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The Sports Report: LeBron and the Lakers defeat Zion and the Pelicans

LeBron James scores in the second quarter.
LeBron James scores in the second quarter.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

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

LeBron James had 40 points and eight rebounds in his first career meeting with Zion Williamson while leading the Lakers to their sixth straight victory, 118-109 over the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night.

Anthony Davis had 21 points and 14 rebounds to remain unbeaten in his three meetings with his former team this season.

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James opened up a close contest with back-to-back buckets at the rim with about three minutes left. Danny Green sealed it for with his fifth three-pointer with 51 seconds to play.

Williamson had 29 points and six rebounds in his first career showdown with James and Davis, his predecessor as the Pelicans’ centerpiece. In his 13th NBA game, Williamson scored at least 20 points for the ninth consecutive time, but managed only one field goal in the fourth quarter.

Read more Lakers

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DODGERS

Dave Roberts has yet to announce his club’s starting pitcher for opening day, but all signs point to Clayton Kershaw.

The left-hander is scheduled to make his Cactus League debut Friday against the Milwaukee Brewers — one day before Walker Buehler is slated to make his debut in one of the Dodgers’ two split-squad games Saturday. Buehler, a blooming ace, is seemingly Kershaw’s only competition for the opening day assignment.

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Roberts previously said the team has decided on its starter for the season opener against the San Francisco Giants on March 26, but he declined to reveal it. Should we read into this weekend’s order?

“You can read whatever you want into that order,” Roberts said. “Obviously, you’re looking at off days and things can happen. But you can make what you want with it.”

ANGELS

Outfield prospect Brandon Marsh will be limited in spring training because of a strained left elbow, Angels manager Joe Maddon said Tuesday.

General manager Billy Eppler said Marsh, diagnosed with a Grade 2 (moderate) strain, would miss at least a few weeks.

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Marsh, the Angels’ No. 2 prospect behind Jo Adell, sustained the injury Sunday while attempting to make a diving play in center field during the Angels’ Cactus League opener. He said he felt pain on impact but that it didn’t bother him for the rest of the game.

Read more baseball

A.J. Pollock hits first home run of the spring in Dodgers’ loss to Diamondbacks

Newcomer Dylan Bundy sharp in his first spring start with the Angels

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DUCKS

Sonny Milano had an ideal debut with the Ducks.

Milano netted the winning goal in overtime and finished with two goals, leading the Ducks to a 4-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night.

Nicolas Deslauriers and Adam Henrique also scored for the Ducks, who snapped a five-game losing streak. Anaheim has earned a point in consecutive games after losing in overtime to the Golden Knights on Sunday.

John Gibson had 29 saves for the Ducks, who never trailed as Edmonton’s top scoring threats Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl were held without a shot on goal over the first two periods.

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LAFC

In its first two MLS seasons, LAFC capped season-ticket sales at 17,500 — and sold them all.

So heading into its third year, the team made an additional 800 season packages available. And Tuesday, less than a week before its season opener, LAFC announced all of those tickets are gone too.

LAFC sold out all 37 MLS home games — regular season and postseason — it has played at the 22,000-seat-plus Banc of California Stadium since joining MLS for the 2018 season. And that’s despite the fact the average ticket price last season was $49.64, more than 13% higher than any other MLS team.

Figure in the cost of parking, food, beverages and souvenirs, and a Team Marketing Report survey says it would cost a family of four nearly $340 to attend an LAFC game. Yet the demand continues so the team has launched a season-ticket waiting list.

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OLYMPICS

The International Olympic Committee has three months before it must decide on whether to cancel the 2020 Summer Games because of the coronavirus outbreak, an influential committee member said Tuesday.

Dick Pound, a Canadian IOC member for more than four decades, told the Associated Press that a final determination could probably wait until late May, two months before the scheduled July 24 opening ceremony.

Pound acknowledged that if the virus forces a change, cancellation — rather than postponement or relocation — would be the most likely outcome.

“This is the new war and you have to face it,” he said. “In and around that time, I’d say folks are going to have to ask: ‘Is this under sufficient control that we can be confident about going to Tokyo or not?’”

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TODAY’S LOCAL MAJOR SPORTS SCHEDULE

All times Pacific.

Clippers at Phoenix, 6 p.m., Fox Sports Prime Ticket, AM 570

Pittsburgh at Kings, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN

Angels at Dodgers (exhibition game), Noon, Spectrum Sportsnet, FSW, AM 570, AM 830

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BORN ON THIS DATE

1887: Baseball player Grover Cleveland Alexander (d. 1950)

1918: Former Dodger Preacher Roe (d. 2008)

1930: Football player Vic Janowicz (d. 1996)

1957: Cyclist Connie Carpenter-Phinney

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1959: Basketball player Rolando Blackman

1968: Former Angel J.T. Snow

1973: Football player Marshall Faulk

1973: Swimmer Jenny Thompson

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1977: Basketball player Tim Thomas

1982: Tennis player Li Na

DIED ON THIS DATE

2009: Basketball player and broadcaster Norm Van Lier, 62

2009: Basketball player and broadcaster Johnny Kerr, 76

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2015: Basketball player Earl Lloyd, 86

2016: Hockey player Andy Bathgate, 83

AND FINALLY

Ronald Reagan portrays Grover Cleveland Alexander in “The Winning Team.” 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.

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