L.A. Pro Sports Update
L.A. Lakers: The Lakers lost three more home games this week to lower their record to 20-51. However, they still gave fans plenty to be optimistic about. At least one member of the team’s young core scored over 20 points in each of the three games, punctuated by guard D’Angelo Russell’s 40-point outburst against the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 19. It was the highest single-game scoring total of Russell’s career, despite — or maybe because of — the fact that he was playing out of position at shooting guard instead of point guard.
Player of the week: Guard D’Angelo Russell: (Last three games) 24.0 points per game, 4.3 assists per game
L.A. Clippers: Thanks to some incredible luck with their schedule, the Clippers coasted to a 3-1 record this week. After a tough road loss to the Denver Nuggets, the Clippers returned to Staples Center and promptly routed the Cavs — who were resting most of their starters, including small forward LeBron James — staved off the New York Knicks and took care of the Lakers in what was technically a road game, although it was played at the Staples Center. Point guard Chris Paul continues to appear healthier and healthier, as he led the team in assists in three of the four contests.
Player of the week: Power Forward Blake Griffin (Last three games) 21.7 points per game, 5.7 rebounds per game
L.A. Kings: Despite a home victory against the Buffalo Sabres on March 16, the Kings’ path to the playoffs is becoming more and more difficult. Road losses to the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers widened the gap between the Kings and the eighth-seeded Nashville Predators to 8 points with only 10 games remaining in the regular season. While the team’s fans may already be looking ahead towards next year, right winger Dustin Brown and center Anze Kopitar are not giving up just yet, with five points between them over the past three games.
Player of the week: Right Wing Dustin Brown: (Last three games) 3 assists
Anaheim Ducks: The Ducks could not win their home game against the Sabres, but they righted the ship with a huge road victory against the San Jose Sharks on March 18. The victory over their Pacific Division rivals tightened the gap between the two teams in the race for playoff seeding. The Ducks are just three games behind the third-seeded Sharks in the NHL playoff race. Goalie Jonathan Bernier has remained excellent in his newfound starting role, making 33 saves against San Jose.
Player of the week: Goalie Jonathan Bernier: (Last two games) 63 saves, 2 goals allowed