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NBA Playoffs roundup: Heat grab 2-0 series lead with burst in 4th

All the Miami Heat needed Tuesday was two brilliant minutes to take a two-game lead against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Dwyane Wade scored 21 points and LeBron James 19, and the Heat took off in the fourth quarter to pull away and beat the visiting Bucks 98-86 in Game 2 of a first-round Eastern Conference playoff series. The Heat leads the series 2-0, with Game 3 scheduled for Thursday in Milwaukee.

Chris Bosh, Shane Battier and Chris Andersen all added 10 points for the Heat, which scored the first 12 points of the fourth quarter, needing just more than two minutes to blow open what had been a three-point game — 68-65 — after three.

‘‘We went into the fourth with a [three-point] lead, and we were able to jump on them,’’ James said.

Ersan Ilyasova scored 21 points, Mike Dunleavy 16 and Larry Sanders 14 for the Bucks, but starting guards Brandon Jennings (eight points, 3-for-15 shooting) and Monta Ellis (seven, 2-for-7) were held to a combined 15 points on 5-for-22 shooting.

Knicks 87, Celtics 71

Carmelo Anthony scored 34 points, Sixth Man of the Year J.R. Smith added 19 and the host New York Knicks opened a 2-0 lead on the Boston Celtics in their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series with an impressive victory.

Raymond Felton added 16 points for the Knicks, who used a 24-4 burst to open the third quarter to blow the game open and move halfway to winning their first playoff series since the 2000 Eastern Conference semi-
finals. This is their first 2-0 lead in a playoff series since they swept the Toronto Raptors in the first round that season.

Paul Pierce scored 18 points for the Celtics, who led 48-42 at the half before being outscored 32-11 in the third quarter. They will host Game 3 on Friday, their first home game since the Boston Marathon bombings.

News and notes

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Mike Brown, who was fired five games into this season as the coach of the Los Angeles Lakers,
agreed to terms on a four-year, $20 million contract that will bring him back as the team’s coach, ESPN.com reported. The Cavaliers have an option for a fifth year, which is partially guaranteed, the report said.

The hiring of Brown, who compiled a 272-138 record and guided the Cavaliers to the playoffs in all five of his seasons with them (2005-10), might be announced as soon as Wednesday.

Brown was fired after the Cavaliers lost to the Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals in 2010, shortly before LeBron James decided he was joining the Heat as a free agent.

† The Charlotte Bobcats fired coach Mike Dunlap after he compiled a 21-61 record — the second-worst in the league to the Orlando Magic — in his only season with the team. Bobcats president of basketball operations Rod Higgins said a search for a replacement will begin immediately.

† Indiana Pacers forward Paul George was voted the NBA’s most improved player. His 52 first-place votes and 311 points from a panel of 120 writers and broadcasters made him a runaway winner over New Orleans Hornets guard Greivis Vasquez, who was second with 13 first-place votes and 146 points.

Sun-Times wires



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