Wizards rally to take Game 1 in Chicago while Spurs beat Mavericks.
There were four games on the NBA schedule on Sunday night, with the Miami Heat overcoming the Charlotte Bobcats while the Chicago Bulls lost to the Washington Wizards.
While the visitors threatened to pull off an upset after repeatedly clawing their way back into the game, the Heat used an 18-4 run in the fourth quarter to eventually see them off.
LeBron James finished the game with 27 points and nine rebounds, while Al Jefferson starred for the Bobcats as he had 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Nevertheless, Miami continued their streak against Charlotte since the Big Three were put together, making it a 16-0 run.
Elsewhere in the Eastern Conference, the Bulls dropped the first game of their series against the Wizards at the United Center.
Nene played an influential role in the road win with 24 points and eight rebounds, and it is undoubtedly a significant blow for Chicago’s momentum after starting the post-season in good form.
The Bulls have had their issues against Washington in the regular season, and it appears as though coach Tom Thibodeau will have to tinker in order to avoid losing Game 2 which would put them in a very difficult position.
Over in the West, the San Antonio Spurs eventually saw off the Dallas Mavericks after a closely contested encounter at the AT&T Center.
While the visitors were able to limit the Spurs’ three-point shooting as well as Tony Parker’s ability to penetrate the lanes, it was down to veteran Tim Duncan to lead the way with 27 points, while Parker added 21 points and six assists.
Duncan did suffer a brief injury scare after a clash of knees, but the 37-year-old was able to recover and help guide the Spurs to a first win.
Perhaps the most dramatic game of the night was saved until last in Houston, as the Rockets folded to the Portland Trail Blazers.
LaMarcus Aldridge had a franchise playoff-record 46 points but admitted after the game that he told point guard Damian Lillard to take over in overtime after fouling out to secure the win.
Lillard finished with 31 points of his own in his first playoff appearance, as the Blazers will now be full of confidence heading into Game 2.
Dallas Mavericks 85-90 San Antonio Spurs
Charlotte Bobcats 88-99 Miami Heat
Washington Wizards 102-93 Chicago Bulls
Portland Trail Blazers 122-120 Houston Rockets