NBA Daily Blog Playoff Edition: 76ers and Celtics equalize their series. Lakers take 2-0 lead.

Elton Brand with the dunk
Photo ©NBA/Sixers.com
The Philadelphia 76ers have even up their first round series with a huge win in Game 2 against the Chicago Bulls who lost reining MVP Derrick Rose in Game 1 to a torn ACL on his left knee at the United Center 109-92. The series shifts to Philadelphia for Game 3 on May 5.
The 76ers backcourt led the way with Jrue Holiday scoring 26 points with 6 assists. Lou Williams off the bench added 20 points, 6 assists and 2 steals. Chicago native Evan Turner added 19 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. Elton Brand added 12 points, 5 rebounds and 3 blocks. Andre Iguodala added 11 points and 5 rebounds. Rookie Lavoy Allen also scored 11 points with 9 rebounds and 2 blocks.
Joakim Noah led the Bulls with 21 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists. John Lucas III off the bench added 15 points and 4 assists. C.J. Watson scored 12. Rip Hamilton added 10 points and 5 assists. Carlos Boozer added 9 points and 5 rebounds.
 Paul Pierce takes a jumper against the Hawks defense.
Photo ©NBA/Celtics.com

The Boston Celtics without their all-star backcourt of Rajon Rondo who was out with a one game suspension and Ray Allen who is still recovering from injury came up with a Game 2 victory over the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena 87-80. The series shifts to Boston on May 5 and we will see the return of Rondo and possibly Allen to the lineup.

The captain Paul Pierce led the Celtics with another classic playoff performance with a double-double 36 points and 14 rebounds playing in 44 minutes. Kevin Garnett also finished with a double-double 15 points and 12 rebounds. Avery Bradley added 14 points, 3 steals and 3 blocks. Brandon Bass added 8 points and 6 rebounds.

Joe Johnson led the Hawks with 22 points, 5 assists and 3 steals. Jeff Teague added 18 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals. Josh Smith finished with a double-double 16 points and 12 rebounds with 5 assists and 2 blocks, but would have to leave the game in the 4th quarter with a sore knee.


In Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Lakers take a 2-0 lead in their first round series against the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center 104-100. The series shifts to Denver for Game 3 on May 5. Kobe Bryant once again led the Lakers with 38 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals. Andrew Bynum added 27 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks. Ramon Sessions added 14 points, 4 assists and 2 steals. Pau Gasol finished with a double-double 13 points and 10 rebounds with 5 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Ty Lawson led the Nuggets with 25 points and 7 assists. Rookie Kenneth Faried finished with a double-double 14 points and 10 rebounds. Danilo Gallinari added 13 points and 8 rebounds. Corey Brewer off the bench also scored 13 points with 3 steals. Arron Afflalo and Al Harrington each scored 11. 2012 NBA Playoffs Bracket (as of 13:55 PHT)

WESTERN CONFERENCE
#1 Spurs vs #8 Jazz (Spurs lead series 1-0)
Game 2: May 3, 7:00 am PHT on NBA Premium TV
#4 Grizzlies vs # 5 Clippers (Clippers lead series 1-0)
Game 2: May 3, 9:30 am PHT on ESPN
#3 Lakers vs #6 Nuggets (Lakers lead series 2-0)
Game 3: May 5, 10:30 am PHT on ESPN
#2 Thunder vs #7 Mavericks (Thunder lead series 2-0)
Game 3: May 4, 9:30 am PHT on NBA Premium TV
EASTERN CONFERENCE
#1 Bulls vs # 8 76ers (Series tied 1-1)
Game 3: May 5, 8:00 am PHT on Studio 23 and NBA Premium TV
#4 Celtics vs #5 Hawks (Series tied 1-1)
Game 3: May 5, 7:30 am PHT on NBA Premium TV
#3 Pacers vs #6 Magic (Series tied 1-1)
Game 3: May 3, 7:30 am PHT on Basketball TV and NBA Premium TV
#2 Heat vs #7 Knicks (Heat lead series 2-0)
Game 3: May 4, 7:00 am PHT on NBA Premium TV

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