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Sports

The Sports Report: Clippers slip past the Spurs

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Kawhi Leonard knocks the ball away from DeMar DeRozan in the second quarter.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

Kawhi Leonard scored 22 points, Paul George added 19 and the Clippers rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the San Antonio Spurs 108-105 on Monday night.

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Leonard’s one-handed dunk gave the Clippers a two-point lead with 1:35 remaining after they trailed by 15 in the first half. George’s jumper with 13 seconds left made it 106-102.

Patty Mills hit a three-pointer with two seconds left to draw the Spurs within one.

Lou Williams got fouled and made both for the Clippers. Mills’ half-court heave at the buzzer came up short.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 27 points and DeMar DeRozan added 26 — but none in the fourth — for the Spurs, whose two-game winning streak ended. Aldridge had 13 points in the fourth.

Patrick Beverley’s three-pointer tied the score for the Clippers for the last time at 102-all.

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DODGERS

Dylan Hernandez, on the Dodgers possible acquiring Mookie Betts from the Boston Red Sox:

They were interested in Bryce Harper, but didn’t sign him.

They wanted Gerrit Cole, but didn’t land him, either.

The Dodgers are now in the market for Mookie Betts, and a potential obstacle is one with which they are familiar: Money.

The fact they would likely have to stretch themselves financially to make a trade with the Boston Red Sox should be viewed as both a source of optimism and skepticism.

On one hand, the Dodgers have the money, or at least they should. They are entering the seventh year of a 25-year, $8.35-billion broadcast agreement that made their games vanish from the majority of the television screens in their market. They have raised ticket prices year after year.

On the other hand, their owners have demonstrated a reluctance to reinvest into their on-field product beyond a certain point.

The passivity cost them Harper and Cole. They shouldn’t make the same mistake with Betts, a dynamic all-around talent who could be the best player in the game outside of Mike Trout.

Read the rest of Dylan’s column by clicking here.

USC FOOTBALL

Willie Wood, the first African American quarterback to play in what is now considered the Pac-12, died on Monday.

A captain of USC’s 1959 football team and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Wood died in Washington, the city where he was born and first became a star athlete. He was 83. Wood had suffered from advanced stage dementia and been confined to assisted living facilities for the past 13 years.

Wood was one of the first college football players to break the color barrier at quarterback in 1957, splitting time at the position during a 1-9 season for USC. But his true calling came at safety, where Wood would go on to become one of the most dominant players the position had ever seen. As a senior, it wasn’t hard to see that potential, as he led the Trojans in interceptions (five) and pass deflections.

Wood ultimately went undrafted out of USC, but was scooped up as a free agent by the Green Bay Packers, where he would play for 12 years, earn eight Pro Bowl invites, and win both of the first two Super Bowls.

LAKERS

The Lakers along with Staples Center and L.A. Live have collected the memorial items left in honor of Kobe Bryant and will wait for instructions from the Bryant family.

Lee Zeidman, the president of Staples Center, L.A. Live and Microsoft Theater, tweeted that the cleanup began Monday at 4 a.m. at L.A. Live and they had boxed 1,353 basketballs dedicated to Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, who died along with seven others when their helicopter crashed into a hillside in Calabasas on Jan. 26.

Vanessa Bryant last week asked for some of the items to be preserved for the family. The Lakers began collecting items left at their practice facility in El Segundo on Sunday.

“After boxing everything up, and due to the overwhelming amount of shoes and stuffed animals and basketballs and everything else, we reached out to the Lakers and determined it was best for us to store everything at L.A. Live until further notice,” Zeidman said. “And that’s what we’re doing.”

NFL

Kansas City sent so many fireworks into the sky when the Chiefs were on their way to winning Super Bowl LIV that the pyrotechnics simulated a storm. The National Weather Service tweeted radar images captured when the NFL franchise won its first Super Bowl in 50 years. Thousands of bright green pinpricks lit the otherwise black images.

For the Chiefs themselves, the party raged through the night.

At the traditional Super Bowl most-valuable-player news conference Monday, Kansas City coach Andy Reid wore a Hawaiian shirt and a wry smile. He didn’t do what some winning coaches and players had done in years past, taking the Lombardi Trophy back to their hotel room.

“I didn’t really sleep last night,” he said, “but I didn’t spend it with the trophy …”

He quickly caught himself.

“Well, I did. I spent it with my trophy wife, how’s that?” he said, drawing laughter and applause from the bleary-eyed media, NFL personnel and guests assembled in a ballroom of the league hotel. Then, a peek at the team’s postgame party. “I listened to Pitbull is what I did. He was unbelievable. He’s got great endurance, man, I’ll tell ya.”

Today’s local major sports schedule

All times Pacific.

San Antonio at Lakers, 7:30 p.m., TNT, Spectrum Sportsnet, 710 ESPN

Kings at Washington, 4 p.m., FSW

Ducks at Ottawa, 4:30 p.m., PRIME, AM 830

BORN ON THIS DATE

1912: Golfer Byron Nelson (d. 2006)

1959: Football player Lawrence Taylor

1961: Hockey player Denis Savard

1963: Skier Pirmin Zurbriggen

1963: Synchronized swimmer Tracie Ruiz-Conforto

1967: Figure skater Sergei Grinkov (d. 1995)

1969: Former Duck Joe Sacco

1973: Boxer Oscar De La Hoya

1981: Former Bruin and Laker Jason Kapono

1988: Gymnast Carly Patterson

1988: Boxer Jeff Horn

DIED ON THIS DATE

2016: BMX rider Dave Mirra, 41

AND FINALLY

The greatest players in NFL history No. 3: Lawrence Taylor. Watch it here.

Until next time...
That concludes today’s newsletter. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.


Newsletter
Go beyond the scoreboard

Get the latest on L.A.'s teams in the daily Sports Report newsletter.

You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.
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