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The Sports Report: Going to the Rams parade? Here’s what you need to know

Members of the Rams celebrate their victory.
Members of the Rams celebrate their victory.
(Los Angeles Times)
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Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

We have all the info you need to know about the parade for the Rams today.

Where is the route?

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The roughly one-mile parade will kick off at 11 a.m. at the Shrine Auditorium on West Jefferson Boulevard, team officials said.

It will wind down Figueroa Street before turning onto Exposition Park Drive and landing at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum about 11:45 a.m.

A rally will be held at the Coliseum’s Olympic Plaza and Peristyle Arch from noon to 1 p.m.

What about road closures?

The 110 Freeway southbound offramp at Exposition Boulevard and the 110 northbound HOV offramp at 39th Street will both be closed starting at 7 a.m.

The Department of Transportation will close the following streets beginning at 8 a.m.:

Jefferson Boulevard (in both directions) between Hoover Street and Figueroa Street

Figueroa Street (in both directions) between Adams Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard

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Exposition Boulevard (both directions) between Bill Robertson Lane and Figueroa Street

Bill Robertson Lane (both directions) between Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Exposition Boulevard.

The Department of Transportation will reopen city streets on a rolling basis once the parade passes through each section.

What about COVID safety?

Public health officials generally advise people to avoid crowds, but “there’s no avoiding crowds in a parade,” Dr. George Rutherford, a UC San Francisco professor of epidemiology, said Monday. “The safest bet is to wear a mask, if you’re going to go.”

Los Angeles County is still considered an area of high transmission for the virus, which means that under guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people may want to consider wearing masks outside whenever in sustained close contact with others — especially if they or someone in their household are not up to date on COVID-19 vaccines, are at higher risk of severe disease or are immunocompromised.

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Plaschke: The Rams and L.A. deserve this parade, but sorry, Lakers and Dodgers, you don’t

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WINTER OLYMPICS

Note: Our Olympics coverage is done in real time, so if you don’t want to know what happened before you watch TV today, skip down to the TV schedule.

From Helene Elliott: The top-seeded U.S. men’s hockey team was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the Olympic tournament Wednesday when Peter Cehlarik scored the only goal in a tiebreaking shootout and gave underdog Slovakia a 3-2 victory at National Indoor Stadium.

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U.S. goaltender Strauss Mann stopped three shots in the shootout but couldn’t stop Cehlarik’s forehand shot in the fourth round. When Andy Miele couldn’t score, the Slovaks completed the upset.

Slovakia had tied the close and well-played game with 43.7 seconds left in the third period and their goaltender pulled in favor of an extra skater. Marek Hrivik poked in the rebound of a shot by Michal Cajkovsky to send the game to a 10-minute period of sudden-death play with each team skating three-on-three. Neither could score in overtime, sending the game to a decisive shootout.

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From Helene Elliott: Kamila Valieva was a vision in shades of lavender, her bedazzled skirt fluttering as she floated above the ice at Capital Indoor Stadium.

Except for an awkward landing on her opening triple axel jump, the 15-year-old Russian was poised and powerful as she performed her short program Tuesday. She earned 82.16 points, outpacing compatriot Anna Shcherbakova and Kaori Sakamoto of Japan to rank first — but with a big, fat, blinking neon asterisk attached to the result.

On Dec. 25, Valieva tested positive for a banned substance — a medication that’s used to treat heart ailments and is classified as a stimulant — but she competed in the European championships and in the team event in the Beijing Games before the result arrived from a lab in Sweden. Conveniently, it turned up after the Russian Olympic Committee athletes had won gold. She was provisionally suspended by the Russian Anti-Doping Agency — for one whole day.

Because she’s under 16 she has protected status under international anti-doping rules. That meant that her suspension couldn’t be reinstated, despite requests from the World Anti-Doping Agency, the International Skating Union and the International Olympic Committee to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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She was cleared to compete Monday, and Tuesday she earned the highest scores for the elements and artistic aspects of her program to “In Memoriam.” She didn’t take questions from the media after she left the ice and she skipped the post-event news conference. Shcherbakova and Sakamoto also declined to address the issue that’s threatening to consume the sport.

Valieva got a free pass to compete despite her recent positive test. Other skaters who competed cleanly in the team event and two medalists from the singles event will miss out on celebrations they earned. That’s terribly wrong.

“It’s definitely disappointing. I was really looking forward to being on the podium with my amazing teammates and sharing that moment of getting our medals,” said Karen Chen, who contributed to the U.S. silver medal in the team event and stands 13th in the individual competition after falling on a triple loop jump, which has become her nemesis. Alysa Liu ranks eighth with 69.50 points and U.S. champion Mariah Bell, who fell on the second part of her opening combination jump, is 11th with 65.38 points.

The Americans who competed in the team event won’t get the thrill of standing on that podium together. And it’s because Valieva was allowed to compete.

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From Thuc Nhi Nguyen: The pristine white snow at Genting Snow Park is more than just Alex Hall’s office for the day. To the two-time Olympic freeskier, it’s a sun-soaked, freezing-cold, blank canvas on which to paint his next picture.

Where elite athletes would generally rely on preset routines long before arriving at an event, slopestyle riders have perfected the art of adaptation. No regulation halfpipes or jump dimensions here. Each course at each contest is new, and when it came to the course at Genting Snow Park, each athlete carved a different work of art.

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Wednesday. on the Olympic course’s final day of competition, Hall’s masterpiece came with a gold filter, as he won his first Olympic gold medal with a first-run score of 90.01. Americans went first-and-second on the podium with Nick Goepper taking his second second consecutive Olympic silver medal.

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Germany became the first nation to sweep the medals in an Olympic bobsled race on Tuesday, grabbing gold, silver and bronze in the two-man event at the Beijing Games.

Francesco Friedrich is now a three-time Olympic gold medalist, teaming with Thorsten Margis to prevail in 3 minutes, 56.89 seconds. Johannes Lochner and Florian Bauer were second in 3:57.38, and Christoph Hafer and Matthias Sommer held on to finish third in 3:58.58.

Germany now has seven gold medals in sliding at the Beijing Games, more golds than any nation has ever grabbed from the bobsled, skeleton and luge events at any Olympics.

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Norwegian favorite Jarl Magnus Riiber took a wrong turn early in the 10K cross-country race at the Olympics, a little more than 24 hours after coming out of isolation, and two teammates took advantage.

“Maybe it’s not my Olympics,“ Riiber said.

Joergen Graabak of Norway made the most of the opportunity, winning gold in Nordic combined Tuesday.

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Graabak rallied from a deficit of 2 minutes, 7 seconds behind Riiber at the start of the cross-country race to finish first after placing 12th in ski jumping.

“It’s what dreams are made of,“ Graabak said. “It’s unreal, to be honest. I can’t quite believe it.“

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Wednesday’s TV schedule

USA NETWORK

12:40 a.m. – 3 a.m.

Men’s ice hockey – Quarterfinals (Live)

3 a.m. – 5:30 a.m.

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Women’s short track speedskating – 1,500-meter finals

Men’s short track speedskating – 5,000-meter relay final

Cross-country skiing – Team sprint finals (Live)

5:30 a.m. – 8 a.m.

Men’s ice hockey – Quarterfinals (Live)

8 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Women’s ice hockey – Finland vs. Switzerland (Bronze medal game)

Men’s curling – Great Britain vs. Russian Olympic Committee

Women’s biathlon – 6-kilometer relay

Men’s freestyle skiing – Aerials final

2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Ice hockey – Teams TBD

4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Women’s freestyle skiing – Halfpipe qualifying (Live)

Cross-Country Skiing – Team sprint finals

7:30 p.m. – 10:55 p.m.

Women’s Alpine skiing – Combined, Slalom (Live)

Men’s freestyle skiing halfpipe (Live)

Women’s freestyle ski cross final (Live)

NBC

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11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Cross-country skiing – Team sprint finals

Women’s biathlon – 6-kilometer relay

5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Women’s Alpine skiing – Combined, downhill (Live)

Women’s freestyle skiing halfpipe qualifying (Live)

Men’s freestyle aerials final

Women’s short track speedskating – 1,500-meter final

Men’s short track speedskating – 5,000-meter relay final

8 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Women’s ice hockey – United States vs. Canada, gold-medal game (Live)

CNBC

2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Women’s curling – United States vs. Japan

5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

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Men’s curling – United States vs. Denmark (Live)

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Beijing Olympics live: Latest news and results from the 24th Winter Games

CLIPPERS

From Andrew Greif: Robert Covington took issue with a suggestion late Monday night that he had deflected five, or maybe six of Golden State’s passes during that night’s Clippers rout.

“I think that’s kind of a little bit too low,” Covington said.

For the 31-year-old wing, acquired in a Feb. 4 trade with Portland along with guard Norman Powell, deflections aren’t accidents. They are one reason why despite being undrafted out of Tennessee State, he has stuck in the NBA for nine seasons. They are the result of hours of practice, and tangible evidence why he “is one of those guys that take defense personal,” coach Tyronn Lue said before Tuesday’s game at Phoenix.

“I say it all the time, I probably got the fastest hands in the league when it comes down to it,” he said. “I take pride in being the disruptor and that’s what I’m here for. To be the disruptor in all aspects throughout the game.”

Trailing the Suns by 13 with two minutes remaining in the third quarter, the Clippers made up that ground within eight minutes before taking a lead on a Reggie Jackson jumper for a two-point edge. But from there their spark faded, the Clippers scoring just six points in the final six minutes as Chris Paul threw back-to-back lobs to Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker, and L.A., playing for the second consecutive night, didn’t have enough energy to keep up in a 103-96 loss.

Marcus Morris Sr. scored 23 points and Nicolas Batum had 18. The comeback was primed by Covington, who had three steals and many more deflections that denied Suns possessions.

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KINGS

Kailer Yamamoto scored the tiebreaking goal with 4:46 remaining and the Edmonton Oilers remained undefeated under new coach Jay Woodcroft with a 5-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night.

Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each had a goal for the Oilers, who are 3-0-0 since Woodcroft replaced Dave Tippett last Thursday. Zach Hyman and Evander Kane added empty-net goals, and Mike Smith made 30 saves.

Phillip Danault and Arthur Kaliyev scored for the Kings, who had their six-game point streak snapped. Cal Petersen allowed three goals on 27 shots.

Yamamoto was at the front of the crease to capitalize after Leon Draisaitl took the puck from Matt Roy following Petersen’s indecision, continuing the Oilers’ recent turnaround. They moved one point ahead of the Kings for third place in the Pacific Division.

Danault scored with 8:18 left in the third period to tie it 2-all, finishing off Viktor Arvidsson’s centering pass from behind the net and canceling out Nugent-Hopkins’ seventh goal at 7:44 that gave Edmonton its first lead.

SOCCER

From Kevin Baxter: The timing seemed perfect for Mia Fishel.

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Last summer she announced she would leave UCLA after her junior season. Then less than a month after her final game, Amanda Cromwell, Fishel’s coach with the Bruins, was named the new manager of the Orlando Pride. So it was no surprise when the Pride selected Fishel in the first round of the NWSL draft two weeks later.

But that’s as far as the fairytale went because in mid-January, Fishel spurned Orlando and the NWSL to sign with Tigres of Mexico’s Liga MX Femenil, a decision that could have major implications for both leagues.

For the NWSL, Fishel is a dynamic, 20-year-old forward and rising prospect in the national team program who got away. She was the first big-name U.S. player to spurn a domestic team for Mexico’s six-year-old league.

For the newly ambitious Mexican league, Fishel’s signing could quicken its development, turning Liga MX into a rival of more-established leagues in the U.S. and Europe, both on the field and in the pursuit of top players.

“Our level now needs to be elevated by players like Mia, or any American player that is playing professionally,” said Mikel Arriola, Liga MX’s executive president. “We have to grow. The example of Mia is going to generate not only an individual case, but a pattern in the Mexican women’s league.”

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Qatar excited to welcome and show world its transformation during World Cup

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Alyssa Thompson is selected for USA Under-20 women’s soccer team

BASEBALL

Bill Shaikin on baseball: The COVID-19 pandemic cut short spring training in 2020. It compelled Cactus League teams to keep about three out of four seats empty in 2021. A pandemic is no one’s fault.

A lockout is different. It is not an act of God. It is an act of Major League Baseball owners.

This is the week players were scheduled to report to spring training. That is not happening. Cactus League games are scheduled to start next week. That is not happening, either.

In Arizona, that does not sit well. Cactus League cities built ballparks for major league owners who currently refuse to play.

“I’m very upset,” Glendale, Ariz., city manager Kevin Phelps said.

The Dodgers hold spring training in Glendale. That city’s costs in constructing, financing and maintaining Camelback Ranch add up to about $300 million. The Dodgers pay $1 per year in rent. So do their co-tenants, the Chicago White Sox.

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The economic justification for Glendale, and for the other Cactus League cities that lured teams with taxpayer-funded ballparks: Fans descend upon Arizona every spring, showering the desert with dollars spent on hotels, restaurants, shopping and entertainment.

ERIC KAY TRIAL

From Jorge Castillo: Four former Angels players testified Tuesday to receiving oxycodone pills from Eric Kay, the team’s former communications director charged with giving Tyler Skaggs the drugs that resulted in his death in a suburban Dallas hotel room in July 2019.

Three of the players — C.J. Cron, Michael Morin, and Cam Bedrosian — said Kay was their only source for oxycodone pills. The fourth, Matt Harvey, testified that he received oxycodone pills twice in 2019 from a friend in Rhode Island, including once in April when Skaggs asked him for pills.

The prosecution, attempting to convince the jury that Kay was Skaggs’ only source for oxycodone, pointed out that Kay was in rehab for drug addiction in April 2019.

Harvey was given immunity to testify after being subpoenaed by the government. He detailed his personal drug history and shared what he knew about Skaggs’ drug use. He hinted that oxycodone misuse is prevalent across the major leagues.

THIS DATE IN SPORTS

1961 — Elgin Baylor scores 57 points to lead the Lakers over the Detroit Pistons 129-106.

1967 — Rick Barry of the San Francisco Warriors scores 52 points against Chicago at Fresno for his second consecutive 50-point game.

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1969 — Alex Delvecchio of the Detroit Red Wings gets his 1,000th point with an assist in a 6-3 victory over the Kings.

1970 — Joe Frazier retains his world heavyweight title with a fifth-round knockout of Jimmy Ellis.

1972 — Wilt Chamberlain of the Lakers becomes the first player in NBA history to reach the 30,000 point mark during a 110-109 loss to the Phoenix Suns.

1989 — Chicago’s Michael Jordan scores 27 of his 50 points in the fourth quarter, to lead the Bulls to a 117-116 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.

1992 — Martina Navratilova becomes the career singles titles leader by beating Jana Novotna in three sets in the final of the Virginia Slims of Chicago. Navratilova, with her 158th career singles championship, passes Chris Evert, who retired in 1989.

1992 — Chicago’s Michel Goulet becomes the 17th NHL player to score 500 goals, getting one in the first period of the Blackhawks’ 5-5 tie with Calgary.

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1994 — John Stockton hands out 12 assists in Utah’s 103-99 road win over the Clippers to become the third guard in NBA history (joining Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson) to reach 9,000 career assists.

1997 — Jeff Gordon, 25, becomes the youngest winner of the Daytona 500 after Dale Earnhardt crashes 12 laps from the end to prolong his Daytona 500 jinx.

2001 — Philadelphia coach Larry Brown earns his 1,000th professional win, including his ABA record. Brown, 1,000-707 overall, ranks third on the career list behind Toronto’s Lenny Wilkens and Miami’s Pat Riley. Allen Iverson’s 42 points leads the 76ers to a 108-93 win over the Clippers.

2009 — Harness driver Brian Sears drives seven winners on the Presidents Day afternoon card at the Meadowlands. The last driver to win seven races on a 10-race card at the Meadowlands was John Campbell on Feb. 3, 1983.

2013 — American teenager Mikaela Shiffrin becomes the youngest woman in 39 years to win the slalom title at the world alpine championships held in Schladming, Austria. At the age of 17 years, 340 days, Shiffrin edges local hope Michaela Kirchgasser. The only slalom world champions younger than Shiffrin were Hanni Wenzel of Liechtenstein in 1974 and Esme Mackinnon of Britain in 1931.

2017 — Lowell Bailey upsets the pre-race favorites in the men’s individual competition to become the first American biathlete to win gold at the world championships. Bailey beats out Ondrej Moravec of the Czech Republic and three-time world champion Martin Fourcade of France.

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2017 — Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby feeds Chris Kunitz for a first-period goal against Winnipeg to become the 86th player in NHL history to reach the 1,000-point plateau. He adds an assist on Phil Kessel’s game-tying goal in the third and then puts the winner past Connor Hellebuyck with 21 seconds left in overtime as the Penguins escaped with a 4-3 victory.

Supplied by the Associated Press

And finally

Elgin Baylor career highlights. 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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