Magic, Blazers pull off upsets in series openers
Nikola Vucevic scored a playoff career-high 35 points and had 14 rebounds, and the Magic stunned the top-seeded Bucks 122-110 to take a 1-0 lead in a best-of-seven Eastern Conference first-round series in the league’s fan-free bubble in Orlando, Florida.
Orlando’s victory tied for the third-largest playoff upset by point spread in the last 20 seasons, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The Magic, who were 14-point underdogs, led by as many as 18 points.
Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo (31 points, 17 rebounds and seven assists) was held without a field goal in the last 11 minutes.
♦ Damian Lillard had 34 points and the Trail Blazers spoiled LeBron James’ first playoff appearance for the Lakers with a 100-93 victory in Game 1.
James had 23 points, 17 rebounds and 15 assists for this 24th postseason triple-double. His assists were a career playoff high.
Lillard’s three-pointer tied it at 87 with 5:46 to go and CJ McCollum’s floater gave Portland the lead.
After Danny Green’s layup tied it again for the Lakers, Lillard nailed a three-pointer. Anthony Davis’ dunk got the Lakers within 95-93, but Gary Trent Jr. made a three-pointer that put Portland up 98-93 before Jusuf Nurkic dunked to all but seal it.
Heat beat Pacers; Oladipo hurt
Jimmy Butler scored a teamhigh 28 points, and the Heat beat the Pacers 113-101 in the opener of their first-round series.
The Heat pulled away in the closing minutes, long after the Pacers had lost star guard Victor Oladipo to an eye injury. Oladipo, who was limited to eight minutes before he was inadvertently poked in the left eye by Heat forward Jae Crowder with 3:26 left in the first quarter, is listed as day-to-day
This and that
The eight teams (Bulls, Hawks, Warriors, Knicks, Timberwolves, Hornets, Cavs and Pistons) that didn’t get invited to the bubble will be allowed to have voluntary group workouts in their facilities beginning next month.
♦ The Celtics say forward Gordon Hayward will be out for around four weeks after suffering a severely sprained right ankle in the fourth quarter of a 109-101 victory Monday against the 76ers.
♦ Guard Mike Conley returned to the Jazz after the birth of his son and will go through a four-day quarantine period before rejoining the team.
♦ The NBA is moving forward to have a virtual draft combine at regional sites throughout September, sources told ESPN.
Magic center Nikola Vucevic, passing the ball to forward Gary Clark in front of Bucks center Brook Lopez, scored a playoff career-high 35 points Tuesday. AP