NBA Playoffs - Top seeds Heat, Bulls grab 2-0 leads - Pakistan Today

NBA Playoffs – Top seeds Heat, Bulls grab 2-0 leads

MIAMI – The Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls, the top two seeds in the Eastern Conference, posted victories on Monday to seize 2-0 leads in their first-round NBA playoff series.
The No. 1 seeded Bulls held on to beat eighth seeded Indiana 96-90 while the second seeded Heat routed Philadelphia 94-73 in their best-of-seven series.
LeBron James scored 29 points and Chris Bosh had his second straight double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds as Miami easily beat Philadelphia.
James also had seven rebounds and six assists for the Heat who never trailed in game two.
Dwyane Wade, who missed practice with a headache Sunday, also scored 14 points.
“He controlled the game,” James said of Wade. “He had two people on him so he just got off the ball and let other guys make things happen and it’s good to have him on the court.”
Thaddeus Young scored 18 points and Evan Turner added 15 for the 76ers, who shot just 26 percent in a dismal first half.
Mike Bibby’s three pointer gave Miami a 49-31 lead at halftime, with Bosh, James and Wade all scoring at least 10 points.
“We know this team is going to have a lot of energy when we go back to Philly,” Bosh said. “We’re going to have to keep that in mind and get off to another great start.”
Game three is Thursday in Philadelphia.
The Heat stretched their lead to as high as 25 in the second half and led 75-52 at the end of the third. With the game in hand Miami rested their stars in the final quarter.
“Our energy tonight was much better,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said, “from beginning to end.”
It was Philadelphia’s second-lowest playoff point total since 1955. In the 1999 postseason, they lost 79-68 to Orlando.
“If they’re playing great, they’re a better team,” Sixers coach Doug Collins said of Miami. “OK? If they’re playing on top of their game, they’re a better team. I mean, they won 58, we won 41. That doesn’t mean that we aren’t going to play and compete and fight.
“But when they come out tonight and defend the way they did it’s going to be very difficult for us to beat them.”
Derrick Rose once again carried the Bulls on his back finishing with 36 points, eight rebounds and six assists in the hard-fought won Monday.
“We knew it would be tough,” Rose said. “We are just blessed to get this one.”
Chicago’s Kyle Korver nailed a key three pointer with 64 seconds left in the fourth after Indiana cut the lead to two points. Korver also drained the go-ahead three during the Bulls 16-1 closing run in a game one victory.
Carlos Boozer finished with 17 points and 16 rebounds for the Bulls, who clinched the win at the free throw line.
Game three is Thursday at Indianapolis.
“We have to come out strong, play defence and be aggressive the whole game,” Rose said.
The Pacers hung in even though they lost point guard Darren Collison with a left ankle injury in the first half.
Indiana’s AJ Price hit three free throws with 23 seconds remaining after being fouled by Rose to cut the lead to 90-88.
Chicago’s Luol Deng quickly answered with two free throws of his own to make it a four-point contest.
Bulls’ Ronnie Brewer added two more after a failed three pointer by Mike Dunleavy. Chicago made its last 16 free throws to hang on for the win.



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