Top seeds LA Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks stumble in NBA play-offs
Damian Lillard scored 34 points as the eighth-seeded Portland Trail Blazers defeated the top-ranked Los Angeles Lakers 100-93 in Game 1 of their Western Conference play-offs yesterday morning (Singapore time) in the NBA bubble in Orlando.
CJ McCollum had 21 points and Jusuf Nurkic contributed 16 points and 15 rebounds for the Blazers.
Carmelo Anthony added 11 points and 10 rebounds, while Hassan Whiteside collected five blocks to go along with eight rebounds and seven points.
Anthony Davis finished with 28 points and 11 boards, while LeBron James bagged a triple-double with 23 points, 17 boards and 16 assists for the Lakers. Kyle Kuzma chipped in 14 points.
Gary Trent Jr's three-pointer with 1:15 remaining gave the Blazers a 98-93 edge, after a dunk by Davis allowed the Lakers to close within two. A slam by Nurkic sealed it for Portland, who have won six of their past seven games in the bubble.
Game 2 of the best-of-seven series between both teams is set for tomorrow morning (Singapore time).
Over in the Eastern Conference, Nikola Vucevic scored 35 points to propel eighth-ranked Orlando Magic to a surprising victory over top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1 of the play-offs.
The Magic entered the series as heavy underdogs against NBA title contenders Milwaukee.
Orlando got off to a fast start to take a double-digit lead, then held off the Bucks' second-half runs.
The Magic shot 49.4 per cent and made 16 three-pointers against a Milwaukee defence that was rated the NBA's best during the regular season.
Orlando reached those marks with second-leading scorer Evan Fournier held scoreless until hitting three key three-pointers late in the fourth quarter to help seal the win.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, the front-runner to repeat as NBA MVP, finished with 31 points, 17 rebounds and seven assists. Vucevic, an All-Star, added 14 rebounds and four assists.
Both sides meet in Game 2 tomorrow morning (Singapore time). - REUTERS
Western Conference play-offs (Game 1):
- LA Lakers 93 Portland 100
- Houston 123 Oklahoma City 108
Eastern Conference play-offs (Game 1):
- Milwaukee 110 Orlando 122
- Indiana 101 Miami 113