The Sports Report: What’s next for the Kings?

Dustin Brown, center, skates away after the Game 7 loss.
Dustin Brown, center, skates away after the Game 7 loss.
(Jeff McIntosh / AP)

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

From Helene Elliott: Todd McLellan’s emotions were raw, and so were his words.

He wasn’t the slightest bit sentimental in summing up the Kings’ seven-game Stanley Cup playoff loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night. Only a few minutes removed from losing to the team that had fired him 3 ½ years ago, with the realization that eight months’ hard work had ended in frustration, the sting of defeat gnawed at him and he didn’t care who knew.

The Kings had earned a chance to close out the Oilers in Game 6 at home last Thursday but couldn’t find an extra gear or extra goal. Playing before a loud and hostile crowd at Rogers Place on Saturday, they were in good shape after a 0-0 first period in Game 7 and trailed 1-0 after two.

They were helpless as Connor McDavid transformed himself from a superstar to the heartbeat of a team that’s beginning to realize its potential, but McDavid wasn’t the only reason for the Kings’ season-ending 2-0 loss. They fell just short in too many areas and made too many mistakes in unforgiving situations, as fringe and inexperienced players often do.


Those were common themes during an injury-filled season that thrust many players into roles they weren’t suited to play. Yet the season also led them back to the playoffs for the first time since 2018 and gave kids chances to blossom and contribute to the team’s new identity. The light at the end of the tunnel could be the gleam of the Stanley Cup, though that’s far off.

Asked what the experience of playing in a Game 7 might mean for the younger players, McLellan’s voice became loud and his tone crackled.

“This word ‘experience’ has come up the whole frickin’ playoffs. Gain it, gain it, gain it. Experience is only good if you do something with it,” he said. “If you’re just going to go throw it in the closet when you go home, whether you’re old or young, it’s useless.

“So our younger players, in particular, that whether you played in the series or not you gained experience. It’s what are you going to do with it now? And that’s why next year, starting tomorrow, is going to be one tough year. Based on experience that I have. And they will be told that. And there’s a lot of growing up that some of them need to do and they can do it. And they will do it.”

Enjoying this newsletter? Consider subscribing to the Los Angeles Times

Your support helps us deliver the news that matters most. Become a subscriber.


Schedule and results
All times Pacific
First round
Western Conference

No. 2 Edmonton vs. No. 3 Kings
Kings 4, Edmonton 3
Edmonton 6, Kings 0
Edmonton 8, Kings 2
Kings 4, Edmonton 0
Kings 5, Edmonton 4 (OT)
Edmonton 4, Kings 2
Edmonton 2, Kings 0

No. 1 Colorado vs. WC#2 Nashville
Colorado 7, Nashville 2
Colorado 2, Nashville 1 (OT)
Colorado 7, Nashville 3
Colorado 5, Nashville 3

No. 2 Minnesota vs. No. 3 St. Louis
St. Louis 4, Minnesota 0
Minnesota 6, St. Louis 2
Minnesota 5, St. Louis 1
St. Louis 5, Minnesota 2
St. Louis 5, Minnesota 2
St, Louis 5, Minnesota 1

No. 1 Calgary vs. WC#1 Dallas
Calgary 1, Dallas 0
Dallas 2, Calgary 0
Dallas 4, Calgary 2
Calgary 4, Dallas 1
Calgary 3, Dallas 1
Dallas 4, Calgary 2
Calgary 3, Dallas 2 (OT)

Eastern Conference

No. 1 Florida vs. WC#2 Washington
Washington 4, Florida 2
Florida 5, Washington 1
Washington 6, Florida 1
Florida 3, Washington 2 (OT)
Florida 5, Washington 3
Florida 4, Washington 3 (OT)
*Sunday at Florida, TBD

No. 2 Toronto vs. No. 3 Tampa Bay
Toronto 5, Tampa Bay 0
Tampa Bay 5, Toronto 3
Toronto 5, Tampa Bay 2
Tampa Bay 7, Toronto 3
Toronto 4, Tampa Bay 3
Tampa Bay 4, Toronto 3 (OT)
Tampa Bay 2, Toronto 1

No. 1 Carolina at WC#1 Boston
Carolina 5, Boston 1
Carolina 5, Boston 2
Boston 4, Carolina 2
Boston 5, Carolina 2
Carolina 5, Boston 1
Boston 5, Carolina 2
Carolina 3, Boston 2

No. 2 New York Rangers vs. No. 3 Pittsburgh Penguins
Pittsburgh 4, New York 3 (3 OT)
New York 5, Pittsburgh 2
Pittsburgh 7, New York 4
Pittsburgh 7, New York 2
New York 5, Pittsburgh 3
New York 5, Pittsburgh 3
New York 4, Pittsburgh 3 (OT)

*-if necessary


From Jack Harris: When the ball went between his legs, Gavin Lux tried not to show much emotion.

After committing a two-out error in the second inning Sunday, when his missed ground ball at second base led to four unearned runs for the Philadelphia Phillies, the Dodgers infielder tucked his glove into his arm.

He took off his cap and looked at the scout card for the next batter.

And when he returned to the dugout, he sat down next to starting pitcher Michael Grove, who was making his MLB debut, and didn’t say a word.

He didn’t need to.

“I gotta make that play,” Lux later acknowledged. “Everybody knows that … Those runs are on me.”

A couple hours later, Lux redeemed himself.

After three straight losses to the Phillies this weekend during which the Dodgers couldn’t dig out of an early hole, the 24-year-old former top prospect helped the team finally flip the script.

Down by four following Lux’s error, the Dodgers cut the deficit to one by the bottom of the ninth. Then, with two on and two out, Lux came to the plate, hit a line drive into the right-field corner and — this time — let all the emotions come pouring out.

Lux had delivered a two-run double to give the Dodgers a walk-off 5-4 win. And as the winning run crossed the plate, the rest of the team came pouring off the bench to mob him, serenading him with near second base high fives and hugs and more than a few sprays from a water bottle.


Plaschke: The Curse of Trevor Bauer continues to punish the Dodgers


Shohei Ohtani homered for the second consecutive game, leading the Angels to a 4-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Sunday.

A day after becoming the third Japanese-born player to reach 100 homers in the major leagues, Ohtani belted No. 101. His eighth homer this season was a 425-foot drive deep into the right-field stands off a first-inning sinker from Frankie Montas. Mike Trout, who singled ahead of Ohtani, scored.

“That had some great hang time to it,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “Not many people hit Montas, but I don’t know, that was 97 mph elevated and he got all of it. When he’s starting to get to that, heads up.”

Patrick Sandoval pitched into the sixth inning and got back on track after a pair of so-so outings to help the Angels (24-13) move 11 games above .500 for the first time since July 28, 2015.

Sandoval (2-1) gave up one run and four hits, lowering his ERA to 1.91. The left-hander overcame a season-high four walks and pitched out of jams in the first three innings, when the A’s stranded four runners in scoring position.

Sandoval has yielded three runs or fewer in all six of his starts this season.

“I didn’t have the changeup. I had to find something that worked, and [the] slider was the pitch,” Sandoval said. “I don’t want to get in those jams in the first place, but when you’re in them you have to get out of them, and I think I did a pretty good job today of doing that.”


From Ryan Kartje: By last summer, two years of turmoil appeared to be behind Bru McCoy. After a winding transfer saga saw him bounce between USC and Texas followed by a mysterious illness that left him fearing for his life, it seemed the former five-star Mater Dei receiver was finally poised to realize his potential with the Trojans.

But any hope of that promise being fulfilled at USC evaporated days before the team broke fall camp ahead of the 2021 season. McCoy was arrested July 24 following an alleged incident with his ex-girlfriend at his off-campus residence that prompted her to seek medical attention. McCoy was suspended from USC’s campus and removed from the football team. He would never suit up for the Trojans again.

McCoy denied the allegations, and the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office declined to file charges last August, citing insufficient evidence in a case it referred to as “he said, she said domestic violence.”

Still, USC continued with its Title IX investigation into McCoy, keeping him off the football team long after the district attorney’s decision was handed down. His accuser, referred to in court filings as Jane Roe to protect her identity, forged on with her pursuit of a restraining order against McCoy. McCoy, in response, sought to clear his name and return to the field.

A clean resolution never came to pass. By the time USC finally lifted its suspension, McCoy had already entered the transfer portal. Last week, he made his exit official, committing to Tennessee, where a new fanbase is already buzzing about his potential.

But at USC, where McCoy once seemed bound for stardom, he leaves numerous questions in his wake.

The Times reviewed hundreds of pages of court filings in search of answers. Those documents, filed mostly amid his fervent efforts to return to USC and its football team, shed light on the disciplinary process at USC and what can happen when a star football player faces serious accusations.

Read the rest here.


Schedule and results
All times Pacific
Conference semifinals
Western Conference

No. 1 Phoenix Suns vs. No. 4 Dallas Mavericks
Phoenix 121, Dallas 114
Phoenix 129, Dallas 109
Dallas 103, Phoenix 94
Dallas 111, Phoenix 101
Phoenix 110, Dallas 80
Dallas 113, Phoenix 86
Dallas 123, Phoenix 90

No. 2 Memphis Grizzlies vs. No. 3 Golden State Warriors
Golden State 117, Memphis 116
Memphis 106, Golden State 101
Golden State 142, Memphis 112
Golden State 101, Memphis 98
Memphis 134, Golden State 95
Golden State 110, Memphis 96

Eastern Conference

No. 1 Miami Heat vs. No. 4 Philadelphia 76ers
Miami 106, Philadelphia 92
Miami 119, Philadelphia 103
Philadelphia 99, Miami 79
Philadelphia 116, Miami 108
Miami 120, Philadelphia 85
Miami 99, Philadelphia 90

No. 2 Boston Celtics vs. No. 3 Milwaukee Bucks
Milwaukee 101, Boston 89
Boston 109, Milwaukee 86
Milwaukee 103, Boston 101
Boston 116, Milwaukee 108
Milwaukee 110, Boston 107
Boston 108, Milwaukee 95
Boston 109, Milwaukee 81

*-if necessary


1884 — Isaac Murphy, a black jockey and one of the greatest American riders, wins the Kentucky Derby aboard Buchanan. He will win the showcase race two more times.

1916 — Damrosch, ridden by Linus McAtee, takes the early lead, gives it up in the stretch, and comes back to beat Greenwood by 1½ lengths in the Preakness Stakes.

1925 — Flying Ebony, ridden by Earl Sande, becomes the fourth field horse to win the Kentucky Derby, a 1½-length victory over Captain Hal. The first network radio broadcast of the Kentucky Derby airs from WHAS in Louisville.

1964 — Northern Dancer, ridden by Bill Hartack, wins the Preakness Stakes by 2½ lengths over The Scoundrel.

1976 — The Montreal Canadiens win their 19th Stanley Cup with a 5-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers, capping a four-game sweep.

1980 — The Lakers beat the Philadelphia 76ers 123-107 to win the NBA title in six games. Rookie guard Magic Johnson finishes with 42 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists and is named the Finals MVP. The 42 points are the most scored by a rookie in an NBA Finals game.

1992 — America’s Cup: America Team USA defeats II Moro di Venezia 4-1 in San Diego.

2009 — Rachel Alexandria, ridden by Calvin Borel wins the 134th Preakness in 1:55:08.

Compiled by the Associated Press

And finally

The Lakers win the 1980 NBA title. 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, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.