Play it forward: April 18-24 on your sports calendar

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AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
Lakers guard Kobe Bryant reacts after falling and hitting his neck on a chair as Tim Leiweke, president of AEG, left, and will.i.am, second from left, look on during the first half of Sunday’s eventual loss to New Orleans in Game 1 of their NBA playoff series at Staples Center.

Highlights of the week ahead in sports, both here and afar:

MONDAY

MLB: Dodgers vs. Atlanta, Dodger Stadium, 7:10 p.m., Prime:

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At the very least, the Dodgers won’t come into this four-game series with a six-game losing streak. But when attendance on back-to-back weekend games are around 30,000, the fans are speaking up. The pitching matchup that could bring the most intrigue in this four-game series is a Wednesday meeting of former Dodger Derek Lowe against John Garland, trying to rebound from a disappointing outing against St. Louis in his first start of the season. The series continues Tuesday (7 p.m., Prime), Wednesday (7 p.m., Channel 9) and finishes with a Thursday 12:10 p.m. start where the Dodgers unveil their new alternative Brooklyn light blue jerseys.

MLB: Angels at Texas, 5 p.m., FSW:

Josh Hamilton’s broken arm will keep him out of the lineup at least another six weeks, but the Rangers, last season’s AL reps in the World Series, are back on top in the AL West with a team slugging percentage second in the league. The series continues Tuesday (5 p.m., FSW) and Wednesday (5 p.m., Channel 13).

Running: The Boston Marathon, 7 a.m., Universal Sports:

Why is it you never see anyone from Kenya or Ethiopia develop a Boston accent?

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TUESDAY

NHL playoffs: Kings vs. San Jose, Game 3: Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., Prime:

No doubt, without Drew Doughty’s Game 2 performance, this series is doubtful for the Kings moving forward into the playoffs. Instead, they’ve got a home-ice edge, and the next two on their familiar rink before bearded fans who’ll make sure they’re more than welcome to keep the Sharks tanked. The series continues with Game 4 (Thursday, 7:30 p.m., Prime) and Game 5 (Saturday at San Jose, 7:30 p.m., Prime).

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WEDNESDAY

NBA playoffs: Lakers vs. New Orleans, Game 2: Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW, TNT:

Lakers coach Phil Jackson showed up for Sunday’s Game 1 wearing his 1973 New York Knicks championship ring, saying he plans to break out a different title ring to every playoff game. That obviously didn’t do much to impress his team in what appears to be his last playoff dance. The nine-point listless loss isn’t lost on the Hornets’ Chris Paul, playing for a team without an owner, but not without a purpose. The series continues with Game 3 (Friday at New Orleans, 6:30 p.m., Channel 9 and ESPN) and Game 4 (Sunday at New Orleans, 6:30 p.m., Channel 9 and TNT).

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NHL playoffs: Ducks at Nashville, Game 4, KDOC, 5:30 p.m.:

How much longer can the Ducks waddle forward without a suspended Bobby Ryan? They’re down 2-1 in the series and have one more in Tennessee before even thinking about coming home in a deep hole. The series continues with Game 5 (Friday at Anaheim, 7 p.m., Prime) and Game 6 (Sunday at Nashville, 7:30 p.m., TBA).

THURSDAY

MLB: Angels vs. Boston, Angel Stadium, 7 p.m., FSW:

Boston’s other marathon of futility continues. The Red Sox haven’t managed to win anything on the road so far, losing all six to start their season in Texas and Cleveland. The series continues Friday (7 p.m., FSW), Saturday (6 p.m., FSW) and Sunday (12:35 p.m., FSW), where former Angel John Lackey is scheduled to start for the Red Sox.

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Golf: PGA’s The Heritage, first round, noon, Golf Channel:

Get your plaid on. Or don’t. The winner’s jacket that must be worn looks like something from Happy Gilmore’s wardrobe. Golf Channel has Friday’s third round; CBS has the Saturday and Sunday final two rounds.

FRIDAY

MLB: Dodgers at Chicago Cubs, 11:20 a.m., Prime:

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We’re not certain that even Ferris Bueller takes days off to come see the Cubs play anymore. It’s a three-day affair at Wrigley, with the Cubs’ only consistent pitcher, Carlos Zambrano, missing his turn in the rotation. The series continues Saturday (10 a.m., Channel 9) and Sunday (11:20 a.m., Prime).

SATURDAY

MLS: Galaxy vs. Portland, Home Depot Center, 8 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel:

Did David Beckham really bend three balls, barefooted, into three distant trash cans on the beach, with the help of a souped-up diet soft drink? Yeah, and Kobe Bryant jumped over a moving Astin Martin. Asked by the Toronto Star if it was real, Becks replied: “Of course. I spent five or six hours on the beach so I had a lot of time to practice.” That’ll really help in tonight’s game against the expansion team Timbers. That is if Beckham hasn’t picked up any more stray yellow cards that keep him benched.

SUNDAY

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NBA playoffs: Miami at Philadelphia Game 4, 10 a.m., Channel 7; Boston at New York Game 4, 12:30 p.m., Channel 7:
The network hors d’oeuvres are of the East Coast variety before the Lakers dive into come ragin’ Cajuns for the night cap.

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