April 19th, 2010
12:23 PM ET

Sports Update: NHL, NBA playoffs heat up

LeBron James and the Cavaliers look to win their second game against the Bulls tonight.

SI.com’s Ian Thomsen is convinced that only five teams can realistically win the NBA title including the Cleveland Cavaliers. “Their critics used to dismiss the Cavs as a team of hype, but now they are substantially the favorites to beat in just about every area worth perusing,” says Thomsen. “They have earned the best record at home and on the road, and they have the best player in the world, who at 25 is approaching his peak.

They can draw from the unassailable experience of seven postseason series victories over the last four years, including the humbling losses (a 2008 Finals sweep by San Antonio, a conference finals loss last year to the lesser-seeded Magic) that define most champions.” The Cavaliers-Bulls game highlights (all times Eastern) a busy sports schedule that includes a tripleheader of NHL playoff games:

-Bulls at Cavaliers (8 p.m., TNT)
LeBron James said the Cavaliers “have the look of a champion” after its 96-83 victory in Game One of the Eastern Conference series. We'll see how they look tonight.

-Capitals at Canadians (7:00 pm, TSN)
Washington produced a thrilling comeback Saturday night, a 6-5 overtime win to the tie the series at 1-1 after they fell behind by three goals in the second period. Caps star Alex Ovechkin had a goal and three assists, while linemate Nicklas Backstrom finished with a hat trick including the game-winning goal 31 seconds into overtime. The series shifts to Montreal tonight.

-Canucks at Kings (10:00 PM, Versus)
Hockey fans in Hollywood have not seen a home game in eight years but that changes tonight as Vancouver comes to the Staples Center with the series tied at 1-1. The Canucks were 19-20-2 on the road during the regular season.


BY THE NUMBERS

2,706
Career hits for White Sox infielder Omar Vizquel’s, who passed Doc Cramer for 60th on the career list with his double on Sunday.

25
Combined rebounds by Lakers frontcourt mates Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum in Los Angeles’s 87-79 win over Oklahoma City Sunday in the opener of their playoff series.

20

goals this season for Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored yesterday in a 2-0 win over Valencia. Real Madrid has 83 points, one less than leader Barcelona,

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