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The Sports Report: Short-handed Clippers fall to Warriors

Clippers center Ivica Zubac reaches for the ball next to Warriors Draymond Green (23) and Andrew Wiggins.
(Jeff Chiu / AP)
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Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

From Andrew Greif: For a franchise that has gone all-in on its NBA title aspirations, this matchup against the reigning champions could have represented a litmus test.

Instead, Wednesday became just another night where the Clippers’ present and future plans hinged on medical tests.

Their roster battered and incomplete for the better part of two seasons, the Clippers continued their short-handed start in a 124-107 loss to Golden State that saw them without injured All-Star wings Kawhi Leonard, Paul George and uber-valuable shooter Luke Kennard.

Marcus Morris Sr. scored a team-high 19 points, and Terance Mann and Norman Powell scored 17 points apiece as the Clippers fell to 11-8, unable to rein in Andrew Wiggins’ season-high 31 and 19 Golden State three-pointers.

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“I wish we were full strength against anybody,” coach Tyronn Lue said. “Just to get our rhythm and establish how we want to play. Unfortunately that hasn’t been the case this year, but it’s coming.”

Leonard had expressed little concern after he rolled his right ankle in a Monday victory against Utah, but Lue said Leonard woke with soreness Tuesday and despite “feeling better, getting better” Leonard has no timetable for a return, according to the coach.

Neither do Paul George, who has not played since Nov. 19 because of a strained hamstring tendon, or Luke Kennard, sidelined for a fourth consecutive game with a strained calf.

“I’m sure they’re really anxious to get whole and when they are whole you look at that roster it’s pretty impressive,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “They’re one of the teams you’ve got to think will be around in the end.”

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RAMS

From Gary Klein: Quarterback Matthew Stafford is in concussion protocol but does not have a concussion, the coach said Wednesday. The 14th-year pro will not play Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs because of a neck condition, not a concussion, McVay explained.

There is no timetable for Stafford’s return.

“He’ll still need to be able to take those necessary steps to be able to potentially get cleared, but that does not mean he has a concussion or has been diagnosed with one yet,” McVay said.

Stafford’s status for Sunday and beyond had been in doubt since he was removed from last Sunday’s defeat by the New Orleans Saints. Stafford had been cleared from concussion protocol two days earlier after recovering from an injury sustained Nov. 6 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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CHARGERS

From Jeff Miller: The Chargers sit at .500 — 5-5 — but their season to date hardly is divided evenly.

Quite the opposite, in fact.

This group has been first-half heavy, with a major emphasis on the second quarter. For a team that has lacked consistency in 2022, the numbers on the scoreboard tell a stark tale.

The Chargers have scored 119 points in the second quarter and a combined 108 points the rest of the time.

The lopsided output has became a more obvious issue as they’ve lost three of four games to fall out of playoff position.

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Those closest to John Madden remember favorite moments on Thanksgiving Day

UCLA BASKETBALL

From Ben Bolch: Amari Bailey could hear the insults coming from the opposing bench.

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UCLA’s freshman guard was called a non-shooter. The defense he saw reflected those words, players sagging off to give him extra room to shoot while guarding against drives toward the basket.

Pepperdine’s game plan was not without some merit. Bailey had been relatively quiet for the fist five games of his college career, including some struggles in his first two matchups against nationally ranked teams.

This was different.

In case anyone needed any reminders as to why he was rated as one of the nation’s top high school prospects, Bailey provided one after another Wednesday night at Pauley Pavilion.

Providing a huge lift on a night the Bruins’ defense returned to its usual stifling form, Bailey scored a career-high 19 points to lift the No. 19 Bruins to a 100-53 victory that foiled Pepperdine’s grand defensive plans.

“If you watch the film, they went under the screen and I kind of felt like it was disrespectful, like they were giving me plenty of feet to shoot the ball,” Bailey said, “so I was just taking what the defense was giving me.”

USC BASKETBALL

Boogie Ellis scored 21 of his 27 points after the break to help USC beat BYU 82-76 in Wednesday’s first round of the Battle 4 Atlantis.

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The 27 points tied a career high for Ellis, who made all five of his shots and 11 of 13 free throws after halftime for the Trojans (4-1). With the guard leading the way, USC made 18 of 29 shots (62.1%) after the break, turning a 31-30 halftime lead into a double-digit margin by the 13-minute mark and ultimately an 18-point bulge with about five minutes left.

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The USC women’s basketball team made an 11-0 run spanning the third and fourth quarters to take late control of a tough test against Penn, defeating the visiting Quakers 66-60 at Galen Center. The win keeps USC perfect on the year with a 5-0 overall record, while Penn goes to 1-5.

WORLD CUP

From Kevin Baxter in Qatar: With all eight stadiums located within a 35-mile radius of downtown Doha, the 2022 World Cup is the most compact in history. During the group stage, that makes it possible to attend four games a day.

Possible, but it’s not permitted.

To avoid congestion and make more tickets available to more people, FIFA has limited fans and the media to two games a day, with a four-hour window between kickoffs. But that’s still pretty good, right? Watching four of the best teams in the world on the same day?

And with public transportation, free to World Cup visitors, serving all eight stadiums, it’ll be a breeze, the Qataris said.

But then the Qataris have already reneged on everything from human rights and beer sales to bus schedules and the menu in the media cafeteria. So maybe this was another empty promise.

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I decided to find out. Armed with nothing more than a media credential and no familiarity whatsoever with Qatar’s Metro system, I set out Wednesday to see Germany play Japan at Khalifa International Stadium at 4 p.m., followed by Canada-Belgium less than 12 miles away at Ahmed bin Ali Stadium at 10 p.m.

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Wednesday’s results

Group E
Japan 2, Germany 1
Spain 7, Costa Rica 0

Group F
Belgium 1, Canada 0
Morocco 0, Croatia 0

Today’s schedule
All times Pacific

Group G
Switzerland vs. Cameroon, 2 a.m., FS1, Telemundo, Peacock
Brazil vs. Serbia, 11 a.m., Fox, Telemundo, Peacock

Group H
Uruguay vs. South Korea, 5 a.m., FS1, Telemundo, Peacock
Portugal vs. Ghana, 8 a.m., Fox, Telemundo, Peacock

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Complete World Cup coverage

Qatar World Cup: Start times for every match and how to watch

German players protest FIFA rainbow ban, call human rights nonnegotiable

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DUCKS

John Gibson made 41 saves, Dmitry Kulikov had a goal and an assist and the Ducks got their first win in regulation this season, defeating the New York Rangers 3-2 Wednesday night.

Mason McTavish and Troy Terry also scored for the Ducks, who had dropped six of their last seven coming into the game. At 20 games, Anaheim just missed tying the Arizona Coyotes for most games to start the season without picking up a regulation victory.

THIS DATE IN SPORTS

1904 — Fullback Sam McAllester is thrown for a touchdown to give Tennessee a 7-0 victory over Alabama. McAllester, wearing a wide leather belt with handles sewn on the side, is repeatedly thrown by two teammates over the line of scrimmage, including the only touchdown of the game.

1927 — The “Golden Egg Trophy,” is presented for the first time at the Egg Bowl played on Thanksgiving Day. Mississippi beats Mississippi State (then Mississippi A&M) 20-12.

1949 — The Syracuse Nationals edge the Anderson Packers 125-123 in five overtimes in the National Basketball league.

1949 — Led by quarterback Joe Paterno, Brown overcomes a 26-7 third-quarter deficit by scoring 34 points in the final 17 minutes to beat Colgate 41-26.

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1957 — Cleveland Brown rookie Jim Brown rushes for 232 yards and scores four touchdowns in a 45-31 victory over the Los Angeles Rams.

1960 — Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors sets an NBA record with 55 rebounds in a 132-129 loss to the Boston Celtics.

1977 — Miami’s Bob Griese throws for six touchdowns in a 55-14 Thanksgiving Day victory over the Detroit Lions.

1985 — Ron Brown of the Rams returns two kickoffs for touchdowns in a 34-17 victory over the Green Bay Packers.

1996 — Karrie Webb, capping a sensational rookie year, wins the season-ending LPGA Tour Championship to become the first player in tour history to earn more than $1 million in a season.

2000 — LaDainian Tomlinson caps the fourth-best rushing season with 174 yards and a touchdown in TCU’s 62-7 victory over SMU. Tomlinson, who also won his second straight NCAA rushing title, finishes the season with 2,158 yards.

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2002 — Annika Sorenstam completes the best LPGA Tour season in 38 years with a 4-under 68 to win the season-ending ADT Championship, her 11th victory of the year.

2007 — Kevin Smith rushes for 219 yards and a touchdown to surpass 2,000 yards for the season in Central Florida’s 36-20 win over UTEP. Smith is the nation’s leading rushing with 2,164 yards, the fourth highest in Division I-A (Bowl Subdivision) history.

2010 — Boston’s Mark Recchi scores two third-period goals to become the 13th NHL player to reach 1,500 career points and helps the Bruins defeat Florida 3-1.

2011 — In the first NFL game featuring brothers as opposing head coaches, John Harbaugh’s Baltimore Ravens top Jim Harbaugh’s San Francisco 49ers 16-6.

2013 — Sebastian Vettel wins Formula One’s season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix, matching Michael Schumacher’s record of 13 victories in a year and equaling the nine consecutive wins of Alberto Ascari.

2015 — The defending champion Golden State Warriors set the record for best start in NBA history at 16-0. Stephen Curry has 24 points and nine assists in a 111-77 rout of the Los Angeles Lakers.

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2018 — Dwayne Haskins throws five touchdown passes, freshman Chris Olave scores twice and blocks a punt that is returned for a TD and No. 10 Ohio State continues its mastery over No. 4 Michigan with a 62-39 victory.

2018 — Kellen Mond’s 2-point conversion to Kendrick Rogers in the seventh overtime gives Texas A&M 74-72 victory over No. 8 LSU, tying the NCAA record for most overtimes in an FBS game.

2018 — Florida uses a punishing ground attack to end a five-game losing streak to Florida State, defeating the Seminoles 41-14. The Gators send the Seminoles (5-7) their first losing season since 1976, Bobby Bowden’s first season as head coach.

Compiled by the Associated Press

And finally

The 50 best Thanksgiving moments in NFL history. 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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