Champs open playoff three-peat run with win...Duncan's 27 gives Spurs 1-0 lead...Wizards rally to beat Bulls
UNDATED (AP) — Sunday's NBA playoff schedule opened with victories for the two-time defending champions and the top overall seed, although neither team dominated their game.
LeBron James scored 27 points and the Miami Heat continued their bid for a three-peat by topping Charlotte 99-88 in the opener of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series. Dwyane (dwayn) Wade had 23 points for the Heat, who trailed in the third quarter and led by just five before putting together an 18-4 run in the final period.
Kemba Walker scored 20 points for the Bobcats, who will play Game 2 in Miami on Wednesday.
In San Antonio, the Spurs trailed by 10 in the fourth quarter of their playoff opener before scoring the next 15 points in a 90-85 triumph over Dallas. Tim Duncan finished with 27 points and the Spurs held the Mavericks to just one field goal in the final seven minutes.
Tony Parker had 21 points and Manu Ginobili (MAN'-oo jih-NOH'-blee) added 17 in the Spurs' 10th straight win over the Mavericks.
Devin Harris had a team-high 10 points for the Mavericks.
Game 2 is Wednesday in San Antonio.
Washington pulled off a surprise in Chicago as the Wizards rallied from 13 points down to beat the Bulls 102-93 in Game 1 of that first-round series. Nene finished with 24 points and helped the Wizards outscore the Bulls 18-6 over the final six minutes. John Wall added 16 points in his postseason debut, and Marcin Gortat (MAHR'-seen GOHR'-that) finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds.
Kirk Hinrich (HYN'-rihk) and D.J. Augustin each had 16 points for the Bulls, who host Game 2 on Tuesday.
Portland opened its playoff schedule by rallying from a 13-point, fourth-quarter lead to beat the Rockets 122-120 in overtime at Houston. Damian Lillard hit two free throws with 17 seconds left to put the Trail Blazers ahead to stay.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 46 points, grabbed 18 rebounds and provided the game-tying tip-in with 2.9 seconds left in regulation. Lillard added 31 points for the Blazers, who stay in Houston for Game 2 on Wednesday.
Flyers, Bruins even things up...Habs in command
UNDATED (AP) — The Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers were able to even their respective Stanley Cup first-round series at a game apiece.
Justin Florek and Reilly Smith scored 3:07 apart to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead midway through the first period of a 4-1 victory over Detroit. Jerome Iginla (ih-GIHN'-luh) and Torey Krug (kroog) each assisted on goals by Milan Lucic (LOO'-cheech) and Zdeno Chara (zuh-DAY'-noh CHAH'-rah) to help Boston bounce back from Friday's surprising 1-0 home loss to the Red Wings in Game 1.
The series shifts to Detroit for Game 3 on Tuesday.
The Flyers spotted the Rangers an early 2-0 lead before posting a 4-2 victory that takes away home-ice advantage from New York. Jason Akeson and Luke Schenn scored 5 ½ minutes apart in the second period to put the Flyers ahead to stay. Ray Emery turned back 31 shots and blanked the Blueshirts after Benoit Pouliot (BEHN'-wah POO'-lee-aht) tallied on a power play 8:22 into the game.
Philadelphia hosts Game 3 on Tuesday.
San Jose took a 2-0 lead in its series as seven different Sharks scored over the final two periods of a 7-2 romp over Los Angeles. Joe Pavelski had a goal and two assists after the Sharks allowed the Kings to take a 2-0 lead into the second period. Logan Couture (koo-TOOR') and Patrick Marleau each added a goal and assist for the Sharks, who didn't allow a goal once Trevor Lewis tallied midway through the opening period.
The seven goals tie a team record set at Colorado in 1999.
The two teams head to Los Angeles for Game 3 on Tuesday.
Montreal owns a commanding 3-0 series lead after Rene Bourque, Brendan Gallagher and Tomas Plekanec (pleh-KAH'-nehts) scored in the Canadiens' 3-2 victory over Tampa Bay. Bourque scored 11 seconds into the game, Gallagher snapped a 1-1 tie late in the second and Plekanec scored the eventual game-winner with 14:17 remaining.
P.K. Subban (SOO'-ban) had two assists for the Canadiens, who can wrap up the series at home Tuesday.
Blackhawks' Seabrook suspended 3 games
CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook has been suspended for three games for his hit on Blues center David Backes (BAH'-kihs) during their first-round playoff series.
Angels make four errors in loss
UNDATED (AP) — The Milwaukee Brewers needed five extra innings to pick up their third straight win and improve to a major league-best 14-5.
Khris Davis homered in the 14th inning to give the Brewers a 3-2 victory over Pittsburgh. The Pirates were two outs from a 2-1 victory until Ryan Braun homered off closer Jason Grilli.
The game also featured a benches-clearing melee that began after Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez admired his long drive that almost cleared the fence in the third inning. Pitcher Gerrit Cole took exception and exchanged words with Gomez, who slid into third with a triple before approaching Cole. Milwaukee's Martin Maldonado came from the bench and threw a punch that knocked the hat off Pirates outfielder Travis Snider.
Gomez, Snider and Brewers bench coach Jerry Narron were ejected.
Meanwhile, the National League's second-best team also played 14 innings before falling to 12-6. The New York Mets avoided a three-game sweep by beating Atlanta 4-3 on Curtis Granderson's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 14th. David Wright went 4-for-6 with an RBI and a run scored as the Mets dealt the Braves just their second loss in nine games.
In other Easter Sunday baseball:
— Yasiel Puig (YAH'-see-ul pweeg) hit a three-run homer and threw out a runner at second base to lead the Los Angeles Dodgers past Arizona 4-1. Dodgers starter Josh Beckett settled for a no-decision after pitching five innings of one-hit ball, striking out seven and walking two.
— San Francisco ended a three-game losing streak as Buster Posey belted a two-run homer and Tim Lincecum (LIHN'-she-kuhm) pitched into the seventh inning of the Giants' 4-3 win at San Diego. The Padres lost despite allowing just three hits and retiring 23 of the final 24 Giants batters.
— Adeiny Hechavarria (etch-eh-vahr-EE'-ah) hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the eighth inning after an instant replay went in Miami's favor and the Marlins beat the Seattle Mariners 3-2 to complete a three-game sweep.
— The Washington Nationals rallied from a 2-0 deficit to beat St. Louis 3-2 and gain a weekend split in that four-game series. Denard Span's bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the ninth drove in the winning run.
— Homer Bailey struck out eight while tossing six shutout innings as Cincinnati pounded the Chicago Cubs 8-2 in the rubber match of the three-game series. Zack Cozart and Jay Bruce homered in the seventh inning, and Bailey added an RBI single in his first win of the year.
— Jimmy Rollins homered early, then hit a go-ahead single in the eighth inning that sent the Philadelphia Phillies past the Colorado Rockies 10-9. Ryan Howard added four hits, including a two-run homer and triple while collecting three RBIs to help the Phillies avoid a three-game sweep.
— Boston erased a 5-0 deficit before Dustin Pedroia (peh-DROY'-uh) scored on a throwing error by left fielder David Lough in the bottom of the ninth to complete the Red Sox's 6-5 win over Baltimore. Jonny Gomes (gohmz) started the Bosox's comeback with a three-run homer in the sixth.
— Josh Donaldson homered and doubled twice as Oakland beat Houston 4-1 to complete a series sweep. Jesse Chavez allowed a run and four hits in six innings to pitch the Athletics to their 11th victory in 13 games.
— Ian Kinsler drew a first-inning walk and came around to score while the Los Angeles Angels were making three errors on the same play in a 2-1 loss to the Tigers in Detroit. Rick Porcello allowed a run and five hits in seven innings to get the win.
— Cleveland avoided a three-game split by beating Toronto 6-4. David Murphy's three-run double in the sixth was the big hit for the Tribe.
— The New York Yankees scored four times in the 12th to beat Tampa Bay 5-1. Dean Anna put the Yanks ahead by drawing a bases-loaded walk with two out and Carlos Beltran followed with a two-run single before Alfonso Soriano added an RBI single.
— Phil Hughes ended a personal eight-game losing streak that dated to last July, pitching into the seventh inning and helping the Minnesota Twins top the Kansas City Royals 8-3 to avoid a three-game sweep.
— Jose Abreu (ah-BRAY'-oo) and Jordan Danks each had two-run homers and the Chicago White Sox ended a four-game skid by drubbing the Rangers 16-2 in Texas. Erik Johnson combined with three relievers on a two-hitter.
Nova on, Teixeira off Yankees DL...New Mets closer
UNDATED (AP) — New York Yankees right-hander Ivan (ee-VAHN') Nova has a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and was placed on the 15-day disabled list. The Yankees also reinstated first baseman Mark Teixeira (teh-SHEHR'-uh) from the 15-day disabled list.
In other baseball news:
— Three weeks into the season, the New York Mets are trying their third closer. Mets manager Terry Collins says he is promoting setup man Kyle Farnsworth to the ninth-inning role in place of struggling right-hander Jose Valverde (val-VAYR'-day), who has given up four home runs in his last three outings.
__ L.A. Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw threw a simulated game on Sunday and reported no discomfort after topping out at 90 mph. Kershaw, who is on the disabled list for the first time in his seven-year career, threw a combined total of 50 pitches from the windup and from the stretch.
— The Twins have claimed outfielder Sam Fuld off waivers from Oakland and designated outfielder Darin Mastroianni for assignment.
Kuchar wins at Hilton head
HILTON HEAD, S.C. (AP) — Matt Kuchar (KOO'-char) overcame a four-stroke deficit to finally finish on top, when his stunning chip-in on the 18th hole gave him a 64 and a victory at the RBC Heritage.
Kuchar was four shots behind Luke Donald at the start but made that up with seven birdies on his first 10 holes. John Huh and Ben Martin tied for third.
Jimenez wins tour debut
DULUTH, Ga. (AP) — Miguel Angel Jimenez is a winner in his first start on the Champions Tour, finishing two shots ahead of Bernhard Langer at the Greater Gwinnett Championship. Jimenez closed with a 67 for a 14-under total, becoming the third player to lead from start to finish in his debut on the 50-and-over tour.
The win comes a week after he finished fourth in the Masters.
AUTO RACING-FORMULA ONE
Hamilton wins in a breeze
SHANGHAI (AP) — Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton captured his third straight Formula One race with ease on Sunday, leading from start to finish to win the Chinese Grand Prix. Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg took second place — the third time in four races this season the pair have finished one-two.
Boxer, symbol of racial injustice, dead at 76
TORONTO (AP) — Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, the boxer whose wrongful murder conviction became an international symbol of racial injustice, died Sunday. He was 76.
He had been stricken with prostate cancer in Toronto, the New Jersey native's adopted home. John Artis, a longtime friend and caregiver, said Carter died in his sleep.
Carter spent 19 years in prison for three murders at a tavern in Paterson, N.J., in 1966. He was convicted alongside Artis in 1967 and again in a new trial in 1976.
Carter was freed in November 1985 when his convictions were set aside after years of appeals and public advocacy. His ordeal and the alleged racial motivations behind it were publicized in Bob Dylan's 1975 song "Hurricane," several books and a 1999 film starring Denzel Washington.