The Morning Wrap shares the days top five stories from our reporters at the Southern California Newspaper Group … And have everything delivered to you in our daily newsletters
ONE: The Lakers and Clippers opener in Orlando to restart the NBA was what everyone expected, a slugfest that came down to a last second shot, the Clippers’ Paul George missing a game-winning 3-pointer, allowing the Lakers to walk off with a 103-101 victory, writes Kyle Goon.
LeBron talking about how Colin Kaepernick helped lead to the NBA demonstrations tonight during the national anthem: “I hope we made Kaep proud. … People never listened. They refused to listen. And a lot of my people in the Black community did listen, and we just thank him …” pic.twitter.com/9jdP6RYrU9
— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) July 31, 2020
Clippers reporter Mirjam Swanson wrote about how the two teams joined together for a moment of unity and protest, and columnist Jim Alexander writes how L.A. fans might feel a little robbed not having the Hallway game or the playoffs a few months ago in Staples Center — but it was still entertaining.
The ending of the Clippers-Lakers was wild 🤯 pic.twitter.com/GNrYA3gLwT
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 31, 2020
TWO: With slugger Mike Trout out on maternity leave, the Angels slow start in the 60-game sprint continued in an 8-5 loss to the Seattle Mariners, writes Jeff Fletcher, the Angels’ fifth loss in their first first seven games.
The #Angels “have to spend a lot of time to get this proper and right, because you really can’t get anywhere without a substantial bullpen.”
Playing without Mike Trout doesn’t help either. https://t.co/ZrPI6enZ1v
— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) July 31, 2020
THREE: A.J. Pollock brought some power with a two-run homer and a double, and the Dodgers came away with a 6-3 victory over Arizona for their third straight win after sweeping Houston two straight. For Pollock, it’s been quite a journey.
Reporter J.P. Hoornstra writes: One week after spring training was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, Pollock began what he called a “wild ride.” His daughter, Maddi Mae, was born prematurely. In June, he tested positive for COVID-19. It wasn’t until last Saturday that his daughter was allowed to come home, 128 days into her young life.
“I feel great, body feels great… we’re looking forward to 2020.”
AJ Pollock talks about his offseason and his new teammates, Mookie Betts & David Price. pic.twitter.com/qfd4yv8JHZ
— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) February 21, 2020
FOUR: Columnist Mark Whicker writes a wonderful tribute for Mike Gillespi, who played and coached baseball at USC, passing away recently at 78. Whicker writes: “The four stages go like this: Middle age, old age, “Hey, you look good,” and legend. When Mike Gillespie took off the uniform, he was 78. The breakthroughs and the heartbreaks were sprawled behind him, on roadsides.”
Whicker: Mike Gillespie’s fun and fire spanned baseball generations
FIVE: Baldwin Park football and soccer player Jorge Lizarraga, 18, had just graduated and thought of joining the army or playing sports for a community college, his coaches say. But on Wednesday, Lizarraga died in a horrific car accident, and his coaches and friend who was with him that day, speak of how quick life can be taken away, and what a fun person he was. Students, friends and his family held a vigil on Thursday near the scene of the accident.