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The Sports Report: DeMarcus Cousins has more important issues to worry about than his knee

Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers
DeMarcus Cousins
(Getty Images)

Howdy, my name is Houston Mitchell. It looks like the Dodgers found the new reliever they needed, a guy who has not given up a run over multiple appearances this season: Russell Martin.

LAKERS

Lakers center DeMarcus Cousins is being investigated by the NBA and police after the mother of his child alleged that he threatened to shoot her in the head last week.

Cristy West told police in Mobile, Ala., that Cousins made the threat during a phone conversation, and she provided a recording of the call. In it, a man the woman identified as Cousins asks if he can have his son “here.” When the woman says no, the man tells the woman he would “make sure” to “put a bullet” in her head. Cousins married longtime girlfriend Morgan Lang in Atlanta the day after the recording was said to have been made.

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“We are aware of the allegation involving DeMarcus Cousins and, of course, take this claim seriously,” the Lakers said in a statement. “We are in the process of gathering information and will reserve further comment at this time.”

TENNIS

Defending champion Naomi Osaka and 15-year-old Coco Gauff advanced to the second round of the U.S. Open with three-set victories on Tuesday. Osaka fought off early jitters and battled for a 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-2 first-round victory over unseeded Anna Blinkova of Russia on Tuesday. Gauff defeated Anastasia Potapova of Russia, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4.

“After the first set, I was kind of like, I have to reset, stop thinking about what would happen after the match, just think about what I need to do to win the second set,” Gauff said.

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No. 11 Sloane Stephens was ousted by qualifier Anna Kalinskaya, 6-3, 6-4.

On the men’s side, No. 4 Dominic Thiem of Austria was one of four top-10 men’s seeds who were eliminated. Thiem lost in four sets to world No. 87 Thomas Fabbiano of Italy, No. 8 Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece lost in four sets to unseeded Russian Andrey Rublev, No. 9 Karen Khachanov lost in five sets to Canada’s Vasek Pospisil and No. 10 Roberto Bautista Agut—a semifinalist at Wimbledon—was ousted in five sets by Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan.

DODGERS

The Dodgers righted the ship Tuesday, routing the San Diego Padres, 9-0. Walker Buehler pitched six shutout innings, striking out 11.

Russell Martin, a catcher, made his fourth pitching appearance for the Dodgers and put his 0.00 ERA on the line. He gave up a leadoff double before getting the next three batters out.

“He’s got a lot to work with,” center fielder A.J. Pollock said of Martin. “He’s not just throwing the ball out there. He’s mixing his speeds. His tempo’s different. He’s got a quick pitch. I wouldn’t want to face him...He’s not your typical position player on the mound.”

USC FOOTBALL

A week after losing the starting quarterback competition to JT Daniels, redshirt sophomore Jack Sears announced he plans to enter the transfer portal.

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“If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan, but never the goal,” Sears wrote on Twitter.

The decision to go with Daniels “makes me realize that life is not linear,” Sears said. “I love my teammates, football, USC, and the USC degree. Nobody can ever take that degree away from me. I am proud of the work that I put in on and off the field, the way I competed, and how I have comported myself. Life is about making good and informed decisions.”

There are no hard feelings from coach Clay Helton.

“He’s done everything for us,” Helton said, “and I don’t hold it against him at all. He’s competed here. He’s given his absolute best effort at all times.”

ANGELS

Andrew Heaney gave up one unearned run and struck out 10 in six innings and a four-run seventh inning powered the Angels to a 5-2 victory over the Texas Rangers.

“When I’m healthy, I know how good I can be,” said Heaney, who sat out nearly three months because of elbow and shoulder injuries. “That’s the No. 1 thing. Having the confidence to go out there and not worry about your arm flying off is a pretty big thing.”

CHARGERS

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What is coach Anthony Lynn looking for in the final preseason game?

“What I’m looking for is Austin Ekeler,” he said. “That’s when he made this football team [two years ago]. I’m looking for guys to step up, make plays like him and change our minds.”

In late August of 2017, Ekeler was an undrafted, still largely unknown rookie out of Western State in Colorado. The Chargers also concluded that preseason on the road against the 49ers.

Ekeler rushed eight times for 50 yards, caught three passes for 58 yards, and made two special teams tackles.

He has been a Charger ever since.

“I put all my chips on the table,” Ekeler recalled. “I was just all-in on it. I played as well as I could have. After the game, ‘That was it. Now let’s see what the evaluation comes down to, and if it doesn’t work out, I have a backup plan.’ ”

Ekeler had an internship and job offer lined up at Noble Energy in Greeley, Colo.

SPARKS

Aerial Powers scored 20 points, Elena Delle Donne added 14 and the first-place Washington Mystics beat the Sparks 95-66 for their eighth straight home win.

YOUR FAVORITE SPORTS MOMENT

What is your favorite all-time L.A. sports moment? Click here to tell me what it is and why, and I might run it in a future newsletter. And yes, if your favorite moment is about the Angels or Ducks or a team just outside of L.A., I’ll count that too.

Today’s moment comes from Brian Adams:

Back about 10 or so years ago, my father-in-law was dying from a heart deficiency. His dying wish was to meet coach John Wooden, his hero! Jamaal Wilkes was a client of mine and a dear friend. I asked Jamaal if he could get a brief introduction with the Wizard of Westwood for my father-in-law to meet the coach.

Jamaal was incredible, setting up a meeting at Coach Wooden’s Encino apartment for my father-in-law, wife, Jamaal and me.

Coach Wooden couldn’t have been more gracious, regaling us in stories about players he coached, games, Abraham Lincoln and Mother Teresa, his recently departed Nell, etc. He also let us see all of his memorabilia (which surprisingly was not very much!)

My favorite story was about how Jamaal (previously known as Keith, which is what Coach Wooden continued to refer to him as) almost wound up at my alma mater, USC, and not UCLA.

Coach Wooden had sent out a few of his assistants to scout Keith/Jamaal while at Santa Barbara High School. The scouts came back with a report of Keith’s strange awkward shot and recommended a pass! Coach Wooden wasn’t satisfied and went to Santa Barbara to scout Keith/Jamaal himself.

Coach Wooden loved what he saw, and the rest is history!!!

We were with the Coach for over three hours. So polite, soft spoken, gracious, warm and inviting.

That was my favorite sports moment in L.A.

TODAY’S LOCAL MAJOR SPORTS SCHEDULE

All times Pacific

Dodgers at San Diego, 6 p.m., Sportsnet LA, AM 570

Texas at Angels, 7 p.m., FSW, AM 830

BORN ON THIS DATE

1924: Golfer Dick Mayer (d. 1989)

1932: NHL player Andy Bathgate (d. 2016)

1936: Baseball umpire Don Denkinger

1943: Baseball player/manager Lou Piniella

1950: Baseball player Ron Guidry

1958: Figure skater Scott Hamilton

1964: Golfer Lee Janzen

1969: NHL player Pierre Turgeon

1971: Swimmer Janet Evans

1971: Figure skater Todd Eldredge

DIED ON THIS DATE

2008: Race car driver Phil Hill, 80

2015: NHL coach Al Arbour, 82

AND FINALLY

Great moments in U.S. Olympics history: Scott Hamilton. Watch it here.

That concludes the newsletter for today. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, please email me by clicking here. If you want to subscribe, click here.


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