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The Sports Report: Clippers outlast the Raptors

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Guard Lou Williams drives to the basket against Fred Vanvleet.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Alan Hagman, a photo editor here at The Times, died on Monday. He was a good person who did his job with joy and was enjoyable to be around. He will be missed.

CLIPPERS

Facing the team he won an NBA title with last season for the first time since picking the Clippers in free agency, Kawhi Leonard faced Raptors double-teams from start to finish Monday at Staples Center, finishing with 12 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists but also nine turnovers.

Statistically, it was his least-impactful performance of the season. But Leonard emerged pleased from a reunion that resembled a slugfest.

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The Clippers had won, 98-88.

“It wasn’t one of those nights for me,” he said, “and we came out with a win.”

The Clippers shot 37% from the field and 22% on three-pointers but grabbed 66 rebounds and played a tall lineup late in the fourth quarter that helped them wrest control of a back-and-forth game for good.

“What’d they have, 10 points in the fourth quarter?” coach Doc Rivers said. “This was one of those defensive wins.”

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Lou Williams scored a team-high 21 points and Montrezl Harrell added 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Clippers (7-3), who begin a two-game road trip Wednesday at Houston with the knowledge that even with their star unable to play his best, they can still win.

“We can still lock people up and get stops and win a game like that,” center Ivica Zubac said.

RAMS

Center Brian Allen will sit out the rest of the season because of a knee injury that requires surgery, right tackle Rob Havenstein will be sidelined at least one game because of a knee injury, and wide receiver Brandin Cooks also will be sidelined another game because of concussions, coach Sean McVay said Monday.

A day after the offensive line was in injury plagued disarray during a 17-12 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Rams started to cope with the fact that they will have an even more inexperienced and undermanned group in Sunday night’s game against the Chicago Bears at the Coliseum.

That does not bode well for a team that is 5-4, in danger of falling off the pace for a playoff spot and possibly suffering a collapse less than a year after it played in the Super Bowl.

LAKERS

Lakers star Anthony Davis has been listed on the injury report for the first time this season, because of a sore right shoulder that he re-injured while blocking a shot Sunday night against the Toronto Raptors.

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He winced and grabbed his shoulder but remained in the game. Even before that, while on the bench, Davis sat with a heat wrap on the shoulder, which he originally injured Oct. 27 against Charlotte.

Davis is listed as probable for Tuesday’s game at Phoenix and said that while his shoulder “feels good,” the Lakers will monitor it through shootaround to see if he can play.

KINGS

After a winless three-game trip through Eastern Canada last week, the Kings suffered another setback Monday as forward Trevor Lewis was put on injured reserve because of a lower-body injury.

Lewis, 32, exited the Kings’ loss last Thursday to the Ottawa Senators minutes into the first period. He did not return that night and was scratched two days later when the team fell to the Montreal Canadiens.

Describing Lewis’ injury, Kings coach Todd McLellan told reporters Saturday, “It’s probably a little bit longer than what we originally anticipated, so he’ll need some time to recover.”

SOCCER

The U.S. national team will be without three key players in must-win games with Canada and Cuba after captain Michael Bradley and forward Christian Pulisic were left off coach Gregg Berhalter’s 23-man roster because of injuries.

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Bradley, who plays for Toronto FC, withdrew after injuring his right ankle during Sunday’s MLS Cup final loss to Seattle while Pulisic sustained a hip injury in Chelsea’s win over Crystal Palace last Saturday. He could be cleared to join the U.S. in training camp in Orlando, Fla., for evaluation ahead of Friday’s CONCACAF Nations League match with Canada.

Starting goalkeeper Zack Steffen, who plays in Germany for Fortuna Dusseldorf, withdrew last week with tendinitis in his right knee. Atlanta United veteran Brad Guzan will probably start in Steffen’s place but the U.S. has no obvious replacements for Bradley or Pulisic.

“It’s the next-man-up type of mentality. Injuries are part of the game,” Berhalter said.

The U.S. must beat Canada on Friday and Cuba in the Cayman Islands next Tuesday while making up a four-goal differential to win its three-team group and advance to the semifinals of the first Nations Cup.

BASEBALL

Mike Scioscia got zero interviews for eight managerial openings this offseason.

He appeared relaxed Monday, mingling comfortably among the baseball luminaries gathered for a charity golf tournament to benefit Major League Baseball’s Urban Youth Academy in Compton.

The summer that passed was his first without baseball since he was 16. He and his wife, Anne, spent two weeks in Hawaii. The couple traveled to Florida and made three trips to his family home in Pennsylvania. He said he lost 40 pounds.

“I’m kind of liking this hiatus,” Scioscia said.

A hiatus is a pause, a break, a gap. A hiatus is not a retirement.

He never used an agent to negotiate his contracts with the Angels. But, with the novelty of the hiatus wearing off and an interest in getting back into managing, he retained an agent to help him navigate the hiring process.

The timing appeared fortuitous. Eight teams were hiring. In some cities, owners were getting involved in the process, not simply delegating to the new wave of general managers that appears to prioritize collaboration with a first-time manager over experience and independence in the dugout.

The agent Scioscia hired, Alan Nero, declined to discuss why he believed teams decided not to interview Scioscia.

It appears as if Scioscia will sit out the 2020 season — out of the dugout, at least. He said teams asked whether he might serve on a coaching staff next season, and he passed.

“I’m not really out there looking for anything,” he said. “I’m having a great time. I feel good.

“What will be, will be. I’m just living.”

TODAY’S LOCAL MAJOR SPORTS SCHEDULE

All times Pacific

Lakers at Phoenix, 6 p.m., Spectrum Sportsnet, 710 ESPN

Detroit at Ducks, 7 p.m., PRIME, AM 830

Minnesota at Kings, 7:30 p.m., FSW

South Dakota State at USC (basketball), 7 p.m., Pac-12 Network, 790 KABC

BORN ON THIS DATE

1936: Boxing referee Mills Lane

1944: Sportscaster Al Michaels

1961: Former Dodger Greg Gagne

1961: Gymnast Nadia Comăneci

1967: Boxer Michael Moorer

1968: Baseball player Sammy Sosa

1970: Figure skater Tonya Harding

1971: Former Spark Heidi Burge

1979: Former Clipper Corey Maggette

1987: Golfer Jason Day

1988: Basketball player Russell Westbrook

DIED ON THIS DATE

1993: Baseball player Bill Dickey, 86

1994: Sprinter Wilma Rudolph, 54

AND FINALLY

The final minute of the “Miracle on Ice” game, called by Al Michaels. 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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