Opening weekend of the NBA playoffs saw every home team win. And win comfortably
On Day one the higher-seeded Knicks, Nets and Clippers won by a combined 45 points. Only the Denver Nuggets were pushed (97-95 over Golden State Warriors).
Day two was even less suspenseful, as the Heat, Thunder, Spurs and Pacers asserted their home advantage by a combined 81 points.
Of course, in a best-of-seven series, 1-0 is far from over and game two is another game. And not to say that there weren't tremendous performances on show. Just little tension.
LeBron James scored 27 points, finishing two assists shy of a triple-double, as defending champions Miami Heat picked up where they left off in the NBA playoffs a year ago, never trailing on the way to beating the Milwaukee Bucks 110-87 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference first-round series on Sunday.
Ray Allen scored 20 off the bench, Dwyane Wade scored 16 and Chris Bosh added 15 for the Heat. Brandon Jennings scored 26 points and Monta Ellis added 22 for the Bucks, who have not won the opening game of a playoff series since May 2001. Game 2 is Tuesday in Miami.
Also in the East, Paul George scored 23 points and recorded his first playoff triple double to lead the Indiana Pacers past the Atlanta Hawks 107-90.
In the West, the Oklahoma City Thunder cruised away from the Houston Rockets 120-91, closing out Jeremy Lin to just 4 points. Kevin Durant scored 24 points, Russell Westbrook made a run at a triple-double in three quarters; ex-teammate James Harden scored 20 points.
The San Antonio Spurs beat the Los Angeles Lakers 91-79 in Game 1 of their Western Conference first-round series, with .
The big names all contributed on the court: Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker scoring 18 points each, Tim Duncan 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Spurs. Dwight Howard had 20 points and 15 rebounds, Steve Nash 16 points and Pau Gasol 16 points and 16 rebounds for LA.
Some contributed off the court too, Despite the double-doubles from Howard and Gasol, the Lakers failed to take advantage of their inside presence, to the consternation of Kobe Bryant, injured, watching on TV and wanting to talk.
In this age of instant media what was an out-of-action superstar to do?
Postgame, Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni responded: "It's great to have that commentary...He's a fan right now, he's a fan, you guys put a little more importance on that kind of fan. He gets excited, he wants to be part of it, I don't blame him, it's good."
Teammate Steve Blake offered a sympathetic: "He'd be saying that same stuff right to our faces if he was here, tell us what to do and when to do it. I'm sure he's feeling terrible not being here, and he just wants to stay connected."
Dwight Howard suggested: "We're the guys that have to control what we do on the floor."
Day three of the NBA playoffs sees the Brooklyn Nets seek to add to Saturday's game one victory over the Chicago Bulls and the LA Clippers hoping to take a 2-0 lead over the Memphis Grizzlies.
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image: © Keith Allison