Way Too Many Characters

DAME Time, Timbers CONACAF, Williams SIsters Chess Match, A's brawl and 35+ news links from the pacific standard time zone.

What’s Up Good People? Shoutout to all the folks joining for the first time this week. If you missed Wednesday’s edition with a dive into the PAC-12 go here or check your inbox.

Either way, thank you for supporting my dream. Thank you for opening your minds and inbox to a new read. I like to think I gained 60 new friends this week via all the people who signed up through Facebook ads. Again, thank you.

This newsletter aims to finally define what West Coast Sports mean. The goal is to build a sports publication where West Coast stories, sources and news take the lead. It’s my dream that one-day sports get told from West to East.

Finally, I will sustain a publication that focuses on our shared experiences and references. I want to connect fans and professionals across the pacific time zone with this email. I want to elevate our stories and culture without the Chicago, Boston or New York influence. I can’t do that without reader support.

Please let me know how I can make this email more valuable to your week. All feedback is valuable and every read appreciated. Hit reply.

ICYMI: How the West Won

Quick hits, scores and upcoming games you should know.

FROM LAST WEEK

  • Sparks vs. Aces (82-86)

    • Vegas is 8-2 and one game behind the Storm. They’re also only a game above the Sparks.

  • Giants vs. Dodgers (1-2)

  • Padres vs. Dodgers (2-2)

    • Dodgers’ Mookie Betts became the third player in MLB history to hit three home runs in a game six times in his career.

  • Athletics vs. Angels (1-2)

    • The A’s nine-game streak ended. Mike Trout continued hitting jacks for the Angels.

UPCOMING

  • Athletics vs. Giants (F-S)

  • Dodgers vs. Angels (F-S)

  • Mariners vs. Dodgers (M-TH)

  • Giants vs. Angels (M-TH)

Timbers Back On Top

Portland beat the odds on Tuesday. The Timbers secured a ticket to CONACAF Champions League with a 2-1 win over Orlando FC in the MLS is Back Finale.

A header from Larrys Mabiala and a corner-kick collection from Dario Zuparic sealed the deal this time. Diego Valeri assisted both.

The Timbers locked up their first trophy since winning the MLS Cup in 2015. They made the finals in 2018 but lost 2-0.

32-year-old Sebastian Blanco walked away with MVP Honors. His five assists were the most in the tournament. Blanco also scored three goals. Otherwise, Portland featured four players on the top XI. That was most by any team.

MORE MLS: LAFC’s Diego Rossi won the Golden Boot thanks to his seven goals in five games during the tournament.

Knights Stay Golden

Vegas remains undefeated in the NHL Playoffs. They’ve scored 23 goals in five bubble games. That includes eight two games versus the Blackhawks in the opening playoff series. The Golden Knights own a 2-0 lead over Chicago thanks to a 4-1 win Tuesday and 4-3 win Thursday.

Playoffs began on Tuesday with Las Vegas is the top seed. Las Vegas won all three round-robin games. They secured the top spot with an overtime win over the Avalanche on the weekend.

UPCOMING: Game Three at 5 PM PST on Friday and 3:30 PM PST on Sunday. Games Four and Five will happen on Tuesday and Thursday if needed.

NBA Playoffs: West Coast Preview

LAKERS VS Portland or Memphis

The Lakers struggled a bit after locking up the top seed. They dropped three-straight before a game-winner over the Nuggets broke the streak. L.A. also gave Sacramento their third win of the bubble Thursday night. The Kings eliminated themselves from the playoffs early. Still, the Lakers will get Rajon Rondo back. They will hope he hits playoff Rondo mode. Either way, nobody wants Portland right now. Although Blazers guard CJ McCullum is playing with a broken bone in his back.

ROCKETS VS THUNDER

You wouldn’t have believed me if I would’ve told you these teams would play each other in the playoffs at the beginning of the season. OKC traded away Paul George and Russell Westbrook but still found their way into the fourth seed. Although, Westbrook may miss some time due to a quad injury. That means former Rockets teammates James Harden and Chris Paul should duke it out. Houston should win but why keep counting out OKC?

NUGGETS VS UTAH

Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. played a year of high school in Washington. Denver forward Jerami Grant was born in Portland. Nuggets big Bol Bol played at Oregon too. All are x-factors for the Nuggets. Meanwhile, Utah features a few former Lakers as well as Miye Oni from L.A.and Nigel Williams-Goss who spent time all across the pacific time zone. Going with Denver here.

CLIPPERS VS MAVS

Clippers forward Paul George flexed his health in the bubble. They’re getting big Montrezl Harrell back. Lou Williams is getting back into form as the sixth man. Kawhi Leonard still representing Riverside like me. I’m a Clippers fan so sorry Dallas it’s still L.A.’s series to lose.

AWARDS: LeBron James and James Harden among MVP finalists.

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West Coast Reads

The West Coast sports news you must know before your next zoom call. Minus the New York, Boston and Chicago influence.

DAME LILLARD

That’s all. That’s the tweet.

Put respect on Dame Lillard’s name because he didn’t come to waste time in the Bubble. The Blazers All-Star helped the team secure the eighth seed in the West. He dropped 42 points in a close win over the Nets on Thursday.

Also this week, Lillard became the first player in franchise history to record 50 points in back-to-back games. He joined Wilt Chamberlain as the only player with three games scoring more than 60 points in the same season.

This burst came after Dame scored 22-points in a five-point loss versus the Clippers last Saturday. He missed clutch free throws which the Clippers called him out for. A social media beef between him and Clippers guard Paul George ensued. Family members got involved and the two ended up clearing the air with a conversation.

NEXT: Dame Time will face the Memphis Grizzlies. A Portland victory on Saturday seals a series with the Lake Show. If the Grizzlies win, they face the Blazers again on Sunday. Memphis must win both games for a chance to play the Lakers in the opening playoff series.

Serena Playing Chess

Serena Williams (38) faced her older sister Venus (40) for the 31st time this past week. Many, including Serena, ranked it among the best matchup between the two sisters.

The younger Williams rallied from 2-4 in the 3rd set to beat Venus 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Thursday. Serena pulled off a similar comeback in her first-round match versus Bernarda Pera.

Still, Serena said her focus is the US open at the end of the month, rather than winning the Top Seed Open. She hasn’t won a grand slam title since 2017.

WHAT’S NEXT? Serena will advance to the quarter-finals to Shelby Rogers on Friday. She holds a 19-12 advantage over her sister all-time.

A’s Handle Bidness

A’s outfielder Ramon Laureano got hit three times in a game versus the Astros. He headed towards Houston’s dugout. He got tackled before he got there. A scuffle broke out. The reported tipping point was a reported comment about Laureano’s mother.

Laureano said he regretted rushing the loser, Astros hitting coach Alex Cintron, afterward. Cintron caught a twenty-game suspension for his role as an instigator. Laureano is suspended six games. Oakland was amidst a nine-game winning streak at the time.

P.S. Dodgers’ Joe Kelly still thinks Astros are ‘little Bitchess.’ Kelly’s suspension is reduced from eight to five games too.

L.A. Takes Over Bay Golf Claps

Collin Morikawa represented Los Angeles in the PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco last weekend.

Morikawa, 23, emerged from a seven-way tie in the closing round by shooting a 6-under 64. It was the lowest score ever by a winner in major championship history. He was 2-under after the first two rounds.

The L.A. native joined the elite company of Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus to win their first PGA championship at age 23. Morikawa also moved up to No. 5 in the World Golf Rankings.

HIGHLY RATED: Final-round coverage ranked as the most-watched sports event of the week. It was the most-watched golf telecast since June 2019. Live coverage on ESPN was the most-viewed event on cable since 2010.

Seattle Crackin’ With First Black Broadcaster

Everette Fitzhugh is the Seattle Kraken’s first broadcaster. He is also allegedly the first black team broadcaster hired by an NHL team.

Fitzhugh spent the last five seasons as the director of media relations and broadcasting for the Cincinnati Cyclones. He did play-by-play for the ECHL club.

MORE PROGRESS: Fans who paid deposits for season tickets will choose their seats Aug. 24. More on pricing here.

West Coast Links

Stories, transactions, rumors and updates from your rivals, neighbors, or idols in the pacific time zone. All these links are worth further exploration during your afternoon stroll or dump.

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Share We Are West Coast Sports

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 the most relevant news and links on Friday.

Wednesday is for one lead story, job leads and a song recommendation. All this is an effort to help you connect with other sports fans and professionals in the Pacific Time zone.

Thank you for sharing your inbox with me every Wednesday and Friday. West Coast Sports can no longer be ignored so please share this newsletter with another sports fan in the pacific time zone.

Sincerely,

Pete D. Camarillo aka a guy who will miss the Rose Bowl.