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This Weekend in Sports: The Players Championship and NBA, NHL Playoffs

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Richard Heathcote, Tyler Lecka, Ronald Martinez, Chris Trotman / Getty Images

One of the PGA Tour’s most lucrative tournaments and the NBA and NHL playoffs highlight the upcoming sports calendar. Here’s what to watch this weekend:

Friday, May 10

The Players Championship — Round 2

TPC at Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.; 12 p.m. (ET) Golf Channel; through Sunday, May 12
A $9.5 million purse is at stake at the 40th Players Championship, beginning Thursday at Sawgrass in Florida. Golf’s greatest players will attempt to tame one of the sport’s most challenging courses, including the famed island green on the 17th hole. Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Brandt Snedeker and defending champ Matt Kuchar are all expected to contend for the title.

NHL Playoffs: Game 5 — New York Rangers at Washington Capitals

Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.; 7:30 p.m. (ET) on NBC Sports Network
The New York Rangers and Washington Capitals Stanley Cup playoff series is deadlocked at two games apiece. Alex Ovechkin and the Caps will try to stem the momentum the Rangers and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist have built by winning the past two games.

NBA Playoffs: Game 3 — Miami Heat at Chicago Bulls

United Center, Chicago; 8 p.m. (ET) on ESPN
The Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls split the first two games of their best-of-seven, Eastern Conference semifinals. LeBron James has been nearly unstoppable for the Heat, but Chicago’s diminutive Nate Robinson has also been effective, averaging 18.3 points per game thus far in the postseason.

NBA Playoffs: Game 3 — San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors

Oracle Arena, Oakland, Calif.; 10:30 p.m. (ET) on ESPN
After splitting the first two games of their best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal series, the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors will shift the setting to Oakland. The Warriors have been led by hot-shooting guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, while Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili have paced the Spurs.

Saturday, May 11

NHL Playoffs: Game 6 — Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Islanders

Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, N.Y.; TBA (ET) on TSN
The New York Islanders have split the first four games of their NHL playoff series with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Game 5 is Thursday night. Center Sidney Crosby has returned to lead the Pens, while dynamic Isles center John Tavares has been the force behind the New York attack.

NBA Playoffs: Game 3 — Oklahoma City Thunder at Memphis Grizzlies

FedEx Forum, Memphis, Tenn.; 5 p.m. (ET) on ESPN
Behind inspired play from Mike Conley, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, the Memphis Grizzlies earned a split of the first two games of their series against the Oklahoma City Thunder. OKC’s Kevin Durant is still the best player on the court, but he needs help to take the Thunder back to the NBA Finals.

Bojangles’ Southern 500

Darlington Raceway, Darlington, S.C.; 7 p.m. (ET) on Fox
Jimmie Johnson has a commanding 41-point lead in the 2013 Sprint Cup Series standings heading into this weekend’s NASCAR race in South Carolina. Drivers Carl Edwards and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are in second and third place. Johnson won this race in 2012.

NBA Playoffs: Game 3 — New York Knicks at Indiana Pacers

Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis; 8 p.m. (ET) on ABC
Thanks to the scoring of Carmelo Anthony and the all-around play of Raymond Felton, the New York Knicks evened up their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Indiana Pacers in Game 2. The teams resume play on Saturday in Indianapolis, where Paul George and Roy Hibbert will look to lead the Pacers to victory.

Sunday, May 12

NBA Playoffs: Game 4 — San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors

Oracle Arena, Oakland, Calif.; 3:30 p.m. (ET) on ESPN
The San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors will play Game 4 in Oakland. Warriors big man Andrew Bogut will battle Spurs veteran Tim Duncan in the paint.

Los Angeles Angels at Chicago White Sox

U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago; 8:05 p.m. (ET) on ESPN
The Los Angeles Angels (11-22) have stumbled badly in the season’s first month. Big hitters Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton have been slow to produce, while Mike Scoscia’s pitching staff ranks 13th in the American League in earned run average. The Angels will send C.J. Wilson (3-1, 3.86) to the mound to battle the Chicago White Sox (14-18), whose lineup is led by Alex Rios’s eight home runs and 17 RBIs. Chris Sale (3-2, 3.42) will get the start for Chicago.

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