<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - Sports]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/sports http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC4_40x125.png NBC Southern California http://www.nbclosangeles.com en-us Fri, 19 Dec 2014 17:35:44 -0800 Fri, 19 Dec 2014 17:35:44 -0800 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Lakers Show Interest in Rajon Rondo]]> Thu, 18 Dec 2014 11:30:08 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lakers-trade-talk-Rondo_12-18-14.jpg

The Los Angeles Lakers got their hands dirty in trade rumors for the first time this season, and Rajon Rondo was the target.

According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, the Lakers have been involved in the Boston Celtics' trade conversations, along with the New York Knicks, Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks.

According to Stein, the Mavs are the clear front runners to land the 28-year-old point guard. In 22 games this season, the Celtics point guard is averaging 10.8 assists, 8.3 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. When the Lakers played in Boston on Dec. 5, Rondo torched the Lakers with 12 points, 16 assists and eight rebounds.

The unbelievable stat from that game was that Rondo managed two more assists, 16, than the entire Lakers' team, 14.

Originally, trade rumors about Rondo coming to LA sparked when Kobe Bryant joined Rondo in Boston at a local cafe for breakfast the day before the Celtics pummeled the Lakers. Bryant complimented Rondo and praised the point guard in the lead up and follow up to the game in Boston.

According to Eric Pincus of the LA Times, Nick Young, Ed Davis, Wesley Johnson Ryan Kelly and Xavier Henry all became trade eligible as of Dec. 15. Jordan Hill, who is probably the Lakers' top trading chip, cannot be moved until Jan. 15.

For those few wondering, Kobe Bryant cannot be traded, as he is in the first year of his contract. Also, Carlos Boozer cannot be moved, as he was claimed off waivers.

Steve Nash, Jeremy Lin and Robert Sacre have been available for trades all season long.

Considering the Lakers' lack of available assets, landing Rondo would be a surprise twist to a season that has been sadly predictable thus far. If nothing else, Rondo would give Bryant time off from playing point guard, but the Lakers seem like they're a long way from pulling this off.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[San Francisco 49ers Release Ray McDonald]]> Wed, 17 Dec 2014 17:43:00 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/ray-mcdonald-new.jpg

The San Francisco 49ers released Ray McDonald on Wednesday after San Jose police revealed the defensive lineman is under investigation for an alleged sexual assault.

"This isn't about just this incident. This is about a pattern of poor decision-making,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon. “This is a team decision, not a league decision.”

That pattern, Baalke added, "has led to multiple distractions that no longer can be tolerated."

Police executed a search warrant at McDonald's San Jose home on Tuesday. He has not been arrested. This is the second time in recent months that McDonald has been the subject of a police investigation.

"We just want to inform everybody that after the recent allegations concerning Ray McDonald, we as an organization have notified him and his agent that he will be terminated, released immediately. Effective immediately," Baalke said.

Baalke said CEO Jed York and coach Jim Harbaugh, who notified the players, were also involved in the decision. "We expect a lot from our players, hold them accountable for their actions,'' Baalke said.

In a statement released earlier in the day, SJPD Sgt. Heather Randol said police were called to an area hospital at 10:43 a.m. Tuesday morning regarding a "possible sexual assault victim" who was receiving treatment. Officers spoke to the woman, and she told them she was "possibly assaulted" on Monday.

The "preliminary investigation revealed the alleged suspect was Ray McDonald," Randol said.

The San Jose Police Department Sexual Assaults Investigations Unit  responded to conduct follow-up investigation.  Based on preliminary investigation, detectives secured a search warrant at McDonald's home some time on Tuesday. The woman's identity was not revealed, but two sources told NBC Bay Area that she is not McDonald's fiancee.

Players said they were shocked by the team’s decision to cut McDonald, but understand the reason.

“This is an organization, it’s a franchise,” quarterback Colin Kaepernick said. “You want to have a high standard and we do around here. You have to be able to abide by that.

Reached by phone in Florida on Wednesday, McDonald's mother, Labrina McDonald, said she didn't yet know the full story but insisted it was a "bunch of mess. There's  no truth to it at all."

She added that her son has “cameras all over his house” after his home was broken into, which she said will show that “he’s been targeted.”

“This is just an accusation, anyone can make it. It has no merit to it,” she said. “I don’t like that they’re releasing him, and that this cost him his job.”

She offered no other details, and said her son asked her not to divulge any more.

McDonald was arrested on Aug. 31 after his pregnant fiancee at the time accused him of choking and punching her at his 30th birthday party at his home in San Jose.

On Nov. 10, the Santa Clara County District Attorney decided there was not enough evidence to charge him, Two female prosecutors investigated the altercation, releasing a public memo,  deciding there weren't any "verifiable witnesses." McDonald had steadfastly denied harming his fiancee.

After the arrest, he told CSN Bay Area he was "doing stuff to try to better our relationship."

When asked for a comment Wednesday regarding the latest sexual assault allegation, an NFL spokesman said, "We are looking into it."

The Associated Press and CSN Bay Area contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Getty
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<![CDATA[LA Lakers After 25 Games: Kobe and Byron]]> Wed, 17 Dec 2014 03:27:56 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lakers-kobe-bryant-byron-scott-25.jpg

The Lakers have played 25 games of a season that is irritatingly difficult to define: Is this the season of Byron Scott taking over the Los Angeles Lakers? Is this the season of Kobe Bryant return? Is it the season of Bryant's decline due to age? Is this a season to "tank?"

At the moment, this season has no identity on or off the court.

Starting with the last question first, the Lakers aren't built to "tank" nearly at the level that would be required to help the team. They need to need to finish with a top-five draft selection in the 2015 NBA draft, or the Phoenix Suns will claim the first round pick as part of the failed Steve Nash trade, as just about everyone should know by now.

[Pause for fans to rant and scream about Nash]

At the moment, the Lakers are tied with the Indiana Pacers for the eighth worst record in the NBA, and the purple and gold appear to be making progress on the court. Even if it's not championship level progress, ownership and management have been boisterous in publicly trashing the thought of "tanking" a season.

With the way the Lakers are trending, the NBA Draft lottery is probably the Lakers' best hope of getting a first round pick in 2015. As every financial adviser will tell you, winning the lottery is no way to plan for the future.

One last point on "tanking," the Lakers have won three of their last four games, so the notion that this team is actively trying to lose is pure fiction. Constantly talking about "tanking" is, frankly, a waste of time with this organization. The Lakers aren't going to do it. They didn't do it last year when Bryant was out for the season, so why would they possibly do it when he is out there standing on the court with smoke pouring out of his nostrils?

Since this will not be a season of "tanking," it is probably better defined as the season of Scott meshing with Bryant. The coach of the Lakers got off to a difficult 1-9 start but has won three of his last four games. Still, he's only won eight of 25 games, and often, the Lakers have often looked atrocious.

Still, Scott's biggest criticism as Lakers coach has been his (over)use of Bryant, whom is an aging superstar coming off nearly a full season on the sidelines.

Dealing with injuries and a hodgepodge roster of largely expendable talent, Scott has been playing his 36-year-old superstar for 35.4 minutes per game with the hopes to simply compete. To this point, however, Scott has not pushed to reduce Bryant's time on the court, and Bryant ranks 15th in minutes per game. He also ranks 16 in total distance run, 56.6 miles. In gross, Bryant is second in the NBA in total time on the court, 885 minutes.

Obviously, Bryant has been complicit--if not overbearingly forceful--in the matter. After all, he is the Lakers' best chance on offense whether he is passing or shooting. Bryant leads the team in points and assists, along with minutes.

As coach, Scott has not simply acted as a idle stooge. After 20 games, the coach took steps to adjust his starting lineup. Scott had hinted changes were on the horizon, and the massacre in Boston left the ex-Lakers player no choice. Since the lineup changes, the Lakers are 3-2. The Lakers' first unit has improved its defense, and the second unit has been packing more of a punch off the bench.

With regards to Bryant, Scott adjusted to give Bryant more time off from practices. Unless the Lakers have a prolonged stretch of three or more days off in between games, Scott began to keep the Lakers' living legend away from scrimmaging or even shooting on off days. Even on game days, Scott often told Bryant to skip the shootarounds. When the game was in Los Angeles, Bryant stayed home. When the game was on the road, Bryant stayed in his room.

Often, Bryant will talk about the "round the clock" or "24-hour" treatment he requires to be ready for games. Practice? No, he's not talking about practice.

In games, however, Bryant has been worked to the bone. Often visibly and vocally fatigued in the locker room after a contest, Bryant has only failed to cross the 30-minute threshold twice in 25 games, which were the first two games of the season. One week into the season, Bryant played 44 out of 48 minutes in a game the Lakers still lost by six to the Phoenix Suns.

At some point between now and the end of Bryant's career, the game minutes will need to be lessened and the load will need to be lightened. Scott should be present when that time comes, and the only question is whether that transition occurs this season or next.

A glimpse into the reduced role for Bryant this season could help the Lakers land a marquee name over the summer. Seeing Bryant playing fewer minutes, performing more efficiently down the stretch and preserving his body offers a far more attractive future than the alternative.

Soon enough, there will be a casting call to fill the lead role on the Lakers. Luckily, this town specializes in filling roles and creating stars.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[U.S. to Bid for 2024 Olympics]]> Wed, 17 Dec 2014 01:15:47 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/TLMD-aros-olimpicos-juegos-olimpicos-olympic-rings-getty-images-470969827.jpg

The U.S. Olympic Committee has decided to bid for the 2024 Olympics, hoping to bring the Summer Games back to America after a 28-year absence.

The USOC board heard presentations from four candidate cities Tuesday — Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington — and voted to enter a field that already includes Rome and either Hamburg or Berlin, with Paris likely to join.

A decision on which city the U.S. will put forward for a bid is expected next month.

The United States hasn't hosted a Summer Games since the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.

The country's last two tries have been flops, with New York (2012) and Chicago (2016) each finishing fourth in voting. The USOC chose not to bid for the 2020 Games, which will take place in Tokyo.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[LA Makes Case for 2024 Summer Olympics]]> Tue, 16 Dec 2014 22:04:46 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/olympics-1984-colieum-colors-1.jpg

Mayor Eric Garcetti tried Tuesday morning to convince officials with the U.S. Olympic Committee that Los Angeles is the best place to host the 2024 Summer Games.

Garcetti, his advisers and mayors from four other U.S. cities were in Redwood City Tuesday morning to make their pitches to Larry Probst, the chairman of the U.S. Olympic Committee.

"I think we made a very great pitch," Garcetti said. "I think they were really satisfied with what they heard. And they understand that LA knows how to do this and make money."

Probst heard from mayors of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, and Washington, D.C. before the committee determines which city — if any — it will submit for the International Olympic Committee's consideration.

USOC officials announced Tuesday a decision to bid for the 2024 Olympics, hoping to bring the Summer Games back to America after a 28-year absence.

A decision on which city the U.S. will put forward for a bid is expected next month.

"We're currently considering four world-class U.S. cities for a potential U.S. bid," USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said in a statement last week. "Each has demonstrated they're capable of hosting a great Olympic and Paralympic Games and we're grateful to the civic and political leadership of each city for participating in this important process.

"An entire generation of athletes in this country has not had the incredible opportunity to witness the Games in America, and I'm very hopeful that we'll be able to submit a bid next year and attempt to bring the Games back to the U.S."

The IOC's decision is expected in 2017.

Los Angeles has already played host to two Olympics, 1932 and 1984, proving that the city is capable of providing a stage for the world's athletes and Olympic visitors. The prospect of another event in Los Angeles might seem unlikely, but not impossible.

"The Olympics have been held in London three times," Jeff Millman, a spokesman for the mayor, told the Los Angeles Times. "So it can be done in Los Angeles, too."

Earlier this year, Garcetti met with the USOC in Colorado to "discuss how we can present the strongest possible bid for our nation." The last two U.S. bids for the Summer Games — New York and Chicago — bowed out early in the IOC voting process.

The last time the international summer competition visited the United States was 1996 in Atlanta.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[US Olympic Committee To Hear Bid Pitches]]> Tue, 16 Dec 2014 16:18:41 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/TLMD-aros-olimpicos-juegos-olimpicos-olympic-rings-getty-images-470969827.jpg

The road to the 2024 Olympics goes through... Redwood City?

Indeed. That's where mayors from four major American cities, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, and Washington, D.C., will head Tuesday to make a case to Larry Probst, the chairman of the U.S. Olympic Committee, according to reports.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Probst, "who is also head of mega-game maker Electronic Arts," is welcoming heads of cities, including Mayor Ed Lee, to pitch why their towns should be the U.S.'s bid for the 2024 Games.

The Bay Area wants to house the Olympic Village down at "the old Hunters Point Shipyard," the newspaper reported, with a "pop-up stadium" in Brisbane for the opening and closing ceremonies as well as the track and field events.

And to host other games? A new stadium that could also house the Raiders, according to a "well-placed source."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pacers Pound Lakers in Indiana]]> Mon, 15 Dec 2014 21:12:52 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lakers-lose-to-Pacers.jpg

A night after making history in a good way, Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers nearly made history in a bad way.

Monday's game against the Indiana Pacers was over before it started. The Lakers had brought their bodies to Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, but their mental focus on both ends of the floor was waiting on the plane back to Los Angeles.

LA was bad to start the game, and that's probably the nicest way to put it. The Lakers managed more points from the foul line than they did from the field in the first quarter. Had a late flurry of free throws not helped the visitors to 15 points for the quarter, the Lakers looked on their way to setting a new mark for the worst quarter of the season.

In the opening 12 minutes, the Lakers shot 15 percent from the field as a team. Only three players even made a basket. Matching to the putrid offense, the Lakers failed defensively. After one quarter, the Lakers had already allowed 34 points and trailed by 19 points. The Lakers did not even have 19 points on the scoreboard at that point.

Incomprehensibly, the second quarter was worse.

The Lakers fell behind by 39 points during that shocking second period. With a minute to go in the first half, the Lakers had only scored 21 points and allowed 60 points to a Pacers' team that had lost its previous eight games. If the Lakers had continued on that trend, they would have set the franchise record for fewest points in a half (23 points set in 2009). Instead, Bryant hit a three-pointer late in the half to avoid making history for the second night in a row.

Wesley Johnson would add a three-pointer before the halftime buzzer, and the Lakers would enter the locker room trailing 60-27. Prior to Bryant and Johnson hitting their shots, the Lakers were shooting 12 percent from the field. Even after two baskets, the Lakers shot a lowly 17 percent for the quarter and depressing 16 percent for the half.

The game was no longer a contest by the time the teams came back on the court for the second half.

Bryant had been as guilty as his teammates on both end of the floor in the painfully long first 24 minutes. In the first half, Bryant made three of 13 shots for seven points and recorded only one assist. Only three other Lakers even had a field goal to their names, so there was plenty of blame pie for all to share.

In the third period, the ultra-competitive 36-year-old attempted to give his team life by attacking the basket. Bryant would score 14 points in that quarter and add two steals and two assists to help guide the Lakers to 31 points over a 12-minute span. They played a normal quarter, and history had been averted. Bryant's Lakers still trailed by 31 points entering the fourth quarter, and he had 21 points at that point in the game.

Bryant's day was done. The Lakers would play their backups for the duration of the fourth quarter en route to a 110-91 loss.

"I didn't think we came ready mentally or physically," Lakers coach Byron Scott said afterwards on TWC Sportsnet. "We just got outplayed tonight."

After winning two of three games on the road, the Lakers will return home to face the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night at Staples Center.

]]>
<![CDATA[Lakers Win 3rd Straight, Kobe Goes 3rd All Time]]> Sun, 14 Dec 2014 22:03:49 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Kobe-Bryant-third-all-time-NBA.jpg

The Los Angeles Lakers beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 100-94 on Sunday evening to extend their longest streak winning streak of the season to three games.

History was on the schedule, as Kobe Bryant passed Michael Jordan to go third on the NBA's all-time scoring list. With 5:24 to play in the second quarter, Bryant earned a trip to the free throw line and knocked down his two foul shots. After hitting two free throws with a torn Achilles, passing Jordan from the free throw line did not at all seem out of place. No one assisted on Bryant's historic basket.

For a moment, the Minnesota Timberwolves halted the game to give Bryant the game ball and allow the crowd to acknowledge the incredible feat. Bryant also received hugs from his teammates, coach and longtime athletic trainer Gary Vitti.

"I wasn't expecting the Timberwolves organization to honor me like that," Bryant said on TWC Sportsnet after the game. "That was awesome. It felt great to have that. I didn't know what it was going to feel like."

Bryant added, "I'd be lying if I said it didn't mean something."

Then, the history of the occasion was momentarily trumped by the present game at hand.

The Lakers, who carried a four-point lead into the halftime break, relied on balance and their bench to carry them to that point. Carlos Boozer, who was playing his fourth straight game off the bench, finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds. He was one of the guys Lakers coach Byron Scott trusted down the stretch of a close game, and Boozer came through. The veteran power forward tabbed 12 points and seven rebounds in the final period.

While the Lakers managed to never trail in the second half of Sunday's game, they were embroiled in a close contest down the stretch. Bryant stepped forward to hit big shot after big shot when the game was on the line. The 36-year-old scored 10 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter, and none were bigger than the three that came on a 26-foot shot from distance that went in with 1:22 to play in the game.

Before the shot, the Lakers and Timberwolves were tied at 94-94. Bryant gave the Lakers the lead for good, as the Timberwolves would not score again, and the Lakers won 100-94.

Bryant finished with 26 points in the victory, but the historical significance carried more weight than simply winning a game.

"It's just been an unbelievable career," Scott said after the game. "He just plays to win."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Kobe Bryant Passes Michael Jordan]]> Mon, 15 Dec 2014 02:53:06 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/212*120/Kobe-Bryant-passes-Jordan-points_12-14-14.jpg

On Sunday evening in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Kobe Bryant further cemented his place in basketball lore by becoming the third greatest scorer in NBA history.

Bryant passed Michael Jordan's total of 32,292 points in the first half of Sunday's game at Target Center. Only needing nine points on the day, most expected Bryant would surpass the required total before halftime, and Bryant did not disappoint.

Though Bryant missed his first three shots and the Minnesota Timberwolves were consistently putting a hard double team on the Lakers' star, the 19-year veteran began to slowly solve the defensive riddle.

After eight scoreless minutes on Sunday, Bryant's first two points on the night came from the foul line. By the time the first quarter ended, Bryant had four points on five shots, but he did not appear to be in any particular hurry to pass no. 23 on the all-time scoring list.

Instead, Bryant was happy to chaperon the Lakers to a three point lead after one quarter. In the second quarter, Bryant would return from his rest and immediately launch a three-pointer. Bryant took the ball on a turnaround jump shot to pass Jordan, but the ball went in and out. On the next possession, Bryant would head to the free throw line and sink two free throws.

Bryant moved to third all-time on the NBA scoring list, and Jordan dropped to fourth.

The game was momentarily halted as Bryant received hugs and congratulations from his teammates. The Timberwolves' PA announcer congratulated the 36-year-old and the fans in attendance applauded in appreciation. For a night, Minnesota felt like the home of the Lakers again.

With Jordan out of the way, Bryant is still a long way behind Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Malone's total of 36,928 points and Abdul-Jabbar's total of 38,387 points would likely require Bryant to play past the summer of 2016, when Bryant's current contract is set to retire.

On Sunday in Minneapolis, no. 24 passed no. 23 on the all-time scoring list, as Bryant further solidified his case for being the greatest Laker of all time in the city where the Lakers were born.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Best of NFL: Week 15]]> Sun, 14 Dec 2014 20:22:57 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/460466000.jpg Don't miss the most dramatic images from the fifteenth week of the 2014 NFL season.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Eagles' McCoy on Playing Sunday Night]]> Sun, 14 Dec 2014 12:12:02 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP383450712423.jpg Philadelphia Eagles' star running back, LeSean McCoy, ran for 159 yards and a touchdown in a convincing win against the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving. McCoy looks to continue that trend against the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football, where he always seems to come though for the Eagles.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Former Dodger Gordon Thanks Team, Fans]]> Thu, 11 Dec 2014 12:02:15 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/456808650.jpg

Last season Dee Gordon put a sign above his locker in the Dodger Stadium clubhouse. It had three simple words that sum up his mindset as a ballplayer: “Trust the Process”.

That has to be what he’s thinking right now, given that the organization he grew up in has shipped him off to the Miami Marlins.

The particulars of the trade he was involved in are as murky as Gordon’s time with the Dodgers: complicated.

Coming into the 2014 season, the Dodgers were giving him one last shot in the big leagues, but didn't have a guaranteed starting job coming out of spring training. By May, he looked like Roberto Alomar reincarnated. He made the All-Star team, led the league in steals (64), triples (12) and was the catalyst on a team that won 94 games and a division title. Most of all, to Dodger fans, he was their little brother.

From talking to him, Gordon never envisioned playing for another team. But, it’s his reality now. Before leaving town, though, he showed what a class act he is in a note he posted to the organization and Dodger fans on Twitter.

 

 

What I’m wondering is, who’s going to do the Dougie if the Dodgers win the NL West against next season?

At 26 years old Gordon’s at the age when players start to hit their stride and he seemed well on his way to fitting that mold. But, he, clearly, didn’t fit in the Dodgers future.

It’ll be interesting to see where his career goes from here. It seems like he just arrived in Los Angeles now he’s gone, in a flash.
 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Report: Matt Kemp Packs for Padres in Package Deal]]> Thu, 11 Dec 2014 06:27:10 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*123/win+la.jpg

The Los Angeles Dodgers are trading outfielder Matt Kemp to the San Diego Padres, it was reported today.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the 30-year-old Kemp would be traded to the Padres with back-up catcher Tim Federowicz, citing unnamed sources. In exchange the Dodgers would take 26-year-old Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal and two pitching prospects, according to the newspaper.

The Dodgers would also pay $30 million of the $107 million remaining on Kemp's contract, the newspaper reported. The deal is expected to be finalized today before the conclusion of baseball's Winter Meetings in San Diego.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lakers Beat Kings, Kobe Bryant Plays Hero]]> Wed, 10 Dec 2014 00:45:54 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lakers-Kobe-Bryant-loss-Warriors.jpg

Kobe Bryant, once again, played the role of hero at Staples Center, as he led the Lakers in a comeback 98-95 win over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night.

Bryant scored 32 points and took over the game in the fourth quarter before hitting a series of clutch free throws in the final minute.

Bryant started the game searching for his shot, as he started the night only 62 points behind Michael Jordan on the NBA's all-time scoring list. In the first quarter, Bryant attempted 10 of the Lakers' first 25 shots, but the "Black Mamba" only hit thrice. The 36-year-old would enter the locker room for the halftime intermission with 11 points on 13 shots, but the Lakers trailed by nine points.

To start the second half, Bryant elevated his game and made five of his first seven shots. The Lakers would trim the lead to two points after Bryant's flurry, and the Lakers tied the game twice before finishing the quarter down three points. However, LA was unable to take the lead.

In the fourth and final quarter, the Lakers fell behind by six points when the crowd grew restless and began to chant "We want Kobe."

Immediately, Lakers coach Byron Scott adhered to the crowd's request, and Bryant returned to the game with 6:45 remaining in the contest. Incredibly, all of the Lakers' points from that point forward would be directly tied to no. 24 in a vintage fourth quarter performance that won the game.

First, Bryant combined with Carlos Boozer and provided the power forward with an easy layup. Then, he found Wesley Johnson for a three-pointer. When his teammates struggled to make shots, Bryant turned recipient and dunked the ball home to bring the Lakers within one point. For his next trick, Bryant hit a three-pointer to tie the contest at 92-92.

For the Lakers' first lead of the second half, Bryant found Jordan Hill for a layup. With that, Bryant recorded his sixth assist for the game and third for the final quarter. After Darren Collison scored a reverse layup, Bryant earned a trip to the free throw line and restored a one-point Lakers' lead with 34.4 seconds to play.

A defensive stop resulted in Bryant holding the ball and being intentionally fouled. In clutch fashion, Bryant stepped up and made two more free throws to give the Lakers a three-point lead. Another solid defensive sequence, and the Lakers walked off victorious.

"He's one of the greatest to ever play," Lakers coach Byron Scott said after the game. "But I think we already knew that."

"He's a special player," Scott added. "Sometimes, I just shake my head at how he can continue to go out there and deliver."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Roggin's Heroes: Week 14]]> Tue, 09 Dec 2014 14:20:38 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/ROGGINS_HEROES_1272014_1200x675_368855107997.jpg Watch the Week 14 edition of Roggin's Heroes, the best of the best prep football highlights. Video broadcast Sunday Dec. 7, 2014 on NBC4.]]> <![CDATA[NFLer Hill Probed for Sex Assault]]> Mon, 08 Dec 2014 16:51:38 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/sammie-hill-getty.jpg

The Tennessee Titans say they are aware police are investigating a sexual assault allegation involving defensive lineman Sammie Hill.

"We will let the police investigate the allegation, and we will provide any assistance they need," the Titans said in a statement Monday. "We have discussed the matter with Sammie, and we will continue to gather facts."

Atlanta Police Department spokesman John Chaffee wrote in an email that a woman told police she had been sexually assaulted by Hill and they are working with the woman for more information.

The woman apparently contacted Houston police first. Spokesman Victor Senties confirmed to The Associated Press that Houston police took a report Friday from a woman alleging she had been sexually assaulted in Atlanta and forwarded that to police there.

Hill, who played at Stillman and a West Blocton, Alabama, native, is a six-year veteran in the second year of a three-year deal with Tennessee. The 6-foot-4, 328-pound Hill has started 12 games this season.
 



Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lakers Lose to Pelicans]]> Sun, 07 Dec 2014 22:39:14 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lakers-lose-to-Pelicans_12-7-14.jpg

The Los Angeles Lakers made changes to their starting lineup ahead of Sunday's game against the New Orleans Pelicans. None of those changes had any notable impact, however, as the Lakers lost big 104-87 in front of their home fans for the ninth time in 11 home games.

Ed Davis and Ronnie Price were added to the starting lineup in place of Jeremy Lin and Carlos Boozer to help rectify a horrendous start to the season that saw the Lakers lose 15 times in their first 20 games.

Both Price and Davis played well, but neither had an eye-opening performance, and the minor adjustments only served as a band-aid on a broken leg. Davis did manage to avoid foul trouble, which was a major concern entering the game, and Price was an improvement defensively. However, the Lakers lost, and the game was largely not competitive.

In fact, the Lakers' crowd began to jeer loudly multiple times late in the game.

"It ain't fun getting booed," Lakers guard Nick Young said after the game. "It was well deserved. We were playing like crap out there."

As much as the Lakers rank last in defense, the Lakers' offense looked depressingly poor on Sunday night. The team started out the game shooting 25 percent in the first quarter and barely crept over 33 percent for the first half. By the time the game ended, the Lakers were up to 40 percent shooting, but defenses tend to let down when a team is up by 20 points.

That was not a hyperbolic statement. The Pelicans led by 20 points after three quarters at Staples Center, and that lead would grow to 24 points before the final buzzer. The hodgepodge of lineups did not make much of any difference on its first viewing, as the lack of shot making doomed the home team from the start.

Young and Kobe Bryant combined for nine made shots on 31 shot attempts. The Lakers' two most dynamic scorers finished with 27 points combined. Entering the night, Bryant was contributing an average of 26 points per game on his own.

The Lakers did not entirely lose the game on their own, obviously. Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday both had great nights for the Pelicans. Davis finished with 23 points on 11-15 shooting, and Holiday finished with 22 points and eight assists. The Pelicans may not be a bad team, but the Lakers made them look a whole lot better than they really were.

For a weekend that started with a painfully one-sided loss to the Boston Celtics, the 17-point home loss to the Pelicans may have actually felt worse.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Best of NFL: Week 14]]> Sun, 07 Dec 2014 21:08:44 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/460128832.jpg Don't miss the most dramatic images from the fourteenth week of the 2014 NFL season.]]> <![CDATA[Patriots' Vince Wilfork on Team Spirit]]> Sun, 07 Dec 2014 11:32:30 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP136950174591.jpg As one of longest tenured New England Patriots player on the roster, defensive tackle Vince Wilfork continues to be a leader and speaks to how the collective mindset of the team helps them persevere throughout the long season.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Hernandez Wants Trial Evidence Out]]> Sun, 07 Dec 2014 10:17:15 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/b5be81e2cbc24dfe9245749f34341294.jpg

Lawyers for former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez want evidence from the 2012 double homicide case against him to be excluded at his January trial for the murder of Odin Lloyd.

Hernandez, who is scheduled to go on trial next month in the Lloyd case, has also pleaded not guilty in the 2012 fatal shootings of two men after a chance encounter at a Boston nightclub.

His lawyers filed a motion Wednesday to exclude evidence from that case from his trial in the Lloyd case. They also asked to exclude seven other "bad acts" listed in the prosecution's Oct. 31 notice, including:

  • Guns allegedly purchased in Florida and transported via Oscar Hernandez.
  • A May 18, 2013, incident outside a nightclub in Providence, Rhode Island.
  • A rifle, magazine, and ammunition found in a duffel bag inside a vehicle in Hernandez's garage.
  • A .22-caliber ammunition found inside Hernandez's residence.
  • A .22-caliber pistol found in the woods in North Attleborough, Massachusetts.
  • The shooting of Alexander Bradley in Florida on Feb. 13, 2013.
  • A TMZ photograph that shows Hernandez holding a gun.

Hernandez's lawyers argue in the motion that the alleged "bad acts" are irrelevant to any issue before the jury in the Odin Lloyd murder case. They also argue that the value of that evidence would be "substantially outweighed by the risk of undue prejudice to Hernandez and would divert the jury's attention from the charged offense - the alleged murder of Odin Lloyd. Finally, the TMZ photograph cannot be properly authenticated."

[CLICK HERE to read the full motion.]

The motion also references 22 other "bad acts" cited by the prosecution, and asks that the state be ordered to file a detailed order of proof describing "the evidence it seeks to elicit on each such topic and the purported legal basis for admissibility in order to provide the defendant with fair notice and an opportunity to take an informed position with respect to such evidence."

Hernandez's lawyers go on to say that the 30 alleged "bad acts" the prosecution seeks to present evidence about in the January trial "encompass a cornucopia of alleged activities including other shootings, gun trafficking, firearms possession, drug use, a drunk driving arrest, a 2009 photograph, and even a fender-bender."

If allowed to introduce all of even much of that evidence, they said, the prosecution "will have succeeded in transforming a murder trial into a wide-ranging, collateral attack on the defendant's personal history, character, lifestyle, and propensities."

Hernandez is scheduled to go on trial on Jan. 9 for the killing of Lloyd, a semi-pro football player whose bullet-riddled body was found in an industrial park about a mile from Hernandez's North Attleborough home in June of 2013.

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<![CDATA[Lakers at Celtics: Kobe And Rondo]]> Fri, 05 Dec 2014 12:28:49 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lakers-Celtics-Kobe-Rondo.jpg

The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers have combined to play 35 games this season. Each has won only five games, and at the moment, neither team is in line to make the playoffs, let alone win an NBA title.

However, none of that matters on Friday evening in Boston. It's the Lakers versus the Celtics, a matchup that adds up to 33 NBA titles.

After arriving in Boston late Wednesday night, Kobe Bryant found time to join Rajon Rondo for breakfast on Thursday morning. Pictures splattered across the internet, and Bryant's respectful quotes about Rondo were flung around cyberspace.

 

 

For a moment, forget the inevitable trade rumors that will sprout from the toast, hash browns and eggs that were consumed at the diner. Bryant's last NBA title came against Rondo's Celtics, and Rondo's only NBA title came against Bryant's Lakers. The level of respect these two men share for one another is impossible to fully comprehend, but they probably understand one another better than most.

After all, both players have been labeled as difficult guys to deal with in the locker room and on the court. Both are champions, and both won titles at a young age. Bryant blew out 22 candles only a couple months after winning his first NBA title way back in 2000. Eight years later, Rondo was barely 22 years young when the Celtics beat the Lakers in six games in 2008.

Fast forward another six years, and Rondo and Bryant are the only connections to the last time either team won a title.

The Celtics got younger. Six players on the Celtics are either rookies or in their second year in the NBA. The Lakers only have three guys that fall in that category. Unfortunately for the Lakers, one of those guys is at home recovering from a broken leg, another is rehabbing his torn hamstring and the third is the last man on the Lakers' injury ridden bench.

Regular season rivalry games are tough to come by in an 82-game NBA regular season, but the Lakers and Celtics offer that rare matchup that holds greater meaning than simply a win or a loss in the record books. These banner hoarding teams only play twice per season: once in Boston and once in Los Angeles.

On Friday, the Lakers take Boston's famous parquet floor for the one and only time during the 2014-15 season. Tip-off is 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time.

Notes: Nick Young was suspended during the Lakers' trip to Boston in the 2013-14 season. This will be his first time playing the Celtics in Boston since joining the Lakers.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Daughter of NFL Great Shot Dead]]> Thu, 04 Dec 2014 10:00:07 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Sharneen-Shawn-Norman.jpg

Dallas police are investigating the shooting death of Sharneen “Shawn” Norman, the daughter of former famed Dallas Cowboys player Pettis Norman.

Norman said he and his daughter are incredibly close and after not hearing from her for several days, had asked police to enter her apartment at the DP&L Flats in downtown Dallas.

Once inside investigators found Norman dead from a gunshot wound. Police are calling it a homicide.

In an interview with NBC 5, Pettis Norman worked to keep his composure while describing the phone call he received from police.

"He said, 'I really shouldn’t do this over the phone, but we’re in here and she’s here. She’s deceased,'" Norman said. “My world….” Norman trailed off.

Norman said his daughter had recently moved back to Texas from New York where she worked as a music executive for a record company. Now living in Dallas, Shawn Norman was working for her family business.

"She was my first baby. We had a great relationship. From the moment she was born, she was a daddy’s baby," Pettis Norman said fondly of his daughter.

"I want them to know she was a loving person. She loved to have fun with people, laugh with people. She had a big laugh," he said.

Investigators are releasing little information about the circumstances surrounding Shawn Norman’s death and will not say if they have any suspects.

Pettis Norman said it doesn’t appear anyone forced their way into his daughter’s apartment and said police are searching for surveillance video to see who could’ve entered the building around the time of her death.

Norman said he’s choosing not to be angry, instead focus on what possible facts he can gather to move forward.

"So I’m not angry. Obviously I’m very hurt my daughter’s not here, but there’s no need for me to be angry because that’s not going to solve the problem," he said.

Anyone with information is ask to call Dallas police.

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<![CDATA[Dodgers Make Trade for Outfielder]]> Wed, 03 Dec 2014 09:02:48 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/heisey+pic.jpg

The Los Angeles Dodgers traded pitcher Matt Magill for Cincinnati Reds outfielder Chris Heisey Tuesday, in a move that gives further credence that one of the team’s current five outfielders will be on the move soon.

The Dodgers drafted Magill in the 31st round in 2008 out of Royal High School in Simi Valley. His only big league action came in 2013 when he went 0-2 over 27 ⅔ innings in six starts. He spend the entire 2014 season at Triple-A Albuquerque.

Heisey had largely been a platoon outfielder in his five seasons with the Reds playing all three outfield positions and he figures to fill the same roll with the Dodgers, although with all the off-season wheeling and dealing the Dodgers are doing, we’ll have to see if he’s even on the team come spring training.

Last season the 29-year-old played in 119 games and finished with splits of .222/.265/.278 along with eight home runs and 22 RBIs.

With Heisey in the fold the Dodgers President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman has a lot of chips to play with when he heads to baseball’s ultimate game of poker, a.k.a. the Winter Meetings, on Sunday. Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford, Matt Kemp and Scott Van Slyke are all in play to be dealt. The team has made it clear that Yasiel Puig is off the table. 

The latest talk, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, swirled around a possible trade that would send Matt Kemp to the Baltimore Orioles. But, yesterday, Baltimore Sun reporter Eduardo Encina said talks on that seem to have stalled.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Should Lakers Sit Kobe Bryant?]]> Wed, 03 Dec 2014 03:50:50 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Kobe-Bryant-fatigue_12-3-14.jpg

Murmurs started long before Kobe Bryant came back from injury: he'll just get hurt again; he's lost a step; he's going to be a shadow of what he was; he's too old, etc.

Well, Bryant have proved just about everyone wrong this season, but he is old.

"I was tired as (expletive)," Bryant said after the Tuesday’s win against the Detroit Pistons.

Displaying signs of fatigue, Bryant managed to play with spectacular focus and lack of focus at the same time. Against the Pistons, he focused on scoring for one short stretch in the third quarter and quickly logged 12 points over two minutes and 22 seconds. For the remaining 31 minutes and four seconds Bryant spent on the floor, he focused on playing winning basketball despite battling severe exhaustion.

Bryant would get a triple-double, but this was not the type worth celebrating. Bryant finished with 13 assists and 12 points, but his 10 turnovers glared out of the box score. In comparison, the entire Pistons' team only had 14 turnovers on the night.

More often than not, Bryant's errors came for the correct reasons. He was attempting to make the correct play for his teammates, and his 13 assists were evidence that he succeeded more often than he failed. His team winning and leading by as many as 21 points also served as evidence that he was playing the correct way.

With a month of the season complete, Bryant has displayed that his skill level is elite, but fatigued will continue to be a mounting factor.

After Tuesday's game, Bryant spoke with reporters and shared insights into his exhaustion. When asked whether he was feeling under the weather, he played the role of wise old man and referenced the father of Greek Mythology, often associated with Father Time.

Lakers coach Byron Scott highlighted the point of focus with Bryant: "This is all about trying to preserve his body as much as possible and let him get rest. Recovery time is the most important thing right now. We want him to be as strong as he can be for the games."

So, with Bryant clearly showing signs of exhaustion, wouldn't it make sense to rest the 36-year-old for a night?

On Wednesday, the Lakers play on the second night of a back-to-back on the road against the second best team in the Eastern Conference. One would think giving a tiring and aging superstar a night off would make sense under the circumstances. With or without Bryant, a loss is the most likely outcome against the Wizards.

Providing Bryant a night off on Wednesday would, conceivably, allow the shooting guard to rest for two days and regain his footing for Friday's rivalry game.

With or without Bryant, Friday offers a winnable game against the rival Boston Celtics. Having a refreshed Bryant, the Lakers would have a strong probability of beating a Celtics' team that has lost seven of nine games at home this season. Ultimately, two wins on a three-game road trip would be another successful roadie for LA.

More in line with the real world, Bryant will probably treat and rest his body throughout the night, sleep into the afternoon and show up at the game. Then, against Washington, the Lakers will try to beat the odds with a supremely talented but incredibly fatigued superstar.

Worth pointing out, the Wizards beat their last visitors, the Miami Heat, by 21 points. That was on Monday. On Wednesday, the Lakers visit the Wizards, but no. 24 should consider taking a night off.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lakers Beat Pistons in Detroit]]> Tue, 02 Dec 2014 18:58:10 -0800 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lakers-Pistons-12-2.jpg

After 42 minutes on Sunday, an exhausted Kobe Bryant skipped the team's shootaround on Tuesday morning. When the ball went up, however, Bryant was on the court.

Bryant's fatigue showed early, but the Los Angeles Lakers held on for a 106-96 victory against the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night.

In the first quarter, Bryant committed three turnovers and missed three shots. However, he found a way to create for his teammates, and even his turnovers were examples of the superstar forcing passes to his teammates.

Veteran forward Carlos Boozer continued his trend of strong shooting early in games. The 33-year-old made four of his first six shots to log eight points in the first quarter. Off the bench, Nick Young came in to help Boozer carry the offensive load.

Young's knack for getting fouled in the act of shooting came in handy, and by halftime, the trigger happy sixth man had 10 points to his name. Wayne Ellington also helped pick up the slack off the bench, as the backup shooting guard notched six points in fewer than nine first-half minutes. He would finish with nine points for the game.

In a game that neither team led by more than five points in the first half, the Lakers came out and put together a strong third quarter. Bryant scored his first basket and then quickly reminded everyone he can score in a hurry. Bryant scored 12 straight points for the Lakers, and the visitors opened their lead to 21 points late in the third period.

Usually, the Lakers come out slow and fall apart in the third period. On this night, the Lakers outscored the Pistons 35-20 in the quarter. Bryant also hit the 10-assist mark in the third quarter, although that number was balanced by Bryant's six turnovers.

Entering the fourth quarter, the Lakers were up by 16 points and losing to a team that was on an eight-game losing streak would be difficult to imagine. The Lakers' bench started the quarter with energy and managed to keep the Pistons at bay. However, the lead dropped to 10 points just short of the halfway mark of the final period.

Immediately, Lakers coach Bryon Scott switched all five players and brought back his starters. With six minutes to play, the Lakers' starters had to hold a 10-point lead against one of the worst teams in the NBA.

Jordan Hill would make his presence felt with timely buckets down the stretch. He would get his 10th double-double of the season before the final buzzer. Hill finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds, which were team-highs in both categories.

Bryant would finish with a dubious triple-double: 12 points, 13 assists and 10 turnovers. Still, the Lakers won, so the players walked off smiling. The Lakers now have won two in a row and have won three of their last four road games.

Next, the Lakers will play on Wednesday night in Washington D.C. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>