Play It Forward: March 3-9 on the sports calendar — how fast can you run away from traffic caused by the L.A. Marathon?

marathon-dodgersTHIS WEEK’S BEST BET:

NO. 1: 29th LOS ANGELES MARATHON:
Details/TV: Sunday at 7 a.m., Channel 5:
asics-la-marathon-logo_verticalThey say the field is ultimately limited to 25,000, and still more get in. Inside that mass of shoe laces, there’s another group at 185 strong and, regrettably, shrinking. The “Legacy Runners” who have competed in every Los Angeles Marathon since the first one in 1986 plan on being there for the 29th edition for the race that starts at Dodger Stadium, ends near the Santa Monica Pier, and passes by iconic L.A. landmarks such as City Hall, the Pantages Theatre, Hollywood and Vine, Rodeo Drive and Palisades Park along the way. At the race’s official website – lamarathon.com – you can read some of the “Legacy” stories. Aimee Wyatt, for example, is the youngest legacy runner at age 44. That’s because she started as a 16-year-old — when the legal age allowed to enter was 18. “Our father agreed it was a fine idea,” she says. “Our mother doesn’t remember us fudging our ages a little, and now I see kids that look about 12 doing it – go, kids, go!” Al Allen of Inglewood, who will turn 69 next month, has been running to raise money for breast cancer since his oldest sister, Ina, died of the disease the first year of the marathon. Arlene Fichman, a 59-year-old registered nurse from Brentwood, almost had her streak end because of her battle with Graves Disease, a thyroid condition. With a quick medication adjustment, she ran the 2010 race in under four hours, second in her age group. And Rick Wallace, a 56-year-old raised in Woodland Hills, a graduate of Simi Valley High and Pepperdine University and a Malibu realtor, says what lured him to the race originally was getting to cross the finish line near the Coliseum.
laMarathonThat site for the start/finish line has is ancient history, as this 26-mile-plus direct route from downtown to the beach has caught on to be more popular. Maybe the greatest challenge for all these legacy runners – as well as for those in it for the first time – is they’ve decided to hold this thing as daylight savings begins. Meaning, the clock springs forward, so there’s an hour of lost sleep to deal with. The full-field start, along with the men’s elite runners, is at 7:25 a.m. The women’s elite field begins at 7:10 a.m., after the competitors in the wheelchair (6:55 a.m.) and hand-cycle (6:50 a.m.). More important, do you know about street closures?

LAM-Start_0BEST OF THE REST:

MONDAY

NHL: KINGS vs. MONTREAL, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW:
Jonathan Quick and Carey Price were in the nets when Canada outlasted the U.S., 1-0, in the semifinals at the Winter Olympics. Yup, Quickie was on the wrong end of that one. Montreal’s Canadiens do have a favorable following in L.A., so don’t bank on the Kings’ four-game win streak being enough to deter north-of-the-border disorder.

NBA: LAKERS at PORTLAND, 7 p.m., TWC SportsNet:
Xavier Henry had a career-high 27 points in the Lakers’ loss to the Blazers in December. After missing the last 28 games with a knee problem, he’s expected back.

TUESDAY

NBA: LAKERS vs. NEW ORLEANS, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., TWC SportsNet:
It’s Fat Tuesday in N’Orleans on this day. Why would the Pelicans fly west and away from all the free food?

NBA: CLIPPERS at PHOENIX, 6 p.m., Prime Ticket:
The Clippers had defeated the Suns three times in a row by an average of 20 points before Phoenix pulled off a 107-88 runaway at Staples Center on Dec. 30.

WEDNESDAY

TENNIS: BNP PARNIBUS OPEN:
At Indian Wells, Women’s main draw begins, 11 a.m.:
Maria Sharapova pushed past Carolina Wozniacki to take the women’s title a year ago while Rafael Nadal eventually trounced Juan Martin Del Potro to take the men’s final – not to overlook the Bryan brothers also capturing the men’s doubles championship, the first time they had done so at this event. Nadal, the world’s No. 1 ranked player who also won this in 2009 and 2007, said that after coming back from a six-month layoff due to knee problems that last year’s win at Indians Wells was “kind of a turning point for me . . . I had lots of doubts about winning on the hard court. . . .(it) boosted my confidence.” The men’s main draw begins Thursday at 11 a.m. on Tennis Channel, with the men’s and women’s final on March 16.

THURSDAY

NBA: CLIPPERS at LAKERS, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., TNT:
In raw terms, the Clippers have twice as many wins as the Lakers, half as many losses, and 20 games separate them in the Western Conference. And to think, the Lakers once defeated them, in Game 1 of the regular season. Considering the Lakers actually have a better record on the road this season than at home, it’s too bad they’re designated the actual hosts in this one and have to look up at all those championship banners.

NHL: KINGS at WINNIPEG, 4 p.m., FSW:
Will these Kings look much different after Wednesday’s NHL trading deadline?

COLLEGE BASKETBALL:
UCLA at WASHINGTON, 6 p.m., ESPN2
USC at WASHINGTON STATE, 8 p.m., ESPNU:

Not sure what would possess ESPN’s family of networks to have a remote interest in these, other than contractual obligations. So there they are.

FRIDAY

NBA: LAKERS at DENVER, 6 p.m., TWC SportsNet:
The Nuggets’ Timofey Mozgov had 23 points, nine rebounds and four blocks in a 111-99 win over the Lakers in Denver back on Nov. 13.

SATURDAY

HORSE RACING: $750,000 SANTA ANITA HANDICAP, 4 p.m. Fox Sports 1:
The most anticipated Big ‘Cap in a long while brings a rematch of the recent Breeders’ Cup Classic — top-two finishers in Mucho Macho Man and Will Take Charge. The wild card is two-time Santa Anita Handicap winner Game On Dude, who was a disappointing ninth, 11 ½ lengths back of Mucho Macho Man after going off as the 8-5 favorite in that ’13 Classic. The 7-year-old dark bay gelding, with Joe Torre remaining a part owner and Bob Baffert as the trainer, won the 2011 race as a 4-year-old with Chantal Sutherland aboard, and again in 2013 with Mike Smith as the jockey. Game On Dude, however, was also the 3-10 favorite in the Feb. 8 San Antonio Stakes at Santa Anita before coming up short at the finish.

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL:
CIF L.A. CITY SECTION BOYS DIVISION I CHAMPIONSHIP
At Southwest College, 8 p.m.:
El Camino Real (24-6) lost to Westchester (28-5) in last year’s title game, and they’ve decided to come back and try it again. In the Girls Division I final at 6 p.m., it’s Narbonne (24-8) against Fairfax (28-6).

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL:
CIF SOUTHERN SECTION OPEN DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP
At Honda Center, 6:30 p.m., Fox Sports West:
From 5-foot-2 Elijah Nesbit and 6-foot-8 Terrell Carter, Redondo (24-4) has been getting it done and needs one more road win against Chino Hills on Tuesday before a probable meeting in the final against Mater Dei (29-0), led by All-American and Arizona-bound Stanley Johnson and likely with an Orange County home-court advantage. Mater Dei faces J.W. North in the semifinals on Tuesday.

NBA: CLIPPERS vs. ATLANTA, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., Prime Ticket:
The Clippers started a seven-game road trip on Dec. 4 with a 10-point loss in Atlanta, and the Hawks have defeated them six of the last eight meetings.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL:
USC at WASHINGTON, 1:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network
UCLA at WASHINGTON STATE, 8 p.m., Fox Sports 1:

The last-minute details before the Pac-12 Tournament starts in Las Vegas next week continues to deal with the unknown, since these are only regular-season meetings of the season between the schools. WSU ranks No. 341 out of 351 teams in points-per-game at 61.8, held famously to 25 points earlier this season by Arizona. DeVonte Lacy leads the Cougars with a 19.3 points-per-game average, including a 39-point outburst in a recent OT loss to Cal.

MLS: GALAXY vs. REAL SALT LAKE, StubHub Center, 7:30 p.m., TWC SportsNet:
We’ve been told the Salt Lakers ended up as participants in the MLS Cup 2013, two rounds after they knocked the two-time defending champion Galaxy out of the post-season with a 2-0 victory in the second leg of their Western Conference semifinal series. Bruce Arena’s new game plan includes moving perhaps moving Landon Donovan to midfield, with Omar Gonzalez behind him and Robbie Keane up front. “The opening game of the season is important for us,” Gonzalez said. “Last year, I felt we lost too many important points. We were there. We could have an extra 15 points had we just been a little more focused, a little more concentrated. For us, that starts with the first game of the year against Salt Lake.”

SUNDAY

PGA: WGC CADILLAC CHAMPIONSHIP
At Trump National Doral in Miami, final round, Channel 4, noon:
Tiger Woods’ three-shot win over Steve Stricker in last year’s event may be all the locals have to hang onto if they’re looking for a repeat, after Woods walked off the course with reported back problem in the final round of the Honda Classic. The TPC Blue Monster may be the biggest draw regardless, with $200 million in upgrades and includes new bunkers, shiftier greens and even more water at the classic 18th. Golf Channel has the first two rounds Thursday and Friday (10 a.m.), plus Saturday (9 a.m.) and Sunday (10 a.m.), while Channel 4 has Saturday’s third round (11 a.m.).

NBA: LAKERS vs. OKLAHOMA CITY, Staples Center, 12:30 p.m., Channel 7:
Back at Staples Center for the second time in less than a month, the Thunder will likely remember they let the Lakers think they had an upset in the makings before Kevin Durant took charge with 19 of his 43 points in the fourth quarter of a 107-103 win before the All-Star break.

NHL: KINGS at EDMONTON, 5 p.m., FSW:
Martin Jones’ 3-0 shutout win over the Oilers on Dec. 17 was his sixth win in a row en route to eight.

COLLEGE BASEBALL: UCLA at USC, Dedeaux Field, 1 p.m.:
The original plan was to revive the “Dodgertown Classic,” and have the cross-town rivals play each other in a non-conference game, along with Pepperdine-Houston in a doubleheader at Dodger Stadium. Then the Dodgers said they needed the place to do more improvements, so . . . sorry. The Bruins and Trojans play again in late April at UCLA.

MLS: CHIVAS USA vs. CHICAGO, StubHub Center, noon:
It’s OK if you say you didn’t know the team was still around. They’ve got a league-opener, so hang in there.

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