Luka Doncic leads Mavericks over Suns in Game 7 blowout

By DAVID BRANDT

PHOENIX — It was no surprise when Luka Doncic looked ready for Game 7, calmly draining his first three shots to give the Dallas Mavericks an early lead.

The stunner came over the next two hours: The top-seeded Phoenix Suns had no response.

Doncic scored 35 points, Spencer Dinwiddie added 30 and the Mavericks blitzed the Suns with a 123-90 knockout Sunday night, advancing to the Western Conference finals for the first time since 2011.

“A lot of people said it would be a blowout,” Mavs coach Jason Kidd said with a grin. ”They were right.”

Of course, it wasn’t Dallas that was supposed to win on Sunday. The home team won the first six games of the series, but the Mavs broke through, dominating in a hostile environment from start to finish. Conversely, it was an embarrassing no-show for the playoff-tested Suns — who advanced to the NBA Finals last season with a very similar roster.

The fourth-seeded Mavericks travel to face Golden State in Game 1 on Wednesday.

“Amazing,” Doncic said. “I don’t know what to say.”

Doncic earned the Mavs an early lead, making his first three shots, including two 3-pointers. That helped Dallas push to a 27-17 advantage in the first quarter and a whopping 57-27 cushion at the halftime break.

Doncic and Dinwiddie, who came off the bench, combined to pour in 48 of the Mavericks’ 57 points. Doncic’s 27 points in the first half matched the Suns’ team total.

Game 7 drama? Not in the desert.

Simply put, the Suns looked overwhelmed by the pressure of a Game 7. They missed shots they usually make, made bad passes they usually don’t make and looked nothing like the team that won an NBA-best 64 games during the regular season.

By halftime, many Suns fans were booing at the unsightly display.

The series might have been close but the individual games usually were not. Three of the first six games were decided by at least 20 points and none of the games came down to the final possession.

Game 7 followed a similar pattern, except the team doing all the damage was the road team. Doncic was fantastic, making shots from all over the floor and finishing 12 of 19 from the field, including 6 of 11 on 3s. He also got some help: Dinwiddie was fantastic in the first half with 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting, including 4 of 5 from 3-point range.

Meanwhile, Phoenix’s All-Star backcourt of Chris Paul and Devin Booker was never a factor. The 37-year-old Paul is a 12-time All-Star that has done just about everything possible in the game except win a championship.

After this setback, it’s fair to wonder if there will be many more opportunities. Booker finished with 11 points and shot 3 of 14. Paul had 10 points and four assists. The Suns shot just 37.9% from the field.

“You could see some of the pressure was on them early,” Kidd said. “They missed some shots they normally make.”

Dallas beat the odds with the win: After the Celtics defeated the Bucks earlier Sunday, the home team was 110-33 (77%) in NBA Game 7s.

It’s the second straight year the Suns have lost a playoff series after having a 2-0 lead. They won the first two games against the Bucks in the NBA Finals last season before losing four straight games.

TIP-INS

Mavericks: Doncic and Dinwiddie were the first teammates to have at least 20 points in a half in Game 7 since Patrick Ewing and Allan Houston did it for the Knicks in 1997, according to ESPN Stats & Info. …

Suns: Phoenix shot just 6 of 23 (26.1%) from the field in the first quarter. … The Suns hosted another sellout crowd at Footprint Center. Celebrities in attendance included baseball great Alex Rodriguez and rapper Lil’ Wayne. … The Suns are the second team in NBA history to win at least 64 games in the regular season and not make the conference finals. The other was the Mavericks in 2007. … Phoenix has still never won a title since coming into the league in 1968.

Mass and spree shootings and attacks in Orange County over the years

Orange County has been the scene of several mass or spree attacks, including Sunday’s shooting in Laguna Woods that left one person dead and five others injured, four critically.

Before Sunday, the most recent mass shooting in Orange County was at a real estate office in Orange on March 31, 2021.

Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez was charged with special circumstances murder for the killings of Jenevieve Raygoza, 28; Luis Tovar, 50; Leticia Solis Guzman, 58; and Matthew Farias, 9. He was also charged with the attempted murder of Matthew’s mother, Blanca Ismeralda Tamayo, and for allegedly shooting at two officers who weren’t injured. Gonzalez was shot in the confrontation and has been found not competent to stand trial.

Here are some of the other crimes Orange County has experienced:

Scott Dekraai killed eight people and injured a ninth during a mass shooting at a Seal Beach salon on Oct. 12, 2011 in what stands as the worst mass killing in Orange County history. Dekraai admitted to the murders. When he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole an Orange County judge told Dekraai that “The gates of Hell flew open and you emerged as the face of evil in this community.”

Edward Charles Allaway, a Cal State Fullerton janitor who had served in the Marines, on July 12, 1976 walked room to room at the campus, firing a .22-caliber semiautomtic rifle. Seven people were killed in the shooting, which for years was considered the bloodiest rampage in Orange County history. Allaway, who surrendered to police, was found not guilty by reason of insanity and sent to a state mental hospital.

Christopher Dorner, a fired Los Angeles police officer, killed an Irvine couple and two law enforcement officials in 2013 before taking his own life during a showdown at a cabin near Big Bear Lake. Dorner, in a rambling manifesto, threatened his former LAPD colleagues and their families, describing the department as racist and corrupt.

Arturo Reyes Torres on Dec. 18, 1997 returned to a Caltrans yard in Orange where he had been fired weeks earlier and shot and killed four men. He also wounded a police officer during a roving gun battle that ended with Torres being shot and killed.

Ali Syed, a 20-year-old man armed with a shotgun, went on a killing, carjacking and shooting spree on Feb. 19, 2013 that left four dead, including himself. The rampage began at his parents’ home before going through Santa Ana, Tustin and ending in Orange. No motive was ever made public, though a suicide note Syed left reportedly indicated he was having problems with anti-depressant medication.

Gregory Allen Sturm on Aug. 19, 1990 killed three former co-workers at a Tustin auto parts store, lining them up, binding them with tape and shooting them execution-style in the back of their heads to prevent them from identifying him. He was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

And awaiting trial:

Zachary Castaneda, a 33-year-old gang member, is accused of going on a stabbing spree in Garden Grove and Santa Ana on Aug.7, 2019 that left four dead and two wounded. He is currently awaiting trial on four felony counts of murder, along with numerous other charges. Police and prosecutors have not outlined a suspected motive.

  • Sandria Chou, whose parents were inside Geneva Presbyterian Church in...

    Sandria Chou, whose parents were inside Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods when a shooter opened fire, and whose 92-year-old father was one of the victims shot by the gunman and taken to a local hospital, talks with officers as she arrives at the scene on Sunday, May 15, 2022. (Photo by Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

  • “That group of churchgoers displayed what we believe is exceptional...

    “That group of churchgoers displayed what we believe is exceptional heroism and bravery,” Undersheriff Jeff Hallock said. Hallock, center, undersheriff with Orange County Sheriff’s Department, answers questions from the media during a press conference near the Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods on Sunday, May 15, 2022 regarding the shooting at the church that killed one person and critically injured four other people. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Investigators take photos at the Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna...

    Investigators take photos at the Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, CA following a fatal shooting on Sunday, May 15, 2022. One person was killed and five others were wounded — four of them critically — in a shooting Sunday at a church. (Photo by Paul Bersebach, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • An Orange County Sheriff’s Officer and canine search the parking...

    An Orange County Sheriff’s Officer and canine search the parking lot in front of Geneva Presbyterian Church, looking for possible secondary explosive devices, following a shooting there on Sunday, May 15, 2022 that left one dead and five other injured. (Photo by Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

  • Police and Fire vehicles block the intersection in front of...

    Police and Fire vehicles block the intersection in front of Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods following a shooting there on Sunday, May 15, 2022. (Photo by Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)

  • T.I.P. or Trauma Intervention Personnel seen here wearing blue safety...

    T.I.P. or Trauma Intervention Personnel seen here wearing blue safety vests speak with victims following a mass shooting at Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods on Sunday afternoon May 15th, 2022 (Patrick Smith, Contributing Photogrpaher)

  • Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, right, reads a statement at...

    Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, right, reads a statement at a press conference near the Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods on Sunday, May 15, 2022 regarding the shooting at the church that killed one person and critically injured four other people. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Sandria Chou, center, speaks the media about her 92-year-old father...

    Sandria Chou, center, speaks the media about her 92-year-old father and 87-year-old mother were among those shot and wounded in the shooting at a Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods on Sunday, May 15, 2022. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A counselor attends to a grieving woman, center, outside the...

    A counselor attends to a grieving woman, center, outside the Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods on Sunday, May 15, 2022 where one person died and four people were critically injured in a shooting. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Orange County Sheriff’s deputies and investigators gather on Calle Sonora...

    Orange County Sheriff’s deputies and investigators gather on Calle Sonora after one person died and four people were critically injured in a shooting at a Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods on Sunday, May 15, 2022. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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Dodgers rally on Gavin Lux’s walkoff double, snap losing streak

  • The Los Angeles Dodgers surround Gavin Lux after he hit...

    The Los Angeles Dodgers surround Gavin Lux after he hit a walk-off double to win the baseball game 5-4 over the Philadelphia Phillies in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 15, 2022. Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor scored. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Gavin Lux celebrates with Cody Bellinger after...

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Gavin Lux celebrates with Cody Bellinger after hitting a walk-off double to win the baseball game 5-4 over the Philadelphia Phillies in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 15, 2022. Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor scored. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Mookie Betts runs the bases after hitting...

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Mookie Betts runs the bases after hitting a home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Philadelphia Phillies’ Johan Camargo doubles during the sixth inning of...

    Philadelphia Phillies’ Johan Camargo doubles during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Philadelphia Phillies Garrett Stubbs and Bryson Stott celebrate with designated...

    Philadelphia Phillies Garrett Stubbs and Bryson Stott celebrate with designated hitter Alec Bohm, right, after they both scored off of a single hit by Rhys Hoskins during the second inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Corey Knebel throws during the ninth...

    Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Corey Knebel throws during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger triples during the ninth inning...

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger triples during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger runs to third on a...

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger runs to third on a triple during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Gavin Lux, right, gets a hug from...

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Gavin Lux, right, gets a hug from batboy Branden Vandal (95) in the dugout after hitting a walk-off double to win a baseball game 5-4 over the Philadelphia Phillies in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 15, 2022. Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor scored. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger celebrates after scoring on a...

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger celebrates after scoring on a walk-off double hit by Gavin Lux to win a baseball game 5-4 against the Philadelphia Phillies in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 15, 2022. Chris Taylor also scored. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Gavin Lux of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a walk...

    Gavin Lux of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a walk off double in front of Garrett Stubbs #21 of the Philadelphia Phillies, for a 5-4 win, during the bottom of the ninth inning at Dodger Stadium on May 15, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Trea Turner celebrates with teammates in the...

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Trea Turner celebrates with teammates in the dugout after scoring off of a single hit by Max Muncy during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Manager Dave Roberts of the Los Angeles Dodgers comes to...

    Manager Dave Roberts of the Los Angeles Dodgers comes to the mound to remove Michael Grove from the mound, in his major league debut against the Philadelphia Phillies, during the fourth inning at Dodger Stadium on May 15, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Michael Grove (78) throws during...

    Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Michael Grove (78) throws during the second inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

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LOS ANGELES — And on the seventh day, the Dodgers wrested … victory from the jaws of a four-game sweep.

Down 4-2 in the eighth inning and down to their last strike twice in the ninth inning, the Dodgers rallied to pull out a 5-4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Gavin Lux’s redeeming two-run double, snapping a four-game losing streak that included the first three games of this series.

It was the third time in the series the Dodgers came back from multiple runs down in the eighth inning or later – but the first rally to produce a victory. Phillies relievers surrendered 11 runs over 13 2/3 innings during the series.

“It’s huge,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I don’t want to say it’s the biggest win of the year. It’s a small sample. But  right now this is a big one. To lose five in a row and potentially six or whatever it was, to go into this Arizona series – guys are feeling pretty good right now.

“We’ve just got to get back to playing our type of baseball – not giving outs away, not giving away bases, not walking guys and taking an extra base, taking good at-bats. When we do that, we’re as good as anyone. But when you start giving away outs and things like that, then we can see what can happen.”

This past week was a seven-day study in what that can look like.

The Dodgers’ pitching staff surrendered 44 runs in the seven games, with the damage divided between starting pitchers (26) and the bullpen (18). The state of Pennsylvania (the Pirates and Phillies) collected 34 extra-base hits off Dodgers pitching this week – 17 doubles, four triples and 13 home runs.

The defense committed eight errors leading directly to eight unearned runs (and indirectly to other costly issues like driving up pitch counts at a time when their pitching is stretched thin from here to Double-A Tulsa).

Rookie starter Michael Grove was not complicit. He was collateral damage.

Called up from Double-A Tulsa to make his major-league debut Sunday, the 25-year-old right-hander acquitted himself well for the most part.

He retired the side in order in his first inning, gave up a hit and walked a batter with two outs in the second but was about to get out of that situation undamaged when he got Phillies shortstop Bryson Stott to bounce a soft grounder to the right side.

Lux let the routine grounder roll under his glove and into right field. Unsettled by the misplay, Grove let things snowball. He gave up three consecutive hits – a ground-rule double by Garrett Stubbs, a two-run single by Rhys Hoskins and another single by Alec Bohm – and walked a batter to load the bases before escaping.

The Phillies sent 10 batters to the plate in the inning, five of them after Lux’s error. Four runs scored but Grove’s career ERA stayed at 0.00 – all were unearned.

“Obviously, he knows that I feel bad about the error,” Lux said. “In that situation, I’ve got to make that play. And he knows that. I know that. Everybody knows that. It’s no secret.

“Those runs are on me. They’re not on him. They’re on me.”

Grove pitched into the fourth inning without giving up another hit but the 35-pitch second inning (16 after Lux’s error) represented half of the 70 pitches Dodgers manager Dave Roberts let him throw.

The Phillies let that four-run lead bask in the sun the rest of the afternoon – until it spoiled.

Their starter Aaron Nola gave up a solo home run to Mookie Betts in the third and an RBI single to Max Muncy in the fourth. But Nola got a double play on a diving play by third baseman Johan Camargo to cut off the rest of the Dodgers’ threat in the fourth and the Dodgers didn’t get another runner past second base until the Phillies’ wobbly bullpen took center stage.

Jeurys Familia walked Lux to start the eighth. Betts doubled down the third-base line to drive in Lux and make it a one-run game. After a walk of Freddie Freeman, though, Trea Turner bounced into a double play and Will Smith hit a hard ground ball up the middle — swallowed up by the Phillies’ shifted defense.

Phillies closer Corey Knebel retired the first two batters in the ninth but Cody Bellinger tripled into the right-field corner and Chris Taylor worked a full-count walk.

“I think he threw me six balls and I only swung at two of them,” Taylor joked. “I guess it’s better than swinging at three balls.”

That brought up Lux with a chance to redeem himself after his second costly error of the series. Earlier in the game, Lux had gotten some hitting advice from Justin Turner who noticed something about Lux’s setup.

“JT actually spotted something really good,” Lux said. “When I was going good, I was 60-40 in my setup — backloaded. He spotted it actually. And he was like, ‘Hey, you’re a little more 50-50. You’re shifting. Your head is kind of all over the place.’”

Having made the adjustment, Lux stroked a 2-and-1 curveball from Knebel that was actually below the strike zone into right field. Running on the pitch, Taylor scored from firs — Lux’s first walkoff RBI in the majors and the first he could remember as a pro.

“Obviously we were scuffling there,” Taylor said of the week. “They (the Phillies) played a really good series. I think we ran into a hot team. Obviously they were swinging the bats really well. That was a huge win for us to be able to get that last one.”

‘Crazy’ day left Dodgers’ Michael Grove ‘floating’ through his MLB debut

  • Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Michael Grove (78) throws during...

    Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Michael Grove (78) throws during the second inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Manager Dave Roberts of the Los Angeles Dodgers comes to...

    Manager Dave Roberts of the Los Angeles Dodgers comes to the mound to remove Michael Grove from the mound, in his major league debut against the Philadelphia Phillies, during the fourth inning at Dodger Stadium on May 15, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Trea Turner celebrates with teammates in the...

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Trea Turner celebrates with teammates in the dugout after scoring off of a single hit by Max Muncy during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Gavin Lux of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a walk...

    Gavin Lux of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a walk off double in front of Garrett Stubbs #21 of the Philadelphia Phillies, for a 5-4 win, during the bottom of the ninth inning at Dodger Stadium on May 15, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger celebrates after scoring on a...

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger celebrates after scoring on a walk-off double hit by Gavin Lux to win a baseball game 5-4 against the Philadelphia Phillies in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 15, 2022. Chris Taylor also scored. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Gavin Lux, right, gets a hug from...

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Gavin Lux, right, gets a hug from batboy Branden Vandal (95) in the dugout after hitting a walk-off double to win a baseball game 5-4 over the Philadelphia Phillies in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 15, 2022. Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor scored. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger runs to third on a...

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger runs to third on a triple during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger triples during the ninth inning...

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger triples during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Corey Knebel throws during the ninth...

    Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Corey Knebel throws during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Philadelphia Phillies Garrett Stubbs and Bryson Stott celebrate with designated...

    Philadelphia Phillies Garrett Stubbs and Bryson Stott celebrate with designated hitter Alec Bohm, right, after they both scored off of a single hit by Rhys Hoskins during the second inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Philadelphia Phillies’ Johan Camargo doubles during the sixth inning of...

    Philadelphia Phillies’ Johan Camargo doubles during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Mookie Betts runs the bases after hitting...

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Mookie Betts runs the bases after hitting a home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Gavin Lux celebrates with Cody Bellinger after...

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Gavin Lux celebrates with Cody Bellinger after hitting a walk-off double to win the baseball game 5-4 over the Philadelphia Phillies in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 15, 2022. Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor scored. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • The Los Angeles Dodgers surround Gavin Lux after he hit...

    The Los Angeles Dodgers surround Gavin Lux after he hit a walk-off double to win the baseball game 5-4 over the Philadelphia Phillies in Los Angeles, Sunday, May 15, 2022. Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor scored. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

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LOS ANGELES — Michael Grove will always look back on his first inning in the major leagues fondly.

The second inning? Not so much.

Short-handed in their starting rotation after injuries to Clayton Kershaw and Andrew Heaney, the Dodgers turned to a rookie to make his MLB debut for the second time this week. Neither gave up an earned run.

The Dodgers’ second-round pick in the 2018 draft, Grove had never pitched an inning above Double-A (and only 87 ⅓ at that level) before taking the mound against the Philadelphia Phillies Sunday.

“It was crazy. I was kind of floating the first inning or so,” Grove said after the game. “They asked me afterwards like, ‘Do you remember the first batter?’ Little bits and pieces.”

Those were the good bits. Grove retired the side in order in the first, getting Alec Bohm on a 95 mph fastball for his first big-league strikeout.

He was about to put up another zero in the second inning when Gavin Lux’s error opened the door for the Phillies. Six consecutive batters reached base at one point and four unearned runs scored.

“It happens,” Grove said of the error.

“It’s my job to keep making pitches. In that inning I don’t think I did a great job of that after the error. But the next couple of innings just being able to put up a zero and get a couple more outs and get our bullpen a little deeper into the game, I thought was important.”

Grove did get out of the inning, retired the side in order in the third and got two outs in the fourth before reaching 70 pitches and getting pulled by Dave Roberts.

“I thought (it was) as good as we could have expected,” Roberts said. “There were a few walks in there but there were some strikeouts (three of each).

“It was a big learning experience for him and we’re proud of him.”

FREE FLYING

Jean Segura’s home run against Julio Urías on Saturday was remarkable for its modesty. With an exit velocity of 91.0 mph per Statcast, it was the second-softest home run hit this season. Measured at 340 feet, only five have been hit a shorter distance.

If the first month of the season was defined by fly balls dying on the warning track, the Dodgers’ homestand has been an awakening. The first four games have featured 13 homers. Segura’s low-arcing fly ball into the first row of seats was the punctuation mark.

“It was a little strange, seeing those balls go out,” Urías said through an interpreter. “All credit goes to them.”

Others were quicker to credit the weather. The official game-time temperature of 81 degrees Saturday was easily the highest at Dodger Stadium this year. Roberts pointed to there being “not much moisture in the air” Saturday.

“Also both sides haven’t made good pitches,” he added, perhaps the ultimate barometer.

But baseball’s ongoing conspiracy theories about the composition of the baseball hovers over everything.

“It seemed like (Saturday) was a little bit different,” Trea Turner said. “Some balls hit under 100 mph went out. Even Mookie’s (Betts’ home run), he hit his ball really well obviously but it was pretty low. We haven’t seen many oppo home runs from righties this year. That one got out as well.

“It’s just one of those days, or we got a different batch of balls. Maybe it’s hotter. I don’t know.”

By Sunday morning, Roberts was ready to add his suspicions to the mix.

“It’s magically starting to carry a little more the last four days,” he said with a wry smile.

STARTING UP

Roberts said optimistically both Kershaw and Heaney could be throwing bullpen sessions at some point this week.

Kershaw played catch Sunday morning and still had “some soreness,” according to Roberts.

“And quite frankly, I don’t know if it’s from the shot or it’s from just kind of the back itself,” Roberts said of Kershaw who received an epidural injection Friday to treat SI joint inflammation. “Hopefully, tomorrow when he plays catch, it subsides … And then I think Wednesday we’re hoping to get a ‘pen in there. So we’ll see kind of how it’s progressing.”

Heaney, meanwhile, has continued with his throwing program. He has yet to throw off a mound but could progress to that stage later this week.

ALSO

Tyler Anderson will start one of the Dodgers’ two games Tuesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Roberts would say only that Ryan Pepiot is “in the mix” to start the other half of the doubleheader. But Pepiot was technically optioned to Class-A Rancho Cucamonga yesterday (from Triple-A Oklahoma City), keeping him close by for that Tuesday start. …

Relievers Reyes Moronta and Garrett Cleavinger were optioned to OKC Sunday with Grove and Shane Greene added to the roster. Victor Gonzalez (elbow surgery Wednesday) was placed on the 60-day Injured List to open a 40-man roster spot for Greene who got the win Sunday with two innings of scoreless relief.

UP NEXT

Diamondbacks (LHP Madison Bumgarner, 2-1, 1.78 ERA) at Dodgers (RHP Tony Gonsolin, 3-0, 1.33 ERA), Monday, 7:10 p.m., SportsNet LA, 570 AM

LA leaders decry apparent hate-crime mass shooting in Buffalo

Local civil rights activists held a memorial vigil Sunday, May 15, for the victims of Saturday’s mass shooting in Buffalo, where 10 people were killed in what authorities have called a racially motivated hate crime.

“The heinous murder of at least 10 persons clearly targeted because of race again points up the extreme peril of racial violence in the nation. Our vigil for the victims and the call for California senators to press for passage on the stalled gun violence prevention bill will underscore that peril and need,” Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable President Earl Ofari Hutchinson said during Sunday morning’s vigil at the Dunbar Hotel south of downtown Los Angeles.

“There are a lot of minds out there that are sick minds, and they’ll see something like this and the next thing you know we’ll have another, and another. It’s almost like a game, trying to top each other,” Hutchinson added.

“… We’re not saying that one law is going to solve everything, but at least it does begin to give some indication the country, the elected officials and all the others are deeply concerned about this.”

A number of gun-related bills are pending in the California Legislature, including one that would allow individuals and the state attorney general to sue manufacturers and sellers of firearms for the harm caused by their product.

“There’ll be more Buffalos,” Hutchinson said. “… because violence has gotten out of hand, guns have gotten out of hand, murders have gotten out of hand, and most importantly and significantly, people of color and African Americans are under attack.”

In the Buffalo shooting, 18-year-old Payton Gendron of Conklin, New York, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.

Authorities said Gendron drove about three-and-a-half hours from Conklin to Buffalo and shot up the Tops Friendly Market around 2:30 p.m. local time Saturday. The market is located in a Black community.

Grant Williams has 27, Celtics make 22 3s in Game 7 rout of Bucks

By KYLE HIGHTOWER

BOSTON — Grant Williams scored a career-high 27 points and hit seven 3-pointers, Jayson Tatum added 23 and the Boston Celtics set a Game 7 record with 22 3-pointers to eliminate the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks 109-81 on Sunday in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Boston will face top-seeded Miami beginning Tuesday in a rematch of the 2020 East finals. The Heat beat the Celtics in six games in that series at Walt Disney World.

The Celtics trailed early but outscored the Bucks 61- 38 in the second half to cruise to the victory. Boston used a whopping 54-point advantage from behind the arc to improve to 25-9 in decisive seventh games.

The Bucks are now 3-9. They went 4 for 33 (12.1%) from the 3-point line. That’s the second-worst 3-point percentage in a playoff game ever (minimum 30 attempts).

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 25 points, 20 rebounds and nine assists. But he was just 3 of 11 in the paint in the second half, including 1 for 6 the fourth quarter. Jrue Holiday added 21 points and eight assists. Brook Lopez finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Williams finished 7 for 18 behind the arc as the Celtics finished the comeback after dropping Game 5 at home to fall into a 3-2 hole.

Boston started the second half on an 11-4 run to open a 59-47 lead.

It was 63-53 when Tatum went to the bench after being whistled for his fourth foul. But the Celtics rallied without him, outscoring the Bucks 16-11 the rest of the quarter to take a 79-64 lead to the fourth.

The Bucks led the entire first quarter as Antetokounmpo scored or assisted on 24 of Milwaukee’s 26 first-quarter points.

He ended the period with 10 points, eight rebounds and six assists to help the Bucks grab a 26-20 lead.

Boston began to claw back in the second quarter, drawing a third foul on Bobby Portis at the 8:49 mark. TV cameras showed him tossing his goggles as he went to the bench area. He’d been wearing the goggles since suffering a right eye abrasion in Game 2 of Milwaukee’s first-round series against the Bulls.

With Portis on the bench, the Celtics took their first lead of the game on a dunk by Al Horford that punctuated a 12-2 run.

Boston led 45-43 in the final minute of the half when Tatum was called for an offensive foul on Grayson Allen – Tatum’s third foul of the game.

Following an unsuccessful challenge by Celtics coach Ime Udoka, the teams exchanged misses. But after Smart’s steal near midcourt, Antetokounmpo fouled Smart as he attempted a last-second, 3-point heave.

Smart connected on each of his three free throws to give Boston the 48-43 halftime lead.

Celtics center Robert Williams III was available to play after missing three straight games with soreness and a bone bruise in his surgically repaired left knee. But he didn’t play.

TIP-INS

Bucks: There was a pregame moment of silence held for the victims of mass shootings this past week in Milwaukee and Buffalo. … Khris Middleton missed his 10th straight playoff game with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee. … Milwaukee missed their final 11 3-point attempts of the first half.

Celtics: Were 9 of 22 from the 3-point line in the first half. … Patriots team owner Robert Kraft sat courtside, along with Patriots quarterback Mac Jones and receiver Kendrick Bourne.

Angels win finale in Oakland behind Patrick Sandoval and Jimmy Herget

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani (17) reacts to a pitch...

    Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani (17) reacts to a pitch in the eighth inning of their MLB game at the Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Sunday, May 15, 2022. The Los Angeles Angels defeated the Oakland Athletics 4-1. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Andrew Velazquez (4) completes a double play...

    Los Angeles Angels’ Andrew Velazquez (4) completes a double play while forcing out Oakland Athletics’ Jed Lowrie (8) at second base in the fifth inning of their MLB game at the Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Sunday, May 15, 2022. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani (17) connects for a two-run...

    Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani (17) connects for a two-run home run against Oakland Athletics pitcher Frankie Montas (47) in the first Inning of their MLB game at the Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Sunday, May 15, 2022. This is Ohtani’s 101 career home run. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

  • Oakland Athletics pitcher Frankie Montas (47) pitches against the Los...

    Oakland Athletics pitcher Frankie Montas (47) pitches against the Los Angeles Angels in the first Inning of their MLB game at the Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Sunday, May 15, 2022. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Chad Wallach (35) checks on MLB home...

    Los Angeles Angels’ Chad Wallach (35) checks on MLB home plate umpire Marty Foster after getting struck in the face by a ball in the sixth inning of their MLB game at the Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Sunday, May 15, 2022. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

  • MLB home plate umpire Marty Foster is escorted off the...

    MLB home plate umpire Marty Foster is escorted off the field after getting struck in the face by a ball in the seventh inning of their MLB game at the Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Sunday, May 15, 2022. This was the second time Foster was struck in the face. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

  • The Oakland Athletics sit in the dugout as they watch...

    The Oakland Athletics sit in the dugout as they watch the final out of their game against the Los Angeles Angels in the ninth inning of their MLB game at the Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Sunday, May 15, 2022. The Los Angeles Angels defeated the Oakland Athletics 4-1. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

  • Oakland Athletics’ Chad Pinder (10) removes his helmet after the...

    Oakland Athletics’ Chad Pinder (10) removes his helmet after the final out in the bottom of the 8th inning of their MLB game at the Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Sunday, May 15, 2022. The Los Angeles Angels defeated the Oakland Athletics 4-1. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani (17) walks up to the...

    Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani (17) walks up to the batter’s box in the eighth inning of their MLB game at the Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Sunday, May 15, 2022. The Los Angeles Angels defeated the Oakland Athletics 4-1. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

  • Oakland Athletics’ Tony Kemp (5) bunts against the Los Angeles...

    Oakland Athletics’ Tony Kemp (5) bunts against the Los Angeles Angels in the fifth inning of their MLB game at the Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Sunday, May 15, 2022. The Los Angeles Angels defeated the Oakland Athletics 4-1. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

  • Oakland Athletics take grounders before their MLB game against the...

    Oakland Athletics take grounders before their MLB game against the Los Angeles Angels at the Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Sunday, May 15, 2022. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

  • Oakland Athletics’ Cristian Pache (20) leans back to avoid being...

    Oakland Athletics’ Cristian Pache (20) leans back to avoid being hit by a pitch by Los Angeles Angels pitcher Patrick Sandoval (43) in the seventh inning of their MLB game at the Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Sunday, May 15, 2022. The Los Angeles Angels defeated the Oakland Athletics 4-1. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

  • Los Angeles Angels fans Kazuta Goto, from Chiba, Japan, left...

    Los Angeles Angels fans Kazuta Goto, from Chiba, Japan, left and Miu Nagao, of Osaka, Japan, shield themselves from the sun while attending the MLB game at the Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Sunday, May 15, 2022. The Los Angeles Angels defeated the Oakland Athletics 4-1. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani (17) is thrown out at...

    Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani (17) is thrown out at second base in the fifth inning of their MLB game at the Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Sunday, May 15, 2022. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

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OAKLAND — The Angels turned the clock back to the 1970s with the way they used their pitchers on Sunday.

With the relievers they would normally use to close out a victory all unavailable because of their recent workload, Jimmy Herget took over for Patrick Sandoval and handled the final eight outs in the Angels 4-1 victory over the Oakland A’s.

Manager Joe Maddon noted that Herget picked up an old-school save in the same ballpark where a Hall of Fame career was built on two- and three-inning saves.

“Channelling his inner Rollie Fingers today in this ballpark,” Maddon said. “I kind of dug that.”

Herget recorded his first save in his 57th career game, helping the Angels (24-13) take three of four in the series and move to 11 games over .500 for the first time since 2015.

Shohei Ohtani hit a first-inning two-run homer against Oakland ace Frankie Montas, and the Angels were still clinging to a 2-1 lead when Sandoval was pulled after a 101-pitch outing.

The Angels’ bullpen choices were limited because Raisel Iglesias, Ryan Tepera and Aaron Loup all pitched on Friday and Saturday, and Oliver Ortega threw 24 pitches over parts of three innings on Saturday.

Maddon summoned Herget in the seventh to face a pair of hitters who have traditionally fared well against the Angels. He retired Jed Lowrie and Ramon Laureano.

By the time Herget took the mound in the eighth, the Angels had an insurance run on an Anthony Rendon RBI. Herget gave up a leadoff double, but he retired the next three in a row. In the ninth, the Angels had given him one more run on an Andrew Velazquez RBI double, but Herget didn’t need it. He pitched a scoreless inning.

It was the longest relief outing of his career, both in terms of outs and the 44 pitches he threw. He threw three innings when he started a bullpen game last month.

“I closed all the time in Triple-A and it was always a goal of mine to get a save in the big leagues,” Herget said. “I got it the hard way, but I got it.”

That closed out the victory for Sandoval, who made it through 6-1/3 innings without his best stuff.

“Not great command overall, but he’s capable of doing that,” Maddon said. “It’s hard to put him in play. It’s hard to put him in play hard. It’s hard to square him up. Even when he’s off a little bit with his command, he’s got a variety of pitches that make it difficult. Even if he gets a baserunner one or two, he can pitch out of it because of the swing and miss and weak contact.”

Sandoval’s changeup is his best pitch, and he hadn’t allowed a hit on it all season. However, he gave up two hits, walked a batter and hit a batter with his changeup. He ended up throwing it just 19% of the time, down from his previous rate of 27%.

Instead, he leaned heavily on his slider, throwing it 36 times in his 101 pitches. The A’s whiffed at 45% of their swings on his slider.

“The changeup wasn’t working, so I had to find something else,” Sandoval said. “I didn’t have the changeup. They hit it twice for hits. I had to find something else and the slider was the pitch.”

Sandoval allowed nine baserunners, but he was able to escape significant damage. He struck out Christian Bethancourt to leave the bases loaded in the first. In the second the first two hitters reached, but he allowed just one run on a groundout.

Sandoval struck out Sean Murphy on a slider to strand runners at second and third in the fifth. He then pitched a perfect sixth.

“I don’t want to get in those jams in the first place, but when you’re in them, you’ve got to get out of them,” Sandoval said. “And I think I did a pretty good job today.”

The result was the Angels winning a series against a division rival on the road, including a victory when the opposing starter pitched well. Those were the type of games the Angels lost frequently last season. The Angels were 29-47 against American League West opponents last season, including 4-15 against the A’s. This year they are 9-6, and they have won all three road series in the division.

“Our goal is to win within our division,” Maddon said. “That’s a big goal of ours this year. We were horrible at it last year, and especially against Oakland. They beat up on us like a drum last year. We have to get better within our division. We’ve got to win series like this on the road. That’s it. It’s simple. It’s not complicated. We have to win games within our division and we have so far.”

Firefighters stop progress of 7-acre brush fire near 118 Freeway in Chatsworth

The forward progress was stopped on a wind-driven brush fire that broke out near Chatsworth and Porter Ranch on Sunday afternoon, May 15, Los Angeles fire officials said.

The 7-acre Porter fire was reported at 3:28 p.m. near the 11200 Porter Ranch Drive, south of the 118 Freeway, the Los Angeles Fire Department said.

The fire was being fanned by southerly winds blowing between 10 to 15 mph, LAFD said.

The fire’s forward progress was stopped around 4:30 p.m., fire officials said. The blaze was 75 percent contained as of 5:30 p.m., the LAFD said.

Crews located the fire’s area of origin in what appeared to be a homeless encampment near the 118 Freeway, the LAFD said. Fire investigators were still determining the specific cause of the blaze Sunday evening.

The eastbound off-ramp of the 118 at Porter Ranch Drive was temporarily closed, the California Highway Patrol said.

No injuries were reported in the fire, fire officials said. One vehicle was destroyed in the fire, the LAFD said.

3 killed in fiery freeway crash in Granada Hills

GRANADA HILLS — Three people were killed when their vehicle burst into flames following a collision on the Ronald Reagan (118) Freeway in Granada Hills.

The two-vehicle crash was reported at 11:59 p.m. Saturday on the eastbound Ronald Reagan Freeway just west of the San Diego (405) Freeway, said the Los Angeles Fire Department’s Brian Humphrey.

All three victims were pronounced dead at the scene, Humphrey said.

A person from the other vehicle was taken by paramedics to a hospital for treatment, he said.

No identifications were released for the dead or injured.

During the investigation, the California Highway Patrol issued a SigAlert for all eastbound 118 Freeway lanes except the carpool lane and shut down the transition from the eastbound Ronald Reagan Freeway to the southbound and northbound San Diego Freeway.

Hunter Greene throws 118 pitches, allows no hits, but takes loss to Bucs

By ALAN SAUNDERS

PITTSBURGH (AP) — In what’s quickly become a lost season for the Cincinnati Reds, this really was the ultimate misery.

Prized rookie Hunter Greene and reliever Art Warren combined to allow zero hits in a complete game, but it didn’t count as a no-hitter — or even a win.

Instead, the Pittsburgh Pirates eked out a run in the bottom of the eighth inning on three walks and a groundout for a 1-0 victory Sunday.

“It would have been great to have a different result, but it is what it is,” Greene said.

Ke’Bryan Hayes’ RBI grounder helped the Pirates become the sixth team in big league history since 1901 to win despite not getting any hits. It last happened in 2008 when Jered Weaver and Jose Arredondo of the Angels lost while holding the Dodgers hitless.

By Major League Baseball record-keeping rules, Cincinnati’s accomplishment isn’t an official no-hitter because its pitchers didn’t go at least nine innings.

“Sometimes you win games in weird ways and today we won one in a weird way. And if it’s a part of history, that’s fine because it’s still a win,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said.

And in a year in which most everything has gone wrong for the Reds, this surely had to be the topper as they fell to 9-26, the worst record in the majors.

Greene, drafted second overall out of Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks in 2017 was pulled after one-out walks in the eighth to Rodolfo Castro and Michael Perez. The 22-year-old righty threw 118 pitches, the most by any pitcher in the majors this year.

“He had no-hit stuff and it translated,” Shelton said.

Greene fired seven heaters at 100 mph or faster, and mixed in sharp sliders and effective changeups.

He was totally aware of the possible no-hitter, too.

“To be honest, like in the third or fourth. But that’s the last thing I wanted to think about (because) it is really hard to just stay locked in and not think about those things,” Greene said.

“I had the scoreboard right in my face and I was trying not to make eye contact with it,” he said. “Everybody was giving me my space and knew that I was locked in.”

Toward the end, he admitted, he was out of gas.

“But then again, there’s the mental part of, you know, ‘I’m fine. I’m not tired,’” he said.

Said Reds manager David Bell: “Looking at it now, I think it would have to have gone really easy for him to go back out there for the ninth, but I think there was a chance he could have done it.”

Warren relieved and walked Ben Gamel to load the bases. Hayes followed with a grounder to second baseman Alejo Lopez, who bobbled the ball before throwing to shortstop Matt Reynolds for a forceout. Reynolds’ relay for a potential inning-ending double play was a fraction late to get the speedy Hayes at first base.

“Maybe in a perfect world that ball’s hit a little bit harder to make it a little bit easier for him,” Warren said. “I tried to do the best I could and get a ground ball there. It’s just one of those things where it didn’t go our way.”

Cincinnati batters then went down in order in the ninth and that was it at PNC Park — no celebration for the Reds despite the zero in Pittsburgh’s hit column.

“I mean, to not even get a hit in a game and to get a win, I’m sure that hasn’t happened a lot since baseball’s been going on,” Hayes said.

There have been two no-hitters in the majors this season. Angels rookie Reid Detmers pitched one last Tuesday against Tampa Bay, and five Mets pitchers combined to hold Philadelphia hitless last week.

Also, Tampa Bay pitchers combined to hold Boston hitless into the 10th inning last month and wound up winning 3-2. That wasn’t an official no-hitter, either, because the Rays didn’t throw a complete game without giving up a hit. Greene finished with nine strikeouts and five walks.

Greene (1-6) suffered an injury in 2018 that required Tommy John surgery in 2019. After the COVID-19 pandemic, he didn’t return to minor league play until 2021. He made the Reds’ roster for the first time coming out of spring training this year.

In his second start of the season, he set an MLB record with 39 pitches over 100 mph, but carried a 7.62 ERA into Sunday’s game thanks in part to majors-leading 11 home runs this season. He has also allowed 15 walks in 26 innings.

“I’m not focused on wins or losses this year. That’s not my focus,” he said. “You’ve got to embrace all the thoughts and emotions in that moment and just go out there and have fun. Hopefully, I’m going to have a lot more opportunities for that.”

Pirates starter José Quintana held the Reds scoreless through seven innings, giving up three hits while striking out five.

“Greene threw really well. That’s tough, tough for him. But we kept pushing,” Quintana said. “I’ve never seen that before but it’s great to get the win.”

Chris Stratton (2-1) pitched around a two-on, one out jam in the eighth. David Bednar worked a clean ninth for his seventh save.


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