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LAst Night's Action: Clippers Scorched by Suns
Phoenix Suns defeat LA Clippers 127-101. Judging by the score it’s hard to believe the Clippers actually had a lead in the game, but the Clippers did go into the half with a one point lead 58-57. Then the Suns shot 77% in the third quarter while the Clippers went dormant shooting 37% to end the quarter with a 20 point lead. The Suns outglassed the Clips by a 50-30 margin, and while the Clippers won the turnover margin by one the Suns outscored them 21-9 off of turnovers. Chris Kaman led the Clippers with 24 points and nine rebounds while Amare Stoudemire killed the Clips with 30 points and 14 rebounds. Wait, Stoudemire rebounds now?
Colorado Avalanche defeat Anaheim Ducks 4-3. The Ducks took control of the game with Jason Blake and Teemu Selanne giving the Ducks a 2-0 lead in the second period. But the Avs started to take control after the five minute mark in the second period scoring the next three goals on power play. By the third period the Ducks defense collapsed and their offense looked lethargic at best. The bad defense cost the Ducks 9:19 in the third period on a TJ Galliardi goal for the Avs. Right after that the Ducks went on a one-man advantage for the following six minutes but couldn’t score until well into the final minute when Scott Niedermayer tipped in a goal. Incidently Selanne assisted on that goal tying him with the legendary Bobby Orr in career assists with 645. This marks their first home loss in regulation since December 1.
- The Angels have named Victor Rojas as their television play-by-play broadcaster. Rojas, who pitched in the Angels minor league system in the 1990s, spent last season as studio host and occasional Thursday Night Baseball announcer for the ludicrously awesome MLB Network. He will be working alongside Mark Gubicza on the Angels telecast. He has also done broadcasts for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2003, Texas Rangers from 2004 until his move to the MLB Network. Interesting note on Rojas, his father Cookie Rojas managed the Angels for part of the 1988 season.
- Staying with baseball, the Dodgers decided to sign 37-year old outfielder Garrett Anderson to a minor league contract. With Manny Ramirez, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier firmly cemented in the outfield, Anderson will compete with Reed Johnson, Xavier Paul, Jason Repko, Brian Giles and other players I’m forgetting about right now for that back up position. Color me confused.
The Bruins and Trojans mercifully end their Pac-10 regular season this week in the state of Arizona. For the Bruins, the season was miserable from day one with a double-overtime loss to Cal State Fullerton seen nationwide on ESPN. A couple of weeks later forward Drew Gordon left the team. Unless something extraordinary happens this week and in next week’s Pac-10 Tournament, the Bruins will have their second losing season under head coach Ben Howland.
As for the Trojans, they have somewhat overachieved being picked preseason to dwell in the bottom of the conference standings. But with wins over Tennessee and UNLV, the Trojans were the only Pac-10 team to defeat ranked opponents in the non-conference schedule. Unfortunately with athletic director Mike Garrett imposing sanctions on the team that will prohibit them from competing in the Pac-10 and NCAA Tournaments, their season was merely an exercise in pride. But in the process they swept the Bruins for the first time since 2004.
The rest of the Pac-10 has been just as disappointing with only three teams over .500 in conference play - California, Arizona State and Washington. The only bright spot in all of this is that the winner of the Pac-10 Tournament will most likely be the only Pac-10 team in the NCAA Tournament which should make next week’s games very competitive.
Anyhow for those of you wanting a glimpse of better days, here is the UCLA-Gonzaga matchup from the Sweet Sixteen of the 2006 NCAA Tournament.
- Who the hell does LeBron James thinks he’s fooling? He put in a petition to change his jersey number from 23 to 6 as he puts it in deference to Michael Jordan. Really LeBron? So you’re going to put give the six-time NBA champion Jordan the love and not the 11-time NBA champion Bill Rusell? We all know this is your way of ensuring jersey sales revenues if you don’t re-sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Either tell it like it is or shut up like Kobe Bryant did when he went from 8 to 24. Just don’t play us like idiots.
The NHL trading deadline passed by an noon, and both the Kings and Ducks were active trying to shore things up in their pursuit of a playoff spot. The Kings acquired center Jeff Halpern from the Tampa Bay Lightning for Teddy Purcell and a third round draft pick in the 2010 draft and forward Fredrik Modin from the Columbus Blue Jackets for a conditional seventh round pick.
The Ducks had more work to do being three points out of a playoff spot. They acquired defenseman Aaron Ward from the Carolina Hurricanes for minor league goaltender Justin Pogge and a fourth round draft pick and traded recently acquired Vesa Toskala to the Calgary Flames for backup goalie Curtis McElhinney. They also traded defenseman and offensively deficient Ryan Whitney to the Edmonton Oilers for defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky.
LA Lakers at Miami Heat. 5:00 pm KCAL9, AM 710 KSPN.
LA Kings at Nashville Predators. 5:00 pm FSWest, AM 1150 KTLK.
USC Trojans at Arizona State Sun Devils. 5:30 pm FS Prime Ticket, AM 830 KLAA.
UCLA Bruins at Arizona Wildcats. 7:30 pm FS Prime Ticket, AM 570 KLAC.