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James' precision lifts Heat

The Heat’s Dwyane Wade dunks over the Bucks’ Mike Dunleavy for two of his 16 points in Miami’s 110-87 victory.

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The Heat’s Dwyane Wade dunks over the Bucks’ Mike Dunleavy for two of his 16 points in Miami’s 110-87 victory.

MIAMI — LeBron James has never taken fewer shots in a playoff game than he did Sunday night, which at first glance might seem like a good thing for the Bucks.

It was not.

James scored 27 on 9-of-11 shooting and finished two assists shy of a triple double, and Ray Allen scored 20 off the bench as the defending champion Heat never trailed on the way to beating the Bucks 110-87 in Game 1 of an Eastern Conference first-round series.

"All I care about is the win," James said. "I didn't even know my stats. I just knew that we were playing efficient offensively besides the turnovers. We want to try to keep that going."

Dwyane Wade scored 16, Chris Bosh 15 and Chris Andersen 10 on 4-of-4 shooting for the Heat, which opened its title defense by holding Milwaukee to 42 percent shooting and outrebounding the Bucks 46-31.

Brandon Jennings scored 26 and Monta Ellis 22 for the Bucks, who have not won the opening game of a playoff series since May 2001.

"We've got nothing to lose," Jennings said. "Nobody should be scared or anything. Let's just hoop."

James had taken only 11 shots in a playoff game twice before, and his postseason per-game average entering Sunday was just under 21. But with the way he controlled the game Sunday, he didn't exactly need to shoot.

That's probably not the best of signs for the Bucks.

"Obviously, incredibly efficient," Bucks coach Jim Boylan said. "When you have a game like that, what can you do?"

Milwaukee went into the series with Jennings predicting his team would oust the reigning champions in six games.

The Bucks have to win four of five now for that to happen. And with James playing like this, the odds of them doing that would seem particularly slim. He had 10 rebounds and eight assists, both game highs. His assist total was six shy of what the Bucks managed combined.

"That's about as efficient as you can get," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Made that look easier than it was."

The 23-point victory margin notwithstanding, it was far from a perfect night for Miami. The Heat shot 30 percent from 3-point range and turned the ball over 19 times — giving Milwaukee 22 points — but still won with ease.

Milwaukee had 10 offensive rebounds in the first half, zero in the second.

"I think we played good basketball in stretches," Ellis said. "They're a great team. They capitalized on our mistakes. I think they were more aggressive toward the end. In the third and fourth, they never looked back."

Thunder wins easily

OKLAHOMA CITY — Kevin Durant had 24 points and Russell Westbrook had 19 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds as the defending Western Conference champion Thunder opened its first-round series with a 120-91 victory over the Rockets.

Serge Ibaka added 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting for Oklahoma City, which shot 53 percent from the field. Houston's James Harden had 20 points on 6-of-19 shooting against his former team.

The Rockets kept it close for much of the first half and were tied at 40 with about six minutes left. But Oklahoma City closed the half on a 14-3 run and cruised from there.

Ginobili sparks Spurs

SAN ANTONIO — Manu Ginobili cautioned against expecting too much from him in his second game back from a hamstring injury.

All he did was help the Spurs snap a three-game skid and win their playoff opener against the Lakers.

Ginobili and Tony Parker scored 18 each as San Antonio led from early in the first quarter and beat Los Angeles 91-79 to open the West series.

"It was great to have Manu back," coach Gregg Popovich said. "He does what he does. He makes big shots. He creates problems for the opponent, and he's got a great will, a great desire. I'll worry all night about how he'll feel in the morning. If he says he feels great, then that will be a good sign for our team."

In his 11th season, Ginobili has battled leg injuries all season and was playing for the second time following a nine-game absence due to a strained right hamstring. He looked like his old self, going 6-of-13 from the field and hitting 3 of 5 3-pointers in 19 minutes.

"I feel good," Ginobili said. "I'm very happy that I played the whole game, that I didn't get hurt and that I scored a little bit."

George, Pacers romp

INDIANAPOLIS — Paul George insisted a little rest and a new focus would make change everything for the Pacers.

His made sure that prediction came true in Game 1 of their East series with the Hawks.

After the best season of his three-year career, George produced the first postseason triple double of his career — 23 points, 11 rebounds, 12 assists — and led Indiana out of its late-season funk and past the Hawks 107-90.

Suddenly, all those problems ailing the Pacers have been forgotten.

"I know what the team will expect from me now," George said. "But, again, I like the pressure."

Coach Frank Vogel gave four of his starters — George, George Hill, Roy Hibbert and David West — a three-day break last week. The Central Division champions looked rusty while losing five of their last seven regular-season games.

Those inside the locker room said the extra rest would be beneficial. Sunday's performance left no doubt.

Warriors lose Lee

DENVER — Warriors All-Star forward David Lee is out for the season after injuring his hip during Saturday's Game 1 loss to the Nuggets. An MRI exam showed a torn right hip flexor. "I knew (Saturday) night when I did it," Lee said. "I felt it pop. So I knew we were going to get the results we did (Sunday) morning." The former Gator has missed 21 games during his three-year career with the Warriors, who went 3-18 in those games.

Heat 110, Bucks 87

MILWAUKEE (87): Ilyasova 1-7 0-0 2, Mbah a Moute 2-4 2-2 6, Sanders 3-7 0-2 6, Jennings 8-20 6-7 26, Ellis 10-19 1-6 22, Udoh 2-3 0-0 4, Redick 1-6 3-3 6, Daniels 1-3 0-0 2, Henson 3-7 0-0 6, Dunleavy 2-4 0-0 5, Ayon 1-2 0-0 2, Smith 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 34-82 12-20 87.

MIAMI (110): James 9-11 8-11 27, Haslem 1-3 0-0 2, Bosh 5-7 2-2 15, Chalmers 3-4 1-1 7, Wade 5-12 6-8 16, Allen 6-13 6-6 20, Battier 1-8 2-2 5, Cole 3-5 0-0 6, Andersen 4-4 2-3 10, Lewis 1-1 0-0 2, Jones 0-0 0-0 0, Anthony 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 38-68 27-33 110.

Milwaukee 24 21 20 22— 87

Miami 26 26 28 30— 110

3-Point GoalsMilwaukee 7-26 (Jennings 4-10, Dunleavy 1-2, Redick 1-3, Ellis 1-6, Ilyasova 0-1, Mbah a Moute 0-2, Daniels 0-2), Miami 7-23 (Bosh 3-4, Allen 2-8, James 1-2, Battier 1-7, Cole 0-1, Chalmers 0-1). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsMilwaukee 39 (Ilyasova 6), Miami 53 (James 10). AssistsMilwaukee 14 (Ellis, Redick 3), Miami 22 (James 8). Total FoulsMilwaukee 23, Miami 19. TechnicalsMilwaukee Coach Boylan. A20,006 (19,600).

Spurs 91, Lakers 79

L.A. LAKERS (79): World Peace 2-9 0-0 5, Gasol 7-16 2-4 16, Howard 8-12 4-8 20, Nash 6-15 4-4 16, Blake 5-13 0-0 12, Meeks 1-4 2-2 4, Jamison 1-3 4-6 6, Clark 0-0 0-0 0, Morris 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 30-73 16-24 79.

SAN ANTONIO (91): Leonard 3-8 1-1 8, Duncan 6-15 5-6 17, Splitter 0-4 2-2 2, Parker 8-21 2-4 18, Green 2-6 0-0 6, Bonner 3-6 3-5 10, Ginobili 6-13 3-3 18, Neal 2-7 2-2 6, Joseph 2-4 0-0 4, Baynes 0-0 0-0 0, Blair 0-1 0-0 0, De Colo 0-0 2-2 2. Totals 32-85 20-25 91.

L.A. Lakers 15 22 20 22— 79

San Antonio 24 21 25 21— 91

3-Point GoalsL.A. Lakers 3-15 (Blake 2-5, World Peace 1-5, Morris 0-1, Nash 0-1, Jamison 0-1, Meeks 0-2), San Antonio 7-22 (Ginobili 3-5, Green 2-5, Bonner 1-2, Leonard 1-3, Duncan 0-1, Parker 0-1, Neal 0-5). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsL.A. Lakers 55 (Gasol 16), San Antonio 54 (Leonard 11). AssistsL.A. Lakers 15 (Gasol 6), San Antonio 20 (Parker 8). Total FoulsL.A. Lakers 20, San Antonio 21. A18,581 (18,797).

Pacers 107, Hawks 90

ATLANTA (90): Korver 2-7 0-0 5, Smith 7-15 0-2 15, Horford 7-12 0-1 14, Teague 7-14 5-6 21, Harris 4-9 0-3 8, Jenkins 0-2 0-0 0, I.Johnson 5-8 0-0 10, Stevenson 2-2 0-0 6, Tolliver 0-0 0-0 0, Petro 3-3 0-0 6, Mack 1-4 0-0 3, Jones 0-0 0-0 0, Scott 0-0 2-2 2. Totals 38-76 7-14 90.

INDIANA (107): George 3-13 17-18 23, West 6-11 1-1 13, Hibbert 7-17 2-2 16, Hill 7-10 1-1 18, Stephenson 5-9 2-4 13, T.Hansbrough 3-5 3-4 9, Augustin 0-0 2-2 2, Green 3-8 2-2 11, Pendergraph 1-5 0-0 2, O.Johnson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 35-78 30-34 107.

Atlanta 26 24 19 21— 90

Indiana 34 24 26 23— 107

3-Point GoalsAtlanta 7-17 (Teague 2-2, Stevenson 2-2, Mack 1-2, Korver 1-4, Smith 1-4, Jenkins 0-1, Harris 0-2), Indiana 7-19 (Hill 3-4, Green 3-7, Stephenson 1-3, George 0-5). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsAtlanta 40 (Smith 8), Indiana 52 (George 11). AssistsAtlanta 23 (Teague 7), Indiana 23 (George 12). Total FoulsAtlanta 26, Indiana 19. TechnicalsAtlanta defensive three second. A18,165 (18,165).

James' precision lifts Heat 04/21/13 [Last modified: Monday, April 22, 2013 1:30am]
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