THIS 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)
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)
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
THIS WEEK’S BEST BET II:
NBA 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: