This Weekend in Sports: The Kentucky Derby and Mayweather – Guerrero
The first jewel of horse racing’s Triple Crown and the world’s best boxer’s first fight in a year highlight the upcoming sports calendar. Here’s what to watch this weekend:
* — if necessary
Friday, May 3
NBA Playoffs: Game 6 — New York Knicks at Boston Celtics
TD Bank Garden, Boston; 7 p.m. (ET) on ESPN
After losing the first three games of this best-of-seven first-round NBA playoff series, the Boston Celtics have won twice behind Jeff Green and Jason Terry to force a sixth game. The New York Knicks have relied on Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith for the bulk of their offense. If necessary, the deciding game will be in New York on Sunday.
NBA Playoffs: Game 6 — Indiana Pacers at Atlanta Hawks
Philips Arena, Atlanta; 7 p.m. (ET) on ESPN2
Led by Paul George’s 21 points, the Indiana Pacers beat the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday to take a 3-2 lead in this best-of-seven first-round NBA playoff series. The Pacers can close it out on the Hawks home court, but Al Horford and Josh Smith will try to force Game 7. If necessary, the deciding game will be in Indiana on Sunday.
NBA Playoffs: Game 6 — Oklahoma City Thunder at Houston Rockets
Toyota Center, Houston, Tex.; 9:30 p.m. (ET) on ESPN
The Houston Rockets can push the heavily favored Oklahoma City Thunder to a seventh game if they can win at home on Friday night. Rockets guard James Harden has led the attack against his former team, while Kevin Durant has been consistently productive for OKC. If necessary, the deciding game will be in Oklahoma City on Sunday.
NBA Playoffs: Game 6 — Los Angeles Clippers at Memphis Grizzlies
FedEx Forum, Memphis, Tenn.; 9:30 p.m. (ET) on ESPN2
The Memphis Grizzlies have beaten the Los Angeles Clippers three consecutive times after dropping the first two games in this best-of-seven, first-round NBA playoff series. Grizzlies stars Marc Gasol and Zack Randolph are not as spectacular as Chris Paul and Blake Griffin of the Clippers, but they have been just as effective. If necessary, the deciding game will be in Los Angeles on Sunday.
Saturday, May 4
NHL Playoffs: Game 2 — New York Rangers at Washington Capitals
Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.; 12:30 p.m. (ET) on NBC
Alex Ovechkin leads the third-seeded Washington Capitals into Game 2 of their Stanley Cup playoff series against the sixth-seeded New York Rangers and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. The Caps are looking to turn around their postseason misfortunes, but the Rangers won the season series between the teams, 2-0-1.
NBA Playoffs: Game 7 — Chicago Bulls at Brooklyn Nets*
Barclays Center, Brooklyn; TBA on TNT
If the Brooklyn Nets beat the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night, the two teams will play a seventh and deciding game of their best-of-seven, first-round NBA playoff series on Saturday at the Barclays Center. Deron Williams has been the catalyst for the Nets, while Joakim Noah has delivered for the Bulls.
NBA Playoffs: Game 7 — Golden State Warriors at Denver Nuggets*
Pepsi Center, Denver, Colo. ; TBA on TNT
If Golden State doesn’t close out their best-of-seven first-round NBA playoff series against the Nuggets in Oakland on Thursday night, Warriors guard Stephen Curry and company will have to travel back to Denver for Game 7 on Saturday.
The Kentucky Derby
Churchill Downs, Lexington, Kent.; 6:24 p.m. (ET) on NBC
As the first jewel of horse racing’s Triple Crown, the Kentucky Derby is the most famous thoroughbred horse race in the world. The race’s 139th running is this Saturday with 20 colts racing out of the starting gate. Verrazano, Goldencents and Will Take Charge are among the horses to watch in this race.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Robert Guerrero
MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nev. 9 p.m. (ET) on Showtime Pay-Per-View
Considered by many experts to be the best boxer in the world, WBC welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. will face four-division champion Robert Guerrero for the WBC title. It’s been nearly a year since Mayweather fought, but he’ll put his 44-0 career record on the line against Guerrero in a fight that has been hyped for months.
Sunday, May 5
NHL Playoffs: Game 3 — Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Islanders
Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, N.Y.; 12 p.m. (ET) on NBC
Even without injured star Sidney Crosby, the Pittsburgh Penguins are favored to beat the New York Islanders in their NHL playoff series, but Isles center John Tavares can take over a game by himself.
Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega, Ala.; 1:19 p.m. (ET) on FOX
Jimmie Johnson has a 43-point lead in the 2013 Sprint Cup Series standings heading into this weekend’s NASCAR race in Alabama. Second-place driver Carl Edwards and third-place holder Dale Earnhardt Jr. will look to close the gap on Johnson. Brad Keselowski won this race in 2012.
NHL Playoffs: Game 3 — Chicago Blackhawks at Minnesota Wild
Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minn.; 3 p.m. (ET) on NBC
The Chicago Blackhawks were the NHL’s best team during the 2013 regular season and remain the overwhelming favorite to win the Stanley Cup. Patrick Kane will lead Chicago against the eighth-seeded Minnesota Wild, who qualified for the playoffs for the first time in five years.
Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants
AT&T Park, San Francisco; 8:05 p.m. (ET) on ESPN
The Los Angeles Dodgers (13-14) haven’t hit their stride yet, but they look to do so this weekend against the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants (16-12).
Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-1, 3.35) gets the start for the Dodgers, while Matt Cain (0-2, 6.49) is on the bump for the Giants.