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March 14, 2012 | By Mark Medina
A few things to keep an eye on when the Lakers (26-16) visit the New Orleans Hornets (10-32) Wednesday at the New Orleans Arena. 1. How will the Lakers' focus look? On paper, the Lakers should have no problem coasting to an easy win against the Hornets. You may have heard New Orleans doesn't have Chris Paul anymore. They're injury-depleted with Emeka Okafor (sore left knee), Eric Gordon (right knee contusion) and Carl Landry (second degree MCL sprain). The Hornets also rank second-to-last in total offense (88.19)
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April 14, 2014 | By Helene Elliott
One season under the NHL's realigned conference setup probably was enough for Eastern teams to veto future additions from the West. The Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets, who moved from the West to the East before this season, won their new conference's two wild-card playoff berths. The Red Wings will make their 23rd consecutive postseason appearance, and the Blue Jackets will make their second appearance in franchise history. First place in the East - and overall - went to the Boston Bruins, with the Ducks winning the No. 1 spot in the West.
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SPORTS
April 11, 2012 | By Mark Medina
Pay little attention to the current standings. The Lakers are in third place in the Western Conference with only eight games left. But the Lakers (36-22) hold only a 1 1/2-game lead over the Clippers (34-23), and the Memphis Grizzlies (33-23), Houston Rockets (32-25), Dallas Mavericks (32-26) and Denver Nuggets (31-26) aren't far behind. Regardless of how the standing shuffling turns out, it's safe to presume the Lakers will probably play one of those five teams in the first round.
SPORTS
April 10, 2014 | Helene Elliott
Hockey fans will have to wait for the first-ever playoff series between the Kings and the Ducks, but a matchup between the Kings and the San Jose Sharks promises to be the next-best thing. The Ducks on Wednesday wiped out any chance of there being a local derby in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs by clinching first place in the Pacific Division when they powered past the San Jose Sharks for a 5-2 victory at the Honda Center. In winning, the Ducks assured themselves of the No. 1 or No. 2 seeding in the West -- they're a point ahead of St. Louis but the Blues have a game in hand -- and consigned the Sharks to second place in the Pacific and a matchup with the third-place Kings.
SPORTS
June 12, 2012 | By Barry Stavro
Many basketball savants before the season were predicting a LeBron James vs. Kevin Durant face-off in the NBA Finals. And here it is. Both stars are in their 20s, and with other key players on the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder also being young, this could evolve into a Magic Johnson vs. Larry Bird-like matchup for many Junes to come. Both teams have a Big 3: Miami's James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have averaged 67.4 points in the playoffs, while the Thunder's trio of Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden have poured in 67.1 points a game.
SPORTS
March 26, 2014 | By Broderick Turner
The individual matchup between Clippers All-Star forward Blake Griffin and New Orleans Pelicans All-Star forward Anthony Davis will be perhaps the most intriguing one to watch when the two teams meet Wednesday night at Smoothie King Center. Griffin has been on a tear, having scored 20-plus points in 29 consecutive games, the longest streak for a Clipper since the franchise moved from San Diego in 1984. He is averaging a team-best 24.2 points per game. Davis also has been on a tear, averaging 31.3 points and 13.5 rebounds in his last nine games.
SPORTS
August 8, 2012 | By Mark Medina
Team USA (5-0) faces Australia (3-1) in the quarterfinals in the 2012 London Olympics beginning Wednesday at 2:15 p.m. PDT. Below are five things to watch. 1. Team USA should have an easy game against Australia. The stakes are higher because it's the medal round. But the reality still remains the same - there's absolutely no way Australia will come close to beating the U.S. The Aussies only feature one NBA player in Patty Mills, who's tied with Pau Gasol in the Olympics as the leading scorer (20.6)
SPORTS
December 31, 2012 | Chris Dufresne
The Rose Bowl pregame weather has been about as crummy as the seven combined losses for Stanford and Wisconsin. It's never good to make Dick Butkus, who made the game-clinching interception for Illinois in the 1964 game, slog through drenching rain during the inaugural Rose Bowl golf tournament. It's regrettable that the leader of the Big Ten champion chose coaching in Arkansas over coaching in Pasadena. The timing for this year's Rose Bowl - let's face it - could have also been better.
SPORTS
October 23, 2010
Minnesota's Brett Favre and Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers have quite the ground games this season. That is to say, they've found themselves on the ground a lot. Favre has been sacked 13 times, and Rodgers has been sacked nine in the last two games. Whichever quarterback gets better protection could walk away the winner Sunday night when the Packers play host to the Vikings in the latest chapter of a bitter NFC North rivalry. A matchup to watch is Packers Pro Bowl left tackle Chad Clifton against Vikings defensive end Jared Allen, who was so dominant against Green Bay last season that Minnesota Coach Brad Childress called it a "feeding frenzy.
SPORTS
March 24, 2012
Looking Ahead MIAMI AT OKLAHOMA CITY: Sunday at 5 p.m. PDT. TV: ESPN It's easy to imagine David Stern fantasizing about a LeBron James vs. Kevin Durant faceoff in the Finals. Both stars are in their 20s and this could evolve into a Magic vs. Bird-like matchup for many Junes to come. Meanwhile, James is chasing his third league MVP award while Durant is hoping to win his first. Both the Heat and Thunder play up-tempo and are among the few teams with winning road records — last season each won on the other's court in splitting two games.
SPORTS
April 4, 2014 | Chris Dufresne
ARLINGTON, Texas - The Final Four has grown so large they had to move it from Planet Earth to Jerry World. It actually makes sense a stadium nicknamed "The Billion Dollar Play Pen" should host college basketball's billion-dollar end games. It makes less sense that everyone except the players seems to be cashing in. This being Texas, of course, one host city was not enough to handle the event, as the NCAA granted this bid to the wide-open-spaces sweep of "North Texas. " That means Amarillo, technically, got a Final Four in the modern era before Los Angeles.
SPORTS
March 27, 2014 | By Shannon Ryan
MIDWEST REGIONAL MATCHUPS At Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis NO. 2 MICHIGAN (27-8) VS. NO. 11 TENNESSEE (24-12) WHAT: NCAA regional semifinal, Friday, 4:15 p.m. TV: Channel 2. Led by forward Jarnell Stokes, who is averaging 20.3 points in the tournament, Tennessee defeated Iowa by 13, Massachusetts by 19 and Mercer by 20. But will the Volunteers have fresh enough legs for their fourth game? Michigan guard Nik Stauskas is shooting a hot 42.9% from three-point range in the Wolverines' two games, and he's below average.
SPORTS
March 27, 2014 | Bill Plaschke
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - There were 10 minutes remaining in what would have been the maddest March moment of all. UCLA trailed top-seeded Florida by just one point. The streaking, upstart Bruins had the veteran Gators reeling, gasping, wondering. Steve Alford's kids were on the verge of stunning their way through South Regional semifinals and on to previously unimaginable greatness. "We really felt like were on the verge of taking the lead," said Norman Powell. "The energy was shifting.
SPORTS
March 27, 2014 | By Eric Sondheimer
 Six state titles will be decided in boys' basketball on Friday and Saturday at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento. Here's a look at the matchups. Open: Santa Ana Mater Dei (34-0) vs. Bishop O'Dowd (28-4), Saturday at 8 p.m.: Mater Dei is going for its fourth consecutive state title and 11th under Coach Gary McKnight. It's the final game for Stanley Johnson, whose legacy as the best player in Mater Dei history is already complete. To win, the Monarchs need to contain 6-foot-10 Ivan Rabb.
SPORTS
March 26, 2014 | By Broderick Turner
The individual matchup between Clippers All-Star forward Blake Griffin and New Orleans Pelicans All-Star forward Anthony Davis will be perhaps the most intriguing one to watch when the two teams meet Wednesday night at Smoothie King Center. Griffin has been on a tear, having scored 20-plus points in 29 consecutive games, the longest streak for a Clipper since the franchise moved from San Diego in 1984. He is averaging a team-best 24.2 points per game. Davis also has been on a tear, averaging 31.3 points and 13.5 rebounds in his last nine games.
SPORTS
March 25, 2014 | Eric Sondheimer
Dan Monson, the basketball coach at Long Beach State, will feel like a proud father this weekend in Sacramento as he watches not one, not two, not three, but four high school players he signed to letters of intent last November play for state championships. "I can cheer for every one of them because they're in four different games," he said. Shooting guard Deontae North of Corona Centennial, forward Jack Williams of West Hills Chaminade, point guard Justin Bibbins of Torrance Bishop Montgomery and power forward Temidayo Yussuf of Alameda St. Joseph Notre Dame form a recruiting class like few others in 49ers history.
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