Sunday's NBA Playoff Capsules
Monday, April 18, 2011
BOSTON (AP) — Ray Allen hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 12 seconds left, Paul Pierce shut down Carmelo Anthony and the Boston Celtics rallied to beat the New York Knicks 87-85 in their playoff opener on Sunday night.
New York led 85-84 before Anthony was called for an offensive foul for pushing Pierce with 21 seconds remaining. Allen, who led the Celtics with 24 points, sank the decisive basket from beyond the left arc.
The Knicks then rushed downcourt and Anthony missed a long 3-point attempt with 2 seconds left. The superstar forward went 1 for 11 from the field in the second half.
Amare Stoudemire had 28 points and 11 rebounds for New York, and Anthony finished with 15.
Knicks point guard Chauncey Billups left with 51 seconds remaining, and doctors told him the injury was a strained left knee or thigh muscle. Billups was unsure of his availability for Game 2 of the best-of-seven series Tuesday night in Boston.
Pierce scored 18 points and Kevin Garnett added 15 points and 13 rebounds for the Celtics.
Hornets 109, Lakers 100
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Chris Paul had 33 points, 14 assists and seven rebounds, and New Orleans pulled away down the stretch, stunning the two-time defending NBA champion in its playoff opener.
Carl Landry scored 17 points and Jarrett Jack added 15 for the seventh-seeded Hornets, who overcame Los Angeles’ major size advantage with a phenomenal game from Paul. The star playmaker scored 17 points in the fourth quarter, leading a late 8-0 run.
Kobe Bryant scored 34 points for the Lakers, who opened the postseason with the same halfhearted effort that comprised much of their regular season after three straight exhausting trips to the NBA finals.
Game 2 is Wednesday at Staples Center.
Los Angeles’ 7-foot starters, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum, were widely expected to be an awful matchup for smallish New Orleans, but Paul led an impressive offensive game plan that minimized the big men’s impact while emphasizing tough-to-defend pick-and-roll plays.
Thunder 107, Nuggets 103
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Kevin Durant scored 41 points, Russell Westbrook had two crucial late baskets among his 31 points and Oklahoma City pulled out a victory in Game 1 of its first-round playoff series.
The Thunder leaned heavily on their two All-Stars, who both scored their most points in the postseason.
Kendrick Perkins tipped in Westbrook’s missed jumper to put Oklahoma City up 102-101 with 1:06 left, as several Nuggets looked for it to be waved off as basket interference. Kenyon Martin then missed a jumper from the left wing before Westbrook struck to make it 104-101 with 22.4 seconds left.
Raymond Felton missed a potential tying 3-pointer with 12 seconds left, and Oklahoma City closed it out at the foul line.
Nene led Denver with 22 points and eight rebounds, and Danilo Gallinari scored 18.
Grizzlies 101, Spurs 98
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Zach Randolph had 25 points and 14 rebounds, Shane Battier hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 23.9 seconds left, and Memphis earned the first playoff victory in franchise history.
Randolph, who scored nine in the fourth quarter and punished San Antonio under the basket, might have saved his hardest contact for a chest bump with Mike Conley after the final buzzer. The Grizzlies bench spilled onto the court, waving towels and leaping back into the locker room.
San Antonio had a chance to force overtime, but Richard Jefferson missed an open 3-pointer as time expired. Tony Parker led the Spurs with 20 points, but they sorely missed All-Star Manu Ginobili, who continued to rest his sprained right elbow.