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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Injuries continue to mount for struggling Lakers

04.25.13 at 7:55 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NFL: Draft, Round 1, 8 p.m. (ESPN, NFL Network; WEEI-AM)
MLB: Astros at Red Sox, 6:35 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Blue Jays at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
NHL: Lightning at Bruins, 7:30 p.m. (NESN Plus)
NHL: Penguins at Devils, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NHL: Ducks at Canucks, 10 p.m. (NHL Network)
NBA playoffs: Heat at Bucks, 7 p.m. (TNT)
NBA playoffs: Nets at Bulls, 8:30 p.m. (NBATV)
NBA playoffs: Clippers at Grizzlies, 9:30 p.m. (TNT)

AROUND THE WEB:

♦ The Lakers are down 2-0 in their playoff series against the Spurs after dropping Wednesday night’s Game 2, 102-91, and they’re limping back to Los Angeles for Friday’s Game 3.

Already without Kobe Bryant (torn Achilles tendon) for the rest of the season, the Lakers saw guards Steve Nash (hip/hamstring), Steve Blake (hamstring) and Jodie Meeks (ankle) come up lame Wednesday night.

“This has been far and away the worst season for injuries I have ever been a part of personally and collectively,” Nash said.

WIth the backcourt issues, the Lakers are looking for the frontcourt to provide a spark. Center Dwight Howard had 16 points and nine rebounds Wednesday, but he picked up a technical and was in foul trouble after getting two fouls on the offensive end early in the third quarter. He also got into an exchange with Spurs center Tim Duncan, jawing at him as the two walked down the court after getting tangled up in the second quarter.

“It is frustrating,” Howard said of the defensive pressure he’s been facing. “I just have to trust my teammates to make shots. On whatever they do defensively, I have to be aware of my arms and try not to get tangled up.”

♦ The inaugural College Football Championship Game will be held Jan. 12, 2015, at Cowboys Stadium, as the Cotton Bowl home was chosen over Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., to be the host.

“The stadium itself was the biggest determiner,” BCS executive director Bill Hancock said Wednesday of the facility that can seat more than 100,000 fans. “It’s still THE stadium with a capital ‘T.’ ”

Said Cowboys owner Jerry Jones in a statement: “We couldn’t be more excited about bringing college football’s biggest game to Cowboys Stadium. Rest assured, we all pledge to do everything we can to make sure this game exceeds everyone’s highest expectations.”

The Rose (Pasadena, Calif.) and Sugar (New Orleans) Bowls will host the semifinal games on Jan. 1, 2015. The Cotton, Orange (Miami), Chick-fil-A (Atlanta) and Fiesta (Glendale, Ariz.) Bowls are part of the six-site semifinal rotation. In years they are not hosting a semifinal game, the other bowls in the rotation will host a BCS-type bowl game on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day.

♦ With the NFL draft set to start Thursday night, Real Clear Sports has a list of the top 10 undrafted free agents in NFL history.

Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon is No. 1, followed by Hall of Fame defensive back Dick “Night Train” Lane, tight end Antonio Gates and quarterback Kurt Warner. Two Patriots made the list: kicker Adam Vinatieri (8) and wide receiver Wes Welker (9).

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On April 25, 1950, the Celtics became the first NBA team to draft a black player when they selected which Duquesne star in the second round?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “At the end of the day, we cannot be outplayed in the effort department, in the desperation department,. I really thought in the second half of [Game 2], the Knicks played like their season was on the line, and I didn’t think we answered it.” — Celtics coach Doc Rivers, looking ahead to Friday’s Game 3

STAT OF THE DAY: 89 – Career victories for Jon Lester, after Wednesday’s 6-5 win over the Athletics, tying him with Babe Ruth for most victories in a Red Sox uniform by a left-hander

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Pacers guard Gerald Green throws down a big-time dunk on Josh Smith of the Hawks.

University of Michigan guard Nick Stauskas (a former star at St. Mark’s School in Southboro) hits 46 straight 3-pointers (and 70-of-76 overall) during a five-minute practice drill.

Golfer Gareth Maybin has some impressive trick shots in this video.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Chuck Cooper

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Bjorn Ulvaeus of ABBA was born on this day in 1945. He’s the clean-shaven one.

Read More: Dwight Howard, Jerry Jones, Steve Nash, Warren Moon