Heat throttle 76ers
The NBA roundup…
MIAMI ó LeBron James outscored Philadelphiaís entire starting five in the first half by himself.
So did Chris Bosh.
So did Dwyane Wade.
And that pretty much tells the tale of a night the 76ers would rather forget.
No comeback required for the Miami Heat this time. They went wire-to-wire on the lead, and moved two wins from advancing to the Eastern Conference semifinals.
James scored 29 points, Bosh had his second straight double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Miami took a 2-0 series lead with a 94-73 victory over the abysmally shooting 76ers ó who managed their second-lowest playoff scoring total in the last 56 years ó on Monday night.
ěIt was a really complete game for us at both ends of the floor,î James said.
Showing no signs of the migraine that he battled Sunday, Wade scored 14 points for Miami, now 17-3 in its last 20 games and halfway to winning its first playoff series since the 2006 NBA finals.
ěIím feeling a lot better,î said Wade, who wasnít able to eat Sunday and was very low-energy at times before Mondayís game. ěI lost a lot of weight tonight … but I think I did my job, to come out there and help my team get a win.î
Thaddeus Young scored 18 points and Evan Turner added 15 for the 76ers, whose starters were outscored 76-29 by the Heatís first-string. Philadelphia shot 34 percent for the game, and after getting 42 points in the paint in Game 1, were held to 24 in that department Monday.
Bulls 96, Pacers 90
CHICAGO ó Pacers coach Frank Vogel wrote three motivational slogans on top of a whiteboard before Indianaís playoff game against the Chicago Bulls on Monday night. The last one read: ěExpect their best. … Beat their best.î
This was far from the best for top-seeded Chicago, and Indiana still couldnít get it done ó especially after Darren Collison went down with an ankle injury.
The Pacers got pounded on the boards in a disappointing 96-90 loss in their second postseason game, shooting 41.6 percent and failing to take advantage of Chicagoís shaky start. Despite two halftime leads, they are two games from elimination with the first-round series shifting to Conseco Fieldhouse.
Indiana also could be without its starting point guard for Game 3 on Thursday night ó a potentially crippling blow with Derrick Rose starring for the Bulls.
Collison went to the locker room late in the second quarter after he sprained his left ankle when he landed awkwardly near a row of photographers following a layup.
He tested the ankle on the court during halftime, but was clearly in pain and never returned.
T.J. Ford gave the Pacers a lift in his first action of the series, banking in a 55-footer at the third-quarter buzzer to tie it at 67. But Indiana clearly missed its floor leader during the tight final period.
Collison had 17 points, nine assists and six rebounds in Indianaís frustrating 104-99 loss on Saturday, and his return could be the biggest key to Indiana bouncing back. He finished with eight points Monday night.
With Collison on the floor and after he left, the Pacers had their chances, but they couldnít take advantage. Chicago went 6 for 24 from the floor and committed six turnovers in the first quarter, but Indiana only managed an 18-17 lead heading into the second.
The Pacers were in control of Game 1 until Chicago closed with a 16-1 run to escape with the victory.
Of course, Indiana also is going to have to find a way to stop Rose, or this series might not return to the rowdy United Center. The MVP front-runner followed up his 39-point effort in the opener with 36 points, eight rebounds and six assists in another vintage performance in his breakout season.
Rose and a whopping 57-33 rebounding deficit were just too much for the Pacers to overcome.
The Associated Press