The best team in the NBA for the 2nd consecutive season, the Chicago Bulls made their opening statement with a win over the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 1 of their best of 7 first round match-up at the United Center 103-91. However, the Bulls suffer a devastating blow to their playoff run as their hometown star Derrick Rose suffered a torn ACL on his left knee with 1:15 remaining in the 4th quarter and will be out for the remainder of the playoffs. The Bulls will miss his services, however the Bulls have proven this season they can win without Rose as they went 18-9 in the 27 games he missed in the regular season, and will this development help the 76ers in their first round matchup? That we will find out as the series progresses.
Rose led the Bulls in Game 1 with a near triple-double 23 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists. Rip Hamilton scored 19 points on 6-7 from the field. Luol Deng added 17 points and 6 rebounds. Joakim Noah finished with a double-double 12 points and 13 rebounds with 2 blocks. Kyle Korver scored 11 off the bench. Carlos Boozer added 9 points and 7 rebounds.
Elton Brand led the 76ers with 19 points, 7 rebounds and 4 blocks. Jrue Holiday added 16 points and 7 rebounds. Thaddeus Young added 13 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals off the bench. Chicago-native Evan Turner who was jeered every time he touched the ball added 12 points, 5 assists and 3 steals. Andre Iguodala added 11 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists.
In Miami, the Miami Heat take Game 1 of their best of 7 first round match-up over the New York Knicks in a 33 point blowout at the American Airlines Arena 100-67. LeBron James led the Heat in Game 1 with 32 points, 4 rebounds and 4 steals. Dwayne Wade scored 19. Mario Chalmers added 11 points, 9 assists and 3 steals. Chris Bosh and Mike Miller each scored 9 points. J.R. Smith off the bench led the Knicks with 17 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals. Carmelo Anthony finished with a double-double 11 points and 10 rebounds. Tyson Chandler scored 10. The Knicks lose rookie guard Iman Shumpert.
In Indianapolis, the Orlando Magic pull off a stunner over the Indiana Pacers in Game 1 of their best of 7 first round match-up at Bankers Life Fieldhouse 81-77. Jameer Nelson and Jason Richardson led the Magic in Game 1 with both scoring 17 points. Nelson also added 9 assists. Richardson added 5 rebounds and 2 steals. Glen Davis finished with a double-double 16 points and 13 rebounds with 3 blocks. Hedo Turkoglu scored 9. David West led the Pacers with 19 points and 9 rebounds. Danny Granger added 17 points and 8 rebounds. George Hill scored 11. Roy Hibbert pulled down 13 rebounds with 8 points and 9 blocks. Paul George also scored 8.
In Oklahoma City, in a early rematch of last year’s Western Conference Finals, a case of déjà vu happened as Kevin Durant nails the game winner with 1.5 seconds left in the game as the Oklahoma City Thunder take Game 1 of their best of 7 series against the defending champion Dallas Mavericks at the Chesapeake Energy Arena 99-98. Durant finished with 25 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 blocks. Russell Westbrook led the Thunder in Game 1 with 28 points, 5 assists and 3 steals. Serge Ibaka added 22 points, 6 rebounds and 5 blocks. James Harden coming off the concussion he suffered from Metta World Peace scored 19 off the bench. Dirk Nowiztki led the Mavericks 25 points and 5 rebounds. Jason Terry off the bench added 20 points and 5 assists. Shawn Marion added 17 points and 8 rebounds. Vince Carter added 13 points and 7 rebounds.
2012 NBA Playoffs Bracket (as of 12:36 PHT)
#1 Spurs vs #8 Jazz (Series tied 0-0)
Game 1: April 30, 1:00 am PHT on NBA Premium TV
#4 Grizzlies vs # 5 Clippers (Series tied 0-0)
Game 1: April 30, 9:30 am PHT on Basketball TV
#3 Lakers vs #6 Nuggets (Series tied 0-0)
Game 1: April 30, 3:30 am PHT on NBA Premium TV
#2 Thunder vs #7 Mavericks (Thunder lead series 1-0)
Game 2: May 1, 9:30 am PHT on NBA Premium TV
#1 Bulls vs # 8 76ers (Bulls lead series 1-0)
Game 2: May 2, 8:00 am PHT on NBA Premium TV
#4 Celtics vs #5 Hawks (Series tied 0-0)
Game 1: April 30, 7:00 am PHT on Studio 23
#3 Pacers vs #6 Magic (Magic lead series 1-0)
Game 2: May 1, 7:30 am PHT on Basketball TV and NBA Premium TV
#2 Heat vs #7 Knicks (Heat lead series 1-0)
Game 2: May 1, 7:00 am PHT on NBA Premium TV