April 13 (Reuters) - Reuters U.S. sports schedule at 2:30 p.m. ET on Thursday:
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NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
GOING DEEP: NFL draft series
Part III of a four-part draft series on all 32 teams: Going Deep identifies needs and wants remaining after free agency and entering the 2017 draft. Thursday focuses on NFC South and AFC South teams, including the New Orleans Saints looking for an eventual replacement for Drew Brees. (FBN-SAINTS-ANALYSIS-SAINTSDRAFT, moved, The Sports Xchange, by Frank Cooney, 1,200 words)
Former Bucs WR Murphy arrested with loaded gun at airport
Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Louis Murphy was arrested at Tampa International Airport for carrying a loaded gun in a backpack. (FBN-NEWS-BUCCANEERS-MURPHY, moved, The Sports Xchange, 375 words)
Pot Roast done: Knighton retires
Defensive tackle Terrance Knighton has opted to retire as a player in the NFL and intends to pursue a career in coaching. (FBN-PATRIOTS-KNIGHTON-RETIRES, moved, The Sports Xchange, 325 words)
News and notes from around the NFL. (FBN-NOTEBOOK, expect by 7 p.m. ET, The Sports Xchange, 375 words)
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MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
Yankees prospect Kaprielian slated for Tommy John surgery
New York Yankees pitching prospect James Kaprielian is scheduled to undergo Tommy John surgery next week. (BBO-YANKEES-NEWS-KAPRIELIAN, moved, The Sports Xchange, 300 words)
The Sports Xchange covers all MLB games. Thursday schedule:
Minnesota at Detroit 1:05 p.m.
L.A. Dodgers at Chi. Cubs 2:20 p.m.
Texas at L.A. Angels 3:37 p.m.
Chi. White Sox at Cleveland 6:05 p.m.
Tampa Bay at N.Y. Yankees 7:05 p.m.
Baltimore at Toronto 7:07 p.m.
N.Y. Mets at Miami 7:05 p.m.
Milwaukee at Cincinnati 7:05 p.m.
Oakland at Kansas City 8:15 p.m.
Colorado at San Francisco 10:15 p.m.
News and notes from around the league. (MLB-NOTEBOOK, expect by 8 p.m. ET, The Sports Xchange, 400 words)
Capsule recaps of Tuesday’s games. (MLB-ROUNDUP, expect by 8 p.m. ET, The Sports Xchange, 400 words)
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NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
NBA playoff primer: Everyone chasing Warriors
Among the certainties of life these days: Death, taxes and the Golden State Warriors as favorites to win the NBA championship. At least that's the way it seems to the 15 teams that join the Warriors in the playoffs, which begin Saturday with four first-round games. (BKN-ANALYSIS-PLAYOFFCAPSULES, moved, The Sports Xchange, 1,530 words)
Nowitzki to return for 20th season
Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki plans to play a 20th season in 2017-18. (BKN-MAVERICKS-NEWS-NOWITZKI, moved, The Sports Xchange, 345 words)
Magic fire GM Hennigan after fifth straight losing season
The Orlando Magic fired General Manager Rob Hennigan on Thursday, one day after the team missed the playoffs for the fifth straight year. (BKN-MAGIC-NEWS-HENNIGAN, moved, The Sports Xchange, 300 words)
Knicks stick with Jackson’s option
Phil Jackson has yet to find success with the New York Knicks, but the franchise picked up his two-year option to continue a ragged rebuild. (BKN-KNICKS-NEWS-JACKSON, moved, The Sports Xchange, 340 words)
News and notes from around the NBA. (BKN-NOTEBOOK, expect by 7:30 p.m. ET, The Sports Xchange, 375 words)
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NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE
Stars welcome back Hitchcock
Ken Hitchcock will return as the head coach of the Dallas Stars, more than 15 years after being fired by the club he guided to its lone Stanley Cup championship. (HKN-STARS-NEWS-HITCHCOCK, moved, The Sports Xchange, 359 words)
TSX staffs all Stanley Cup playoff games. Thursday schedule:
Toronto at Washington 7 p.m.
Nashville at Chicago 8 p.m.
Calgary at Anaheim 10:30 p.m.
News and notes from around the league. (HKN-NOTEBOOK, expect first version by 9:45 p.m. ET, The Sports Xchange, 375 words)
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PGA Tour: RBC Heritage, Hilton Head Island (to 16)
In-form Kuchar rolls into RBC Heritage
Matt Kuchar, fresh off firing the lowest final-round score at the U.S. Masters where he finished tied for fourth, defending champion Branden Grace and world number 15 Tyrrell Hatton of England are among those competing in the opening round on the Harbour Town course in South Carolina. (GOLF-HERITAGE/, expect by 8 p.m. ET, 350 words)
Donald (6-under) starts strong at Hilton Head
Luke Donald and Danny Lee settled atop the leaderboard midway through the first round of the 2017 RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links in South Carolina. (GLF-PGA-RBC-LEDE-WRITETHRU, expect by 7:30 p.m. ET, The Sports Xchange, 400 words)
Lee, Creamer control LPGA Lotte lead
Paula Creamer and Mi Hyang Lee shared the early lead at the LPGA Lotte Championship. (GLF-LPGA-LOTTE, expect by 6:30 p.m. ET, The Sports Xchange, 400 words)