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The Sports Report: Caitlin Clark is rightfully celebrated, but for the right reasons?

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.
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From Kevin Baxter: Women’s basketball has never seen anything like Caitlin Clark, the sweet-shooting rookie guard for the WNBA’s Indiana Fever. She’s Taylor Swift with a jump shot, Mia Hamm in a singlet; a figure so transcendent she is changing her profession.
More than 55,000 people showed up to watch her play a practice game last fall and her final college game drew 24 million TV viewers this spring. That’s 3 1/2 times larger than the audience for Serena Williams’ final tennis match.
More than 3 million people tuned in on ESPN just to watch her get drafted. After that, Nike signed her to the most lucrative sponsorship deal in women’s basketball history, a $28-million agreement that includes a signature shoe. Michael Jordan’s first deal with Nike was worth less than a tenth of that.
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So what makes the pony-tailed Clark, just 22, so special? Sure, she’s the leading scorer in women’s college basketball history, but how many people have heard of Lynette Woodard, the woman she passed? And for all of her individual accomplishments, she has never won a state or national team title.
“She looks like your mom,” said Ann Bastianelli, a professor of marketing at Indiana University and a former college basketball player. “These women who are well over six feet and strong and athletic and determined and all of these other sorts of things, I think are scary to lots of men and I think they would be scary to lots of people who have very firm and rigid views of gender and sexual stereotypes.”
And while Clark passes and shoots with laser-like precision the way NBA star Stephen Curry does, she makes it look so easy that everyone thinks they can do it.
“People love Steph Curry because he’s the Everyman,” said Jemele Hill, an Emmy-winning sports journalist and former ESPN personality. “Caitlin Clark has the same relatability.”
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DODGERS
From Jack Harris: There are days the Dodgers have to grind out wins, the way they did against the Cincinnati Reds to take a tight four-game series over the weekend.
Then, there are days like Monday, when the Dodgers blitz an opposing pitcher, take a massive early lead, then shift into cruise control, turning stress-free wins into something of a routine affair early on this season.
The club’s 6-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium featured all those familiar, one-sided hallmarks.
The Dodgers exploded for six runs in the third inning, keyed by a grand slam from Freddie Freeman. It erased a short-lived Diamondbacks lead, swiftly erasing an RBI single from Joc Pederson in the top of the third. And then it turned the keys over to starting pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto, getting a strong two-run, 6-⅓ inning start from the Japanese rookie.
There was some late drama, when the Diamondbacks cut a four-run deficit in half in the eighth with back-to-back home runs off Elieser Hernández, a low-leverage long reliever in a banged-up Dodgers bullpen.
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He’s turned into a weapon.’ How Michael Grove became a high-leverage Dodgers reliever
Dodgers box score
MLB scores
MLB standings
JJ REDICK POLL
Should JJ Redick be the next coach of the Lakers? Vote here and let us know. Results will be announced in Friday’s newsletter.
NBA PLAYOFFS SCHEDULE
All times Pacific
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Conference finals
Western Conference
No. 3 Minnesota vs. No. 5 Dallas
Wednesday at Minnesota, 5:30 p.m., TNT
Friday at Minnesota, 5:30 p.m., TNT
Sunday at Dallas, 5 p.m., TNT
Tuesday, May 28 at Dallas, 5:30 p.m., TNT
*Thursday, May 30 at Minnesota, 5:30 p.m., TNT
*Saturday, June 1 at Dallas, 5:30 p.m., TNT
*Monday, June 3 at Minnesota, 5:30 p.m.. TNT
Eastern Conference
No. 1 Boston vs. No. 6 Indiana
Tuesday at Boston, 5 p.m., ESPN
Thursday at Boston, 5 p.m., ESPN
Saturday at Indiana, 5:30 p.m., ABC
Monday at Indiana, 5 p.m., ESPN
*Wed., May 29 at Boston, 5 p.m., ESPN
*Friday, May 31 at Indiana, 5 p.m., ESPN
*Sunday, June 2 at Boston, 5 p.m., ESPN
NBA Finals
Game 1: Thursday, June 6, 5:30 p.m., ABC
Game 2: Sunday, June 9, 5 p.m., ABC
Game 3: Wed., June 12, 5:30 p.m., ABC
Game 4: Friday, June 14, 5:30 p.m., ABC
*Game 5: Monday, June 17, 5:30 p.m., ABC
*Game 6: Thursday, June 20, 5:30 p.m., ABC
*Game 7: Sunday, June 23, 5 p.m., ABC
*-if necessary
ANGELS
Nolan Schanuel and Logan O’Hoppe both hit three-run homers and Jo Adell added a solo shot as the Angels jumped on Framber Valdez for seven runs in the fifth inning to power them to a 9-7 win over the Houston Astros on Monday night.
Zach Neto homered in the sixth inning to give the Angels a season-high four home runs as they won for the fourth time in five games.
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They trailed by five with two on and one out in the fifth when Schanuel homered to right field to cut the lead to 6-4. There were two on again with two out when O’Hoppe connected to put the Angels up 7-6.
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Angels box score
MLB scores
MLB standings
SOCCER
From Kevin Baxter: LAFC midfielder Timothy Tillman was called up to the men’s national team alongside his brother Malik on Monday, giving the pair a chance to make history in next month’s Copa América tuneups with Colombia and Brazil.
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If the two German-born players get on the field together in the same match, they would become the first pair of brothers to play side-by-side for the U.S. since 1988. They already are the 10th set of brothers to both play for the national team at any time.
The 27 players summoned by coach Gregg Berhalter will begin reporting to training camp May 28, meaning Timothy will be available for LAFC’s U.S. Open Cup game with Loudoun United on Tuesday and the team’s MLS game with Atlanta United on Saturday. But he would miss at least two others.
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CHARGERS
From Jeff Miller: The expanding list of first impressions made by Jim Harbaugh on the Chargers grew by one Monday — a rather hilarious one.
“I don’t want to get in trouble for this, but he reminds me of Will Ferrell,” linebacker Denzel Perryman said. “The way that he talks, his analogies and everything. They really remind me of Will Ferrell.
“It’s funny to me. I know that he means well and everything’s coming from the heart, but I feel like you gotta have a sense of humor to understand some of his lines and gimmicks.”
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Perryman had no history with Harbaugh before returning to the team that signed him in March as a free agent. About eight weeks earlier, the Chargers had hired Harbaugh as head coach.
Now the two are trying to rally the team back from a 5-12 finish, Perryman one of options to man the middle of a defense being revamped in the image of what Harbaugh ran at Michigan.
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JIM OTTO DIES
From Chuck Schilken: Jim Otto, the Hall of Fame center who never missed a game during his 15 seasons with the Raiders in the 1960s and 1970s, has died at 86, the team announced Sunday night. No cause of death was given.
“The Raiders Family is in deep mourning following the passing of Jim Otto,” the Las Vegas Raiders said in a statement posted on X (formerly Twitter). “The Original Raider. The personification of consistency, Jim’s influence on the American Football League and professional football as a whole cannot be overstated. His leadership and tenacity were a hallmark of the dominant Raider teams of the 1960s and 70s.”
Jim Otto poses with his bust after being enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Aug. 2, 1980, in Canton, Ohio. (Associated Press)
Otto was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980, his first year of eligibility, with a speech by late Raiders owner Al Davis.
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“For more than a decade he was the standard of excellence by which centers were judged in professional football,” Davis said of Otto during his speech. “He was the most honored offense lineman in the history of professional football. But statistics are just a measure of accomplishment, not really the measure of a man. If it is true that great men inspire in others the will to be great, that alone qualifies Jim to be a great man.”
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NHL PLAYOFFS SCHEDULE
All times Pacific
Second round
Western Conference
C1 Dallas vs. C3 Colorado
Colorado 4, at Dallas 3 (OT) (box score)
at Dallas 5, Colorado 3 (box score)
Dallas 4, at Colorado 1 (box score)
Dallas 5, at Colorado 1 (box score)
Colorado 5, at Dallas 3 (box score)
Dallas 2, at Colorado 1 (2 OT) (box score)
P1 Vancouver vs. P2 Edmonton
at Vancouver 5, Edmonton 4 (box score)
Edmonton 4, at Vancouver 3 (OT) (box score)
Vancouver 4, at Edmonton 3 (box score)
at Edmonton 3, Vancouver 2 (box score)
at Vancouver 3, Edmonton 2 (box score)
at Edmonton 5, Vancouver 1 (box score)
Edmonton 3, at Vancouver 2 (box score)
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Eastern Conference
M1 New York Rangers vs. M2 Carolina
at New York 4, Carolina 3 (box score)
at New York 4, Carolina 3 (2 OT) (box score)
New York 3, at Carolina 2 (OT) (box score)
at Carolina 4, New York 3 (box score)
Carolina 4, at New York 1 (box score)
New York 5, at Carolina 3 (box score)
A1 Florida vs. A2 Boston
Boston 5, at Florida 1 (box score)
at Florida 6, Boston 1 (box score)
Florida 6, at Boston 2 (box score)
Florida 3, at Boston 2 (box score)
Boston 2, at Florida 1 (box score)
Florida 2, at Boston 1 (box score)
Conference finals
Western Conference
C1 Dallas vs. P2 Edmonton
Thursday at Dallas, 5:30 p.m., TNT
Saturday at Dallas, 5 p.m., TNT
Monday, May 27 at Edmonton, TBD, TNT
Wed., May 29 at Edmonton, TBD, TNT
*Friday, May 31 at Dallas, TBD, TNT
*Sunday, June 2 at Edmonton, TBD, TNT
*Tuesday, June 4 at Dallas, TBD, TNT
Eastern Conference
M1 New York Rangers vs. A1 Florida
Wednesday at New York, 5 p.m., ESPN
Friday at New York, 5 p.m., ESPN
Sunday at Florida, noon, ABC
Tuesday, May 28 at Florida, 5 p.m., ESPN
*Thursday, May 30 at New York, 5 p.m., ESPN
*Saturday, June 1 at Florida, 5 p.m., ABC
*Monday, June 3 at New York, 5 p.m., ESPN
*-if necessary
1881 — A small group of tennis club members meets at the Fifth Avenue Hotel in New York City to form the world’s first national governing body for tennis: the United States National Lawn Tennis Association. The new organization is created to standardize tennis rules and regulations and to encourage and develop the sport.
1932 — 1st Curtis Cup for Women’s team amateur golf: US wins, 5½-3½ at Wentworth Club (Wentworth, England).
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1966 — Muhammad Ali TKOs Henry Cooper in 6 for heavyweight boxing title.
1977 — Heavily favored Seattle Slew, ridden by Jean Cruguet, wins the Preakness Stakes by 1 1/2 lengths over Iron Constitution, a 31-1 shot.
1979 — The Montreal Canadiens win their 21st Stanley Cup by beating the New York Rangers 4-1 in Game 5.
1981 — The New York Islanders win the Stanley Cup in five games with a 5-1 triumph over the Minnesota North Stars.
1988 — Risen Star, ridden by Eddie Delahoussaye, spoils Winning Colors’ bid to become the first filly to win the Triple Crown by capturing the Preakness Stakes.
1989 — LPGA Championship Women’s Golf, Jack Nicklaus GC: Nancy Lopez wins her 3rd LPGA C’ship by 3 strokes from Ayako Okamoto of Japan.
1995 — The Penske Racing Team is shut out of the 33-car Indianapolis 500 field when two-time winners Al Unser Jr. and Emerson Fittipaldi fail to qualify. Unser is the first Indianapolis 500 winner to fail to qualify the next year.
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2006 — The Swedish ice hockey team Tre Kronor takes gold in the World Championship, becoming the first nation to hold both the World and Olympic titles separately in the same year.
2011 — Bernard Hopkins, at age 46, becomes the oldest fighter to win a major world championship, taking the WBC light heavyweight title from Jean Pascal in Montreal.
Compiled by the Associated Press

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