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LAst Night's Action: Lakers Not Smelling Like Roses

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Portland Trail Blazers defeat LA Lakers 111-94. Absolutely nothing in this game was pretty. The Lakers offense was MIA scoring only 56 points through three quarters. A scary moment at the end of the third quarter happened when Trevor Ariza made a hard foul against Rudy Fernandez during a fast break opportunity. Fernandez landed hard on his ribs when he couldn't get his feet under him. Ariza was charged with a flagrant two foul and ejected from the game while Josh Powell and Portland's Travis Outlaw and LaMarcus Aldridge were given technical fouls for the scuffle afterwards. While the Lakers made a valiant attempt in the fourth quarter, a 28 point deficit at the start of the quarter was just too much to overcome. Hopefully they regroup quickly for the upcoming games at Houston and San Antonio.

LA Kings defeat Vancouver Canucks 3-2. Fast skating and good defense gave the Kings the win as they claw their way every so slowly into playoff contention. The Canucks had won eight of their last 10 games, but the Kings fought valiantly especially at the end when they withstood every attack from the Canucks. Nothing was more evident than this than when Matt Greene blocked a puck with his face in the waning seconds. This grittiness will serve the Kings well even if they don't make the playoffs.

Notable Notes

  • Jason Schmidt pitched his first spring training game in two years Monday afternoon. He had a scoreless first inning but gave up a three-run jack in the second inning. But good news is that Andruw Jones struck out against Schmidt on a slider down and away. Heh. The good news with Schmidt was that he didn't feel any pain and the slider was quite nasty. If he can get more starts during the spring he would make a decent fifth starter.
  • Speaking of Andruw Jones, LA Times columnist Bill Plaschke did something very admirable. He got Andruw Jones to apologize for last season. Jones, who is looking to catch on with the Texas Rangers minus the fat ass, sounds apologetic. But I'm sorry. You get $36 million to bat worse than Derek Lowe while looking like Oprah Winfrey after sucking down a few dozen or so gallons of lard, what else do you expect? Palm fronds?
  • A strained MCL in his pitching elbow will place Angel's starter Ervin Santana on the DL to start out the season. No need to worry you dreaded Angels fans. The Angels have more than enough pitching to go around, so there shouldn't be any dramatic fall off in that department. Remember last season when John Lackey started the season on the DL. They plugged pitchers in and made it through the storm.
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Tonight's Action

Cleveland Cavaliers at LA Clippers. 7:30 pm FS Prime Ticket, AM 710 KSPN.

AP Photo/Rick Bowmer