Bulls outlast Boston, 106-102, on emotional night in opening game of playoff series
BOSTON (AP) — Jimmy Butler had 30 points and nine rebounds and the Chicago Bulls outlasted Boston 106-102 in Game 1 on Sunday on an emotional night for grieving Celtics star Isaiah Thomas.
Playing a day after 22-year-old sister Chyna Thomas was killed in a car accident in their home state of Washington, Thomas led the top-seeded Celtics with 33 points and had six assists and five rebounds.
Celtics fans rallied behind Thomas, showering him with a deafening cheer when he was introduced.
Butler scored 23 points in the second half. Bobby Portis finished with 19 for the Bulls.
Al Horford had 19 points, eight assists and seven rebounds for Boston.
Game 2 in the first-round series is Tuesday night in Boston.
TRAIL BLAZERS 109
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Kevin Durant had 32 points and 10 rebounds in his Golden State playoff debut, Stephen Curry scored 29 points, and the Warriors withstood a sensational day by Portland duo CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard in Game 1.
McCollum scored a playoff career-best 41 points, and Lillard had 34, but the Warriors made the crucial big plays on both ends down the stretch with Portland playing without injured center Jusuf Nurkic.
Draymond Green contributed 19 points, 12 rebounds, nine assists and five blocked shots to help last season’s second-place team take the first step in what it is counting on to be a championship run.
Durant shot 12 for 20, showing no issues with a recent left knee injury that sidelined him 19 games before he returned for the final three regular-season contests with the NBA-best Warriors.
Game 2 is Wednesday night in Oakland.
ROCKETS 118, THUNDER 87
HOUSTON (AP) — James Harden scored 37 points to outshine Russell Westbrook and Houston pulled away in the third quarter to rout Oklahoma City in Game 1.
The Rockets were up by 20 when Harden came off the bench with about seven minutes remaining. He went right to work — making two 3-pointers to power 10-0 run and push the lead to 110-80 with 4 1/2 minutes left. Harden, who along with Westbrook is a front-runner for MVP, went to the bench after that and both teams cleared their benches soon after that.
Westbrook had 22 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, but made just six of 23 shots and had nine turnovers. Harden also had nine assists and seven rebounds, and Patrick Beverley had a playoff career-best 21 points along with 10 rebounds for the Rockets.
Game 2 is Wednesday night in Houston.
WIZARDS 114, HAWKS 107
WASHINGTON (AP) — John Wall scored a playoff career-high 32 points and Markieff Morris added 21 in his NBA postseason debut to help Washington beat Atlanta in Game 1.
Wall scored 15 points in the third quarter and finished with 14 assists. Bradley Beal had 22 points, and the Wizards got enough from their top players to offset 25 points from Atlanta’s Dennis Schroder and 19 from Paul Millsap. Dwight Howard had 14 rebounds but just seven points.