Play It Forward: Clippers-Lakers matchup on Christmas can’t be regifted

first_imgRanking top 10 sports events Dec. 19-25 you won’t want to miss:NO. 1: NBA CHRISTMAS DAY GAMES: CLIPPERS at LAKERSDetails/TV: At Staples Center, Sunday, 7:30 p.m., ESPN, Spectrum SportsNet, Prime TicketThe NBA will market this day as “The Most Dunktastic Time of the Year,” putting out some TV spots that include the Clippers’ Blake Griffin and the Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell jingling through it all. As if we need to be sold on NBA Christmas, the 12-hour holiday gift that keeps on giving something to watch on an NFL-light Sunday. Conversely, if you’re not part of this made-for-TV package, then you’re not on the national radar. So, at the end of the day, after we’ve plowed through Boston at New York (9 a.m., ESPN), a Golden State at Cleveland rematch from last year’s final (11:30 a.m., Ch. 7), Chicago at San Antonio (2 p.m., Ch. 7) and Minnesota at Oklahoma City (5 p.m., ESPN) we get our geographically friendly late-night slot — prime time, for two teams that you can only hope haven’t overindulged on eggnog during the day-long gift exchange. Otherwise this could come out looking uglier than some of the Ugly Christmas sweaters the NBA actually also tries to sell this time of year as some sort of quirky thing to wear.The league waited nearly two full months before making the two L.A. teams face off for the first of four scheduled meetings. Maybe it’s so each could find their footing before trying to claim hallway right-of-way protocol. The Clippers’ and Lakers’ records are, to this point, pretty much reversed, as sort of expected, except that Luke Walton’s team was probably better equipped to face Doc Rivers’ group earlier, before this December-not-to-Remember stretch happened. It’s the first time the Lakers are able to take their home court in weeks, having been banished (as well as the Clippers and Kings) because of a Disney ice show.If something goes wrong here, the Lakers have four more chances against the Clippers in 2017: Jan. 14, March 21 and April 1. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img Also this week for the Lakers: A seven-game road trip finishes at Charlotte (Tuesday, 4 p.m., SSN), at Miami (Thursday, 5 p.m., TNT and SSN) and at Orlando (Friday, 4 p.m., SSN)Also this week for the Clippers: Three at Staples Center against Denver (Tuesday, 7:30 p.m., Prime Ticket), vs. San Antonio (Thursday, 7:30 p.m., Prime Ticket) and vs. Dallas (Friday, 7:30 p.m., Prime Ticket).NO. 2: NFL WEEK 16: RAMS vs. SAN FRANCISCODetails/TV: At the Coliseum, Saturday, 1:25 p.m., Ch. 11The 4-10 Rams will have had 10 days to exhale after their last poopfest in Seattle. No clue if Jared Goff’s concussion protocol has ended with his realization that maybe he should have stayed an extra year at Cal. This may be his best, and only, shot at engineering a victory after five straight losses and numerous hits to the head and everywhere else. The Rams, of course, embarrassed themselves in the season opener with a 28-0 road loss to the 49ers on a Monday night. It remains as San Francisco’s lone victory heading into the next-to-last week of the regular season.Also this week:NFL Week 15: Carolina at Washington, Monday at 5:30 p.m., ESPNNFL Week 16: N.Y. Giants at Philadelphia, Thursday at 5:25 p.m., Channel 4 and NFL Network; San Diego at Cleveland, Saturday at 10 a.m.; Indianapolis at Oakland, Saturday at 1:05 p.m.; Minnesota at Green Bay, Saturday at 10 a.m., Channel 11; Baltimore at Pittsburgh, Sunday at 1:30 p.m., NFL Network; Denver at Kansas City, Sunday at 5:30 p.m., Channel 4.NO. 3: COLLEGE BASKETBALL: UCLA vs. WESTERN MICHIGANDetails/TV: At Pauley Pavilion, Wednesday, 8 p.m., Pac-12 NetworkThere seems to be very little needed in the tweaking department for the 12-0 Bruins, who are just trying to polish up the resume before the Pac-12 Conference schedule starts in Oregon during the last weekend of the year. The visiting Mid-American Conference Broncos (3-6) started this week by absorbing a loss at the University of Washington in Seattle.Also this week nationally: Kentucky at Louisville, Wednesday at 4 p.m., ESPN; Virginia at Cal, Wednesday at 7 p.m., ESPN2NO. 4: COLLEGE BASKETBALL: USC vs. MISSOURI STATEDetails/TV: At the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Thursday, 8 p.m., FS1Here’s an eight-team pretend tournament — the Las Vegas Classic — that results in the Trojans also getting a game Friday against either DePaul or Wyoming (at 5:30 or 8 p.m.). USC starts the week with a calculated shot of improving to 11-0 when it faces Cornell at Galen Center (Monday, 7:30 p.m. Pac-12 Net). Then, the Pac-12 Conference starts.Also this week in Southern California:Long Beach State: vs. The Masters, Walter Pyramid, Monday at 7 p.m.; vs. Colorado State, Walter Pyramid, Thursday at 7 p.m.Cal State Northridge: at Boise State, Wednesday at 6 p.m.Loyola Marymount: at Colorado State, Monday at 6 p.m.; vs. UT Arlington at Gersten Pavilion, Thursday at 7 p.m.Pepperdine: at Louisiana Lafayette, Tuesday at 5 p.m.; at Montana, Thursday at 6 p.m.NO. 5: NHL: KINGS at DALLASDetails/TV: Friday, 5:30 p.m., FSWHang a star on this one, the seventh game in a nine-stop road span. But at least the team comes home after this game for the first time since Dec. 12 to rest up during the Christmas weekend.Also this week for the Kings: At Columbus, Tuesday at 4 p.m., FSW; at Nashville, Thursday at 5 p.m., FSWNO. 6: NHL: DUCKS at MONTREALDetails/TV: Tuesday, 4:30 p.m., Prime TicketAmidst their own six-game, two-week road banishment, the Ducks land in the heart of Canadian hockey with appearances here as well as at Toronto (Monday, 4:30 p.m., PT) and at Ottawa (Thursday, 4:30 p.m. PT) before being allowed to come back to Southern California.NO. 7: COLLEGE BOWL GAMES:ARMED FORCES BOWL: NAVY vs. LOUISIANA TECHDetails/TV: At Fort Worth, Tex., Friday at 1:30 p.m., ESPNThis is the week that could disappear from the college football bowl season and perhaps no one would notice. Only one Top 25 team plays — Navy — and they’re taking their battleships to Texas instead of the Bahamas or Honolulu where it might do some good. And what was wrong with that home-field advantage in San Diego? The rest of the schedule is simply embarrassing — Idaho and Hawaii have home games disguised as a bowl — but we’ll give it here anyway:Miami Beach Bowl: Central Michigan vs. Tulsa, at Marlins Park in Miami, Monday at 11:30 a.m., ESPNBoca Raton Bowl: Memphis vs. Western Kentucky at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton, Fla., Tuesday at 4 p.m., ESPNPoinsettia Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego: BYU vs. Wyoming, Wednesday at 6 p.m., ESPNIdaho Potato Bowl: Idaho vs. Colorado State in Boise, Idaho, Thursday at 4 p.m., ESPNPopeyes Bahamas Bowl: Eastern Michigan vs. Old Dominion at Nassau in the Bahamas, Friday at 10 a.m., ESPNDollar General Bowl: Ohio vs. Troy at Mobile, Ala., Friday at 5 p.m., ESPNHawaii Bowl: Hawaii vs. Middle Tennessee at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Saturday at 5 p.m. ESPNNO. 8: HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL:STATE CHAMPIONS BOWL SERIESDetails/TV: At Frisco, Texas, Friday at 3 and 6:30 p.m., ESPNUHow might a school like California’s new state Open Division champion St. John Bosco do against the best in other states? During their 15-game run this fall, the Braves blew past Cincinnati’s St. Xavier, but lost to Las Vegas’ Bishop Gorman early on. This is something of a mythical national championship event, but there are no conclusions drawn, except to allow the state titlists from Arizona (Chandler) and Georgia (Valdosta) to square off as well as those from Utah (Bingham) vs. Florida (St. Thomas Aquinas) at the Dallas Cowboys’ training facility. Compare and contrast.NO. 9: SPECIAL: “SPORTSCENTER STORIES OF THE YEAR”Details/TV: Sunday at 3 p.m., ESPNWe’re a sucker for these, especially in this slowest week of the year. Also: “SC Top Plays of the Year,” Saturday at 3 p.m., ESPNNO. 10: “THE JACKIE ROBINSON STORY”Details/TV: Sunday at 11:30 a.m., MLB NetworkThe 1950 movie starring Jackie Robinson as himself never gets old during the cold winter months awaiting the start of spring training. In fact, we couldn’t blame you for just leaving the MLB Net on from now until pitchers and catchers report.last_img

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