NBA: Pau Gasol scored 19 points, Andrew Bynum added 13 and the Los Angeles Lakers used their twin 7-footers to dominate inside against the Oklahoma City Thunder, winning 87-79 Sunday in the opener of their playoff series at Los Angeles.
Kobe Bryant added 21 points on 6 of 19 shooting after missing four of the final five regular season games to rest his swollen right knee and broken right index finger.
Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 24 points – under the 30.1 average of the NBA’s youngest-ever scoring champion. Game 2 in the best-of-7 series is Tuesday at the Staples Center.
•Blazers hold off Suns for upset: Andre Miller scored 15 points in the fourth quarter and tied his career playoff high with 31 points as the short-handed Portland Trail Blazers stole homecourt advantage from Phoenix with a 105-100 victory over the Suns at Phoenix.
Methodical Portland was a tough matchup for the Suns all season and it was no different in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series, despite the absence of the Blazers’ scoring leader, Brandon Roy.
Game 2 is Tuesday at Phoenix.
•Magic squeeze past Bobcats: Jameer Nelson scored 24 of his 32 points in the first half, and the Orlando Magic nearly blew a 22-point lead before beating the Charlotte Bobcats 98-89 in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series at Orlando, Fla.
Rashard Lewis added 19 points, and Dwight Howard had nine blocks but was limited offensively and in foul trouble for most of the second half.
Gerald Wallace had 25 points in the Bobcats’ first playoff game in franchise history.
Game 2 in the best-of-7 series is Wednesday night in Orlando.
•Nowitzki leads Mavs past Spurs: Dirk Nowitzki opened the playoffs in a high gear, making 12 of 14 shots and scoring 36 points to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a 100-94 victory over the visiting San Antonio Spurs.
Caron Butler scored 22 points and Brendan Haywood added 10 in their playoff debut for Dallas. Both were part of a major trade in February that turned a good Mavericks team into a much better one.
Game 2 is Wednesday night in Dallas.
•Jazz’ Okur has torn Achilles: Utah Jazz center Mehmet Okur has a torn left Achilles tendon and is out for the remainder of the playoffs.
Okur, injured in the first half of Utah’s Game 1 loss at Denver on Saturday, needs surgery and will likely miss the world championships this summer in his native Turkey.
Crosby, Malkin lead Pens past Sens
NHL: Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist, Evgeni Malkin scored his third playoff goal, and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Ottawa Senators 4-2 at Ottawa to take a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference series.
Mike Fisher and Matt Cullen scored power-play goals for the Senators. Brian Elliott stopped 20 shots.
Game 4 is Tuesday night in Ottawa.
•Flyers use OT to beat Devils: Dan Carcillo scored 3:35 into overtime to give the Philadelphia Flyers a 3-2 home victory over the New Jersey Devils and a 2-1 advantage in the Eastern Conference series.
Carcillo knocked in a rebound off Mike Richards’ shot for his first goal of the postseason. Game 4 is Tuesday night in Philadelphia.
•Coyotes take 2-1 series lead: Petr Prucha and Radim Vrbata scored midway through the third period, lifting the Phoenix Coyotes to a 4-2 road win over the Detroit Red Wings and a 2-1 series lead.
Phoenix defenseman Sami Lepisto scored 29 seconds into the game, the fastest playoff goal in franchise history.
Detroit will host Game 4 on Tuesday night, needing a win to avoid being on the brink of elimination after advancing to the past two Stanley Cup finals.
•Niemi shuts out Predators to even series: Antti Niemi made 23 saves for a shutout in his second career playoff game, Dave Bolland and Patrick Kane scored and the host Chicago Blackhawks beat the Nashville Predators 2-0 to tie the first-round series 1-1.
Games 3 and 4 are Tuesday and Thursday nights in Nashville, Tenn.
•Quick OT goal gives Avs win: Ryan O’Reilly was credited with a bizarre goal 51 seconds into overtime following an errant clear by defenseman Dan Boyle, giving the Colorado Avalanche a 1-0 victory over San Jose at Denver and a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference series.
Evgeni Nabokov was hugging the post when Boyle tried to send the puck around the boards as O’Reilly pursued him. The puck wound up sneaking in between Nabokov and the post.
Game 4 is Tuesday night in Denver.
Browns RB Jennings accused of assault
NFL: Browns running back Chris Jennings has been released from jail while authorities determine whether to file charges over allegations he hit a bouncer outside a Cleveland nightclub.
Jennings was arrested early Saturday morning.
John O’Brien, a spokesman with the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department, says Jennings is accused of punching the bouncer in the mouth because he refused to allow Jennings’ friend inside without proper attire.
Nadal wins Monte Carlo title again
Tennis: Rafael Nadal thrashed Fernando Verdasco 6-0, 6-1 to win the Monte Carlo Masters at Monaco for the sixth straight year and end his title drought.
The second-seeded Nadal clinched his first title since the Rome Masters in May by overpowering the sixth-seeded Verdasco with a stunning display of attacking clay-court tennis.
•Stosur wins Family Circle Cup: Samantha Stosur earned her first title on clay, overwhelming Vera Zvonareva 6-0, 6-3 to win the Family Circle Cup at Charleston, S.C.
It was the second career title for the 26-year-old Australian, who won last year at Osaka.
Forston declares for draft, won’t hire agent
Miscellany: Arkansas basketball coach John Pelphrey says sophomore point guard Courtney Fortson has decided to declare for the NBA draft, but will not hire an agent.
Not hiring an agent would allow Fortson to change his mind and retain his amateur status if he withdraws his name by May 8.
•Tiz Chrome breaks down, put down: A 3-year-old horse training for a final Kentucky Derby prep race has been euthanized after collapsing during a workout at Churchill Downs at Louisville, Ky.
Tiz Chrome’s trainer, Bob Baffert, said the colt suffered a fatal fracture of the left front sesamoid during a workout.
•British Olympian wins Boston race: British Olympian Andrew Baddely is the winner of the second annual Boston Athletic Association Invitational Mile.
Baddely, who was ninth in the 1,500 meters in Beijing, crossed the same finish line used for today’s Boston Marathon in 4 minutes, 8.6 seconds.
American Morgan Uceny won the women’s professional mile in 4:43.0.
•Brazil secures second PBR World Cup title: Brazil won the Professional Bull Riders World Cup championship when Renato Nunes scored 89.5 points on Sooner Shaker during round six at Las Vegas.
Brazil entered Sunday’s final two rounds with a 362-point lead over the two-time defending champions from the United States.
•Reese routs field to win Bassmasters: Skeet Reese beat his closest competitor by 14 pounds to earn his fifth Bassmasters victory at Huddleston, Va.
Reese, from Auburn, Calif., amassed 78 pounds, 1 ounce of Smith Mountain Lake bass. Jason Williamson from Aiken, S.C., was second. Dean Rojas, from Lake Havasu City, Ariz., was third with 61-8.
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