THIS WEEK’S BEST BET I:
NHL PLAYOFFS: WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS:
GAME 5: KINGS at DUCKS
Details/TV: Honda Center, Monday at 7 p.m., NBCSN:
French chef Ludo Lefebvre was shown on the Staples Center scoreboard preparing roast duck during the first intermission of the Kings’ eventual 2-0 Game 4 loss to Anaheim. That followed up from another videoboard demonstration during Game 3 where celeb Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis, wearing a Kings jersey, demonstrated the best way to prep “Anaheim Duck Soup” in her kitchen. “I always use Anaheim Duck because they’re slow, they’re lazy and they have thin skin,” she said. The Kings were cooked in that game as well – a 3-2 loss. As the series builds toward a boiling point with a return to the O.C., we can’t help but also recall seeing some strange “Go Kings Go” billboards popping up in the 714 area coach, one of them with a large black dog holding a dead duck in its mouth. Whatever keeps fans salivating for more.
The series concludes (times updated Monday morning):
Game 6: Wednesday at Staples Center, 6:30 p.m., NBCSN
Game 7: Friday at Honda Center, 6 p.m., NBCSN
THIS WEEK’S BEST BET II:
NBA PLAYOFFS: WESTERN CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS:
GAME 5: CLIPPERS at OKLAHOMA CITY
Details/TV: Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., TNT:
The thundering noise that can erupt at Chesapeake Energy Arena creates one of the better home-court advantages for Oklahoma City in the NBA – the team had a 34-7 mark there in the regular season, matching the Clippers for best record on the home floor. But according to TheLostOgle.com, two rather notorious Thunder fans are making noise for themselves in a ruthless kind of way. Garrett “Thundor” Haviland, who shows up shirtless with a cape and mask, and Nauzi “Thunder Princess” Jagosh, with her blue and orange tutu, tiara and ruby red shoes, have parked themselves in the pricey Section 101. But they’ve now taken to a public funding website to raise $10,000 so they can get their season seats renewed for 2014-’15. So far, they’re at $851. But not everyone is buying in. “I sat next to this annoying a$$hole one time,” said one fan. “Never again. He ruined the game and entire experience. Jerk!” See how much of an impact they do or don’t have when this series returns to OKC, where the teams split their first two games of this series.
The series concludes:
Game 6: Thursday at Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., ESPN
Game 7: Sunday at Oklahoma City, time TBA, TNT
BEST OF THE REST
MLB: DODGERS vs. MIAMI, Dodger Stadium, 7:10 p.m., SportsNet L.A.:
Giancarlo Stanton, the 24-year-old Notre Dame High of Sherman Oaks grad in his fifth year with the Marlins, needed a meager 20 more homers (at 128) to catch Hanley Ramirez for No. 2 on the franchise’s all-time home-run list. Seven more after that would get him past the immortal Dan Uggla for No. 1. Chances are this could happen during this series. Stanton, who’s career slugging percentage (.541) trails only Gary Sheffield (.543 in 558 games) and Miguel Cabrera (.542 in 720 games) in Marlins’ history, has five homers in nine career games at Dodger Stadium, even though he’s hitting just .206 there. Stanton hit two homers against them in the recent series in Miami to help him into major-league lead in RBIs to this point in the season.
The series continues: Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:10 p.m.
MLB: ANGELS at TORONTO, 4:07 p.m., FSW:
Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle, leading the AL with six wins and a 1.91 ERA, tries to finish off this extended four-game series against the Angels that started back on Friday.
MLB: ANGELS at PHILADELPHIA, 4:05 p.m., FSW:
With all the Mike Trout connections in nearby Jersey, expect a flock of friends and family to attend this brief series. The Angels are going to throw 27-year-old rookie Matt Shoemaker into the rotation, replacing Hector Santiago, and have him go up against veteran Cliff Lee in the opener.
The series ends: Wednesday at 10:05 a.m.
MLB: ANGELS vs. TAMPA BAY, Angel Stadium, 7:05 p.m., FSW:
The teams split their four-game series in Anaheim a year ago, as the Angels handed a loss to Rays starters Chris Archer and David Price in the process. Archer is scheduled to pitch Friday against Jered Weaver, with Price coming back in the series finale.
The series continues:
Friday at 7:05 p.m.; Saturday at 6:05 p.m.; Sunday at 12:35 p.m.
MLB: DODGERS at ARIZONA, 6:40 p.m., SportsNet L.A.:
The Dodgers have already swept a weekend series in Phoenix this season (April 11-13) and, if you add the two wins in Australia that were originally Diamondbacks’ home games, they’ve got a 5-0 mark against the team when they’re the visitors. Arizona, meanwhile, has an horrendous 3-15 record at home so far this season. This is the first of a nine-day road trip for the Dodgers.
The series continues: Saturday at 5:10 p.m.; Sunday at 1:10 p.m.
WNBA: SPARKS at SEATTLE, 7 p.m., TWC SportsNet:
The team’s new slogan for this year is “Lights! Magic! Sparks!” As one of the four original WNBA franchises left in the league, Los Angeles, which is one of only three original WNBA franchises still left, might want to add “Candace!” to that marketing campaign, as the reigning league MVP returns to start her seventh season in L.A. under new ownership. Parker’s career mark of 17.6 points a game ranks sixth all time in WNBA history, a notch better than Lisa Leslie. Parker, however, isn’t even half way (2,587 in 149 games) to Leslie’s franchise-best 6,263 career points in 363 games. Seattle finished 17-17 a year ago without injured Lauren Jackson and Sue Bird.
Also this week: Sparks vs. Phoenix, Staples Center, Sunday at 6 p.m., TWC SportsNet
HORSE RACING: 139th PREAKNESS STAKES
At Pimlico Race Track in Baltimore, 3:15 p.m., Channel 4:
It wasn’t such a given that Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome would necessarily be entered into the second leg of the Triple Crown. “Two weeks, I’ve never run him back that quick,” 77-year-old trainer Art Sherman said. “I’m not that kind of guy. I thought even a month (between) the Santa Anita Derby to the Kentucky Derby was kind of quick, but he seems to respond and come back.” Had the 5-to-2 Derby favorite Chrome not been entered in the Preakness, there would have been a much bigger response from the sports’ followers. Like his trainer, California Chrome is a home-body. The colt made his first trip out of state to run in the Derby and planned to stay at Churchill Downs until Monday before making the trip to Maryland. . Sherman built a low-key but respected training operation first in the San Francisco Bay area and now in the Los Angeles area, but rarely travels outside the state to race. “I thought he reflected Art Sherman,” trainer Steve Asmussen said about California Chrome. “He wasn’t overwhelmed by the situation, did what he did and went about his business as usual and looked like a winner every step of the race. I would expect him to be able to be in the best shape in two weeks.” Ride On Curlin is presently the only contender in the Preakness field who ran against California Chrome at the Derby. After rising to odds of 17-1, Ride On Curlin wound up seventh at the Derby following his runner-up finish at the Arkansas Derby and three third-place finishes in his previous races. Although he set a record as the oldest Derby-winning trainer, Sherman can’t claim the same at the Preakness, as 82-year-old “Sunny Jim” Fitzsimmons holds that mark when Bold Ruler won in 1957. If all goes well, the tension will build for the last leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont in New York on June 7.
MLS: GALAXY at HOUSTON, 5:30 p.m., TWC SportsNet:
Seems everything else in L.A. is moving to Texas. Why not the local soccer team, too. At least for this day. Hey, they’re both owned by AEG.
CYCLING: AMGEN TOUR OF CALIFORNIA
Final stage 8 at Thousand Oaks, 8:45 a.m., Channel 4 (starting at 10 a.m.):
Just as they did four years ago, the last stage of this eight-day event is a 76-mile loop through Westlake Village, Agoura Hills and then down Westlake Blvd., to the finish. But that also includes four climbs up Rock Store. Before that, Santa Clarita is the starting point to Stages 6 (Friday, ending in Mountain High ski resort) and Stage 7 (Saturday, ending in Pasadena). NBCSN has daily coverage.
GOLF: PGA BYRON NELSON CHAMPIONSHIP, at Irving, Tex., final round, noon, Channel 2:
A year ago, Keegan Bradley missed a birdie putt at No. 16 from inside four feet, right after Sang-Moon Bae made his birdie from almost the same line. That allowed the 26-year-old Bae to go ahead and win his first tour title. Bradley had shot a course-record 60 in the first round, compared to the par 72 he shot in the final round.