The Sports Report: Lakers fall to Hawks

Atlanta Hawks forward Onyeka Okongwu blocks Carmelo Anthony's shot in the second half.
(Hakim Wright Sr. / Associated Press)

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Dan Woike on the Lakers: Russell Westbrook stood in his defensive stance while Trae Young calmly got ready to attack — and that attack was coming faster than the Lakers could’ve realized.


Young quickly launched a three-pointer from 30 feet out, the ball rattling around the rim before falling through the hoop — a fitting ending for the Lakers’ six-game trip, the team close but, again, not good enough.

“Just fell short,” coach Frank Vogel said.

The Atlanta Hawks, despite allowing the Lakers to score at will for most of the game, outgunned them 129-121, capping the season-long trip with four losses against just two wins (against Orlando and a very-undermanned Brooklyn).

Malik Monk, returning after missing Friday’s game in Charlotte, scored 33 with 10 rebounds. Anthony Davis, also back after missing Friday, added 27 and Russell Westbrook scored 20 with seven rebounds and 12 assists. And still, somehow, it wasn’t good enough, even with the Lakers making 54% of their shots.

Part of the issue was making only 12 of 23 free throws. And while the Hawks missed 11 from the line, too, Atlanta took nine more free throws.

“We’re frustrated right now because we’re supposed to win this game. And it’s self-inflicted mistakes. So that’s the frustrating part — where we can control those mistakes,” Davis said. “Trae hit tough shots. You can’t control that. But the little things — the offensive rebounds, the turnovers — you can control those things to give yourself a chance to win a basketball [game]. So that’s the most frustrating part.”


Austin Reaves emerges as a rare win for Lakers during challenging season


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Luca Evans on the Clippers: Isolated against the Clippers’ Justise Winslow, Charlotte’s LaMelo Ball went into his magician’s routine. In and out he dribbled the ball between his legs, twitching back and forth, exploding past Winslow and extending to the rim.

Winslow blocked Ball’s layup into the seats. He walked over to Ball, getting in his face for a moment, a smirk on his face.

“Don’t do that,” Ball told Winslow, according to the Clippers swingman. “I’ll go and get 10 in a row.”

“I was just like, ‘Go do it then,’ Winslow said. “I don’t think that’s gonna happen on my watch … He’s a hell of a player, he’s going to be in this league a long time. He’ll be an All-Star for a lot of years. But I needed that block, for sure.”

Charlotte fans have streamed into the Spectrum Center to ooh and ahh at the LaMelo Show. But the circus was shut down Sunday, thanks to a gritty Clippers team that marched in and held Charlotte to 33% shooting en route to a 115-90 win.



Luke Kennard would find it ‘very cool’ to be in NBA All-Star three-point contest


Kevin Baxter on soccer: Cinderella isn’t ready for the clock to strike midnight just yet.

In fact, the party might just be getting started for Canada, the surprise belle of the CONCACAF ball, which can begin thinking about packing its silver slipper for next fall’s World Cup in Qatar after Sunday’s 2-0 win over the U.S. in Hamilton, Canada.

Canada (6-0-4), the only unbeaten team left in the eight-nation tournament, needs only seven points from its final four games to earn its first World Cup berth in 36 years, and just the second in its history.

“It’s been a long time and this is what Canada deserves,” said goalkeeper Milan Borjan, who came to the postgame news conference draped in a Canadian flag. “We want to get to our goal, our dream, to get to the World Cup. This is one step closer.”

A big step closer considering Canada probably wouldn’t be playing in the qualifiers if not for COVID-19. Under the original format, the top six CONCACAF teams in the FIFA world rankings were to play a 10-game tournament to decide the region’s World Cup teams. Canada was ranked seventh.


But if Canada is cruising, the U.S. (5-2-3) is sputtering, having been shut out for the third time in 10 qualifiers despite dominating Canada statistically, holding the ball for nearly 60 of the 90 minutes, outshooting it 13-8 and completing more than twice as many passes.


Megan Garcia on the Bruins: Fans holding posters with the words “They deserve better” painted in black lettering awaited their entrance into Pauley Pavilion to watch UCLA gymnastics for the first time in nearly 700 days.

When walking onto the floor where the Bruins were warming up for their competition against Arizona on Sunday afternoon, there was a sense of levity that was palpable.

Whether it was J Balvin’s “Que Calor” or SchoolBoy Q’s “Collard Greens” that rang through the sound system of Pauley Pavilion, the Bruins seemingly switched their focus and hit pause on the strife that swept through the program during the past three months and reached a tipping point last week.

“Our motto right now is resilience,” said senior Norah Flatley. “Whatever is thrown at us, we’re strong enough to get through. When we go into the gym, we leave whatever’s going on outside at the door and we focus on our gymnastics so that we can train safely and properly.”

After opening the season in Minnesota with the lowest team score in seven years, UCLA earned its first win of the season with a team score of 196.400, edging the Wildcats by 1.275 points.


Freshman Jordan Chiles and Flatley were the breakout contributors during Sunday’s meet. Chiles owned the highest marks of the day with a 9.900 on the vault and uneven parallel bars, respectively.


Four Bruins scored in double-figures as the UCLA women’s basketball team fell on the road at Oregon State, 72-58.. Dominique Onu and Natalie Chou each posted a team-high 13 points in the contest.

IImar’I Thomas led the Bruins with 10 points in the second half. Thomas’ last of her six field goals brought UCLA (9-6, 4-4 Pac-12) within two points of Oregon State (11-5, 4-2 Pac-12) at 53-51 with 4:35 remaining in the fourth quarter. Beaver forward Taya Corosdale sparked an 8-0 Oregon State run to stretch their lead back to 61-51 in the following fifty seconds to seal the game.


The USC women’s basketball team came up against a hot-shooting home team and was unable to keep pace, falling 80-48 at No. 19 Oregon.

USC (9-9 overall, 2-6 in Pac-12) was in a 17-point hole at halftime as the Trojans shot 29.6% from the field to trail Oregon’s productive 53.1%. USC also was hamstrung by 13 first-half turnovers that the Ducks (13-5, 5-1) converted into 11 points as the host built a 38-21 lead at the break.


Trevor Moore’s second goal broke a tie in the third period and sent the Kings over the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3.


Sidney Crosby scored the 498th goal of his career for the Penguins.

Moore took a lead pass from Blake Lizotte and beat goaltender Tristan Jarry on a breakaway at 13:21 of the third.

Moore’s seventh goal of the season helped the Kings win for the third time in five games after a three-game skid.


Rafael Nadal got to 21 first, breaking the men’s record for most Grand Slam singles titles and doing it the hard way by coming back from two sets down to beat Daniil Medvedev in an almost 5 1/2-hour Australian Open final that didn’t finish until the early hours of Monday.

He was broken when serving for the championship at 5-4 in the fifth set but made no mistake the next time.

At 5 hours and 24 minutes, it was the second-longest Australian Open final; Novak Djokovic beat Nadal in five sets in 5 hours and 53 minutes in 2012.

The 35-year-old Spaniard now has one more than Roger Federer and Djokovic, his longtime rivals in the so-called Big Three.



1920 — Joe Malone of the Quebec Bulldogs scores an NHL-record seven goals in a 10-6 victory over the Toronto St. Patricks.

1941 — Joe Louis knocks out Red Burman in the fifth round at Madison Square Garden to retain the world heavyweight title.

1950 — High school pitcher Paul Pettit signs with the Pirates for a record $100,000. To do so, Pittsburgh has to purchase his contract from a film producer who had signed Pettit to an exclusive contract as an athlete/actor.

1988 — The Washington Redskins score 35 points in the second quarter to overcome a 10-0 deficit and beat the Denver Broncos 42-10 in the Super Bowl. MVP Doug Williams passes for four touchdowns and a record 340 yards. Timmy Smith rushes for a record 204 yards.

1991 — Michael Adams of the Denver Nuggets scores a career-high 45 points, hands out 12 assists and grabs 11 rebounds in a 123-119 win over New Jersey. The 5-foot-11 guard becomes the shortest player in the NBA to get a triple-double.

1993 — The Dallas Cowboys win the Super Bowl, beating Buffalo 52-17 and giving the Bills their third straight loss in the title game, a league record.


1998 — Martina Hingis, 17, becomes the youngest player in the Open era to defend a Grand Slam title, capturing her second Australian Open with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Conchita Martinez.

1999 — John Elway gets his second straight Super Bowl ring, weaving his magic for the final time during the Denver Broncos’ 34-19 win over the Atlanta Falcons.

2004 — Justine Henin-Hardenne wins her third Grand Slam title and extends her dominance in major finals against countrywoman Kim Clijsters with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 win in the Australian Open women’s title match.

2009 — Serena Williams routs Dinara Safina 6-0, 6-3 to win the Australian Open — her 10th Grand Slam title — and return to the No. 1 ranking.

2010 — Roger Federer beats Andy Murray 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (11) for a fourth Australian Open championship and his 16th Grand Slam title overall.

2011 — For the first time since the WTA rankings began in 1975, the top 10 players are from 10 countries. Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki remains No. 1.


2015 — Serena Williams wins her 19th Grand Slam title and extends her decade-long domination of Maria Sharapova with a commanding 6-3, 7-6 (5) win.

2015 — Lydia Ko, 17, becomes the youngest golfer, male or female, to be ranked No. 1. She shares second place at the LPGA Tour’s season opener, where she finishes a shot behind Na Yeon Choi.

Supplied by the Associated Press

And finally

The Broncos defeat the Falcons to win Super Bowl XXXIII. Watch and listen here.

Until next time...

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