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The Dallas Mavericks took advantage of all the Lakers mistakes and beat them, 114-100. The loss snapped a 10-game winning streak constructed entirely against teams with losing records. The Lakers (17-3) hadn’t played a team with a winning record since Nov. 10, when they lost to the Toronto Raptors.
The Mavericks, on the other hand, entered the game 12-6, with one of those six losses coming in an overtime game against the Lakers.
“I believe in our guys,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “If we play to our abilities, there’s nobody we can’t beat and nowhere we can’t get a W. So we got to make sure that we respond from this and bounce back.”
Dallas star Luka Doncic led the Mavericks with 27 points, 10 assists, and nine rebounds. The Mavericks also got double-digit contributions from Kristaps Porzingis, Dwight Powell, Delon Wright and Justin Jackson. LeBron James and Anthony Davis were the only Lakers to score more than 10 points with James scoring 25 and Davis 27.
“They pushed the tempo a lot more, played with better pace than us,” James said. “Couple calls went against us and kind of changed the momentum of the game.”
Vogel thought his players became “consumed” by the officiating.
“We attacked the basket and didn’t get a couple calls and ended up complaining to the refs and they would run out the other way scoring,” Davis said. “Our defense was terrible today -- we didn’t rebound the basketball therefore we keep giving them second chance points and they made us pay with threes.”
Kawhi Leonard scored 34 points, Paul George added 31, and the Clippers rolled past undermanned Washington 150-125 on Sunday night for their 12th win in a row over the Wizards at home.
Montrezl Harrell added 23 points and 15 rebounds and Lou Williams had 22 points for the Clippers, who improved to a franchise-best 12-1 at Staples Center.
The Clippers shot 57% in taking a 27-point lead in the first half when George had 27 points.
George and Leonard combined to score 10 of the Clippers’ first 13 points in the third when they led 95-69.
Jared Goff passed for 424 yards and two touchdowns as the Rams defeated the Arizona Cardinals 34-7 at State Farm Stadium.
The Rams improved to 7-5, keeping alive their playoff possibilities.
Six days after the Baltimore Ravens routed them 45-6, the Rams gave up only a fourth-quarter touchdown to fall shy of posting their first shutout since 2017, when they defeated the Cardinals 33-0 in London.
That also was the locale of Goff’s last touchdown pass.
He had not connected with a receiver in the end zone since an Oct. 27 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals at Wembley Stadium. The three-game drought was the longest of Goff’s NFL career.
But Goff found tight end Tyler Higbee for a touchdown in the second quarter and wide receiver Cooper Kupp in the third quarter for a 27-0 lead.
Goff completed 32 of 43 passes before he was replaced by Blake Bortles midway through the fourth quarter. Goff’s 424 yards passing were the third most in his career. He passed for 517 yards in a loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and 465 yards in a 2018 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.
Goff’s big performance came with a caveat: The Cardinals were ranked second to last in the NFL in total defense and dead last in pass defense.
But it was still a much-needed confidence boost for Goff, who has been under fire for performing well below the level that earned him consecutive Pro Bowl selections the last two seasons. In the days leading up to Sunday’s game, Goff said he did not feel extra pressure to live up to the $134-million extension he received before the season, but he stressed that he needed to be better.
All times Pacific. Radio: 710 ESPN, 93.1 JACK FM
Rams 30, at Carolina 27
at Rams 27, New Orleans 9
Rams 20, at Cleveland 13
Tampa Bay 55, at Rams 40
at Seattle 30, Rams 29
San Francisco 20, at Rams 7
Rams 37, at Atlanta 10
Rams 24, Cincinnati 10 (at London)
at Pittsburgh 17, Rams 12
at Rams 17, Chicago 7
Baltimore 45, at Rams 6
Rams 34, at Arizona 7
Sunday vs. Seattle, 5:15 p.m., NBC
Dec. 15 at Dallas, 1:15 p.m., Fox
Dec. 21 at San Francisco, 1:15 p.m., NFL Network
Dec. 29 vs. Arizona, 1:15 p.m., Fox
The Chargers found a new way to lose during their rough season Sunday, falling 23-20 after a last-second pass interference penalty.
The infraction was called on cornerback Casey Hayward, a 37-yard mark off that set up Brandon McManus’ game-winning 53-yard field goal as time expired.
Denver took over for the final possession at its own 28-yard with just nine seconds remaining.
The Chargers appeared to send the game into overtime on a 46-yard field goal by Michael Badgley with 14 seconds remaining.
The kick came after they converted a fourth-and-11 following consecutive false-start penalties on offensive linemen Dan Feeney and Russell Okung.
Mike Williams made a mostly one-handed catch over Denver cornerback Isaac Yiadom for a 38-yard gain and first down at the Denver 38-yard line with two minutes remaining.
Playing a Denver team missing pass rushers Von Miller and Bradley Chubb and starting a rookie quarterback, the Chargers instead looked like the undermanned team for most of Sunday.
Oddly, they were actually as healthy as they’ve been all year.
All times Pacific. Radio: KFI-AM 640, KFWB-AM 980
at Chargers 30, Indianapolis 24 (OT)
at Detroit 13, Chargers 10
Houston 27, at Chargers 20
Chargers 30, at Miami 10
Denver 20, at Chargers 13
Pittsburgh 24, at Chargers 17
at Tennessee 23, Chargers 20
Chargers 17, at Chicago 16
at Chargers 26, Green Bay 11
at Oakland 26, Chargers 24
Kansas City 24, Chargers 17 (at Mexico City)
at Denver 23, Chargers 20
Sunday at Jacksonville, 1 p.m., Fox
Dec. 15 vs. Minnesota, 5:15 p.m., NBC
Dec. 22 vs. Oakland, 1 p.m., CBS
Dec. 29 at Kansas City, 10 a.m., CBS
Sunday’s NFL scoreboard
Rams 34, at Arizona 7
at Denver 23, Chargers 20
at Houston 28, New England 22
at Cincinnati 22, NY Jets 6
Tennessee 31, at Indianapolis 17
at Miami 37. Philadelphia 31
Green Bay 31, at NY Giants 13
at Pittsburgh 20, Cleveland 13
Washington 29, at Carolina 21
Tampa Bay 28, at Jacksonville 11
at Baltimore 20, San Francisco 17
at Kansas City 40, Oakland 9
Minnesota at Seattle, 5:15 p.m., ESPN
NFC wild-card standings
Tampa Bay, 5-7
NY Giants, 2-10
Clay Helton remains USC’s head football coach for now, in spite of a report suggesting otherwise.
Multiple people familiar with the situation confirmed to The Times that no decision has yet been made on the embattled Trojans coach. But the fact that Helton’s status has yet to change, following the official conclusion of the regular season on Saturday, does not mean that Helton is officially safe.
New USC athletic director Mike Bohn, who was hired last month, is expected to make a decision on Helton, one way or the other, in the coming days. When Bohn spoke to The Times less than two weeks ago, he said that a decision on Helton was “something we don’t want to race into.”
Coach Chip Kelly described his commitment to the Bruins as “the same since I’ve been here; it’s been 100%.” He also disputed media reports that he might abandon UCLA after only two years and head back to the NFL as an offensive coordinator.
“I don’t know where they came from and I have not had any discussions with anybody,” Kelly said after his record with the Bruins fell to 7-17 following a season-ending 28-18 loss to California. “We have a banquet [Sunday] at 1 o’clock and we’ll see our seniors off in a manner that they should be seen off and then we hit the ground recruiting, so that’s kind of our plan.”
Did Kelly anticipate being UCLA’s coach when it finally broke through for success after four consecutive losing seasons, including a 4-8 finish in 2019 that was only a one-game improvement over his first season?
“I hope so,” Kelly said. “I’m going to do my part.”
Four days after its ball movement abandoned it, UCLA was back to being in a sharing mood.
The Bruins exceeded the five assists they had compiled in their last game in a matter of minutes Sunday during a 93-64 victory over San Jose State at Pauley Pavilion.
UCLA tallied assists on each of its first six baskets. A seventh wasn’t possible when Jaime Jaquez Jr. poked a ball away for a steal and breakaway dunk, the first of two nearly identical sequences involving the freshman guard in a matter of seconds.
The Bruins (6-3) logged assists on each of their first eight baskets in their halfcourt offense, not counting Jaquez’s two dunks. A related development: UCLA made 10 of its first 14 shots, good for 71.4%, while building a 22-12 lead.
Making his second consecutive start, Jaquez continued his recent rise to prominence with a career-high 18 points on seven-for-10 shooting to go with four assists, three rebounds and three steals in only 20 minutes. Hill added 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Smith finished with 14 points for the Bruins, who shot 52.3%.
Onyeka Okongwu had 27 points and 14 rebounds as USC defeated Harvard 77-62 for third place Sunday night at the Orlando Invitational.
The freshman forward, who shot 12 of 14, had 21 first-half points to help the Trojans go up 52-43. He scored 53 points and grabbed 28 rebounds during the three-game event.
Jonah Mathews and Quinton Adlesh both added 12 points for USC (7-2), which used its size to take control during a second half where the Trojans took a 25-point advantage with nine minutes left.
Noah Kirkwood had 12 points for Harvard (5-4).
YOUR FAVORITE SPORTS MOMENT
What is your all-time favorite local sports moment? Email me at email@example.com and tell me what it is and why, and it could appear in a future Sports newsletter.
This moment comes from David L. Schinnerer of Altadena:
In the early ‘90s I had the great privilege of working as the spotter for the scoreboard operators at the Rose Bowl. In 1993, Nebraska was in town to play the Bruins and, upon arriving two hours before game time, I decided to grab a bite before heading up to the press box. Standing in front of the hot dog stand was an older man, smallish in stature with a dark blue cardigan sweater, waiting to also buy a hot dog. When I got closer, I realized it was John Wooden!
I commented, “Coach, there’s plenty of food in the press box, are you heading up there?” “Oh, no,” he said, “I like to sit with the people in the stands.” He then pulled out his wallet, which was held closed with a rubber band, exactly like my own grandfather! He was also carrying his seat cushion in a bag from a department store that was probably 10-15 years out of business. I truly realized that day that this man had absolutely no trace of ego or self-importance, although he certainly had earned the right to both.
And as a postscript, at halftime I hurried down to his seat to ask for an autograph. In my rush, I had forgotten a program, so I pulled a dollar bill from my pocket and asked if he would sign it, which he gladly did. He then proceeded to fold it up, put it in his shirt pocket and turn back to the halftime show. After a second or two, he turned back to me, handed the dollar back and, with a grin and a wink, told me, “Be careful what you ask me to sign.”
A moment I’ll never forget.
TODAY’S LOCAL MAJOR SPORTS SCHEDULE
All times Pacific
Kings at Ducks, 7 p.m., FSW, PRIME
BORN ON THIS DATE
1940: Hockey player Gerry Cheevers
1940: Football player Willie Brown (d. 2009)
1953: Golfer Jay Haas
1966: Hockey player Kelly Buchberger
1968: Baseball player Darryl Kile (d. 2002)
1969: Football player O. J. McDuffie
1973: Tennis player Monica Seles
1973: Cyclist Jan Ullrich
1975: Baseball player Mark Kotsay
1978: Basketball player Jason Collins
1978: Basketball player Jarron Collins
1983: Football player Aaron Rodgers
DIED ON THIS DATE
1976: Baseball manager Danny Murtaugh, 59
1997: Baseball/basketball player Steve Hamilton, 63
2000: Jockey Chris Antley, 34
2009: Football coach Foge Fazio, 71
2010: Baseball player Ron Santo, 70
2014: Hockey player Jean Béliveau, 83
2016: Diver Sammy Lee, 96
Olympics medalist Sammy Lee revisits Occidental College. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to subscribe, click here.