NBA Playoff Capsules
CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James attacked from the start and scored 33 points, Kyrie Irving added 21 and the Cleveland Cavaliers evened their semifinal series with Chicago with a 106-91 victory over the Bulls in Game 2 on Wednesday night.
Donning his signature headband for the first time in two months and powering to the basket, James kept the Cavs from falling into a 2-0 hole. He added eight rebounds and five assists for Cleveland, which led by 25 in the third quarter and withstood a third-quarter charge by the Bulls.
For the second straight game, the Cavs were without forward Kevin Love (shoulder surgery) and J.R. Smith (two-game suspension). But they had James and he was more like himself after a sub-par performance in the opener.
Jimmy Butler scored 18 and Derrick Rose had 14 points and 10 assists for the Bulls, who host Game 3 on Friday night.
ROCKETS 115, CLIPPERS 109
HOUSTON (AP) — James Harden scored 16 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter to lift Houston over Los Angeles to even the Western Conference semifinals at one game apiece.
Dwight Howard had 24 points and 16 rebounds for the Rockets, who bounced back from a 117-101 loss in the opener. Game 3 is Friday night in Los Angeles.
Trevor Ariza added 15 points and 13 rebounds for Houston, which made 42 of its 64 free throws.
Blake Griffin led Los Angeles with 34 points, but had just eight after halftime as Houston keyed on him with All-Star point guard Chris Paul out with a hamstring injury.
Coach Doc Rivers said before the game that Paul is getting better but still isn’t “moving well.” Rivers isn’t sure if Paul will be ready for Game 3 but expects him to play at some point in this series.