Heat 100, Knicks 67
LeBron James took the fourth quarter off. And host Miamiís postseason got off to a flying start.
James scored 32 points after shooting 10-for-14 from the field, Dwyane Wade added 19 points in his first game back after dislocating his left index finger and the Heat rode the strength of a 32-2 run to easily beat the New York Knicks in Game 1 of the teamsí Eastern Conference first-round series on Saturday.
It was physical, it was heated ó and it was one-sided, too.
Mario Chalmers added 11 points and nine assists for Miami, which turned 27 New York turnovers into a franchise playoff-record 38 points. The Knicks were called for 21 fouls in the first half, Miami enjoying a 28-5 advantage in free throws attempted in the first 24 minutes alone, and center Tyson Chandler sent James flying with what was called a flagrant foul as the Heat were blowing the game open in the first half.
J.R. Smith scored 17 for the Knicks, who lost Iman Shumpert to a knee injury in the third quarter and have dropped 11 straight playoff games dating back to 2001. Carmelo Anthony missed 12-of-15 shots and finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Baron Davis added 10 points for New York.
Magic 81, Pacers 77
Jason Richardson and Jameer Nelson scored 17 points apiece to help sixth-seeded Orlando, playing without Dwight Howard, surprise the third-seeded Indiana Pacers in Game 1 of the first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.
Howard, the Magicís leading scorer and the leagueís top rebounder, will miss the rest of the season after having back surgery. The visiting Magic played defense Howard would have been proud of down the stretch, overcoming a seven-point deficit by holding the Pacers scoreless for the final 4:05.
David West scored 19 points, Danny Granger added 17 and Roy Hibbert had eight points, 13 rebounds and nine blocks for the Pacers. Granger traveled with 7.5 seconds left and the Pacers trailing by three.
Orlando took a 68-67 lead on a dunk by Earl Clark with 9:41 remaining, but the Pacers held the Magic scoreless for nearly five minutes to take a 75-68 lead.
A 3-pointer by Richardson cut Indianaís lead to 77-75. The Pacers missed 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions, and Granger missed two free throws with 1:14 left. Richardson made another 3-pointer to give the Magic a 78-77 lead with 1:04 to play.
Granger missed in close, and Orlando snagged the rebound. Nelson was fouled and made two free throws with 24.5 seconds left to take an 80-77 lead.
Bulls 103, 76ers 91
Derrick Rose scored 23 points before being helped off the court late in the game with an injured left knee, casting a cloud over the host Chicago Bullsí victory over the Philadelphia 76ers in the playoff opener.
Rose found his touch after a slow start in this game and also contributed nine rebounds and nine assists. Hamilton added 19 points, Luol Deng scored 17 and Joakim Noah (12 points, 13 rebounds) had a double-double for Chicago.
Elton Brand led Philadelphia with 19 points. Jrue Holiday scored 16, and Thaddeus Young had 13 points. Chicago product Evan Turner scored 12 and was booed mercilessly after acknowledging he thought the Miami Heat would be a tougher first-round matchup.
Well, he might want to reconsider that after this one.
The Bulls simply overwhelmed the Sixers and looked like a team gearing up for another big run after losing to Miami in the conference finals last season. They earned home-court advantage throughout the playoffs for the second straight year and sure looked like a championship contender in this one, right until the end.
Rose hit just 1-of-7 shots in the first quarter but went on a tear late in the second as the Bulls took a 53-42 lead to the locker room. He then scored eight in the third and hit two 3-pointers to help Chicago stay in control.
After the Sixers pulled within eight, Korver nailed a 3 to start a 12-2 run that stretched into the fourth and made it 84-66.