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The Sports Report: Anthony Davis injury comes at bad time for Lakers

Howdy, I’m your host, Austin Knoblauch, filling in for Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

From Dan Woike: The last time the Lakers dropped a big game at home, Anthony Davis had to leave the court after one quarter, a shot to his left eye sinking the Lakers in a loss to Golden State on March 16.

In that game, the Lakers made a push thanks to 40 points from LeBron James, the safety net built into the roster should Davis get banged up.

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On Sunday, the Lakers, playing for every precious inch of space in the Western Conference standings, didn’t have James. He was home with flu-like symptoms as the Lakers began their final week of the season.

But that wouldn’t be the only bad luck to strike the Lakers — the next blow came with a little déjà vu.

Just like it happened against the Warriors, Davis again got hit in the face and had to leave the game, getting struck in the eye by Kyle Anderson’s forearm on a putback.

Davis finished the quarter, returned to the locker room and never emerged, the team ruling him out just before the start of the third.

Without their two stars, there would be no magic like there was earlier this year in Boston. Instead, in a 127-117 loss to the Timberwolves, the Lakers would be too small, too easily pushed around and too short-handed to keep all of their good vibes rolling.

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Lakers-Timberwolves box score

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DODGERS

Dodgers third baseman Miguel Rojas argues with umpire Laz Diaz during the Dodgers’ loss to the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Sunday.

(Michael Reaves / Getty Images)

From Jack Harris: Even in normal conditions, the Dodgers’ infield defense has been a point of concern for the club this year.

Add in a wet, muddy infield at a rain-soaked Wrigley Field on Sunday, and the weakness was highlighted repeatedly before the team’s eventual 8-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs was delayed for nearly three hours in the bottom of the fourth inning.

“I think today is one of those days you have to wash,” manager Dave Roberts said. “The elements, they had to play in them too.”

In the first inning, an error by first baseman Freddie Freeman on a hard-hit one-hopper contributed to three unearned runs — all of them scoring on of a bases-loaded double from former Dodgers prospect Michael Busch.

“That’s a tough error,” Roberts said. “That’s a top-spin changeup or whatever it is, in-between hop, backhand. For me, that’s a tough error.”

In the third inning, a more routine ground ball that got past Mookie Betts at shortstop — where the former MVP has been playing regularly for the first time as a professional — led to another unearned run, the fourth in a five-run, three-inning start from right-hander Gavin Stone.

“I think Mookie’s ball, (he) just hasn’t played in conditions like this at short,” Roberts said. “It was a ball that just stayed down.”

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Dodgers-Cubs box score

MLB scores

MLB standings

CHARGERS

New Chargers offensive coordinator Greg Roman (left) and Jim Harbaugh give cheers with cans outside the coach's RV.

New Chargers offensive coordinator Greg Roman (left) and Chargers coach Jim Harbaugh give cheers outside the coach’s RV.

(Courtesy of the Chargers)

From Sam Farmer: Corduroy sports coats. Shiny disco shirts unbuttoned to mid-chest. Bell-bottom slacks. Muscle-bound goons with noses crooked as Mulholland Drive.

And unsolved capers lining the sun-splashed streets like palm trees.

That’s how young Jim Harbaugh saw Los Angeles when he was growing up in Michigan.

“Laying on your stomach, hands on your chin, elbows on the floor, looking at the palm trees and mountains, sun, ocean,” said Harbaugh, 60, new coach of the Chargers. “`Wow, I want to be there someday.’”

Now, here he is, in the land of “The Rockford Files,” his all-time favorite show, which turned 50 last month. The series starred a square-jawed James Garner as Jim Rockford, who spent a couple of years in San Quentin (falsely accused) then scratched out a living cracking cases for $200 per day plus expenses. Garner died in 2014 at age 86.

“James Garner had all the things a leading man needs,” said David Chase, a writer and producer on the show who later created “The Sopranos.” “He was great looking. He was smart. He had a sense of humor. And he was also a really good guy.”

For six seasons, from 1974 to 1980, legions of fans fell in love with the show — and L.A. — the Harbaughs among them.

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SOCCER

Children play soccer at the Senda de Vida migrant shelter in Reynosa, Mexico.

Children play soccer at the Senda de Vida migrant shelter in Reynosa, Mexico. iACT, a Southern California humanitarian group, with support from Angel City FC, is using soccer to help children stranded on the U.S.-Mexico border cope with waiting for asylum.

(Kevin Baxter / Los Angeles Times)

From Kevin Baxter: Felicia Rangel-Samponaro never learned the little girl’s name, but she remembers everything else about her.

Each time Rangel-Samponaro crossed the U.S. border to work with migrant children on the Mexican side, the 10-year-old would greet her with a hug and a smile, enthusiasm Rangel-Samponaro rewarded with books.

But that didn’t last.

“It wasn’t even a month before I watched her go from smiling and ‘Hi Felicia!’ to she stopped bathing, she stopped washing her hair,” Rangel-Samponaro said.

Eventually she stopped coming all together.

You see what happens to a child, Rangel-Samponaro said, and you never forget.
She tells the story while sitting in the shady courtyard of a two-story storefront about a block from the Mexican side of a border the U.S. government has lined with razor wire. A few minutes earlier, a half-dozen children filled the patio, sitting on metal chairs at a folding table, going over school lessons with two teachers.

While politicians have implemented draconian ways to stem the flow of asylum seekers inundating the U.S.-Mexico border, Rangel-Samponaro is among those caring for the most innocent and desperate migrants — the children. More than four years ago she started the Sidewalk School, which has provided free education, medical care and food to more 800 children whose lives have been put on hold as their parents wait out the lengthy asylum process.

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CLIPPERS

Paul George shoots during a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday.

Paul George shoots during a win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday.

(Ryan Sun / Associated Press)

From Broderick Turner: The coach said his team is still fighting for something even as the regular season is winding down for the Clippers.

It took getting down by 26 points in the third quarter for the Clippers to finally show the fight coach Tyronn Lue expected from his team, which was facing a Cleveland Cavaliers team playing a back-to-back set without All-Star Donovan Mitchell (left knee injury management).

Paul George delivered the big blows for the Clippers, his 23 points the big shots in the fourth quarter, his jumper with 7.1 seconds the final points of the game and his block of a Darius Garland shot the knockout punch that sent the Clippers to a thrilling 120-118 win over the Cavaliers on Sunday at Crypto.com Arena.

George had 39 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists in 44 minutes to help the Clippers produce their third-largest comeback win in franchise history.

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Clippers-Cavaliers box score

WOMEN’S NCAA TOURNAMENT

South Carolina players celebrate after the Final Four college basketball championship game.

South Carolina players celebrate after defeating Iowa for the NCAA women’s basketball championship Sunday.

(Morry Gash / Associated Press)

From the Associated Press: Dawn Staley and South Carolina completed their perfect season, ending Caitlin Clark’s historic college career with an 87-75 win over Iowa in the NCAA championship game Sunday.

With Staley directing a relentless attack from the sideline, the Gamecocks (38-0) became the 10th Division I team to go through a season without a loss. And they accomplished the feat after they lost all five starters from last season’s team that lost to Clark’s squad in the national semifinals.

“It doesn’t always end like you want it to end, much like last year. But my freshies are at the top of my heart because they wanted this. It’s awesome. …. It’s awesome. It’s awesome. It’s unbelievable,” Staley said. “When young people lock in and have a belief, and have a trust, and their parents have that same trust, this is what can happen. They made history. They etched their names in the history books.”

Clark did all she could to lead the Hawkeyes to their first championship. She scored 30 points, including a championship-record 18 in the first quarter. She will go down as one of the greatest players in NCAA history. She rewrote the record book at Iowa (34-5), finishing as the career leading scorer in NCAA Division I history with 3,951 career points.

She hopes her legacy isn’t defined by falling short in two NCAA championship games, but more by the millions of new fans she helped bring into the game and the countless young girls and boys that she inspired.

“I think the biggest thing is it’s really hard to win these things, I think I know that better than most people by now, to be so close twice really hurts,” Clark said.

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BASKETBALL

USC guard Bronny James has declared for the NBA draft and has entered the NCAA transfer portal.

USC guard Bronny James has declared for the NBA draft and has entered the NCAA transfer portal.

(Ryan Sun / Associated Press)

From Dan Woike: Bronny James has declared for the NBA draft while entering the transfer portal, giving him multiple options for the next step in his basketball career.

He could go through the predraft process and return to college armed with an evaluation from NBA personnel folks. Or he could decide that after one season at USC, he’s ready to become a professional.

The latter option, should you simply look at his stats — averages of 4.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game — might seem ridiculous. But one year after he was named a McDonald’s All-American, there still are plenty of Bronny James fans among scouts.

Three NBA executives and scouts who specialize in college evaluations gave their thoughts, on James’ prospects as an NBA player. What they said could surprise you. The executives and scouts were granted anonymity because they are expected to keep their evaluations confidential and protect the interests of their teams.

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USC BASKETBALL

New USC men's basketball coach Eric Musselman attends an introductory news conference at Galen Center.

New USC men’s basketball coach Eric Musselman attends an introductory news conference at Galen Center on Friday.

(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

From Thuc Nhi Nguyen: With a to-do list as long as his and a cupboard as bare as USC’s, Eric Musselman agreed with the notion that the new men’s basketball coach had more important things to do on a Friday morning than speak to reporters.

“We want to get on the phone,” a smiling Musselman said in front of about two-dozen reporters at his introductory news conference at Galen Center.

The 59-year-old coach’s task of injecting life into a forgotten program starts with finding the players who will carry out the mission on the court.

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USC linebacker Eric Gentry reacts on the sideline during a game against Utah in 2022.

USC linebacker Eric Gentry reacts on the sideline during a game against Utah in 2022.

(Rick Bowmer / Associated Press)

From Ryan Kartje: Eric Gentry took his place at the front of the crowd of reporters, a coy smile already on his face. The lanky linebacker knew the drill by now, here at the start of his third spring at USC. He knew the questions being asked, the suggestions they might make about him or his confounding role last season. Maybe before, those inquiries would’ve left him feeling sensitive. Defensive, even.

Not now.

“Done a lot of these now,” he said. “Don’t get mad if I sound a little nonchalant.”

Nonchalant probably isn’t the first word most would use to describe the Trojans senior linebacker. He has always worn his emotions on his sleeve, through the best and the worst of the last two seasons. But after a somewhat frustrating fall, Gentry seemed positively at ease last week amid a spring of change for USC’s defense.

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RAMS

Los Angeles Rams general manager Les Snead looks on before an NFL football game.

Rams general manager Les Snead

(Kyusung Gong / Associated Press)

From Gary Klein: It’s been nearly a decade since the Rams selected a player in the first round of the NFL draft.

Consider: Sean McVay has coached the Rams for seven seasons, twice guiding them to the Super Bowl, without once opening camp with a newly minted first-round pick.

That could change on April 25.

For the first time since 2016, general manager Les Snead is poised to choose a player among the first 32 picks in the NFL draft.

The Rams currently hold the No. 19 pick but Snead’s history suggests he will trade back for more picks or, possibly, trade up for a desired prospect.

The Rams have run “models” that also involve their second-round pick if they choose a player at No. 19 or move up or back, Snead said last month at the NFL owners’ meeting.

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ANGELS

Angels star Mike Trout runs to first base after hitting a solo home run in the eighth inning.

Angels star Mike Trout runs to first base after hitting a solo home run in the eighth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Angel Stadium on Sunday.

(Alex Gallardo / Associated Press)

From the Associated Press: Chase McGuire drove in a career-high five runs, Tyler O’Neill hit his third home run of the series and the Boston Red Sox finished off an opening 10-game trip with a 12-2 victory over the Angels on Sunday.

Tanner Houck (2-0) allowed four hits in six shutout innings and struck out seven. The right-hander became the first Boston pitcher to go at least six innings with seven or more strikeouts in each of his first two outings of a season.

“He threw strikes, he moved the ball around and made pitches. He’s in a good spot right now,” manager Alex Cora said of Houck. “We needed him to go deeper than five and he did that. And then the offense hit pull-side homers. It was a good day overall and a great road trip.”

David Hamilton and Rafael Devers also homered for Boston, which went 7-3 on the trip and opens at home on Tuesday against Baltimore.

Angels slugger Mike Trout averted a shutout in the eighth inning with his fourth homer of the season, a solo shot to left.

McGuire had a three-run homer in the sixth that extended Boston’s lead to 7-0. He also drove in runs with a grounder in the eighth and a base hit in the ninth.

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Angels-Red Sox box score

MLB scores

MLB standings

DUCKS

Ducks defensemen Urho Vaakanainen shoots during a loss to the St. Louis Blues at Honda Center on Sunday.

Ducks defensemen Urho Vaakanainen shoots during a loss to the St. Louis Blues at Honda Center on Sunday.

(Yannick Peterhans / Associated Press)

From the Associated Press: Jordan Kyrou scored in the shootout and the St. Louis Blues beat the Ducks 6-5 on Sunday to preserve their slim playoff hopes.

Robert Thomas had a goal and three assists, and Zack Bolduc, Matthew Kessel, Pavel Buchnevich and Brayden Schenn also scored to help the Blues bounce back from a disastrous 3-2 overtime loss to San José on Saturday. Jordan Binnington finished with 33 saves through overtime and Kyrou had three assists.

Frank Vatrano and Leo Carlsson each had two goals, and Nikita Nesterenko also scored in the Ducks’ 14th loss in 16 games. Alex Killorn had an assist for his 500th career point, and Lukas Dostal made 26 saves.

Having come into the game with a narrow path to reach the postseason, likely needing to win their final five games and have either Nashville or Vegas go on a major regulation losing streak, St. Louis escaped with two points despite giving up two two-goal leads.

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Ducks-Blues box score

NHL scores

NHL standings

MEN’S NCAA TOURNAMENT

Men’s bracket

Men’s schedule
All times Pacific

Monday
Championship, No. 1 Purdue vs. No. 1 Connecticut (Glendale, Ariz.), 6:20 p.m. | TBS, TNT, TruTV

THIS DATE IN SPORTS

1935 — Gene Sarazen gets a double eagle on the 15th hole to erase Craig Wood’s three-stroke lead, then goes on to win the Masters.

1941 — In his 4th title defense in 9 weeks Joe Louis beats Tony Musto by TKO in the 9th round.

1943 — The Detroit Red Wings beat the Boston Bruins 2-0 to win the Stanley Cup with a four-game sweep.

1956 — Jack Burke, Jr. comes back from eight strokes behind to beat Ken Venturi by one and win the Masters.

1966 — American Football League votes in 36 year old Al Davis as commissioner after Joe Foss resigns. Appointment lasts 3 months when AFL merges with NFL.

1968 — Major League Baseball decides to postpone Opening Day because of the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

1969 — MLB expansion teams Royals, Expos, Padres & Pilots win their 1st games

1971 — The first legal off-track betting (OTB) system in the United States opens in New York City.

1974 — In the home opener in Atlanta, Hank Aaron breaks Babe Ruth’s career record by hitting his 715th home run, connecting off Al Downing of Los Angeles in the fourth inning.

1975 — Frank Robinson, the first black manager in the majors, debuts as player-manager for the Cleveland Indians. Robinson hits a home run in his first at-bat — as a designated hitter — to help beat the New York Yankees 5-3.

1989 — Alex English scores 26 points to become the first player in NBA history to score 2,000 points in eight straight seasons, and the Denver Nuggets beat the Utah Jazz 110-106.

1989 — 1-handed pitcher Jim Abbott makes MLB debut.

1990 — Nick Faldo becomes the second player to win consecutive Masters, beating Ray Floyd on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff. Faldo joins Jack Nicklaus as the only repeat winner.

1991 — Major league umpires & baseball reach a 4-year agreement after strike.

1995 — Oliver McCall beats Larry Holmes in 12 for heavyweight boxing title.

2001 — Tiger Woods claims the greatest feat in modern golf by winning the Masters, giving him a clean sweep of the four professional majors in a span of 294 days. Woods, with his winning score of 16-under 272, sweeps the majors with a combined score of 65-under.

2003 — 22nd NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship: Connecticut beats Tennessee, 73-68.

2007 — Zach Johnson hits three clutch birdies on the back nine of Augusta National, to close with a 69 for a two-shot victory over Tiger Woods at the Masters.

2008 — Candace Parker, playing with an injured left shoulder, scores 17 points and grabs nine rebounds to help Tennessee capture its eighth women’s NCAA championship with a 64-48 victory over Stanford.

2012 — 76th US Masters Tournament, Augusta National GC: Bubba Watson wins on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff.

2013 — Luke Hancock makes all five of his 3-pointers and leads Louisville to its first NCAA men’s basketball championship since 1986 with a 82-76 victory over Michigan. Coach Rick Pitino adds this title to the one he won at Kentucky in 1996 and became the first coach to win a championship at two schools.

2014 — 33rd NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship: Connecticut beats Notre Dame, 79-58.

2017 — Damian Lillard scores a franchise-record 59 points and matches his career high with nine 3-pointers to help the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Utah Jazz 101-86.

2018 — 82nd US Masters Tournament, Augusta National GC: Patrick Reed wins his first major title.

2019 — 81st NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship: Virginia beats Texas Tech, 85-77 OT.

Compiled by the Associated Press

And finally

Dodgers pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto earned his first major-league win Saturday against the Chicago Cubs. Check out these highlights from his impressive performance.

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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