarter where the Magic managed to make only two shots from the field on 23 tries.

Ta-da!

“Just an all-around great performance,” James said of the third quarter.

The Magic shot 8.7% from the field in the third, the worst an opponent has shot in a quarter against the Lakers since Dec. 14, 1999 when the Clippers went 1-for-18 from the field.

In the third, James scored 14 points and had three assists, giving the Lakers two things they’ve had almost none of this season – momentum and a huge lead. He finished with 30 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. He also had three highlight-reel blocks.

“He’s finding joy with hustle,” Frank Vogel said. “…The effort he’s playing with is inspiring our whole group.”

USC MEN’S BASKETBALL

Isaiah Mobley had 21 points and 12 rebounds, and No. 16 USC pulled away at the beginning of the second half on its way to a 73-62 victory over Long Beach State.

The Trojans (10-0) continued their best start since the 2016-17 season, when they opened 14-0. Drew Peterson added 15 points and Max Agbonkpolo had 11 points for USC, and Mobley had his fourth double-double in five games.

Joel Murray led the Beach (3-7) with 14 points. Colin Slater added 12 points and Romelle Mansel had 10 points, including three dunks in the second half, and seven rebounds.

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‘How can a West Texas boy go to L.A.?’ Lincoln Riley’s journey from Muleshoe to USC

DUCKS

Troy Terry scored his second goal of the game on a penalty shot in overtime to give the Ducks a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Blues.

Scott Perunovich was called for slashing with just over a minute remaining in overtime, giving Terry a penalty shot. He beat fifth-string goalie Jon Gillies on a backhander at 3:58 of the extra period for his team-leading 17th goal of the season.

Buddy Robinson also scored for the Ducks, who ended the Blues’ seven-game home winning streak. Anthony Stolarz made 23 saves.

GALAXY

Kevin Baxter on the Galaxy: The Galaxy on Sunday traded defender Daniel Steres to the Houston Dynamo and forward Ethan Zubak to Nashville SC, continuing a roster makeover that began last winter under coach Greg Vanney.

And Vanney may not be done. The Galaxy are reportedly close to finalizing another trade, this one involving national team midfielder Sebastian Lletget, with the New England Revolution the most likely landing place.

Steres, 31, who made his MLS debut in 2016, was one of the last links to coach Bruce Arena’s dynasty teams with the Galaxy. But he registered career lows for games (18), starts (13) and minutes played (1,134) under Vanney. Steres’ 140 appearances for the Galaxy overall ranks 14th all-time.

The center back, who is entering the option year of his contract, was guaranteed $393,750 last season, according to the union figures. The Galaxy received Houston’s third-round pick, the 60th selection overall, in next month’s MLS SuperDraft in return for Steres. The Galaxy will also retain an unspecified portion of Steres’ salary budget charge in 2022.

The Galaxy received Nashville’s natural first-round pick, the 21st overall, in the SuperDraft for Zubak.

THE YEAR IN REVIEW

2021 sports year in review: The year Simone Biles taught us it’s OK to not be OK

Top 2021 sports moments: UCLA’s Final Four run; Dodgers thrive despite Trevor Bauer

THIS DATE IN SPORTS

1942 — The Washington Redskins win the NFL championship with a 14-6 victory over the Chicago Bears.

1958 — Gordie Howe of the Detroit Red Wings scores his 400th NHL goal in a 2-2 tie against the Montreal Canadiens.

1981 — John McEnroe and Roscoe Tanner lead the United States to a 3-1 victory over Argentina in the Davis Cup final.

1983 — Detroit beats Denver 186-184 in triple overtime in the highest-scoring game in NBA history. Isiah Thomas scores 47 and John Long adds 41 for the Pistons. Denver’s Kiki Vandeweghe had 51 points.

1992 — Manon Rheaume becomes the first woman to play in a regular-season pro game when she appears in the Atlanta Knights’ 4-1 loss to Salt Lake City in the International Hockey League.

1995 — Detroit’s Paul Coffey becomes the first NHL defenseman to reach 1,000 assists, setting up Igor Larionov’s first-period goal in the Red Wings’ 3-1 victory over Chicago.

1997 — Michigan’s Charles Woodson is named the first predominantly defensive player to receive the Heisman Trophy in the 63 years of the award. Woodson and the Wolverines go on to defeat Washington State in the 1998 Rose Bowl, claiming a perfect 12-0 season and a share of the national championship.

1998 — Gary Anderson kicks six field goals, setting the NFL record with 34 straight without a miss, in Minnesota’s 38-28 victory over Baltimore.

2003 — Mount Union breaks its own NCAA record by winning its 55th consecutive game, beating Bridgewater 66-0 in the NCAA Division III semifinals.

2004 — In Sestriere, Italy, World Cup leader Bode Miller wins a slalom to join Marc Girardelli as the only men to win races in all four disciplines in a season. Miller has won slalom, giant slalom, super-G and downhill races in a span of 16 days.

2007 — Major League Baseball’s Mitchell Report is released, identifying 85 names to differing degrees in the 409-page document. The biggest name linked by former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell to illegal use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs is seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens.

2010 — Minnesota quarterback Brett Favre, 41, is sidelined by a throwing shoulder too damaged for even him to overcome. The injury ends of one of the greatest individual streaks in all of sports. Favre had made 297 consecutive starts over 19 seasons.

2014 — Marcus Mariota wins the Heisman Trophy, becoming the first Oregon player to earn college football’s top individual honor. Mariota accounts for a Pac-12-record 53 touchdowns (38 passing, 14 rushing and one receiving) while directing the Ducks’ warp-speed spread offense, and leading Oregon to a spot in the first college football playoff.

Supplied by the Associated Press

And finally

Highlights from the Lakers-Magic game. Watch and listen 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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