L.A. Pro Sports Update
L.A. Dodgers: The Dodgers opened the 2017 season looking every bit like the World Series contender they expected to be. They throttled the San Diego Padres by a score of 14-3 on Opening Day, led by a grand slam from center fielder Joc Pederson and two more home runs from catcher Yasmani Grandal. Clayton Kershaw won his seventh-straight opening day, only allowing two hits over seven innings. Their offense could not be found in the following game, however, as Padres pitcher Clayton Richards shut them out in their 4-0 loss.
Player of the week: Starting Pitcher Clayton Kershaw: (past 1 start) 7.0 innings pitched, two hits allowed, two runs allowed, one earned run allowed
L.A. Angels: The Angels lost their first matchup of 2017 when Oakland Athletics outfielder Khris Davis hit his second home run of the game off Angels pitcher Ricky Nolasco. The homer put the A’s ahead for good after superstar center fielder Mike Trout hit a homer of his own to briefly give the Angels the lead. The Halos evened up the series the following day, however, after a three-run shot by new second baseman Danny Espinosa in the ninth inning paved the way for a 7-6 win.
Player of the week: Center Fielder Mike Trout: (past 2 games) 3 hits, 3 RBI, 1 run, 1 home run
L.A. Lakers: The Lakers have won their past two games, securing their best overall record since at least 2015. Even more surprisingly, both victories came against playoff teams. Following losses to the Minnesota Timberwolves and Los Angeles Clippers, guard D’Angelo Russell led his team over the Memphis Grizzlies with 28 points. Three days later, guard Tyler Ennis, starting in Russell’s place, recorded a career-high 19 points and six assists to power a shocking victory over the San Antonio Spurs.
Player of the week: Guard D’Angelo Russell: (Last three games) 14.7 points per game, 5.7 assists per game
L.A. Clippers: With four games left before the playoffs, the Clippers are riding a three-game win streak with double-digit victories over the Washington Wizards, Phoenix Suns and Lakers. At least one Clipper scored over 30 points and star point guard Chris Paul has at least 10 assists in each of those three games. The Clippers will spend the final week of the season jockeying for home court advantage in their upcoming first-round playoff series against the Utah Jazz.
Player of the week: Power Forward Blake Griffin: (Last two games) 33.5 points per game, 7.5 rebounds per game
L.A. Kings: The Kings entered the home stretch of the season with no margin for error. Despite going 2-1 with victories over the Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers in the past week, their loss to the Arizona Coyotes on April 2 was enough to knock them out of the playoffs. This season marks only the second time in the past eight years that L.A. has missed the postseason. They will look to finish strong with home contests against the Chicago Blackhawks and Calgary Flames as well as a road game in Anaheim.
Player of the week: Center Nick Shore: (Last three games) 1 goal, 4 assists
Anaheim Ducks: After a tough overtime loss to Edmonton, the Ducks swept a home-and-home series against a possible playoff opponent in Calgary. They will wind up their regular season by hosting the Blackhawks and Kings before starting the NHL’s Stanley Cup playoffs as a No. 3 seed in the Western Conference. Anaheim’s right wingers have led the way offensively, with seven goals scored between Corey Perry, Patrick Eaves and Jakob Silfverberg in the past week.
Player of the week: Right Winger Jakob Silfverberg: (Last three games) 2 goals, 3 assists