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LAst Night's Action: Blake Griffin Electrifies in Clippers' Loss

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Portland Trail Blazers defeat LA Clippers 98-88. The Clippers have been waiting for the debut of Blake Griffin for more than a year, and in the opening seconds of their game no. 1 he provided these two gems for his first two buckets of his young career:

Griffin scored 20 points and grabbed 14 boards, nine on the offensive floor, in his NBA debut while third-year guard Eric Gordon had 22 points.

While everything was set for the Clippers to win their season debut, the Blazers trailing by four went on a 15-0 run in the fourth quarter to take the Clips out of it thanks mostly to their zone defense. Not helping was Baron Davis and Chris Kaman who combined to go 7-for-29 with 16 points although Kaman did grab 11 rebounds.

LA Kings Chicago Blackhawks. Blackhawks’ goalie Marty Turco went 0-2-1 last season with the Dallas Stars against the Kings. Turco on this night saved 33 shots to get his first win over the Kings since the 2008-09 season.

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Jake Dowell got the scoring started 5:16 in the first period thanks to a deflection by Kings’ defenseman Davis Drewiske that got past goalie Jonathan Bernier. Four minutes later Drewiske atoned for that blunder with a dish to Justin Williams to tie the game.

In the second period, the Blackhawks absolutely shelled Bernier outshooting the Kings at one point 10-1 including Viktor Stalberg’s goal 1:18 in the period. Particularly trying was penalties by Ryan Smyth (hooking, 4:49) and Matt Greene (slashing, 7:34) allowing the third best power-play team in the league to go on the man-advantage twice. However the Kings armed with the league’s fourth-best penalty-kill didn’t allow anything although it was hairy at times.

The Kings would then outshoot Chicago 23-9 for the remainder of the game, but Turco stopped them all.

The player of the game for the Kings was defenseman Jack Johnson who played 28:26 with three shots, four hits and three blocks.


Giants KO Lee. Those groans that you heard from around 6:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. all across the Southland were Dodger fans watching or listening to the World Series. The Giants did something the Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees (in two years) and Tampa Bay Rays could never accomplish: knock Cliff Lee out of a postseason game before the seventh inning and tag him with a loss.

It sure didn’t look that way after Tim Lincecum stumbled through the first two innings giving up two runs in that span. The most amusing moment was when Rangers’ catcher Bengie Molina stood on third in the second inning with one out. Elvis Andrus hit a sacrifice fly to shallow centerfield that, thanks to a poor throw by centerfielder Andres Torres that drew catcher Buster Posey halfway between home and first base, allowed Molina to trample towards home plate for the Rangers’ second run.

But Lincecum got things together while the supposed non-existent Giants’ offense tied the game up in the bottom of the third thanks to an RBI double by Freddy Sanchez and RBI single by Posey. And then it happened in the fifth inning.

After Lincecum led off the inning with a grounder to short, the following sequence occurred: Andres Torres, double; Freddy Sanchez, RBI double; Buster Posey, strike out looking; Pat Burrell, walk; Cody Ross, RBI single; Aubrey Huff, RBI single.

That was enough for Rangers’ manager Ron Washington and he yanked Lee in favor of Darren O’Day.

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Juan Uribe then came up with a three-run homer to left-centerfield. Edgar Renteria got hit by a pitch and Lincecum reached first base on an error by Andrus before Torres struck out to end the inning. Six runs, five charged to Lee and the Giants were flying high with an 8-2 lead.

Lincecum gave up two runs in the sixth inning after striking out Vladimir Guerrero and Nelson Cruz to lead off the inning, but the Giants’ bullpen held fast.

As with the Lincecum-Roy Halladay matchup in Game 1 of the NL Championship Series, this Lee-Lincecum duel did not deliver as advertised. 18 total runs, 25 hits and six errors in the Giants 11-7 win in Game 1, their first World Series win since Game 5 of the 2002 World Series.

It wasn’t pretty, but you would be hard-pressed to find any Giants’ fans complaining.

Kings Fill in the Blanks. As reported here prior to the season, the Kings announced that a total of 77 Kings’ games would be broadcast on television: 70 on Fox Sports West/Prime Ticket and seven nationally on either NBC or Versus. The Kings have now found a broadcaster to air the remaining five games they announced on Wednesday.

The following games will be broadcast on KCOP 13: Nov. 6 against Nashville Predators; Dec. 18 at Nashville; Dec. 29 at Phoenix Coyotes; Feb. 2, 2011 at Edmonton Oilers; Mar. 9, 2011 at Detroit Red Wings.

As always Bob Miller and Jim Fox will call the action.

Jeffrey Landrigan (AP Photo/Arizona Department of Corrections, File)
Boomer Sooner. Arizona executed their first death-row inmate since 2007, Jeffrey Landrigan formerly an Oklahoman for an 1989 murder of Chester Dyer that was part of a robbery. Now 50, Landrigan was executed by lethal injection at 10:26 p.m. Tuesday. His last words: "Well, I'd like to say thank you to my family for being here and all my friends, and Boomer Sooner." There you go.

LA Kings (12 pts., 6-3-0) at Dallas Stars (10 pts., 5-3-0). 5:30 pm FSWest, AM 1150 KTLK.

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