Clippers’ defense can’t hold off Warriors

LOS ANGELES — With 34 seconds left in the third quarter, “MVP” chants rained down from the Staples Center crowd during two free throws.

Minutes earlier, the crowd chanted with fervor for the team with a 20-point lead, and were met with boos from the opposing fans.

The only problem was, the chants were directed at the Golden State Warriors, who pummeled the Clippers 141-113 on Monday night.

“You prefer not to hear that in your arena, but can’t take that personal,” Lou Williams said.

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Lakers offense at issue early in season

EL SEGUNDO – The Lakers have put a premium on defense since the start of training camp, and with six games played so far this season, it seems to be working.

The Lakers are ranked 11th in the league in defensive rating, allowing 100.9 points per 100 possessions, according to Over the past four years, Los Angeles has sat in the bottom three of the league in that metric. They were dead last in the previous two years.

In the last three games, the Lakers have allowed less than 100 points twice — 99 to the Wizards in an overtime win, and 96 to the Jazz in a loss.

Lakers head coach Luke Walton said it is “100%” acceptable that the team’s defense is ahead of its offense at this point in the season.

“Defense is what wins championships,” Walton said at Monday’s practice. “Until we get good at that, that’s the most important thing that we’re gonna continue to focus on.”

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Clippers hope defense can stop Warriors today

LOS ANGELES — The last time the L.A. Clippers beat the Golden State Warriors, it was Christmas Day in 2014.

Tonight, the Clippers hope Christmas comes a couple months early.

The Clippers (4-1) face off against the defending NBA champion Warriors (4-3) at Staples Center. Los Angeles has lost its last 10 games against Golden State.

“We’re gonna have to bring our hard hats (tonight) and have a great defensive effort and share the ball offensively and make shots,” Clippers assistant coach Mike Woodson said Sunday at practice.

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Cal City seeded No. 1 in playoffs

The California City girls volleyball team will take its undefeated High Desert League record into the CIF Central Section Division 5 playoffs next week.

The Ravens (24-6-1, 10-0 HDL) are the No. 1 seed in Division 5, according to playoff brackets released on Saturday. Cal City will face off against the 16th-seeded Lee Vining (7-12-1) at home on Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

“Being the (No.) 1-ranked team is definitely a feather in the cap of the girls,” Ravens head coach Shane Moores said. “It’s nice for them because it shows how hard they’ve worked this year and they’ve been rewareded for that.”

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Unbeaten no more

QUARTZ HILL — The Palmdale football team just needed something different on defense.

So, in the week coming into Friday night’s matchup against the undefeated Quartz Hill Rebels, the Falcons decided to practice a new defensive scheme. And all it took was three hours to confirm that it worked.

In what might be the biggest upset of the season, the Falcons (6-3, 5-1 Golden League) defeated the Quartz Hill Rebels (8-1, 5-1 GL) 21-14 on Friday night on the road. Quartz Hill was undefeated coming into the game.

“We played great on defense,” Falcons head coach Eric Nickols said. “I’m very proud of these young men. They came out and fought and they played with some Gang Green intentions, man. It was awesome to watch. We inflicted Gang Green out here at Nicholson Field in Quartz Hill.”

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Rosamond tops Desert

ROSAMOND — Thursday night was a night of many lasts for the Rosamond girls volleyball team.

The Roadrunners played their last match of the season and swept the Desert Scorpions 25-14, 25-14, 25-21. It also marked the final match for the Rosamond seniors, who were honored before the opening serve with heartfelt speeches from teammates and coaches.

And, for Roadrunners head coach Rebecca Eubanks, Thursday was the final match of her 19-year-long volleyball coaching career. She said she’ll now have the opportunity to spend more time with her two daughters, one of which is in middle school and plays volleyball.

“I’m kind of excited to be mom now and get to watch her and help her develop more,” said Eubanks, who took over as head coach of the varsity team in 2002. “I feel like over the years, I’ve helped other people’s kids with volleyball. So it’s gonna be a nice opportunity to help my own daugher.”

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Palmdale Aerospace wins season finale

PALMDALE — The Palmdale Aerospace Academy girls volleyball team ended its season with a bang Tuesday night with a three-set sweep (25-9, 25-14, 25-14) of the Guidance Charter Gators at home.

The Griffins (14-14-2, 4-6 Heritage League) were most successful with their serving, amassing 38 aces in the match, compared to only 20 kills.

Senior opposite hitter Dalia Calva served 11 aces, while senior defensive specialist Ashley Martinez had eight and two other players had four apiece.

Senior middle blocker Sabrina Rashid and senior setter Ashley Silva each had four kills, while Calva and sophomore setter Jocelyn Reyes each contributed three.

“I think (Tuesday) was more psychological for my girls,” Griffins head coach Mary Thomas said. “I think they needed this win in order for them to continue with that team environment and bonding and sticking together no matter what.”

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