L.A. Pro Sports Update 5/3

Clippers eliminated from playoffs, Ducks run into trouble against Edmonton, Dodgers and Angels renew rivalries.

Austin Green, Writer

NBA

L.A. Clippers: The Clippers’ season came to an end when they lost the seventh and deciding game of their first-round playoff series to the Utah Jazz on April 30. After vowing to retiring teammate Paul Pierce that the veteran “would not end his career in Utah”, superstar point guard Chris Paul scored 29 points in game six on April 28. Unfortunately, Paul appeared to have run out of gas as he only scored 13 points in game seven in Los Angeles as the Jazz completely overwhelmed the Clippers. L.A. now heads into an uncertain summer, as Paul and star power forward Blake Griffin are both free agents and the team lacks financial flexibility, as well as any depth.

Player of the week: Point guard Chris Paul: (Last two games) 21.0 points per game, 8.5 assists per game

NHL

Anaheim Ducks: After sweeping the Calgary Flames in the first round of the NHL playoffs, the Ducks found a much tougher opponent in the Western Conference semifinals. They trail the Edmonton Oilers 2-1 in the series, heading into game four on May 3. So far, the road team has won every contest in the series. The Oilers scored a combined seven goals over the first two games in Anaheim to take a 2-0 lead before the Ducks struck back with a six-goal effort in Edmonton on April 30. They face an uphill battle, however, without the services of starting right winger Patrick Eaves for an indefinite amount of time as he deals with “a lower body injury”. Struggling right winger Corey Perry is slated to take his place in the starting lineup.

Player of the week: Right winger Jakob Slifverberg: (Last three games) 4 goals, 1 assist

MLB

L.A. Dodgers: The Dodgers won five of their past six games heading into May 3, giving them a 15-13 overall record. Highlights of the recent hot stretch included pitcher Julio Urias’ season debut, rookie outfielder Cody Bellinger’s successful start to his Major League career and an incredible comeback on April 29 against the Philadelphia Phillies. Down 5-2 in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Dodgers received three straight home runs from right fielder Yasiel Puig, Bellinger and pinch hitter Justin Turner. First baseman Adrian Gonzalez hit an RBI single later in the ninth to win the game for the Dodgers. The only blemish to the past week was ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw, who allowed two home runs to the San Francisco Giants en route to a loss on May 3.

Player of the week: Third baseman Justin Turner: (past 7 games) 12 hits, 3 runs, 7 RBI, 1 home run

L.A. Angels: The Angels have also heated up lately with six victories in their past seven games. They swept the Oakland Athletics at home behind strong pitching from J. C. Ramirez and Ricky Nolasco, then took two out of three in a road series against the Texas Rangers and won their first of three games against the Seattle Mariners on May 2. Outfielders Mike Trout and Kole Calhoun have carried the offense, with the former looking every bit like the best player in baseball while the latter seems poised for a long-awaited breakout season.

Player of the week: Right fielder Kole Calhoun: (past 6 games) 10 hits, 8 runs, 4 RBI, 2 home run

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