NBA Playoffs 2013: Miami Begins Championship Defense with Win
Charles E. Sutton | 4/23/2013, 2:33 p.m.
LeBron James had 27 points going 9-of-11 from the field, Ray Allen added 20 off the bench, and the Miami Heat led the entire way en route to defeating the Milwaukee Bucks 110-87 in Game 1 of an Eastern Conference first-round series Sunday night.
Dwayne Wade had 16, Chris Bosh scored 15 and Chris Andersen went 4-for-4 from the floor finishing with 10 for the Heat, who began their title defense by limiting Milwaukee to 42 percent shooting.
Brandon Jennings had 26 points and Monta Ellis added 22 for the Bucks, who have failed to win an opening game of a postseason series since May 2001. Game 2 is scheduled for Tuesday night in Miami.
Only twice before had James posted only 11 field goal attempts in a playoff game, and his playoff per-game average entering Sunday was just below 21 shots.
But he controlled Sunday's game in a manner that didn't warrant him taking many shots. That's probably not a good sign for Milwaukee, who entered this series with Jennings boldly predicting that his squad would beat the defending champions in six games.
They will now have to beat Miami 4-out-of-five to make Jennings' prediction come true, and the way James is playing, the chances would seem slim.
He had 10 boards and eight assists, both of which were game highs. His assist total was only six short of what Milwaukee had as a team. Milwaukee indicated coming into Game 1 that they would have to withstand an early run by the Heat, and Miami met the Bucks' expectation. The Heat scored on its first five possessions, and following back-to-back layups by James, Miami took an early 21-8 lead.
Pacers 107, Hawks 90
Paul George had 23 points and posted his first postseason triple-double, leading Indiana over Atlanta for a 1-0 lead in the Eastern Conference series. George converted only three of 13 field goal attempts but was 17 of 18 from the foul line and had 11 rebounds and 12 assists. Despite playing with a left groin injury, George Hill added 18 points. The Pacers began a playoff series with a win for the first time since 2006.
Game 2 is scheduled for Wednesday night in Indianapolis.
In Game 1, the Central Division champions played like a team that can go deep into the playoffs rather than the one that lost five of its last seven games