Giannis Antetokounmpo racked up 24 points, 17 rebounds and four assists in only 23 minutes as the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks overwhelmed the visiting Detroit Pistons 121-86 in their Eastern Conference playoff opener on Sunday.
George Hill had 16 points off the bench for the Bucks, who led by 27 at halftime. Eric Bledsoe scored 15 points, Brook Lopez and Khris Middleton had 14 apiece, and Sterling Brown added 11 along with a team-high seven assists.
Pistons center Andre Drummond was ejected with 4:07 remaining in the third quarter for shoving Antetokounmpo to the floor. The two-handed push occurred after Antetokounmpo grabbed an offensive rebound. Drummond finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Luke Kennard’s 21 points off the bench topped Detroit, which played without All-Star forward Blake Griffin. He was sidelined by a sore left knee, which also kept him out of four of the last seven regular-season games. The Bucks were without guards Malcolm Brogdon (foot) and Tony Snell (ankle).
Rockets 122, Jazz 90
James Harden and Clint Capela posted double-doubles, and Houston rolled to a victory in Game 1 of its first-round series with visiting Utah.
Harden paired 29 points with 10 assists and finished two rebounds shy of a triple-double to fuel the Rockets to a 1-0 series lead. Capela added 16 points and 12 rebounds while grappling with Jazz center Rudy Gobert (22 points, 12 rebounds).
Houston made headway by holding its own on the glass and defending with vigor, limiting Utah guard Donovan Mitchell to 19 points on 7-of-18 shooting and the Jazz to 39.0 percent shooting. Utah finished just 7-for-27 on 3-pointers and committed 19 turnovers.
Trail Blazers 104, Thunder 99
Damian Lillard scored 30 points as Portland held off visiting Oklahoma City to win the opener of their first-round playoff series.
CJ McCollum added 24 points, and Enes Kanter contributed 20 points and 18 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who led by as many as 19 points in the first half. The lead shrunk to as few as three points in the fourth quarter, but Oklahoma City never had possession with a chance to tie.
Paul George collected 26 points and 10 rebounds, and Russell Westbrook compiled 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for the Thunder, who made only 5 of 33 3-point attempts in the game.
Celtics 84, Pacers 74
Boston held visiting Indiana without a field goal for the first 8 1/2 minutes of the second half, rallying from a halftime deficit for a victory in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.
After failing to make even one-third of their shots in the first half while falling behind 45-38, the fourth-seeded Celtics became a defensive force in the third quarter. The Pacers, seeded fifth in the East, missed their first seven shots of the second half and mixed in three turnovers as their seven-point lead turned into a 47-45 deficit.
Kyrie Irving and Marcus Morris scored 20 points apiece for Boston, which won handily despite shooting just 36.4 percent. Cory Joseph led Indiana with 14 points, and Bojan Bogdanovic had 12, as the Pacers shot 33.3 percent for the game overall.
–Field Level Media