The Sports Report: Lakers’ road winning streak comes to an end
Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.
The Indiana Pacers halted the Lakers’ 14-game road winning streak by beating them 105-102 on Tuesday night.
The Lakers were without Anthony Davis, who sprained his right ankle on Sunday in Atlanta, and Kyle Kuzma, who has missed four games with a sprained left ankle. That meant Jared Dudley started at power forward for the Lakers.
Pacers power forward Domantas Sabonis led all scorers with 26 points.
Indiana led by as many as 10 points, but the Lakers kept the game close in the final minutes.
Dwight Howard and LeBron James led the team in scoring with 20 points each, but the pair combined to miss four consecutive free throws late in the fourth quarter.
“One reason [for the winning streak] was we kept our composure,” James said. “And we did that tonight too. We still had an opportunity to win the game, we just didn’t. Throughout the winning streak we was able to keep our composure throughout adversity. Up or down, still being able to make a game out of it, which we did tonight, but sometimes the ball doesn’t bounce your way.”
Said teammate Avery Bradley: “All I can really say is let’s start another one next game.”
Paul George scored 24 points, Kawhi Leonard added 20 and the Clippers returned home after two weeks away to beat the Phoenix Suns 120-99.
The Clippers went 4-2 on their recent road trip, matching their longest of the season. Leonard didn’t play in the finale, a loss Saturday at Chicago.
But he came back strong at Staples Center, teaming with George in a dominant third quarter that saw the Clippers stretch their lead from five points to 21 by the time it was over. The two superstars combined to score 18 points in a 32-16 run that sent the Clippers into the fourth leading 90-69.
Lou Williams added 20 points for the Clippers, scoring their first 11 of the fourth — including three three-pointers. Ivica Zubac had 12 points in helping the team win its 12th in a row over the Suns in Los Angeles.
NBA WESTERN CONFERENCE PLAYOFF STANDINGS
Top eight teams make the playoffs
1. Lakers, 24-4
2. Clippers, 21-8, 3.5 GB
3. Dallas, 18-8, 5 GB
4. Denver, 17-8, 5.5 GB
5. Houston, 18-9, 5.5 GB
6. Utah, 16-11, 7.5 GB
7. Oklahoma City, 12-14, 11 GB
8. Sacramento, 12-15, 11.5 GB
9. Phoenix, 11-16, 12.5 GB
9. Portland, 11-16, 12.5 GB
11. Minnesota, 10-15, 12.5 GB
12. San Antonio, 10-16, 13 GB
13. Memphis, 10-17, 13.5 GB
14. New Orleans, 6-22, 18 GB
15. Golden State, 5-23, 19 GB
Anze Kopitar scored at 3:23 of overtime and the Kings rallied to beat the Boston Bruins 4-3.
Kopitar beat Tuukka Rask with a high wrist shot after Jonathan Quick had come up with a huge save at the other end, giving the Kings their fourth win in five games and extending their best stretch of the season (4-0-1).
Blake Lizotte had a goal and an assist for the Kings, who couldn’t hold on to leads of 1-0 and 2-1 before rallying for a thrilling finish. Down 3-2 late in the third, the Kings pulled Quick for an extra skater and tied it on Matt Roy’s slap shot with 2:01 left in regulation.
Adrian Kempe also scored for the Kings and Quick finished with 37 saves.
The Philadelphia Flyers honored cancer-stricken teammate Oskar Lindblom and beat the Ducks 4-1.
The Flyers played their first home game since Lindblom was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a cancerous tumor that grows in the bones or in the tissue around bones. The 23-year-old from Sweden, who is out for the season, stopped by the locker room during morning skate and visited his teammates.
“It was great to see him again,” Giroux said.
The Flyers warmed up in purple “Hockey Fights Cancer” jerseys and will auction them off with proceeds going to Ewing’s sarcoma research. They left “I Fight For Oskar” signs on every seat, and fans held them during a tribute video for Lindblom. Ducks and Flyers players tapped their sticks and fans stood and applauded the promising forward who had 11 goals and 18 points in 30 games this season. Philadelphia sold #OskarStrong purple shirts, and proceeds from the 50/50 raffle were donated toward Ewing’s sarcoma research.
What did athletic director Mike Bohn say to Clay Helton when informing him he would return as football coach?
“He said to me, ‘Coach, you’re our coach,’ ” Helton recalled Tuesday, speaking to reporters for the first time since he officially was retained. “ ‘We love what you’re about, and we love what you stand for, and we want to be able to help you live up to the expectations of what this place is.’ ”
And with Helton nearby, Bohn passed along that same message to his players. The room, as Helton remembered, burst with a combination of elation and relief.
“You gotta remember I’ve been here a decade,” Helton said. “I’ve sat in on every one of those couches, and this is our team. I’ve had the opportunity to recruit every one of these men that stepped on this grass. So it’s more personal to me. This is not a business to me. It’s not a business to them. It’s a relationship and a family. When you get to be a part of something that special, it is emotional. So it’s a memory that I won’t forget.”
Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald was voted to the Pro Bowl for the sixth consecutive time and cornerback Jalen Ramsey made it for the third time.
Running back Todd Gurley is an alternate, a Rams spokesperson said.
Players are voted to the Pro Bowl by players, coaches and fans.
Donald, 28, has made the Pro Bowl every year since the Rams selected him with the 13th pick in the 2014 NFL draft.
Donald, a two-time NFL defensive player of the year, has not had the statistical production of the last two seasons. In 2018, for example, he had 20½ sacks, the most by an interior defensive lineman in NFL history.
This season, Donald has 11 sacks with two games remaining. The Rams (8-6) play the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday at Levi’s Stadium. They conclude the regular season Dec. 29 against the Arizona Cardinals at the Coliseum.
Defensive end Joey Bosa and wide receiver Keenan Allen, who was named to his third consecutive Pro Bowl.
Melvin Ingram was picked as a first alternate at defensive end for the Chargers and Derek Watt as a first alternate on special teams and second alternate at fullback.
Bosa, 24 and in his fourth season, is second in the AFC with 10½ sacks. He also has 25 quarterback hits and 60 tackles with two games to play.
Bosa’s single-season career highs are 12½ sacks and 70 tackles, both set during 2017, his other Pro Bowl year.
On Tuesday, three days before the Anaheim City Council is expected to approve the sale of the stadium property, the city released a study that shows what Angels owner Arte Moreno and his partners might do with the land once they buy it.
Moreno’s company and the city of Anaheim are not expected to commit to a formal development agreement until next year, and the city has said it would like some of the land to be used for parks and open space.
The city relied on the study for its estimate that development of the land could generate $20 million in annual tax revenue for Anaheim.
The study envisions 4,251 apartments for rent and 709 condominiums for sale, plus a hotel with 943 rooms and offices that would employ 15,390 workers.
The study also envisions full-service and fast-casual restaurants, a beer garden and wine bar, a grocery and drug store, merchandise stores, fitness and recreational centers and social spaces.
YOUR FAVORITE SPORTS MOMENT
What is your all-time favorite sports moment? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me what it is and why, and it could appear in a future Sports newsletter.
This moment comes from George Brose of Vancouver Island:
My story goes back to the late 1980s when the Expos were still in Montreal. My son Jacques and his cousin Luc and I attended a game in the vast Olympic Stadium and had seats in right field. The boys brought their gloves along with a ball for a possible autograph. During the warmup period Dennis Martinez was wandering in the outfield with several other players when Jacques was able to catch his eye and hold up the ball and a pen hoping that Martinez would acknowledge and sign the ball. Martinez indicated for my son to throw it down to him. Jacques threw the ball to Martinez, and this is where the drama begins.
Dennis signed the ball and threw a strike, maybe a slider, back up to Jacques. Trouble was both boys put their gloves up to catch it, and the ball bounced off the gloves back down to the floor of the stadium. Unfortunately it went between a temporary outfield wall and the concrete stadium wall. It was trapped in a three foot space between the walls. That could have been the end of story, but it wasn’t. Martinez, a force in MLB pitching ranks motioned for the boys to hang on. There was a small concealed door in the interior wall which he was able to open. But he had to get down on hands and knees to crawl through it. He then squeezed in between the two walls and retrieved the ball, came back out on the field, brushed himself off and threw the ball back up to the boys, with a “This is your last chance” look in his eye. Jacques handled this one like a pro on his second chance.
It reminded me of the old Father Flanagan of Boys Town quote, " No man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a boy.”
Thanks, Dennis, you will always be remembered in my family for your kindness.
TODAY’S LOCAL MAJOR SPORTS SCHEDULE
All times Pacific
Ducks at New Jersey, 4 p.m., PRIME, AM 830
BORN ON THIS DATE
1886: Baseball player Ty Cobb (d. 1961)
1913: Basketball coach Ray Meyer (d. 2006)
1930: Baseball player Bill “Moose” Skowron (d. 2012)
1946: Golfer Hubert Green (d. 2018)
1961: Figure skater Brian Orser
1963: Basketball player Charles Oakley
1963: Football coach Karl Dorrell
1964: Football player Don Beebe
1974: Football player Peter Boulware
DIED ON THIS DATE
1971: Golfer Bobby Jones, 69
2010: Baseball player Phil Cavarretta, 94
Ty Cobb on the TV show “I’ve Got a Secret.” Watch it here.
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