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The Sports Report: Lakers extend winning streak to seven

Miami Heat v Los Angeles Lakers
Anthony Davis defends against Bam Adebayo.
(Getty Images)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Why shouldn’t you marry a tennis player? Because love means nothing to them.

LAKERS

Anthony Davis had 26 points and nine rebounds, and LeBron James scored 12 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter of the Lakers’ seventh consecutive victory, 95-80 over the Miami Heat on Friday night.

James hit a pair of clutch three-pointers in the waning minutes to seal another victory for the NBA-leading Lakers, who haven’t lost since their season opener against the Clippers.

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The Lakers held Miami to one field goal and six points in the final 8:54, limiting the Heat to six-of-35 shooting on three-pointers and outrebounding them 48-37 to win a meeting of division leaders off to outstanding starts to the new season.

USC BASKETBALL

Onyeka Okongwu had 20 points and 10 rebounds and USC pulled away to beat Portland 76-65 on Friday night.

Okongwu had 20 points, 13 rebounds and a school-record-tying eight blocks in a season-opening win over Florida A&M, becoming the first freshman to post a double-double in his debut since Taj Gibson in 2006.

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He was dynamic down the stretch for the Trojans (2-0), who found themselves in a 48-all tie early in the second half. They never gave up the lead, but the Pilots (1-1) stayed within two until Okongwu took over.

He scored six points in a 9-0 spurt that extended USC’s lead to 63-52. Okongwu’s best move was a dunk after teammate Quinton Adlesh got blocked, USC controlled the rebound and got the ball to Okongwu to finish with a flourish.

USC FOOTBALL

Breaking down the matchups for USC (5-4, 4-2) and Arizona State (5-3, 2-3) Saturday at Sun Devil Stadium, 12:30 p.m. (TV: Ch. 7, Radio: 790).

Marquee matchup

Arizona State running back Eno Benjamin vs. USC’s edge defenders. Few backs in the Pac-12 are as capable of doing damage on the perimeter as Benjamin. His productivity has waned from his huge campaign last season, but his talent is still very much intact. He has nine touchdowns, tied for fifth in the Pac-12. His speed could be an issue for a USC defense that has struggled to defend the edge. The return of dynamic defensive end Drake Jackson should help the Trojans, but it doesn’t completely solve a problem that’s been glaring all season.

Read the rest of the key matchups by clicking here.

USC FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

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All times Pacific. Radio: 790 KABC

USC 31, Fresno State 23

USC 45, Stanford 20

at BYU 30, USC 27 (OT)

at USC 30, Utah 23

at Washington 28, USC 14

at Notre Dame 30, USC 27

at USC 41, Arizona 14

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USC 35, at Colorado 31

Oregon 56, at USC 24

Today at Arizona State, 12:30 p.m., ABC

Nov. 16 at California, 8 p.m., FS1

Nov. 23 vs. UCLA, TBD

UCLA FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

All times Pacific. Radio: AM 1150

at Cincinnati 24, UCLA 14

San Diego State 23, at UCLA 14

Oklahoma 48, at UCLA 14

UCLA 67, at Washington State 63

at Arizona 20, UCLA 17

Oregon State 48, at UCLA 31

UCLA 34, at Stanford 16

at UCLA 42, Arizona State 32

at UCLA 31, Colorado 14

Nov. 16 at Utah, 5 p.m., Fox

Nov. 23 at USC, TBD

Nov. 30 vs. California, TBD

CHARGERS

Despite having three timeouts, the Chargers never attempted a run during their disastrous final series Thursday in a 26-24 loss at Oakland.

“When you get into a flow on offense moving the ball down the field, yeah, you can work a run play in there,” coach Anthony Lynn said Friday. “But, I think where we started out, trying to get a quick completion just to get the drive started and, hell, we never got the drive started. We never completed a pass.”

Philip Rivers threw eight consecutive times, the first seven attempts falling incomplete before the final one was intercepted to seal the Chargers’ fate.

A defensive holding penalty on their first fourth-down play nullified an incompletion and gave Rivers a first down. But he still failed to advance the offense one yard when a field goal was all the Chargers needed.

“It’s easy to second-guess quarterbacks the day after the game when you’re not out there under that pressure making those decisions,” Lynn said. “But we didn’t get it done as a team. I wouldn’t put all of that on Philip.”

RAMS

One of Jalen Ramsey’s favorite activities on the field is shutting down an opponent’s top receiver. He gets another opportunity Sunday when he matches up against JuJu Smith-Schuster of the Pittsburgh Steelers. It will be the third time the young stars will be on the field together, but the first time Ramsey will focus on Smith-Schuster, the former Long Beach Poly High and USC star.

In previous games, when Ramsey played for the Jacksonville Jaguars, his assignment was to cover former Steelers star Antonio Brown, regarded as one of the best receivers in NFL history. Ramsey intercepted two passes in one game, one in another.

“No disrespect to him,” Ramsey said of Smith-Schuster, “he’s not Antonio Brown. ... I held my own in those battles and, yeah, now I’m going up against a different person, different body type, different receiver.

“A little big, can make plays. But I play my game. Not really worried about it.”

TODAY’S LOCAL MAJOR SPORTS SCHEDULE

All times Pacific

USC football at Arizona State, 12:30 p.m., ABC, 790 KABC

Kings at Montreal, 4 p.m., FSW

BORN ON THIS DATE

1923: High jumper Alice Coachman (d. 2014)

1930: Sportscaster Charlie Jones (d. 2008)

1931: Baseball manager Whitey Herzog

1935: Baseball player Bob Gibson

1942: Golfer Tom Weiskopf

1948: Swimmer Sharon Stouder (d. 2013)

1970: Hockey player Bill Guerin

1971: Golfer David Duval

AND FINALLY

1968 World Series Game 1: Bob Gibson sets record with 17 strikeouts. 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 at houston.mitchell@latimes.com. If you want to subscribe, click here.


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