The Sports Report: Steve Kerr with the words we all need to hear

The Sports Report: Steve Kerr with the words we all need to hear

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

From Bill Plaschke: Steve Kerr knows about terrorist attacks.

He lost his father 38 years ago in a terrorist attack.

Steve Kerr knows what happened in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday afternoon was another terrorist attack.

Only this time, the terrorists are us, and there’s seemingly nothing we will do to stop them.

“I’m not going to talk about basketball … any basketball questions don’t matter,” the Golden State Warriors coach said to begin his news conference Tuesday night before Game 4 of the Western Conference finals in Dallas against the Mavericks. “Since we left shootaround, 14 children were killed, 400 miles from here. And a teacher. And in the last 10 days we’ve had elderly Black people killed in a supermarket in Buffalo, we’ve had Asian churchgoers killed in Southern California and now we have children murdered at school.”

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His eyes watered. His voice thickened. He pounded his palm on a table three times. His words became a scream.

“When are we going to do something?”

It was the stunning opening to an incredible three-minute rant about another senseless shooting, another avoidable tragedy, another collection of tiny innocents turned into corpses because our leaders don’t have the guts to pass the laws that could help protect them.

Stick to sports? You can stick that “Stick to sports.”

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DODGERS

From Jack Harris: Mookie Betts wasn’t supposed to be in the lineup Tueday, scheduled for a rare day off after a recent tear at the plate.

But then, center fielder Cody Bellinger woke up “not feeling well,” according to manager Dave Roberts. The team had to tweak its plans. And Betts ultimately asked to stay in the lineup as the leadoff hitter.

“He came to me,” Roberts later recalled, “and said, ‘I know we talked about taking the day off. But I want to be in there.’”

In his latest dominant display that night, Betts made the decision count.

With two home runs that gave him the National League lead with 12, Betts led the way in the Dodgers 9-4 win against the Washington Nationals.

He erased their early deficit with a three-run blast in the second. He added on in their blowout with a solo shot in the fourth. He also added a walk and base hit, continuing a month-long stretch that Roberts believes has been Betts’ best in a Dodgers uniform.

“He’s playing MVP-type baseball, he really is,” Roberts said. “He’s scoring runs at a crazy clip. He’s on base. He’s slugging at a ridiculous clip too. And he’s playing Gold Glove defense. He’s making the game look a lot easier than it is.”

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Trea Turner embraces Dodgers culture — a year after a trade he didn’t expect

ANGELS

From Mike DiGiovanna: Seven weeks into the season, it seems fair to assume that Angels pitcher Noah Syndergaard will not be returning to the days of Thor, the triple-digit fastball he threw for the New York Mets from 2015-2019 failing to make the cross-country trip to Anaheim.

But as Syndergaard showed in Tuesday night’s 5-3 victory over the Texas Rangers before 23,791 in Angel Stadium, he doesn’t need to light up the radar gun to be an integral part of what the Angels believe is a playoff-caliber rotation.

The 29-year-old right-hander gave up one run and four hits in eight innings, striking out five and walking none, his only mistake a meaty fastball that Jonah Heim hit for a solo homer in the eighth.

Syndergaard’s four-seam fastball averaged 93.6 mph, well below his 97.8-mph average fastball in 2019, his last season before Tommy John surgery.

But he effectively mixed his 87.5-mph changeup, 93.5-mph sinking fastball, 82-mph slider and an occasional 74-mph curve with his four-seamer to improve to 4-2 with a 3.08 ERA in seven starts.

NFL

From Sam Farmer: The Rams and NFL paid $790 million last year to settle a lawsuit with St. Louis over the team’s relocation to Los Angeles.

Now, the league is sorting how to cover that bill and already has spread some of that staggering expense between all 32 teams — meaning everyone is on the hook for at least several million. Owners discussed this at their annual spring meeting, which concluded Tuesday.

According to a report by The Athletic, the NFL already has taken $7.5 million from each club by deducting that amount from revenue-sharing payments. If the 31 other teams contribute that amount, that’s $232.5 million, or roughly a third of the settlement. The Times confirmed that the teams were assessed those payments, although not the specific amount.

It’s a hotly contested dispute among the teams, because Rams owner Stan Kroenke was required to sign an indemnification agreement as part of his deal to relocate the team. The owners of the Chargers and Raiders signed identical agreements to cover the “costs, including legal fees and other litigation expenses” to defend challenges to their respective moves.

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Chargers help lead NFL’s diversity program in sports medicine

SOCCER

From Kevin Baxter: Since LAFC entered the league in 2018, only one MLS team has won more regular-season games. Yet none of those wins have come at Dignity Health Sports Park, the road stadium where the team has played most often.

LAFC will make the short drive to Carson again Wednesday to face the Galaxy in a match that will have no impact on the MLS standings but is of massive importance everywhere else. The game will mark the first meeting of the neighborhood rivals in the U.S. Open Cup, the oldest soccer competition in the country, and there will be more at stake than bragging rights since the winner will go on to the tournament quarterfinals and the loser goes home.

“All my teammates, coaching staff, know that no matter if it’s in the league, or Open Cup or a friendly, these kinds of games [are] special,” LAFC midfielder Ilie Sánchez said. “It’s especially important for us knowing that tomorrow is either you win or you’re out.”

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Angel City partners with Tigres Femenil for first NWSL partnership with Liga MX

NHL PLAYOFFS

Schedule and results
All times Pacific
Second round
Western Conference

Colorado (C1) vs. St. Louis (C3)
Colorado 3, St. Louis 2 (OT)
St. Louis 4, Colorado 1
Colorado 5, St. Louis 2
Colorado 6, St. Louis 3
Today at Colorado, 5 p.m., TNT
*Friday at St. Louis, 5 p.m., TNT
*Sunday at Colorado, TBD

Calgary (P1) vs. Edmonton (P2)
Calgary 9, Edmonton 6
Edmonton 5, Calgary 3
Edmonton 4, Calgary 1
Edmonton 5, Calgary 3
Thursday at Calgary, 6:30 p.m., ESPN
*Saturday at Edmonton, TBD
*Monday at Calgary, TBD

Eastern Conference

Florida (A1) vs. Tampa Bay (A3)
Tampa Bay 4, Florida 1
Tampa Bay 2, Florida 1
Tampa Bay 5, Florida 1
Tampa Bay 2, Florida 0

Carolina (M1) vs. New York Rangers (M2)
Carolina 2, New York 1 (OT)
Carolina 2, New York 0
New York 3, Carolina 1
New York 4, Carolina 1
Thursday at Carolina, 4 p.m., ESPN
Saturday at New York, TBD
*Monday at Carolina, TBD

*-if necessary

NBA

From Dan Woike: LeBron James, after his 19th season as a professional, earned a spot on the All-NBA third team.

All-NBA teams were announced Tuesday, with James earning a place on one of the three teams for the 18th time, extending his NBA record.

Luka Doncic, Devin Booker, Jayson Tatum, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nikola Jokic made the first team. It’s the first time that the players 27 or younger comprised the entirety of the All-NBA first team since the 1954-55 season.

Stephen Curry, Ja Morant, DeMar DeRozan, Kevin Durant and Joel Embiid made the second team. Embiid received more first-team votes (57) than Tatum (49), but positional restrictions pushed him to the second team.

Chris Paul, Trae Young, Pascal Siakam and Karl-Anthony Towns joined James on the third team.

NBA PLAYOFFS

Schedule and results
All times Pacific
Conference finals
Western Conference

No. 3 Golden State vs. No. 4 Dallas

Golden State 112, Dallas 87
Golden State 126, Dallas 117
Golden State 109, Dallas 100
Dallas 119, Golden State 109
Thursday at Golden State, 6 p.m., TNT
*Saturday at Dallas, 6 p.m., TNT
*Monday at Golden State, 6 p.m., TNT

Eastern Conference

No. 1 Miami vs. No. 2 Boston

Miami 118, Boston 107
Boston 127, Miami 102
Miami 109, Boston 103
Boston 102, Miami 82
Today at Miami, 5:30 p.m., ESPN
Friday at Boston, 5:30 p.m., ESPN
*Sunday at Miami, 5:30 p.m., ESPN

*-if necessary

THIS DATE IN SPORTS

1948 — Ben Hogan wins the PGA championship, beating Mike Turnesa in the final round, 7 and 6.

1965 — Muhammad Ali knocks out Sonny Liston a minute into the first round in the controversial rematch for Ali’s heavyweight title. Listed as the fastest knockout in a heavyweight title bout, Liston goes down on a short right-hand punch.

1975 — The Golden State Warriors become the third team to sweep the NBA finals, beating the Washington Bullets 96-95 on Butch Beard’s foul shot with 9 seconds remaining.

1978 — The Montreal Canadiens defeat the Boston Bruins 4-1 in Game 6 for their third straight Stanley Cup.

1980 — Johnny Rutherford wins his third Indianapolis 500 in seven years and becomes the first driver to win twice from the pole position.

1987 — Herve Filion becomes the first harness racing driver to win 10,000 races. Filion reaches the milestone driving Commander Bond to victory in the third race at Yonkers Raceway.

1991 — The Pittsburgh Penguins, led by Mario Lemieux, win the Stanley Cup for the first time with an 8-0 rout of the Minnesota North Stars.

1998 — Princeton punctuates its claim as one of college lacrosse’s great programs by beating Maryland 15-5 for its third straight NCAA Division I title and fifth in seven years.

2002 — Boston sets an NBA record, overcoming a 21-point fourth-quarter deficit in a 94-90 win over New Jersey. The Celtics outscore the Nets 41-16 in the quarter.

2003 — Juli Inkster shoots a 10-under 62 — tying the lowest final-round score by a winner in LPGA Tour history — to beat Lorie Kane by four strokes in the LPGA Corning Classic.

2007 — Bjarne Riis is the first Tour de France winner to admit using performance-enhancing drugs to win the sport’s premier race, further eroding cycling’s credibility after a series of doping confessions. His admission means the top three finishers in the 1996 Tour are linked to doping — with two admitting to cheating.

2008 — Seven crashes and spinouts mar the first Indianapolis 500 since the two warring open-wheel series (CART and IRL) came together under the IndyCar banner. Scott Dixon stays ahead of the trouble to win the race.

2009 — Syracuse rallies from a three-goal deficit in the final 3:37 of regulation to beat Cornell 10-9 and win its second straight and unprecedented 11th NCAA lacrosse title.

Compiled by the Associated Press

And finally

Muhammad Ali knocks out Sonny Liston in a controversial finish. Watch and listen here.

Until next time…

That concludes today’s newsletter. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.

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