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LAst Night's Action: Lakers Casually Lose to Portland

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Portland Trail Blazers defeat LA Lakers 91-88. Here are the words no Lakers fans want to hear in the closing seconds of a game that is still undecided. “Pau Gasol for three…” Yet it happened. In a tie game in the closing seconds you don’t want Derek Fisher to foul Martell Webster behind the three point line as he goes to shoot. But he did. In the closing seconds you don’t want Kobe Bryant and fisher to brick three consecutive free throws. But they did. Kobe Bryant started the game after missing the last two resting his legs and buoyed the Lakers in the first half. Portland would rally in the second half despite being without Brandon Roy with a sore knee. The Blazers lead by five points with a minute remaining, but Kobe hit a three to cut the deficit to two, Sasha Vujacic drew the offensive foul and Kobe attacked the paint and hit the shot and the foul to put the Lakers up one all in a matter of 23 seconds. But then the Lakers fell apart and there you have it. Kobe scored 20 points in his return to the Lakers while Gasol had 23 points and 12 rebounds. Lamar Odom also got a double-double with 16 points and 15 rebounds. The Lakers now fall behind Orlando in overall record in the NBA.

Florida Marlins (4-2) defeat LA Dodgers (2-4) 6-5. For the second consecutive game the Dodgers couldn’t hold a late lead. The Marlins gifted the Dodgers two runs in the fourth inning when Ronnie Belliard hit a sinking line drive single to center fielder Cameron Maybin with runners on first and second. The ball got away from Maybin who was playing the ball on the bounce allowing Matt Kemp and James Loney to score despite Kemp’s interpretive dancing on the basepads. Reed Johnson tripled Belliard home, and AJ Ellis laid down a sacrifice bunt to give the Dodgers the 4-0 lead. Jorge Cantu responded with an Earl Weaver to left center in the bottom of the inning to bring the Marlins within 4-3. Another error in the sixth inning allowed the Dodgers to load the bases. Ellis would hit a scoring fly ball to pad the Dodgers lead, but Kemp would make a two-base error of his own which would yield a run. In the seventh inning with Jeff Weaver on in relief of Haeger, a single and a walk gave the Marlins two on with one out. Cantu came through again with the winning double. As always starting a knuckleballer makes for an interesting game, and Charlie Haeger was interesting for the Dodgers. He struck out 12, however two of those strikeouts were wild pitches that allowed the batter to reach first base.

Charlie Haeger (ND, 0-0, 4.50 ERA): 6 innings, 3 hits, 4 runs (3 earned), 4 walks, 12 strikeouts, 1 homer, 3 wild pitches. 116 pitches/67 strikes.
Jeff Weaver (BS-L, 0-1, 6.00 ERA): 1 inning, 2 hits, 2 earned runs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout.

Anibal Sanchez (ND, 0-0, 6.00 ERA): 6 innings, 7 hits, 5 runs (4 earned), 1 walk, 5 strikeouts. 89 pitches/59 strikes.
Clay Hensley (W, 1-0, 3.00 ERA): 2 innings, 3 hits, 2 strikeouts.
Leo Nunez (S, 2): 1 inning, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts.

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LA Kings defeat Colorado Avalanche 2-1 (OT). Yet again the Kings slept through the first two periods, but they finally woke up in the third period to send this to overtime. The Kings looked to be headed to their fifth consecutive shootout game, but Dustin Brown put the ricochet off of a Drew Doughty shot past the Av’s goalie Chris Anderson to give the Kings the two points 1:31 in overtime. It didn’t look good when the Avs Ryan Stoa took the pass from Milan Hedjuk and made a shot that was initially saved by Eric Ersberg. But Ersberg lost the puck, and Stoa put it back in for the goal 9:02 in the first period. Jarret Stoll tied the game with 4:32 left in the game on a deflection from a Matt Greene shot from the right point. The win gives the Kings 101 points, their third 100-point season in franchise history behind the 105 points in the 1974-75 season and 102 points in the 1990-91 season. Also the 46 wins ties the franchise record for wins also set in 1990-91. With the Detroit Red Wings beating the Chicago Blackhawks in overtime, the Kings get the sixth seed in the Western Conference and will face the Vancouver Canucks in the first round beginning Thursday. The first playoff game at Staples Center will be next Monday.

Oakland Athletics (5-2) defeat LA Angels (2-5) 9-4. Joe Saunders started out strongly allowing only a solo homer through six innings. Then it got ugly. Saunders gave up back-to-back singles and a ground rule double before being pulled for Kevin Jepsen. Jepsen gave up a two-run single to give the A’s the lead for good. Five more runs later, it just put a huge fluorescent spotlight on the pitching. Never mind Bobby Abreu and Juan Rivera bookended the game with solo homers, but the Angels have given up a Major League high 11 homers this season and 99 total bases. Things should continue to be interesting as they head off to Yankee Stadium for their home opener Tuesday.

Joe Saunders (L, 0-2, 7.36 ERA): 6+ innings, 4 hits, 4 earned runs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 1 homer. 96 pitches/54 strikes.

Dallas Braden (W, 1-0, 2.77 ERA): 6 innings, 5 hits, 3 earned runs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 1 homer. 94 strikes/63 strikes.
Tyson Ross (S, 1): 3 innings, 2 hits, 1 earned run, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 1 homer.

Anaheim Ducks defeat Edmonton Oilers 7-2. The Ducks finish out the regular season routing the worst team in the league. Teemu Selanne scored a goal, Ryan Carter scored twice, Saku Koivu and James Wisniewski had two assists each.

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Tonight’s Action

Dallas Mavericks at LA Clippers. 7:30 pm FS Prime Ticket, AM 980 KFWB.