It's the First West Coast FriYAY
FRIDAY West Coast Sports Reads, Upcoming Games This Weekend and 60+ links from the Pacific Time Zone.
No intro for the Friday edition. Instead, here are a ton of links you might have missed, only because it’s been about 10 days since I last shared the news from the West Coast with you.
Moving forward, Friday will be the day for news while Wednesdays’ editions will feature the jobs, music and one deep read to feed your West Coast State of Mind. As always, thanks for reading, sharing and subscribing.
How the West Won
Quick hits, scores and upcoming games you should know.
MLS Quarter Finals
LAFC got eliminated from the MLS is Back tournament via a penalty shootout 5-4 with Orlando City on July 31. They missed Carlos Vela.
The San Jose Earthquakes got eliminated from the semi-finals on Aug. 1 via a 4-1 loss to Minnesota.
On the other hand, the Portland Timbers defeated NYCFC 3-1 on Aug. 1. They advanced to the finals after a 2-1 victory over Philadelphia on Aug. 5.
Meanwhile, the Angels went 2-1 over the Mariners. This included Angels’ pitcher and DH Shohei Ohtani homering in his return from a forearm injury. Mike Trout also homered in his return from the lineup after missing action with the birth of his son.
Over the weekend, the Athletics went 3-1 over the Mariners. Oakland set a record for walk-off Grand Slams in 11 games.
San Diego closed last week’s series 2-1 over the Giants.
The Las Vegas Aces took down the Washington Mystics (83-77) on Aug. 5, in a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference Finals.
Seahawks QB Russell Wilson (2), Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald (3), L.A. native receiver Michael Thomas (5), 49ers TE George Kittle (7), Seahawks LB Bobby Wagger (13), 49ers DE Nick Bosa (17) and Northern Cali’s Aaron Rodgers (16) top the NFL’s 100.
UPCOMING GAMES TO WATCH:
Sparks vs. Aces (6 PM PST on ESPN2)
Clippers vs. Blazers (Sat. 10:00 AM PST)
Golden Knights vs Avalanche (Sat.)
Giants vs. Dodgers (Friday-Sunday)
Padres vs. Dodgers (Monday-Thursday)
Athletics vs. Angels (Monday-Wednesday)
Portland Timbers vs. Orlando City (MLS is Back Final Tuesday at 5:30 PM PST)
Kings vs. Lakers (Thursday)
West Coast Sports Reads
Must-reads from sports in the PST so your small talk connects better on your next Zoom call or group chat.
The Moment Lakers Fans Were Waiting For
It was the moment all Lakers fans were waiting for. The Lake Show sealed the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference with a 116-108 win over the Jazz, led by a 42 point performance from Anthony Davis. L.A. became the first team to miss the playoffs and secure the 1st seed the following season in over 10 years.
This win came a few days after a clutch LeBron James’ putback gave them their first win in the restart over their Staples Center rivals. Of course, the Clippers were without Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell for the 103-101 loss on July 30.
Otherwise, the Lakers are 2-4 in the bubble mostly due to offensive issues. LeBron James, Anthony Davis and others are playing fewer minutes in the accelerated bubble schedule. This allowed them to test a small-ball lineup versus Rockets.
Meanwhile, the Clippers’ Paul George didn’t stop giving up game-winners. He gave up a Kobe-ish one to Devin Booker and the Suns on Tuesday. Doc Rivers passed a Red Auerback on the all-time wins list this week. L.A.C. is 2-2 so far in the bubble.
Dame Driving the Blazers
Portland guard Damian Lillard joined the Splash Brothers with 11 three-pointers and 42 points in a crucial win over the Nuggets. The Blazers are 3-1 in the Bubble thus far.
With four games left, the Blazers can secure at least a play-in game by going 3-1. The Suns and Spurs can only catch them if they finish two games better than the Blazers in the final seed.
MORE ON THE EIGHT SPOT: The Sacramento Kings finally won a game. It helped Portland put the Blazers half a game behind the Grizzlies for the 8th seed.
Before that, Sacramento went winless in the bubble even with De’Aaron Fox balling with 30+ points and 10+ assists over Lonzo Ball. Kings guard Buddy Hield is also getting exposed for conditioning. Is the Kings’ guard out of shape?
Golden Knights Kneel Before Anthem, Dominate Round-Robin
The Golden Knights are one win Saturday away from securing the No. 1 seed in the NHL Playoffs. They are 2-0 in the NHL round robin. That includes back-to-back third-period comeback wins.
On Thursday, the Knights defeated the reigning NHL Champion St. Louis Blues 6-4. Vegas scored three goals in the final period. This came after the Blues answered an early 3-2 deficit with a two-goal rally in the early second period.
Otherwise, Monday’s Knights victory featured Ryan Reaves and Robin Lehner kneeling during both anthems before the first game. Knights owner Bill Foley said he won’t judge players who decided to kneel.
Las Vegas went on to win that matchup versus the Dallas Stars. The final score was 5-3 as the Knights rallied from 3-1 in the third period.
MORE ON THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS OWNER: Foley filed for a $1.2 billion special purpose acquisition company with the SEC. It’s the fourth SPAC by Foley to date and the latest one with an unofficial interest in sports. Sparks and Dodgers minority owner Todd Boehly filed for a $500 million SPAC this week too.
A Run on Pass Rushers
It’s a quarterback league but there’s been a run on pass rushers late in free agency. The Seattle Seahawks expressed interest in signing veteran pass rushers Clay Matthews and Everson Griffen. Both USC alumni are over the age of thirty but had resurgent years when healthy in 2019.
Storm on Atlanta
Seattle is on a three-game winning streak in the Wubble. The Storm almost blew that in the final minutes versus the Dream on Wednesday.
This 93-92 win wasn’t the only statement they left for Atlanta. Seattle wore “Vote Warnock” shirts ahead of Tuesday’s games. These shirts supported Raphael Warnock who is running to unseat current Georgia Senator Kelly Loeffler. Leoffler co-owns the Atlanta Dream. The Dream Owner spoke out against the WNBA supporting Black Lives Matter.
Storm legend Sue Bird proposed the idea to support the political opponent. She said it was more meaningful than knocking down Loeffler.
West Coast Sports Links
Idols, rivals and anything else you might have missed from your favorite regions this week.
MEDIA and More
We Are West Coast Sports is a skimmable twice-weekly read covering seven pro leagues, esports, jobs and sports biz. I cut over 100 sources into a few dozen links which will help you connect with other sports fans in the Pacific Time zone. Please share with a friend with a West Coast State of Mind.