Miami Heat, Portland Trail Blazers go up 2-0
Monta Ellis scored 21 points, Shawn Marion added 20 and the visiting eighth-seeded Dallas Mavericks spanked the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs 113-92 on Wednesday night to knot their Western Conference first-round series at one-game apiece.
The Mavs didn’t hang their heads after blowing a 10-point cushion and were outscored 19-4 in the final 7.5 minutes of Sunday’s 90-85 loss.
Instead, they responded with a dominating effort to snap a 10-game slide against the league-best Spurs.
Devin Harris netted 18 points and German superstar Dirk Nowizki had 16 for the Mavericks, who took control in second quarter and never looked back in the lopsided victory.
“Great team effort,” Nowitzki said. “Like I said after game one, if we compete like we did I like our chances again. I like our intensity right now.” The Mavs host the next to contests beginning with game 3 on Friday night after taking away the home-court advantage.
Argentine ace Manu Ginobili had 27 points, Frenchman Tony Parker added 12 for the Spurs, who committed 24 turnovers — the most in a playoff game since 2007— leading to 33 Mavs’ points in the beat-down.
Blazers beat Rockets
LaMarcus Aldridge (above) followed up his playoff franchise-record 46-point effort in game one with 43 more, and the fifth-seeded visiting Trail Blazers beat the fourth-seeded Rockets to grab a 2-0 lead in their Western Conference opening-round series.
Portland hosts the next two contests beginning Friday night with game 3 of the best-of-seven series.
Damian Lillard tallied 18 points, including six free throws down the stretch along with 11 assists and eight rebounds for the Blazers. Dwight Howard had 32 points but just seven in the second half along with 14 rebounds for the Rockets, who received 18 points from James Harden.
Heat take lead
LeBron James (below) scored 32 points, Chris Bosh added 20 while Dwyane Wade had 15 and the game-saving steal in the closing seconds, as the Heat held off Bobcats to take a 2-0 lead in their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist scored 22 points, Al Jefferson had 18 with 13 rebounds for Charlotte, which got 16 points from Walker.
Charlotte hosts the next two contests with game 3 Saturday in the best-of-seven series.