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SPORTS
March 23, 2014 | By Jim Peltz
The race was Jimmie Johnson's to lose, and he unknowingly found a way to lose it. Johnson was sailing toward a record sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup win in Fontana on Sunday when his No. 48 Chevrolet blew a left-front tire with only six laps remaining. It was the latest in a spree of tire failures that plagued several cars and it brought out a caution flag, setting up a two-lap overtime finish at Auto Club Speedway. That was the opening Kyle Busch needed, and he drove his No. 18 Toyota into the lead and held off rookie Kyle Larson to win the Auto Club 400 for the second consecutive year.
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SPORTS
March 22, 2014 | By Jim Peltz
The season-opening Daytona 500 was less than an hour old when Barney Visser saw his latest $1-million NASCAR investment literally go up in smoke. Visser owns Furniture Row Racing, which fields one car - the black No. 78 Chevrolet - driven by Martin Truex Jr. in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series. After weeks of preparation for the Daytona 500 and then being forced to use a backup car because of a crash in qualifying, the team saw the engine on Truex's car blow up only 31 laps into NASCAR's crown-jewel event last month.
SPORTS
March 19, 2014 | By Mike Bresnahan
The Lakers lost a game to the San Antonio Spurs, but it wasn't an entirely bad day for them. Kobe Bryant didn't throttle anybody when given the chance. He even showed some sympathy toward Coach Mike D'Antoni several hours before the Lakers lost to the Spurs, 125-109, Wednesday at Staples Center. Bryant was noncommittal when asked whether D'Antoni should return next season - "I don't know," he said on the Dan Patrick Show - but he acknowledged all the losing wasn't necessarily D'Antoni's fault.
OPINION
March 19, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
A month from now, if all goes according to plan in Oklahoma, two convicted murderers will be executed by lethal injection, and without knowing exactly how the killing cocktail was put together or by whom. Without that knowledge, they could well be denied their basic constitutional protection against cruel and unusual punishment. The death penalty, as we've written before, is an indefensible mess of immorality, gamed judicial processes, misapplication based on race and class, and public expense.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 14, 2014 | By Gale Holland
The developer of a skid row apartment building that houses recovering alcoholics and drug addicts said Friday he would appeal a zoning decision that denied a beer and wine permit for a restaurant planned for the ground floor of the complex. Mike Alvidrez, executive director of Skid Row Housing Trust, said the planned restaurant, a former food truck called Great Balls on Tires, could not open with its present business plan unless it gets the permit to operate on the ground floor of the six-story New Genesis Apartments.
SPORTS
March 11, 2014 | By Lance Pugmire
CALGARY, Canada - Corey Perry has won a Stanley Cup and understands the pivotal points of a season better than most. Wednesday night at the Saddledome against the Calgary Flames is such a moment for the Ducks. "This is the biggest road trip of the season for sure," Perry said. "We've talked about it. We know what our record is in the past 10-12 games. We know we're better. We have to get back to doing what we did before, and if we do, it's going to propel us through the rest of the season.
NATIONAL
March 11, 2014 | By Michael Muskal, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
Glenn Ford, one of the nation's longest-serving prisoners on death row, is scheduled to be freed from a Louisiana prison after he was exonerated of charges that he killed a man in 1983, his lawyers announced. A Louisiana court on Monday ordered that Ford, an African American who served 30 years on death row, be released after new information exonerated the former yard worker of killing a white man. Ford was expected to be released Tuesday. [Updated, 5:53 p.m.:  Ford walked free Tuesday afternoon.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 10, 2014 | By Gale Holland
A federal civil rights lawsuit filed Monday accuses the city of Los Angeles of malicious prosecution for charging a skid row community organizer with assault after she blew an air horn during a demonstration. City Atty. Carmen Trutanich charged Deborah Burton, 62, with misdemeanor assault and battery for allegedly blowing the horn in officials' ears during a 2011 skid row protest. Burton was acquitted of all charges last July. The suit says the charges were aimed at stifling political dissent.
SPORTS
March 9, 2014 | By Lisa Dillman
EDMONTON, Canada - Goalie Ben Scrivens knew he would have to worry about the usual suspects among his former Kings teammates. Of course, there was leading scorer Jeff Carter and the two-way brilliance of center Anze Kopitar. Then there was the man who came to dinner: Kings defenseman Alec Martinez. Martinez put the Kings ahead for good in their 4-2 victory against the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday night at Rexall Place. Carter scored twice, his 23rd and 24th goals of the season. His first goal went off the left skate of Edmonton defenseman Philip Larsen, just 1 minute 36 seconds into the game, and Carter's other goal glanced off his own skate, giving the Kings a 3-1 lead at 10:16 of the second period.
SPORTS
March 8, 2014 | By Mike Bresnahan
And now for the truly hard part of the Lakers schedule. They might be tired of breaking badly almost every night. They might feel the weight of a rudderless season. As if Oklahoma City cares. As if San Antonio will be compassionate. The Lakers play the Thunder two games in a row and then the Spurs the next two after that, and if that doesn't sound like feeding mice to snakes, then what really does? The Lakers are coming off their worst three-game defensive effort ever, surrendering an average of 136 points against New Orleans, the Clippers and Denver.
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