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The NBA playoffs begin today with a quartet of games. The Brooklyn Nets visit Toronto to take on the Atlantic Division champion Raptors in the Eastern Conference, while the second afternoon game features a Western Conference opener between the Golden State Warriors and Clippers at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Indiana is the top seed in the East despite a late-season swoon and will open its series tonight at home against the Atlanta Hawks, while the nightcap features a Western Conference matchup between the Grizzlies and Northwest champion Thunder in Oklahoma City.


Today's NHL playoff slate features a trio of teams trying to build on series- opening wins. The St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks are back at it again in St. Louis after the Blues captured a triple-overtime victory in the Western Conference series opener against the defending Stanley Cup champions. Pittsburgh will host Columbus for Game 2 of its Eastern Conference matchup after the Penguins rallied for a win in the opener, while the Avalanche will also try to make it two in a row at home after stunning the Wild in Game 1 of their Western Conference quarterfinal with a tying goal late in the third period before winning it in overtime.


Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka will meet in an all-Swiss final at the Monte Carlo Masters after both were semifinal winners on Saturday. Federer has never won this storied clay court event, mostly because of the dominance of Rafael Nadal, but will get a chance on Sunday after a 7-5, 6-2 win over defending champion Novak Djokovic in the second semifinal. Three straight times Federer lost in the final to Nadal, who won this title eight consecutive years before falling to Djokovic in last year's final. Nadal wasn't around for the semifinals this year after losing to fellow Spaniard David Ferrer in the quarterfinals. Ferrer, the 2011 Monte Carlo runner-up to Nadal, was unable to duplicate his success from Friday as Wawrinka claimed a 6-1, 7-6 (7-3) victory in the first semifinal.


Jim Furyk and Ben Martin joined overnight leader K.J. Choi atop the leaderboard at 5-under par after 36 holes of the Heritage in South Carolina. Choi had completed his second round with a 4-under 67 before weather halted play on Friday and forced the remaining players back to the course on Saturday morning. Furyk then finished a 5-under 66 Saturday for his share of the top spot and Martin carded a 3-under 68 to also reach the top. Matt Kuchar held a piece of the first-round lead at minus-5, but only played a few holes Friday and on Saturday dropped all the way back to even-par before a late surge allowed him to finish at 3-under with a host of others, including Luke Donald and fellow first-round co-leader Scott Langley. Third-round play is set to begin this afternoon.

Next check of Sports News at 2:30 - 2:45 p.m. (et) 04/19 12:09:38 ET