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Blazers steal one at Phoenix

| April 19, 2010 9:00 PM

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 on Sunday night.

LaMarcus Aldridge added 22 points and Nicolas Batum 18 for Portland, playing without its injured leading scorer, Brandon Roy. Jerryd Bayless also had 18 for the Blazers, 10 in the fourth quarter, but missed two free throws with 12.2 seconds left to give Phoenix a shot to tie. Steve Nash's 3-point try was well short, though, and Miller's two free throws iced the victory.

Game 2 is Tuesday at Phoenix.

Lakers 87, Thunder 79: Pau Gasol scored 19 points, Andrew Bynum added 13 and host Los Angeles used its twin 7-footers to dominate inside against Oklahoma City in the opener of their Western Conference playoff series.

Kobe Bryant added 21 points on 6 of 19 shooting.

Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 24 points - under the 30.1 average of the NBA's youngest-ever scoring champion. Former UCLA star Russell Westbrook added 23.

Game 2 is Tuesday in L.A.

Mavericks 100, Spurs 94: Dirk Nowitzki opened the playoffs in a high gear, making 12 of 14 shots and scoring 36 points to lead Dallas over visiting San Antonio in Game 1 of their first-round Western Conference series.

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. They came into the playoffs having won eight of 10 and five straight.

Game 2 is Wednesday night in Dallas.

Magic 98, Bobcats 89: Jameer Nelson scored 24 of his 32 points in the first half, and host Orlando nearly blew a 22-point lead before beating Charlotte in Game 1 of their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.

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, and Stephen Jackson played through a hyperextended left knee to finish with 18 points in the Bobcats’ first playoff game in franchise history.

Game 2 is Wednesday night in Orlando.

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