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The Sports Report: Lakers tie team record for threes and rout Memphis

LeBron James threads between Bismack Biyombo, left, and David Roddy.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
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Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

From Dan Woike: The moments strung together, the Lakers suddenly looking like the basketball team they threatened to be when their names were written on paper this offseason.

LeBron James bounded agelessly to the basket. Anthony Davis swatted away shot after shot. D’Angelo Russell skipped and Austin Reaves cooked, the Lakers playing their best basketball of the year.

It helped, of course, that the ball decided Tuesday night that it would finally start going in.

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For all the thought that goes into constructing a NBA team, for the time that goes into scouting an opponent’s strengths and weakness, shooting is the biggest equalizer in this game, the fuel that can take the .500 Lakers and make them look like one of the most dangerous teams in the league.

The Lakers, who had made more than a dozen threes just once this season, canned 22 Tuesday in their second in-season tournament game, blowing out the short-handed Grizzlies 134-107.

The 22 makes from deep ties a franchise record, the Lakers now having won three straight.

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Lakers box score

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CLIPPERS

From Andrew Greif: The Clippers are not without conviction they will turn around their season.

They are, however, still without a victory to show for their roster-altering trade.

Two weeks since acquiring James Harden and P.J. Tucker from Philadelphia, the Clippers lost their sixth consecutive game Tuesday in Denver, a 111-108 defeat that wasn’t decided until a scramble for possession after a jump ball with two seconds remaining.

It was the Clippers’ fifth loss in a row since Harden joined the lineup, with the team now 3-7 overall and 0-2 in In-Season Tournament games.

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NBA standings

USC BASKETBALL

From Thuc Nhi Nguyen: He hadn’t made a three-pointer all night. But Devin Tillis hit the shot when it counted.

The UC Irvine forward hit a game-clinching three-pointer with 37.4 seconds remaining to seal Irvine’s 70-60 upset of No. 16 USC at Galen Center on Tuesday.

The Anteaters (2-1) overcame career-highs from freshman Isaiah Collier (23 points) and junior Harrison Hornery (17 points) with a starring performance from redshirt senior guard Justin Hohn, who poured in a career-best 25 points on 10 of 16 shooting. Tillis finished with eight points and 10 rebounds.

USC was without senior guard Boogie Ellis, who missed the game due to a sprained right ankle. Forward Kobe Johnson also missed a second consecutive game with left knee discomfort.

Ellis’ absence was glaring compared to Irvine’s experience. The Anteaters started five upperclassmen, the youngest being junior center Bent Leuchten, who started 26 games last year and finished with 19 points and six rebounds on Tuesday. Irvine returned three starters from last year’s team that upset then-No. 21 Oregon in Eugene on Nov. 11, 2022, and won the Big West.

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USC box score

CHARGERS

The Chargers offense was electric but the defense shockingly bad in a 41-38 loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday. Los Angeles Times Chargers beat writer Jeff Miller and NFL columnist Sam Farmer discuss what happened and upcoming prospects:

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USC FOOTBALL

From Ryan Kartje: The toughest year of Lincoln Riley’s otherwise charmed coaching life felt, in a lot of ways, painfully similar to this one. It was 2011, his second season as East Carolina’s offensive coordinator and nothing seemed to be going his or the Pirates’ way.

Injuries struck early. Each week seemed to bring a new bad break. Frustrations snowballed. East Carolina lost four of five to start the season, then finished by losing three of four to miss a bowl game for the first time in six years.

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It wasn’t the way Riley envisioned the second year of his tenure as an offensive wunderkind. He was just 28, the youngest coordinator in college football at the time. Since joining Mike Leach’s Texas Tech staff in 2003 as a student assistant, Riley had never finished below .500 as a football coach.

“I’d never been through anything like that,” Riley said. “I was kind of down in the dumps for a little while, honestly.”

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UCLA FOOTBALL

From Steve Henson: Colorado coach Deion Sanders asked for leniency toward the four Beaumont High School students suspected of stealing jewelry and other items from the locker room while the Buffaloes played UCLA at the Rose Bowl on Oct. 28.

It was reported that at least three of Sanders’ players had jewelry taken from their lockers, while others had headphones and cash stolen from them.

“Let’s make sure those kids atone for what transpired, whether it’s community service or whatever it is, but they don’t lose the opportunities to change their lives,” Sanders said during a news conference Tuesday. “They are kids. They made a stupid, dumb, idiotic mistake. When I was 17, 18, so did I. All right? So did you.”

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Some missing items had already been returned by mail to Colorado, but other items were seized during Pasadena Police Department searches targeting the students, according to Pasadena spokesperson Lisa Derderian.

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF RANKINGS

School, record, last week

1. Georgia, 10-0, 2
2. Ohio State, 10-0, 1
3. Michigan, 10-0, 3
4. Florida State, 10-0, 4
5. Washington, 10-0, 5
6. Oregon, 9-1, 6
7. Texas, 9-1, 7
8. Alabama, 9-1, 8
9. Missouri, 8-2, 14
10. Louisville, 9-1, 11
11. Oregon State, 8-2, 12
12. Penn State, 8-2, 10
13. Ole Miss, 8-2, 9
14. Oklahoma, 8-2, 17
15. LSU, 7-3, 19
16. Iowa, 8-2, 22
17. Arizona, 7-3, 21
18. Tennessee, 7-3, 13
19. Notre Dame, 7-3, 20
20. North Caroilina, 8-2, 24
21. Kansas State, 7-3, 25
22. Utah, 7-3, 18
23. Ohlahoma State, 7-3, 15
24. Tulane, 9-1, 23
25. Kansas, 7-3, 16

BASEBALL

Padres owner Peter Seidler, who spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to bring a long-elusive World Series championship to San Diego, died on Tuesday, the team announced. He was 63.

A cause of death wasn’t disclosed. Seidler, who grew up around the game as a third-generation member of the O’Malley family that used to own the Dodgers, was a two-time cancer survivor. The team announced in mid-September that Seidler had an unspecified medical procedure in August and wouldn’t be back at the ballpark the rest of the year.

“Peter was an extraordinary leader and had the confidence and support of everyone in the Padre organization and the San Diego community,” Peter O’Malley, Seidler’s uncle, said in an email. “When he moved to San Diego to lead the Padres he was one hundred percent committed to bring to San Diego its first World Championship. He was all in and the Padres never had a bigger fan. Our family will miss his passion, optimism and friendship.”

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Nevada teachers’ union to file lawsuit to stop public funding for A’s stadium in Las Vegas

SOCCER

From Kevin Baxter: U.S. Soccer confirmed Tuesday what had already been widely reported, selecting Chelsea manager Emma Hayes coach of the women’s national team. What the federation couldn’t say, however, is when the new coach will be able to meet with her players.

Hayes is under contract with Chelsea through the end of the Women’s Super League schedule in May and the club intends to keep her in the job. As a result, it’s unclear whether Hayes will be able to attend the national team’s final training camp of this year in December or the first training camps of 2024. After her Chelsea contract expires, she will have two months and four games with the U.S. team to prepare for the Paris Olympics tournament, which kicks off July 25.

Sources told Fox Sports that Hayes’ base salary would be $1.6 million a year, more than three times what Sarina Wiegman, manager of England’s national team and the highest-paid coach in women’s soccer, is reportedly paid. Vlatko Andonovski, the former USWNT coach, was paid $450,000 a year while Gregg Berhalter, coach of the men’s national team, made $1.6 million, according to the federation’s 2022 financial filings.

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Why UC Irvine women’s soccer is so good at pulling off NCAA tournament upsets

DUCKS

Urho Vaakanainen scored his first career goal with 3:51 remaining to lead the Ducks to a 3-2 victory over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night.

Radko Gudas had a Gordie Howe hat trick with a goal, assist and a fighting major and Cam Fowler also scored for Anaheim, which has won five consecutive road games, with four of those being come-from-behind victories. John Gibson made 29 saves.

Filip Forsberg and Roman Josi scored and Juuse Saros made 17 saves for the reeling Predators, losers of four straight and six of their last seven.

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Ducks box score

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NHL standings

THIS DATE IN SPORTS

1879 — Princeton beats Harvard 1-0 in a college football game held in New Jersey. The Tigers unveil the concept of using blockers to help advance the ball.

1890 — Minnesota and Wisconsin square off for the first time in what has become the most-played series in college football history. The Gophers beat the Badgers 63-0 in Minneapolis.

1952 — An NBA-record 13 players, five Baltimore Bullets and eight Syracuse Nationals, foul out in an overtime game. The Bullets win 97-91. So many Syracuse players fouled out that the officials let some of the players back into the game so the Nationals could keep five men on the court. Whenever those players fouled, Baltimore was given a technical foul shot in addition to the free throws.

1960 — Elgin Baylor of the Lakers scores 71 points, an NBA record at the time, in a 123-108 victory over the New York Knicks.

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1964 — Kansas City quarterback Len Dawson fumbles seven times in a 28-14 loss to the San Diego Chargers.

1969 — The New York Knicks run their record to 17-1, the best start in NBA history, by beating the Boston Celtics 113-98.

1975 — Tony Dorsett of Pittsburgh rushes for 303 yards and scores a touchdown in a 34-20 victory over Notre Dame.

1980 — Dale Earnhardt wins his first NASCAR Winston Cup championship. Earnhardt finishes fifth in the Los Angeles Times 500, the final race of the season, to win the title by 19 points over Cale Yarborough.

2002 — Tampa Bay forward Dave Andreychuk sets an NHL record by scoring his 250th career power-play goal in the first period of the Lightning’s game against San Jose.

2003 — Brian Vickers becomes NASCAR’s youngest champion ever, claiming the Busch Series title with an 11th place finish behind first-time winner Kasey Kahne at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

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2011 — Mike Krzyzewski becomes Division I’s all-time winningest men’s basketball coach when No. 6 Duke beats Michigan State 74-69 in the State Farm Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Blue Devils give Coach K his 903rd win, breaking the tie with Bob Knight, Krzyzewski’s college coach at Army and his mentor throughout his pro career.

2014 — Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon rushes for 408 yards to break the single-game major college football rushing record before sitting out the final quarter in a 59-24 rout over Nebraska.

Compiled by the Associated Press

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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