NBA playoffs: Pelicans hold off Trail Blazers 97-95 in Game 1
Anthony Davis had 35 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks, and the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Portland Trail Blazers 97-95 on Saturday night in Game 1 of their playoff series.
Jrue Holiday added 21 points, outplaying both Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, and had a big blocked shot in the closing seconds as New Orleans held on after Portland erased almost all of a 19-point deficit.
The sixth-seeded Pelicans were the only road team to win on the opening day of the NBA playoffs.
Lillard finished with 18 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, while McCollum had 19 points.
at Raptors 114, Wizards 106: Serge Ibaka had 23 points and 12 rebounds, Delon Wright scored 11 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, and the Toronto Raptors snapped a 10-game losing streak in playoff series openers by beating the Washington Wizards 114-106 on Saturday.
DeMar DeRozan added 17 points, C.J. Miles and OG Anunoby each had 12, and Kyle Lowry had 11 points and nine assists for the Raptors, whose only previous victory in the opening game of a playoff series came in the second round against Philadelphia in 2001.
Toronto entered having lost an NBA-worst 10 consecutive Game 1s since, including six at home.
The top-seeded team in the Eastern Conference, Toronto made 16 of 30 3-point attempts, with Miles making four, and Ibaka and Wright each hitting three.
The Raptors host Game 2 on Tuesday.
John Wall had 23 points and 15 assists for the Wizards, while Markieff Morris had 22 points and 11 rebounds.
Bradley Beal scored 19 points for Washington, while Mike Scott had 14 and Marcin Gortat 12.
at Warriors 113, Spurs 92: Kevin Durant helped the defending champions get defensive in a hurry, finishing with 24 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, and the Golden State Warriors returned to their old dominant selves at playoff time to beat the cold-shooting San Antonio Spurs 113-92 on Saturday in Oakland.
Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson took charge in Game 1 of the first-round series to elevate the Warriors’ intensity at last playing without fellow All-Star and injured two-time MVP Stephen Curry, sidelined since March 23 with a sprained left knee.
Thompson found his shot and scored 27 points, making 11 of 13 shots, while 7-footer JaVale McGee started in Steve Kerr’s center-by-committee approach and contributed 15 points, four rebounds and two blocked shots in 16 minutes.
Rudy Gay led the Spurs with 15 points off the bench as leading scorer LaMarcus Aldridge was limited to 14 points on five-for-12 shooting.
Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is Monday night at Oracle Arena.
The defending champions looked unbeatable again. And that was without the do-everything Curry.
The Warriors said all week it’s a new season, then went out and showed it. They have plans for nothing short of a repeat title.
Golden State came with the kind of swarming defense it is so used to playing but hadn’t shown much lately as rotations were mixed and matched because of injuries and illness.
San Antonio couldn’t keep up from the opening tip.
Beat up and missing its four All-Stars at times, Golden State endured a stretch losing seven of 10 last month.
“I noticed that Steph wasn’t there,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich cracked before the game. “I watched real closely. I turned it off for a while turned it back on and he still wasn’t there. I noticed that. But after that I didn’t watch anything else, it was too scary.”
Golden State swept San Antonio in the Western Conference finals a year ago on the way to a second championship in three seasons and an astonishing, record-setting 16-1 postseason run.
at 76ers 130, Heat 103: Ben Simmons had 17 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds in his playoff debut, and the Philadelphia 76ers romped again without Joel Embiid, beating the Miami Heat 130-103 on Saturday night for their 17th straight win.
Embiid was a spectator in Game 1 of the first-round series because of a broken orbital bone around his left eye. The All-Star center has been hopeful he can return early in the series. The Sixers could end this one early with Embiid back in the lineup.
Simmons dished and dazzled in the paint and the Heat had no answer for Sixers reserves Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova. Belinelli and Ilyasova combined to hit four 3-pointers in the third quarter that helped shift the tone from physical and foul-filled to a long-distance game that allowed the Sixers to put away this one. They used a 15-0 run in the third in their first postseason game in five seasons under coach Brett Brown to get the rout rolling.
Brown won 47 games his first three seasons as the Sixers underwent the Process — and 52, plus Game 1 this season.
JJ Redick scored 28 points to lead the Sixers, who host Game 2 on Monday. Belinelli had 25 and Ilyasova 17.
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