Portland Trail Blazers' LaMarcus Aldridge, right, dunks the ball as Houston Rockets' Omer Asik (3) defends during the fourth quarter in Game 2 of an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series Wednesday, April 23, 2014, in Houston. Portland won 112-105. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

HOUSTON -- LaMarcus Aldridge scored 43 points and Damian Lillard made six free throws down the stretch to give the Portland Trail Blazers a 112-105 win over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night and a 2-0 lead in the first-round playoff series.

Aldridge has made the most of the return to his home state and put the Trail Blazers in control heading home for Game 3 in Portland.

Aldridge became the first player with consecutive 40-point games in the playoffs since LeBron James did it in May of 2009 after scoring a career-high and franchise playoff-record 46 in an overtime win in Game 1. He's also the first player Trail Blazers history to have to 40-point games in the postseason.

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Dallas Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki, bottom, of Germany, falls to the floor as he and San Antonio Spurs' Boris Diaw (33), of France, chase a loose ball during the first half of Game 2 of the opening-round NBA basketball playoff series on Wednesday, April 23, 2014, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

SAN ANTONIO -- Blowing their playoff opener turned out to be great therapy for the Dallas Mavericks.

Eighth-seeded Dallas rolled to a 113-92 victory over San Antonio on Wednesday night, snapping a 10-game skid against the Spurs and evening their first-round series at a game apiece.

Dallas didn't relent in Game 2 after watching a 10-point lead evaporate in the final eight minutes of the series opener Sunday.

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Miami Heat's LeBron James (6) grabs his neck after being elbowed by Charlotte Bobcats' Josh McRoberts during the second half in Game 2 of an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series, Wednesday, April 23, 2014, in Miami. The Heat defeated the Bobcats 101-97. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

MIAMI -- LeBron James drove to the rim as time was winding down, got clobbered by Josh McRoberts and sat on the hardwood gathering himself for a few seconds afterward.

It was fitting. Miami took Charlotte's best shot, and survived.

James scored 32 points and added eight assists, Chris Bosh scored 20 points and the Heat wasted two big leads before hanging on to beat the Bobcats 101-97 on Wednesday night to take a 2-0 lead in their Eastern Conference first-round series.

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  New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony slam dunks the ball in front of Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (R) in the second half of their NBA basketball game at Madison Square Garden in New York, April 14, 2013.  Credit: Reuters/Adam Hunger

(Reuters) - Potential free agent Carmelo Anthony will be asked to give the New York Knicks a discount on his next contract in order to help build a title contender, team president Phil Jackson said on Wednesday.

Anthony, who finished the 2013-14 NBA season second on the scoring list with an average of 27.4 points a game and was one of the few bright spots in New York's 37-45 campaign, could declare himself a free agent on July 1.

"I'd like to appeal to his better nature about winning," Jackson told reporters at the Knicks practice center. "That's the beginning of team play."

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Basketball

"We looked at the film, we looked at the jump ball, that was crazy," Gibson said. "But the loose ball I called [time out] three times. I had it. Nobody else was around me. D.J. [Augustin] called [time out] a couple times. We had a lot of guys in [Bennie Adams'] face. He just didn't give us a time out ... he was looking right at me [as I was] saying it and he just called a jump ball."

Gibson said the Bulls did not receive an explanation.

"He didn't give us anything," Gibson said. "He didn't say anything."

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Chris Paul has been hampered by an injured right hamstring in the first two games of the Clippers' playoff series against the Warriors. Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul was held out of practice for the second straight day Wednesday with a right hamstring injury that has bothered him since late in the first half of Saturday's playoff series-opening loss to the Golden State Warriors.

Paul was able to play through the injury in the Clippers' Game 2 win over the Warriors on Monday night and says he will be ready for Game 3 in Oakland on Thursday.

"I'll be ready, I'm OK," Paul repeatedly said when asked about the injury. "As long as I'm out on the court, I'm good."

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Basketball

"Why don't we just give him Coach of the Century?" Carlisle said after Wednesday's shootaround at AT&T Center, before Game 2 of the teams' first-round series. "I mean, he's the greatest. Obviously, [Coach of the Year is] very well deserved. They were almost a wire-to-wire top seed in the league, and he's the best. He's the best."

Popovich, whose Spurs recovered from a devastating Finals loss last season to roll to a league-best 62-20 record despite dealing with nagging injuries to several key players, received the honor Tuesday for the second time in three seasons. He joined Don Nelson and Pat Riley as the only three-time winners of the award.

Carlisle, the award's winner in 2001-02 while with Detroit, has consistently raved about the remarkable job Popovich has done guiding the Spurs to four championships and 15 consecutive seasons with at least 50 wins.

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