Play It Forward: May 5-11 on your sports calendar: A manic Cinco de Monday for Kings, Ducks, Clippers, Angels, Dodgers and those trying to follow it all

MP900384786THIS WEEK’S BEST BET I:

Kings goalie Jonathan Quick skates during warm ups before Game 1 against the Ducks on Saturday in Anaheim. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

Kings goalie Jonathan Quick skates during warm ups before Game 1 against the Ducks on Saturday in Anaheim. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

NHL PLAYOFFS:
WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
GAME 2: KINGS at DUCKS
Honda Center, Monday at 7 p.m., NBC Sports Net:
You may have read about what’s on the line for this series, as the mayors of L.A. and Anaheim put up one of those “friendly wagers” before the opening puck dropped in the Kings’ 3-2 overtime Game 1 win. L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti said if the Ducks win the series, he’ll give a lesson in music appreciation to the Guinn Elementary School in Anaheim.

A Kings fan goes through a security check before entering Saturday's Game 1 between the Kings and Ducks at the Honda Center in Anaheim. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

A Kings fan goes through a security check before entering Saturday’s Game 1 between the Kings and Ducks at the Honda Center in Anaheim. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

If the Kings win to advance to the conference finals, Anaheim mayor Tom Tait promises to come to the L.A. River Clean Up Day. Assuming there’s enough water in the river bed to actually help with the clean-up process. Throw in a couple extra healthy defensemen for the Western Conference finals, and it’s a deal. Actually, that was a much classier approach than what transpired a year ago, when the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings faced the Blackhawks in the Western Conference finals. Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel was so confident that he put up 25 Italian beef sandwiches from Al’s Italian Beef, three cases of Goose Island’s 312 Lager beer, one case of Robinson’s Ribs Barbecue Sauce, 25 slices of Eli’s Cheesecake and one copy of “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration,” so that Antonio Villaraigosa could have something to read “in his forthcoming retirement.” Then-L.A. mayor Villaraigosa could have looked the other way, but he tried to match that by offering nine #19 Pastrami Sandwiches from Langer’s Deli, nine French Dip Sandwiches from Phillippe’s, a case of Morehouse Mustard, a case of beer from Golden Road and Eagle Rock breweries, three Hollenbeck Burritos from El Tepeyac Cafe, 12 bottles of Sriracha Chili Sauce and a DVD copy of “YogaWorks for Everybody” so Emanuel could “maintain” his “newfound inner peace.” And you know who got the best piece of that heart-burn proposition. Today should be the day when you bet a friend he can’t go down to Homegirl Cafe in L.A. and eat a half-dozen red mole chicken tacos in one sitting to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.
The series continues this week:
Game 3 at Staples Center, Thursday at 7 p.m., NBC Sports Net
Game 4 at Staples Center, Saturday, to be announced

cinco-de-mayo-t-shirt-bustedtees-2THIS WEEK’S BEST BET II:

okc599NBA PLAYOFFS: WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS
GAME 1: CLIPPERS at OKLAHOMA CITY
Monday at 6:30 p.m., TNT:
You can thank Donald Sterling for Kevin Durant’s inability to soak up the accolades of the 2014 NBA MVP award by now. Because of the Sterling scandal that erupted some 10 days ago, leading to a lifetime ban and fine for the Clippers owner, the league decided it wasn’t appropriate to start handing out its annual individual honors and pushed it back a week. That could have led to an uncomfortable scenario – had the Thunder failed to pull out a Game 7 win against Memphis last weekend and lose their first-round series, there would have been Durant, dubbed “Mr. Unreliable” by the Oklahoman newspaper for his performance up to that point, answering awkward questions as his press conference. Instead, Oklahomans will get to likely hear the news of Durant’s honor on Tuesday and have him available for a round of applause by the locals before Wednesday’s Game 3. Durant average 32.8 points in four games against the Clippers during the regular season. The teams split the four games, and won one game on the other’s home court as well. The last meeting was less than a month ago: April 9 at Staples Center, when OKC got 30 points from Russell Westbrook in a 107-101 win. The Clippers rallied from 15 down in the fourth quarter to cut it to one, but Blake Griffin (30 points, 12 rebounds)  missed two key free throws down the stretch.
The series continues:
Game 2: Wednesday at Oklahoma City, 6:30 p.m., TNT
Game 3: Friday at Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., ESPN
Game 4: Sunday at Staples Center, 12:30 p.m., Channel 7

BEST OF THE REST:

MONDAY

Trout_Jeter_1280_puq1e1j1_ldizpk55MLB: ANGELS vs. N.Y. YANKEES, Angel Stadium, 7:05 p.m., FSW:
Where have you gone, Derek Jeter? Mike Trout’s boyhood hero makes his last Angel Stadium/Edison Field/Big A appearance – a place where, during the regular season, he has a career .335 average (109 for 325 in 78 games, with 10 HRs, 42 RBIs and 12 stolen bases). On the final day of the series, the Angels will honor the Yankees retiring shortstop with a “commemorative giveaway,” similar to what they did last year for Mariano Riviera. Jeter may reciprocate by giving away some ground balls hit to his right that trickle into left field for a base hit. He must still think Alex Rodriguez is going to get them.
The series continues:
Tuesday and Wednesday, 7:05 p.m., FSW

MLB: DODGERS at WASHINGTON, 4:05 p.m., SportsNet L.A.:
nlw-kershaw-web-eazFor the first time this season, the Dodgers have their Cy Young Award winners pitching on back-to-back days, with Clayton Kershaw (1-0, 1.35 ERA) having some catching up to do with Zack Greinke (5-0, 2.04). Kershaw is slotted to pitch the second game of this series, after Grienke pitches Monday, and then Washington’s Stephen Strausburg has the Wednesday afternoon matchup against Dan Haren, a former teammate last year. And for shame, Bryce Harper is still on that DL thing? He had surgery last week to repair a ligament in his left thumb – the result of a bad head-first slide – and he could miss up to two months. Forget that anyway. All we’re curious to see if whether Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire and new Nationals manager Matt Williams decide to arm-wrestle again.
The series continues:
Tuesday, 4:05 p.m., and Wednesday, 10:05 a.m., SportsNet L.A.

TUESDAY

NBA PLAYOFFS: WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS:
GAME 1: PORTLAND at SAN ANTONIO, 6:30 p.m., TNT:
Should the Clippers decide to advance to the conference finals, they’d meet up with one of these two. Sorry, Rockets.
The series continues:
Game 2 at San Antonio, Thursday at 6:30 p.m., ESPN2
Game 3 at Portland, Saturday at 7:30 p.m., ESPN

NHL PLAYOFFS: WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS:
GAME 3: CHICAGO at MINNESOTA, 6 p.m., CNBC:
The defending champion Blackhawks have a 2-0 series lead already. Since opening the playoffs with back-to-back 4-3 OT losses to St. Louis in the first round, Chicago has won six in a row. Winner of this gets the Kings-Ducks survivor in the next round.
The series continues:
Game 4 at Minnesota, Friday TBA
Game 5 at Chicago, Sunday TBA – if necessary

WEDNESDAY

MLB: CHICAGO CUBS at CHICAGO WHITE SOX, 5 p.m., ESPN:
The second half of a four-game series goes to the South SIde after the first two at Wrigley on Monday and Tuesday.

THURSDAY

NFL DRAFT, first round, at Radio City Music Hall in New York, 5 p.m, NFL Network, ESPN:
marqise-lee-ncaa-football-southern-california-californiaThose who pretend to know have UCLA defensive end Anthony Barr and USC receiver Marquis Lee as Top 20 first-round picks, but that’s not what the rest of the country seems to care much about. Where does Johnny Manziel fall into place? Jadeveon Clowney? Whomever else Chris Berman chooses to bellow about?  “To me, the first pick of the draft – that sure-fire Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning, I don’t know that player is in this draft,” said ESPN’s Jon Gruden. “You’re dealing with more underclassmen than I can ever remember. So it’s a crapshoot. This is not a complete body of work to evaluate. You have to use your imagination, be able to see down the road a bit. There is no sure-fire, can’t-miss No. 1 in anybody’s world.”
The draft continues:
Rounds 2-3: Friday at 5 p.m., ESPN2, NFL Network
Rounds 4-7: Saturday at 9 a.m., ESPN, NFL Network

MLB: DODGERS vs. SAN FRANCISCO, Dodger Stadium, 7:10 p.m., SportsNet L.A.:
To promote the heck out of this four-game series, the Dodgers will give away an inflatable chair (Thursday), have a fireworks show (Friday), give away a retro pennant and hold an Old-Timers’ Game (Saturday) and then hand out a bunch of clutch purses made especially for the moms on Mother’s Day (Sunday). The Giants have already pocketed four of the six meetings between the two teams, taking the first two games of their previous two series and allowing the Dodgers to take the capper.
The series continues:
Friday, 7:10 p.m., SportsNet L.A.
Saturday at 1:10 p.m., FS1
Sunday at 1:10 p.m., SportsNet L.A.

FRIDAY

MLB: ANGELS at TORONTO, 4:07 p.m., FSW:
This is actually a four-game series that spills into next Monday. Must have something to do with Canadian parliamentary procedure, and mayor Rob Ford’s crack staff telling he needs more recovery time.
The series continues:
Saturday and Sunday at 10:07 a.m., FSW
Monday, May 12, at 4:07 p.m., FSW

SATURDAY

BOXING: CHRIS ARREOLA vs. BERMANE STIVERNE
At USC’s Galen Center, 5 p.m., ESPN:
It’s the first time in more than 30 years that a heavyweight world championship bout has made it to a basic cable channel. Arreola, the WBC world heavyweight champ from Riverside, has a big stage in a non pay-per-view event, where nearly 100 million homes have access to it rather than the 35 million that an HBO or Showtime telecast could attract. This is also the first boxing event held within the USC campus area – although many were held back in the day at the nearby L.A. Sports Arena.

SUNDAY

sawgrass17-847-chriscondonGOLF: PGA THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP, At Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., final round, Channel 4, 11 a.m.:
The Tour’s so-called “fifth major,” complete with that tricked-up island hole at No. 17, was captured a year ago in a two-shot win by Tiger Woods. Who, of course, isn’t here to defend the title because of the back injury. Another top-ranked world player, Jason Day, is hurting as well. Matt Kuchar, the 2012 champion, is one of eight former winners in this field, along with Phil Mickelson (2007), Adam Scott (’04), Sergio Garcia (’08) and K.J. Choi (‘11), Tim Clark (2010). Also, if this one is tied after the final round, they’ve expanded the playoff to three holes – 16, 17 and 18. Golf Channel has the first two rounds starting at 10 a.m. The third and fourth rounds are on Channel 4, starting at 11 a.m.

CYCLING: AMGEN TOUR OF CALIFORNIA, Stage 1 in Sacramento, 2 p.m., NBCSN:
The ninth edition of this AEG-sponsored race starts this time at the state Capitol building – for both the men and now, for the first time, a women’s field that starts right after them. The women’s event goes two days, but the  men have some 720 miles to go before their journey ends in Thousand Oaks on May 18.

WATER POLO: NCAA WOMEN’S NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP, at USC’s Uytengsu Aquatics Center, 5:30 p.m.:
A year ago, USC won the national title with a 10-9, five OT victory over Stanford at the championships held at Harvard University. The Trojans (24-3), upset by Arizona State in the conference semifinals, have drawn the No. 3 seed in this eight-team, single-elimination tournament that starts Thursday on their campus. USC takes on No. 6 UC Irvine (24-7) at 1:45 p.m., right after No. 2 UCLA (25-4), a seven-time national champion between 2001 and 2009, faces the winner of a play-in match at noon. Stanford (22-1), which won the title in 2011 and ’12, has drawn the top seed, with Cal (No. 4, 19-8) and Arizona State (No. 5, 15-1) in the mix. The semifinals are Saturday (3:30 p.m. and 5:15 p.m.). A USC win under coach Jovan Vavic, who has coached the Trojans’ men’s team to six straight national titles, would be the 100th NCAA team championship in the university’s history.

IRL: GRAND PRIX OF INDIANAPOLIS, 12:30 p.m., Channel 7:
It’s not the Indianapolis 500, but an incredibly strange simulation. While it is part of the IndyCar Series, and its at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, this event that’s just a tad under 200 miles is on a road course inside the famed oval, a track previously used for the Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix. It’s the first time since 1970 that multiple championship/Indy car races are being held in the greater Indianapolis area.

MLS: GALAXY at PORTLAND, 11:30 a.m., NBCSN:
Do soccer players get up this early just to kick the ball around in the rain?

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