LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers are expected to resume play with Game 5 against the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday in Orlando, Fla. File Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 28 (UPI) -- The return of college football and the NHL and NBA playoffs highlight live sports action this weekend.
Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, NASCAR and UFC also have a number of planned events. The leagues have banned fans from attending events or have reduced capacities due to coronavirus pandemic safety precautions.
But fans will be in the stands -- in limited fashion -- at the Cramton Bowl on Saturday in Montgomery, Ala., to watch the Austin Peay Governors take on the Central Arkansas Bears in the first game of the 2020 college football season.
The Football Championship Subdivision clash marks the end of six months of uncertainty that fans might not get to see football at all this fall due to the pandemic. The Football Bowl Subdivision series -- the top-tier of Division I football -- will start Thursday.
Austin Peay and Central Arkansas kick off at 9 p.m. EDT on ESPN.
Stanley Cup playoffs
The NHL postponed two days of Stanley Cup playoff games this week in response to sports-wide protests of the shooting of Jacob Blake. The league plans to resume the second-round playoff slate Saturday.
The Boston Bruins will face the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first matchup of the weekend with Game 4 of that series planned for noon EDT Saturday on NBC. Tampa Bay has a 2-1 series lead.
The Philadelphia Flyers will take on the New York Islanders in Game 3 of their tied series at 7 p.m. EDT Saturday on NBCSN. The Vegas Golden Knights and Vancouver Canucks also are tied at 1-1 in their series, and they will play Game 3 at 9:45 p.m. EDT Saturday on NBCSN.
Sunday's hockey schedule begins with the Colorado Avalanche against the Dallas Stars in a Game 4 at 6 p.m. EDT on NBCSN. The Flyers and Islanders will clash in Game 4 of their series at 8 p.m. EDT Sunday on NBC. The Golden Knights and Canucks will play in Sunday's nightcap with a 10:30 p.m. EDT start for their Game 4.
NBA playoffs return
The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association announced Friday the playoffs will resume Saturday in Orlando, Fla., after games were postponed Wednesday, Thursday and Friday because of athlete sit-outs.
In a joint statement, the league and its players said they will work together on multiple initiatives to combat social injustice and racial inequality, promote voting access and advocate for police reform.
"These commitments follow months of close collaboration around designing a safe and healthy environment to restart the NBA season, providing a platform to promote social justice, as well as creating an NBA Foundation focused on economic empowerment in the Black community," NBA commissioner Adam Silver and NBPA executive director Michele Roberts said in the statement.
"We look forward to the resumption of the playoffs and continuing to work together -- in Orlando and in all NBA team markets -- to push for meaningful and sustainable change."
The Milwaukee Bucks -- the first sports team to refuse to play Wednesday -- are scheduled to face the Orlando Magic in Game 5 of their first-round Eastern Conference series. The Bucks have a 3-1 series lead.
The Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets will play Game 5 of their series -- which is tied 2-2 -- after the Bucks-Magic clash. The Los Angeles Lakers are up 3-1 on the Portland Trail Blazers ahead of their Game 5 clash.
Those six teams are set to play Saturday, with another three games slated for Sunday.
The Utah Jazz have a 3-2 lead over the Denver Nuggets ahead of that first-round Game 6. The Los Angeles Clippers have a 3-2 lead in their series against the Dallas Mavericks.
The Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors are the only teams to clinch spots in the second round. They will match up in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinals series Sunday.
From there, the NBA playoffs are expected to go on as previously scheduled.
BMW Championship: Third round from noon to 3 p.m. EDT on Golf Channel; 3 to 6 p.m. EDT on NBC
Basketball -- NBA playoffs
Game 5: Magic vs. Bucks at 3:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN
Game 5: Thunder vs. Rockets at 6:30 p.m. EDT on TNT
Game 5: Trail Blazers vs. Lakers at 9 p.m. EDT on TNT
Hockey -- Stanley Cup playoffs
Game 4: Lightning vs. Bruins at noon EDT on NBC
Game 3: Flyers vs. Islanders at 7 p.m. EDT on NBCSN
Game 3: Golden Knights vs. Canucks at 9:45 p.m. EDT on NBCSN
Cup Series: Coke Zero Sugar 400 at 7:30 p.m. EDT on NBC
Indians at Cardinals at 1:15 p.m. EDT on Fox
Braves at Phillies at 1:15 p.m. EDT on Fox
Royals at White Sox at 2:10 p.m. EDT on FS1
MLS: New England Revolution vs. New York Red Bulls at 8 p.m. EDT on FS1
Austin Peay vs. Central Arkansas at 9 p.m. EDT on ESPN
UFC Fight Night on ESPN+
Magomed Ankalaev vs. Ion Cutelaba at 9 p.m. EDT
Ricardo Lamas vs. Bill Algeo after first fight
Ji Yeon Kim vs. Alexa Grasso after second fight
Robbie Lawler vs. Neil Magny after third fight
Anthony Smith vs. Aleksandar Rakic after fourth fight
BMW Championship: Fourth-round from noon to 3 p.m. EDT on Golf Channel; 3 to 6 p.m. EDT on NBC
Mets at Yankees at 1:05 p.m. EDT on TBS
Giants at Diamondbacks at 4:10 p.m. EDT on ESPN
Braves at Phillies at 7:08 p.m. EDT on ESPN
Hockey -- Stanley Cup playoffs (if necessary)
Game 4: Stars vs. Avalanche at 6 p.m. EDT on NBCSN
Game 4: Flyers vs. Islanders at 8 p.m. EDT on NBC
Game 4: Golden Knights vs. Canucks at 10:30 p.m. EDT on NBCSN
MLS: Seattle Sounders vs. Los Angeles Football Club at 10 p.m. EDT on FS1
Game 1: Celtics vs. Raptors at 1 p.m. EDT on ESPN
Game 6: Clippers vs. Mavericks at 3:30 p.m. EDT on ESPN
Game 6: Nuggets vs. Jazz at 8:30 p.m. EDT on TNT