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NBA playoffs: Stephen Curry leads Warriors in opener

Stephen Curry scores 34 points and the Warriors fight off a late rally by the Pelicans for a 106-99 victory

Stephen Curry scored 34 points with an MVP-worthy performance, and the Golden State Warriors went up big before holding off the New Orleans Pelicans, 106-99, in their playoff opener Saturday at Oakland.

Klay Thompson added 21 points, and Draymond Green and Andrew Bogut dominated down low as the Warriors looked every bit like the NBA's top seed — at least for three quarters. .

The Warriors led by 15 after the first quarter, 18 at the half and 25 late in the third. The Pelicans pulled within four in the final minute behind Anthony Davis, who scored 20 of his 35 points in the fourth quarter, to make the contest seem closer than it was.

Game 2 is Monday night in Oakland, where the Warriors have won 19 straight. They are now 41-0 when limiting to teams fewer than 100 points.

Davis shot 13 of 23 from the floor and grabbed seven rebounds in his playoff debut.

Green finished with 15 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists. Bogut had 12 points, 14 rebounds and five assists.

at Chicago 103, Milwaukee 91: Derrick Rose had 23 points and seven assists in his first postseason game in three years, Jimmy Butler scored 25 points, and the Bulls won the series opener.

Rose was at his fearless best, driving hard to the rim in the early going, and mixed in three three-pointers in the second half. He made nine of 16 shots and was serenaded with "MVP! MVP!" chants.

Washington 93, at Toronto 86 (OT): Paul Pierce scored five of his 20 points in overtime, Nene had 12 points and 13 rebounds, and the Wizards dominated the extra session after blowing a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter.

Pierce made a three-pointer, his fourth of the game, to begin the overtime. It furthered tormented a Raptors team he eliminated with Brooklyn in last year's playoffs and then derided this week by saying, "I don't feel they have the 'it' that makes you worried," in an interview with ESPN.

Amir Johnson scored 18 points and DeMar DeRozan had 15 for the Raptors, who have yet to win the opening game of a first-round series in seven postseason appearances.

Washington held a double-digit lead in the second half, but Greivis Vasquez, who took over after All-Star Kyle Lowry fouled out, tied it at 82-all by making a three-pointer with 25 seconds left.

at Houston 118, Dallas 108: James Harden had 24 points, making 15 of 17 free throws, and Corey Brewer scored 13 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Rockets in the series opener.

Seven players scored in double figures for the Rockets. Brewer made three three-pointers in about three minutes in the fourth to keep the Mavericks at bay. Dirk Nowitzki had 24 points for Dallas, which trailed by 15 points in the first quarter.

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