Butler scores 31, Bulls beat Bucks 91-82 to go up 2-0    

CHICAGO:  Jimmy Butler was simply following orders from Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah.

He kept shooting and the ball kept going in.

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 terriNBA Playoffs Logofic performance. He was at his best down the stretch, scoring 14 points in the fourth quarter.

Butler hit 4 of 5 shots in the fourth and all three 3-pointers after missing his first six from long range.

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

Pau Gasol added 11 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks. Mike Dunleavy Jr. scored 12 points. Noah grabbed 19 rebounds and the third-seeded Bulls dominated on the glass 64-48 while taking a commanding lead in the series.

The Bulls were trailing 74-71 early in the fourth when Butler started a 13-0 run with a 3-pointer.

He drove along the right side for a vicious two-handed dunk on Zaza Pachulia and hit the free throw to complete the three-point play. Butler finished the run with another 3, giving Chicago an 84-74 lead with 6:01 remaining.

Middleton then hit a floater to pull Milwaukee within seven points with just over 2 minutes left, but Rose sealed the win when he scored with 55 seconds left to make it 91-82.

Rose missed his first seven shots after scoring 23 points in his first playoff game since 2012 and was 4 of 14 overall. He finally nailed an open 3 early in the third and scored 12 in the quarter.

Milwaukee trail the best of 7 series 0-2 with the next match to be played on Wednesday at Milwaukee.

Warriors beat Pelicans 97-87 to take 2-0 series lead

OAKLAND:  Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr likes to say his team teeters on “explosive and careless” basketball, pulling off an astonishing play one moment and a perplexing one the next.

Kerr saw both extremes Monday night.

And the better half was just good enough to defend home court.

Klay Thompson scored 26 points, Stephen Curry had 22 points and six assists and the Warriors regrouped from an early deficit to beat the New Orleans Pelicans 97-87 and take a 2-0 lead in their first-round playoff 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 their defense clamped down in the closing moments to put away the pesky Pelicans.

Davis had 26 points and 10 rebounds, and Gordon scored 23 points for a Pelicans team that played with more poise and passion than it did in the series opener.

Golden State turned up the NBA’s top-rated defense late, holding the Pelicans to 35 points in the second half. New Orleans shot just 37.8 for the game.

The Pelicans still pulled within one in the final minutes before Draymond Green and center Andrew Bogut – Golden State’s defensive stoppers – helped the Warriors shut down Davis and New Orleans again. Green finished with 14 points, 12 rebounds and five assists.

Thompson also converted a running bank shot over Gordon to start a three-point play, and Bogut followed with a two-handed slam to give Golden State a 97-86 lead with 1:02 left, fending off a tougher-than-expected fight from the West’s eighth seed.

New Orleans made five of its first six shots and got big contributions from Gordon and Davis to go ahead 28-17 after the first quarter. Reserve guard Leandro Barbosa (12 points) and the backups brought the Warriors back in the second quarter, though Pelicans super sub Norris Cole countered with some big shots of his own.

They helped the Warriors outscore New Orleans 38-24 in the second quarter, with Curry capping the run with a deep 3-pointer to give Golden State a 55-52 halftime lead. The Warriors went up by nine early in the third quarter, and the teams were tied 71-all entering the fourth.

Game 3 of the best-of-seven series is Thursday night in New Orleans. Golden State Warriors lead the best of 7 series 2-0.


Chicago Bulls 91 beat Milwaukee Bucks 82, Golden State Warriors beat New Orleans Pelicans 87

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Vishnu Ravi Shankar
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