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Warriors beat Pelicans 97-87 to take 2-0 series lead (April 21, 2015)
Associated Press [ Source: ESPN ]

Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry (30) dribbles past New Orleans Pelicans' Norris Cole during the first half in Game 2 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series Monday, April 20, 2015, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Klay Thompson scored 26 points, Stephen Curry had 22 points and six assists and the Golden State Warriors regrouped from an early deficit to beat the New Orleans Pelicans 97-87 on Monday night and take a 2-0 lead in their first-round series.

The top-seeded Warriors fell behind by 13 points in the first quarter after a strong start by Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon quieted an announced sellout crowd of 19,596 wearing golden yellow shirts. But a big burst before halftime pushed the Warriors ahead, and they did just enough in the closing moments to put away the pesky Pelicans.

Game 3 of the best-of-seven series is Thursday night in New Orleans.

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Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler (21) is fouled by Milwaukee Bucks center John Henson (31) as Jared Dudley watches during the second half in Game 2 of the NBA basketball playoffs Monday, April 20, 2015, in Chicago. The Bulls won 91-82. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

CHICAGO -- Jimmy Butler set a playoff career high for the second straight game with 31 points, and the Chicago Bulls beat the Milwaukee Bucks 91-82 on Monday night to take a 2-0 lead in their first-round series.

After scoring 25 points in Game 1, Butler trumped that with another terrific performance. He was at his best down the stretch, scoring 14 points in the fourth quarter.

Chicago's Derrick Rose scored all of his 15 points in the second half after dominating in the series opener.

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Nets look to get Brook Lopez going (April 21, 2015)
Mike Mazzeo [ Source: ESPN ]

Brook Lopez of Brooklyn Nets. Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

ATLANTA -- Opposing defenses have figured out how to contain the Brooklyn Nets:

1. Take away pocket passes to Brook Lopez off pick-and-roll actions.

2. Make the rest of the team beat you from the perimeter.

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Speaking before Game 2 against the Golden State Warriors, New Orleans Pelicans coach Monty Williams claims his comments Monday morning were taken out of context regarding Oracle Arena's crowd noise and only meant it as a joke.

"I hope it was taken tongue-in-cheek, but I understand how things get taken out of context at times," Williams said ahead of Game 2. "I take full responsibility for that. I'm not going to blame anybody for taking it out of context. That's just me."

Williams said earlier Monday morning that he was "serious" when he said he wasn't sure that the decibel level at Oracle Arena in Game 1 was "legal" under NBA rules.

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All-Star PGs Wall, Lowry look to bounce back in Game 2 (April 21, 2015)
Ohm Youngmisuk [ Source: ESPN ]

Kyle Lowry of Toronto and John Wall of Washington. Claus Andersen/Getty Images

WASHINGTON –- The battle between Eastern Conference All-Star point guards didn’t exactly go the way John Wall and Kyle Lowry probably envisioned it would in Game 1.

Wall missed 13-of-18 shots and finished with only 10 points. Lowry missed 8-of-10 shots and scored seven points before fouling out and watching his Raptors lose in overtime 93-86.

Now comes Round 2, and Wall expects Lowry to come at him with everything Tuesday.

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Celtics' Bradley: 'Expect to see different team' (April 21, 2015)
Chris Forsberg [ Source: ESPN ]

Avery Bradley of Boston Celtics. Brian Babineau/NBAE/Getty Images

CLEVELAND -- Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens admitted that game film from Sunday's Game 1 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers showed his team came up short in more areas than was initially obvious.

"The positive is hopefully we can improve from it," Stevens said. "But we're going to have to play a lot better than we did."

During a nine-minute chat with reporters before Boston's off-day practice at Quicken Loans Arena, Stevens seemed a bit more, let's say, concise with his answers. His team had already engaged in a morning film session heavy on correcting the errors from Sunday's 113-100 loss. That video session was heavy on eliminating the mistakes Boston can control -- turnovers, rebounding, offensive execution -- and Stevens seemed eager to get back on the court with his team on Monday afternoon.

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Lee missing a tooth when Painters gun for 3-1 (April 21, 2015)
Musong R. Castillo [ Source: Inquirer ]

Rain or Shine guard Paul Lee is attended to by the medical staff after getting hit by an errant elbow of Talk 'N Text import Ivan Johnson. Sports5/Pranz Kaeno Billones

PAUL Lee, Rain or Shine’s super point guard, will be missing a tooth when Game 4 of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals is played tomorrow at the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.

Lee has elected to forego a dental implant until the end of the Elasto Painters’ championship series with the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters.

The Painters hold a 2-1 lead after blasting the Texters, 109-97, last Sunday.

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Cavs' supporting cast steps up in Game 1 (April 21, 2015)
Dave McMenamin [ Source: ESPN ]

Tristan Thompson of Cleveland Cavaliers. David Richard/USA TODAY Sports

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- The voting results for the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year were announced Monday, with Cleveland’s Tristan Thompson finishing a distance fifth behind the winner, Toronto’s Lou Williams.

While Thompson won’t be receiving any hardware for his role, the fourth-year big man was rewarded for his efforts off the bench with the first playoff win of his career in the Cavaliers’ 113-100 victory over the Boston Celtics in Sunday’s Game 1.

Thompson had 12 points and six rebounds (four on the offensive glass) in 26 minutes and helped dig the Cavs out of an eight-point deficit in the second quarter with his infusion of energy on the boards and in the paint.

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MIAMI -- Pat Riley finds himself leaning his head to the left quite a bit these days. There's an irritated nerve in his neck, and it's far from comfortable.

"It's killing me," Riley said. "But I'm not going to make an excuse for it."

Such was the metaphor that Hall of Famer and president of the Miami Heat used to assess the 2014-15 season. Excruciating as it often was, Riley is still convinced the team that he helped assemble should be in the playoffs right now.

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Rain or Shine teammates react after Jericho cruz sinks a clutch three-pointer. Sports5/Pranz kaeno billones

MANILA, Philippines – Rain or Shine rookie Jericho Cruz admits jitters got the best of him in the first two games of the PBA Commissioner's Cup, but he was able to make up for it with a solid performance in the third game of the best-of-seven series.

Cruz was held scoreless in the first two games against Talk 'N Text, but had 14 points in Game 3 – 10 of which came in the final quarter.

"'Yung first two games ko, masyado akong gigil at excited kasi first Finals ko eh," Cruz admitted in an interview with

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