Belmont, baseball, Isles and Nets playoffs continue return of fans to sporting events


Photos: Associated Press

BELMONT, L.I. — Seems things we are getting back to normal when it comes to New York sports.

Tens of thousands of fans are expected to route on their teams and ponies Saturday. The 153rd running of the Belmont Stakes is taking place on the Nassau/Queens border Saturday evening. About 11,000 fans are expected despite no Triple Crown bid being possible in 2021.

A few miles away at Nassau Coliseum, the New York Islanders will try to even their second round playoff series with the Boston Bruins.

“It’s a good game, both teams are playing hard and in terms of how tough it is.  It’s tough for about 10 minutes and then it’s the playoffs so you you turn the page,” said Islanders center Mat Barzal.

About 12,000 fans were on hand Thursday for a tough loss in overtime and the same sized crowd expected for game 4. This could be the Islanders’ final game at the nearly 50-year-old Coliseum, as next year they plan to move to an arena not far from the racetrack at Belmont.

Shoot up to the Bronx, where the hated and red hot Boston Red Sox are in town to face the Yankees. Pinstripe fans are hoping the bats will heat up and the Bronx Bombers can even the score against their biggest rival.

At the Barclays Center, the Brooklyn Nets look to take the first game of their second round playoff series against the Milwaukee Bucks. This should be a fun one as the two teams scored the most points in the NBA during the regular season.

“They’re playing as well as any team in the league right now. We have the talent to match any team in the league and it’s just a matter of who performs, who has that grit and toughness to get ahead in the series. I could see this being a classic series,” said Nets coach Steve Nash.

If you’re not tired out after all of that, you can keep it going well past midnight, as the NL East-leading Mets are on the west coast for a visit to the San Diego Padres late Saturday night.

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