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L.A. preparing for wild sports Sunday

by Curtis Zupke
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Earlier in the season, Drew Doughty and Mike Richards probably wouldn't have garnered much recognition or cheers by showing up at a Los Angeles Lakers game. But this is no ordinary time to be a sports fan in Los Angeles.

The two were shown on the big screen Friday night for the Lakers-Oklahoma City playoff game and the basketball fans gave the Staples Center co-tenants a proper acknowledgment. While the Kings are playing this deep into spring for the first time in 19 years, the Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers are also in the playoffs in an unprecedented smash-up of local sports on Sunday.

"I think it's great for the city," Rob Scuderi said. "Especially the Kings and the Lakers have been very successful … but for the Kings, it's been kind of a long drought as far as the postseason goes and postseason success. It's fun to see the city kind of rally around it and get into it. It's something that doesn't happen very often. Hopefully all three teams can go even farther."

Coach Darryl Sutter perked up Saturday when asked about his younger players relishing the excitement of the postseason and the light that's on the Kings.

"It's awesome for the young guys," Sutter said. "They haven't had it. Most of them hadn't even won a playoff game. Why not experience the experience, right? Same thing you're doing. Experience the experience, right? It's the best part of it. Why shouldn't they be able to do that? That's the only way you get it. Otherwise you go watch another team play, right? That's the best part of it."

The Kings are playing at 12 p.m. PT on Sunday, followed by a 7:30 p.m. Clippers game. Adding to the frenzy is the Amgen Tour of California bike race that will finish Sunday at L.A. Live, the entertainment complex across the street from Staples. The Kings are staying at a nearby hotel and won't have to deal with the so-called "Sportsageddon," other than walking to the arena.

"It's going to be crazy down there – in the building and outside the building," Richards said. "[Thursday] night was pretty intense and loud, so I'm looking for that again."

There will be several street closures around downtown and parking will be limited. A shuttle will run from the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to Staples Center from 8:30 a.m. PT until one hour after the game's conclusion.

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