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Lakers lose season opener against Nuggets, 119-107
The Lakers did not get their revenge on Opening Night against the champions.
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1. Lakers lose season opener against Nuggets, 119-107
The Lakers did not get their revenge on Opening Night against the champions, writes The Sporting Tribune’s Rey Moralde.
I don't want to say different year, same problems for the Lakers like I did last season. But that's what exactly happened on Opening Night of the 2023-24 NBA season. The Nuggets didn't really cruise, per se, but it felt like they weren't in danger of losing this contest. Denver won Round 1 against the Lakers, 119-107.
At first, we were getting a high-scoring affair as both teams came out hot off their summer vacations. And then Denver went on a 9-0 run that pretty much put the Lakers on the uphill climb for the rest of the game. The lead would balloon to 18 at one point as the Nuggets would make jumpers from inside and outside the arc. I did say in the preview that Nikola Jokic should probably get his and keep it that way... and that didn't work out so well in the first half as he scored 19 points. I am so good at analyzing this game.
2. Kings win first home game, defeating the Coyotes, 6-3
The Kings win for the first time at home this season with a victory over the Arizona Coyotes, writes The Sporting Tribune’s Kamran Nia.
The Los Angeles Kings finally did it; they won at home.
The Kings won two of their first five games, but they were still looking for their first home win as they took the ice versus the Arizona Coyotes. They did not win any of their first three home games, securing just one point in a shootout loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. But against the Coyotes, they finally won, 6-3.
The Kings scored three goals in the first period after conceding first and never looked back. 8:13 into the first period, Kevin Fiala placed Anze Kopitar with a well-placed pass, and Kopitar scored. The goal came on a power play and was Kopitar’s third goal of the season, making the game 1-1. Then, 10:35 into the first period, Trevor Lewis put away a deflected pass, giving the Kings a 2-1 lead. Finally, 12:34 into the first period, Phillip Danault found Trevor Moore at the back post, and Moore scored, giving them a 3-1 lead.
3. LAFC and Bouanga to face Vancouver in MLS Playoffs
LAFC will begin their title defense journey against the Vancouver Whitecaps, writes The Sporting Tribune’s Chandrima Chatterjee.
LAFC have gotten to know their latest and next opponent very well. They have now faced the Vancouver Whitecaps four times this year, and will be playing three more matches against them in the new MLS playoffs first round format.
The Black and Gold bested the Canadian side in the CONCACAF quarterfinals but have since been unable to win against Vanni Sartini’s resilient side who ended their season in 6th place in the Western Conference. As LAFC tied the Vancouver Whitecaps at BMO Palace 1-1 in their final regular season match of 2023, falling to a 3rd place finish in the Western Conference standings, one silver lining is deserving of applause. Dénis Bouanga officially won the 2023 MLS Golden Boot after scoring his 20th goal in a race that came down to the last day of the MLS regular season – Decision Day 2023.
4. Ducks drop weekend series to Coyotes and Bruins
The Ducks dropped both games of their weekend back-to-back to the Coyotes and Bruins and The Sporting Tribune’s Derek Lee has the latest from Anaheim.
Another weekend back-to-back greeted the Ducks in the second week of the season, this one the same variety as last weekend’s––a Saturday matchup on the road followed by a return home for a Sunday evening game.
Anaheim kept things close on Saturday against the Coyotes in their home opener in Tempe but ultimately was done in by poor discipline. Arizona scored one of their goals on the power play and the other came with their goaltender pulled during a delayed penalty.
The Ducks also scored a goal––their lone one––on the power play, but it’s clear that special teams, not their even strength play, was the reason why they fell to the Desert Dogs. Prior to Sunday’s game against the Bruins, the Ducks had gone on the penalty kill 22 times and the power play just 12 times.
5. USC’s potential dream season is quickly turning into a nightmare
The hopes of a championship season for USC have seemingly evaporated before the end of October, writes The Sporting Tribune’s Adam Bradford.
This was supposed to be the year.
After more than a decade of disappointments and underachieving, this was supposed to be the season that USC finally broke through. Led by second-year head coach Lincoln Riley and superstar quarterback Caleb Williams, last year’s Heisman Trophy winner, the Trojans were a popular pick to win a loaded Pac-12 Conference and make their first ever College Football Playoff appearance.
It was supposed to be USC’s dream season, the one that Trojan fans had been waiting for ever since legendary head coach Pete Carroll left the program in January of 2010. But after two straight October losses to an old rival in Notre Dame and a relatively new foe in Utah, USC’s College Football Playoff hopes are dead before Halloween.
6. Rams collapse in the final quarter to the Steelers, 27-14
The Rams had an opportunity to pull off their first back-to-back victory of the season lost 24-17 to the Steelers, writes The Sporting Tribune’s Lauren Jones.
In the first meeting in Los Angeles in 30 years, the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers edged the Rams 24-17 at SoFi Stadium on Sunday. The Rams lost yet another close and winnable game at home falling to below .500 for the third time this season.
Rams’ kicker Brett Maher missed two field goals and a PAT on the day that could have been one of the biggest differences in the Rams’ adding a second consecutive win to their record.
“He’s got to be better,” head coach Sean McVay said after the game. “That’s seven points that we missed out on that were key and critical for the momentum of the game.”
7. Odds and Ends presented by Circa Sports
Here are some odds at Circa Sports if you’re thinking about placing a wager today:
8. Ticket Time presented by Golden Gate
Here are the “get in” prices for tickets if you’re thinking about going to a game today.
7:30 p.m. – Blazers at Clippers – $22
9. On the Air presented by The D Las Vegas
Here are the game times and television channels for professional teams in the region today.
7:30 p.m. – Blazers at Clippers – Bally Sports West
10. The Arash Markazi Show presented by The Sporting Tribune
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