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The Sports Report: Vegas wins the Stanley Cup

Vegas Golden Knights yell and celebrate on the ice after beating the Panthers to clinch the Stanley Cup title
Members of the Vegas Golden Knights celebrate after they won the Stanley Cup.
(John Locher / Associated Press)
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Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

From Helene Elliott: It was almost too much to absorb, but not too much to cherish.

Members of the Golden Knights hugged and cried and lifted the gleaming Stanley Cup skyward Tuesday, knowing their names will soon be etched on hockey’s biggest prize after a 9-3 rout of Florida that ended the Cup Final in five games. The details of how they got there didn’t matter in that moment. The emotions did.

“I don’t know how much I’ll remember about the hockey itself but I’ll certainly remember this group and the memories that we’ve shared throughout this year, and the ones that we’re going to make later this week,” Vegas defenseman Alec Martinez, a two-time Cup champion with the Kings, said while surrounded by friends and family on the chopped-up ice at T-Mobile Arena.

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“Honestly, I think we genuinely love each other. I know that sounds so cliché but this team is so tight. The off-ice fun that we had translates onto the ice. When you have a group like that you’re inevitably going to face adversity. That’s inherently part of the game. There’s going to be injuries, there’s going to be downfalls, ups, downs. But genuinely I think it was the off-ice intangibles that were the difference maker.”

Maybe so. And maybe it was the Golden Knights’ ability to build a big team with an unusually mobile defense and more goaltending depth than they thought they’d need, and their ability to turn into Stanley Cup champions a group that called itself the “Golden Misfits” in its first season because players had been deemed expendable and were left available in the expansion draft that stocked the new team’s roster.

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NHL PLAYOFFS

Results, schedule
All times Pacific
Stanley Cup Final

Vegas (P1) vs. Florida (WC2)
Game 1: at Vegas 5, Florida 2
Game 2: at Vegas 7, Florida 2
Game 3: at Florida 3, Vegas 2 (OT)
Game 4: Vegas 3, at Florida 2
Game 5: at Vegas 9, Florida 3

Elliott: Former Kings and Ducks close to hoisting Stanley Cup with Golden Knights

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DODGERS

From Mike DiGiovanna: A diminished fastball did not equal diminishing returns for Dodgers right-hander Tony Gonsolin, who blanked the Chicago White Sox on two hits through six innings of Tuesday night’s 5-1 victory before a crowd of 45,561 in Chavez Ravine.

Gonsolin, pitching on six days’ rest–two more than normal–because the Dodgers felt he needed more recovery time between starts, struck out six, walked two and allowed only one runner to reach second base.

Leaning heavily on his split-fingered changeup and four-seam fastball and mixing in his curveball and slider, Gonsolin gave up only a single to left-center field by Andrew Vaughn in the fourth and an infield single to Yoán Moncada in the sixth. He induced swinging strikes on nine of 90 pitches.

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Trevor Bauer denies he sexually assaulted fourth woman who filed a lawsuit against him

ANGELS

Hunter Renfroe’s two-run homer capped a three-run sixth inning, and the surging Angels beat the American League West-leading Texas Rangers 7-3 on Tuesday night.

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Renfroe’s homer helped spoil the major league debut of Owen White (0-1), who was recalled from double-A Frisco. White entered with one out in the fifth inning and gave up three runs and four hits with two strikeouts and one walk.

The Angels have won three consecutive games and eight of their last nine. At 38-31, they are seven games over .500 for the first time since May 27, 2022, and are within 4½ games of Texas.

NBA

From Dan Woike: The top of the upcoming NBA draft has been settled in some circles for years, but it seemingly got cemented Oct. 5 in Las Vegas when league scouts and executives hit the Strip after seeing Victor Wembanyama play in person. They smiled as they dumped money onto blackjack tables and sipped drinks, the sight of a 7-foot-4 ball-handling, sweet-shooting teenager better than any 7-7-7 slot pull.

The reward of the No. 1 pick was as compelling as any chase this season, with the San Antonio Spurs landing the rights to take a player who could change their future and perhaps the entire league.

No pressure.

It’s regarded as a pretty strong draft by evaluators, who view it in tiers. At the top, there’s Wembanyama, the 19-year-old from France; Alabama’s Brandon Miller; Scoot Henderson, another 19-year-old playing in the G League; and, maybe, Amen Thompson, a 20-year-old playing in the Overtime Elite pro league. Then there’s a group of an additional five or six players ahead of a big group with similar talent.

Based on conversations with scouts and executives around the NBA, here’s The Times’ first crack at a mock draft ahead of June 22, when it goes down for real.

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GOLF

From Steve Henson: The news was so jarring for pro golfers that they’ll always remember where they were when they heard that the PGA Tour and LIV Golf had entered into a partnership agreement.

Jon Rahm said he was home in Arizona making breakfast with his wife, Kelley, and two young sons.

“Texts just started flowing in,” he said. “I thought my phone was going to catch on fire at one point. ... I told Kelley, ‘I’m just going to throw my phone in the drawer and not look at it for the next four hours because I can’t deal with this anymore.’ “

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RAMS

From Gary Klein: The Rams opened a two-day minicamp Tuesday, the final workouts for coach Sean McVay and his players until training camp begins in late July at UC Irvine.

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Observations from the Rams’ penultimate practice:

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CHARGERS

From Jeff Miller: J.C. Jackson said Tuesday he hopes to be ready for the start of Chargers training camp as he continues to work his way back from a ruptured patellar tendon.

And that’s not all the veteran cornerback said. Jackson explained in blunt terms how rough the 2022 season was for him.

“I felt like [expletive],” he explained. “I hadn’t done anything. Got hurt. And I just got paid. I mean, I still gotta prove to my teammates and to myself that I’m still ‘Mr. INT.’ I didn’t do [expletive] last year.”

Jackson was the Chargers’ biggest free-agent signing in March 2022 when he received a five-year deal that guaranteed him $40 million and was worth up to $82.5 million.

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THIS DATE IN SPORTS

1922 — Gene Sarazen edges Bobby Jones and John Black to win the U.S. Open tournament.

1934 — Max Baer stops Primo Carnera in 11th round in New York to win the world heavyweight title.

1952 — Jim Peters runs world record marathon (2:20:42.2).

1952 — Julius Boros shoots a 281 at Northwood Club in Dallas to win the U.S. Open over Ed Oliver by four strokes.

1958 — Tommy Bolt beats Gary Player by four strokes to win the U.S. Open.

1981 — Donna Caponi Young wins the LPGA championship by one stroke over Jerilyn Britz and Pat Meyers.

1987 — The Lakers win their 10th NBA championship with a 106-93 victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 6 at the Forum.

1990 — Vinnie Johnson scores 15 points in the fourth quarter, including a 15-footer with seven-tenths of a second left, to give the Detroit Pistons a 92-90 win and the NBA title over Portland in five games.

1991 — Leroy Burrell sets a world record in the U.S. Championships in New York with a 9.90-second clocking in the men’s 100-meter dash. Carl Lewis, who held the record at 9.92 since the 1988 Olympics, finishes second.

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1992 — NBA Finals: Chicago Bulls beat Portland Trail Blazers, 97-93 in Game 6 for back-to-back titles.

1994 — The New York Rangers hold off the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 in Game 7 for their first Stanley Cup in 54 years. MVP Brian Leetch, Adam Graves and Mark Messier score goals and Mike Richter makes 28 saves for New York.

1995 — The Houston Rockets complete the unlikeliest of NBA championship repeats, sweeping the Orlando Magic with a 113-101 victory. MVP Hakeem Olajuwon finishes with 35 points and 15 rebounds.

1998 — Michael Jordan scores 45 points, stealing the ball from Karl Malone and hitting a jumper with 5.2 seconds left to give Chicago an 87-86 win and a 4-2 series victory over Utah for a sixth NBA title.

2005 — Michelle Wie becomes the first female player to qualify for an adult male U.S. Golf Assn. championship, tying for first place in a 36-hole U.S. Amateur Public Links sectional qualifying tournament at Belle Vernon, Pa.

2007 — The San Antonio Spurs, who bounced over from the ABA in 1976, move in among the NBA’s greatest franchises with an 83-82 victory for a sweep of Cleveland. With their fourth championship since 1999, the Spurs join the Lakers, Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls as the only teams in NBA history to win four titles.

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2009 — The Lakers win their 15th championship, beating the Orlando Magic 99-86 in Game 5 of the NBA finals. Kobe Bryant, the MVP, scores 30 points in winning his fourth title, the first without Shaquille O’Neal. It’s the 10th championship for coach Phil Jackson, moving him past Boston’s Red Auerbach for the most all-time.

2015 — Inbee Park shoots a final round 68 to finish at 19-under par to win the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship for the third consecutive year and retake the No. 1 ranking in women’s golf. Park of South Korea finishes the season’s second major five strokes ahead of 22-year-old compatriot Sei Young Kim.

—Compiled by the Associated Press

And finally...

The Lakers win the 1986-87 NBA title. Watch and listen here. The Lakers win the 2008-09 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 houston.mitchell@latimes.com, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.

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