NBA Playoffs: Heat struggled, but polish off Bucks


Miami, Fla. — Despite an off night from their two stars, the Milwaukee Bucks hung around. But all it took was one huge Miami Heat burst to squash any hopes of an upset.

LeBron James had 19 points, eight rebounds and six assists in Miami’s 98-86 win over the Bucks in Game 2 of this Eastern Conference first-round series.

In the blink of an eye, the Heat went on a 12-0 run to begin the fourth to turn a three-point lead into a 15-point cushion. They never looked back. Dwyane Wade tallied 21 points and seven boards for the Heat, who took a 2-0 edge in the best-of-seven set.

After combining for 48 points on 18-of-39 shooting in Game 1, Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis totaled just 15 points on a 5-of-22 clip. Neither player recorded a field goal (0-for-5) in the first half, but the Bucks trailed just 47-43 at the break. Ersan Ilyasova registered 21 points and six rebounds for Milwaukee, which will host Game 3 on Thursday.

New York 87, Boston 71

New York, N.Y. — Carmelo Anthony scored a game-high 34 points and the New York Knicks used a strong third quarter to beat the Boston Celtics, 87-71, in Game 2 of this first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.

The second-seeded Knicks shot 70.6 percent from the field in the third period while outscoring Boston by a 32-11 margin. The Celtics were held to 22.2 percent shooting in the stanza. Anthony also led the way for the Knicks Saturday in their 85-78 victory. He scored a game-high 36 points on Saturday.

J.R. Smith, the winner of this season’s NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award, added 19 points for New York, which got 16 points and seven rebounds from Raymond Felton.

Paul Pierce ended with 18 points, six rebounds and six assists for the Celtics, who held a 48-42 lead at the half. Kevin Garnett recorded a double-double with 12 points and 11 boards. Game 3 is scheduled for Friday night in Boston.

Golden State 131, Denver 117

Denver, Colo. — The hot-shooting Golden State Warriors handed the Denver Nuggets their first home loss since Jan. 18. Stephen Curry recorded a double-double with 30 points and 13 assists as the David Lee-less Warriors handled the Nuggets, 131-117, to even this first-round Western Conference playoff series at one game apiece.

Jarrett Jack and Harrison Barnes added 26 and 24 points, respectively, for the sixth-seeded Warriors, who set a franchise playoff record by shooting 64.6 percent from the floor. The visitors also went 14-of-25 from beyond the arc.

Klay Thompson tallied 21 points for Golden State, which lost Lee for the remainder of the playoffs in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s Game 1 loss due to a complete tear of his right hip flexor. Ty Lawson had 19 points and 12 assists for the Nuggets, who had won 24 straight at home dating back to the regular season.

Corey Brewer donated 19 points and Andre Iguodala and Andre Miller each tallied 18 points. The Nuggets took Game 1 by a 97-95 margin thanks to Miller’s layup with 1.2 seconds remaining. Game 3 is scheduled for Friday night at Oracle Arena in Oakland.