Smith leads the Hawks past Celtics 83-74

ATLANTA (AP) -- Josh Smith scored 22 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, leading the Atlanta Hawks to an 83-74 victory over Boston in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference playoffs last night, the final minute turning ugly when Celtics star Rajon Rondo was ejected for bumping an official. The Hawks, who led by as many as 19 in the first half, were clinging to a four-point lead when Rondo lost his cool with 41 seconds remaining -- and may have cost himself a chance to play Game 2 Tuesday night. Brandon Bass was called for a foul on Smith tussling for a loose ball. Rondo screamed at official Marc Davis, who quickly called a technical. Rondo then bumped Davis with his chest and was tossed out. A suspension could be coming, too. Rondo scored 20 points and dished out 11 assists, but none of it mattered when he lost his cool. The Celtics not only lost this game, they might've lost their floor leader for the next one. He clearly stuck out his chest to strike the official, which will almost surely draw the wrath of NBA Commissioner David Stern. Heat look to keep edge over ailing Knicks MIAMI (AP) -- When Jeremy Lin went down with a knee injury, Iman Shumpert stepped up for the New York Knicks. Turnabout isn't happening anytime soon. Although Lin practiced Sunday, one day after the Miami Heat rolled past the Knicks by 33 points in Game 1 of the teams' Eastern Conference first-round series, New York coach Mike Woodson said Lin -- the guard who became an overnight sensation this season by putting up dazzling numbers in February -- is not ready to return. And Lin agrees. So without Lin and now without Shumpert, who will be lost for up to eight months after tearing a ligament in his left knee on Saturday, the Knicks will have to do some scrambling to get ready for Game 2 in Miami tonight. "It's a big blow," Woodson said. "But again, that's the whole beauty about having a pretty solid basketball team. Someone else has to step up now. He won't be back this season. It's what it is and we've got to keep it moving." Pacers try to avoid 0-2 deficit vs. Magic INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- It's a good thing Pacers coach Frank Vogel warned his team to ignore the experts. Indiana entered its first-round Eastern Conference playoff series heavily favored, yet the Pacers surrendered home-court advantage in an 81-77 loss on Saturday to a Magic team whose best player, All-Star center Dwight Howard, is out for the season with a back injury. A loss in Game 2 Monday at home would put the Pacers in bad shape before heading to Orlando. Indiana had momentum from a 12-3 finish to the regular season, so the Game 1 disaster was unexpected. After the team had some time to breathe, the Pacers felt like themselves again. "We lost a game," forward Danny Granger said. "We watched it. It's not the end of the world. It's a seven-game series. We don't want to overreact." With jitters gone, Durant comes through in clutch OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The opportunity to attempt a shot and win a game used to make Kevin Durant so jittery he couldn't sit still. With the game on the line, he'd find himself literally shaking as he sat on the bench in late-game timeouts with the ball about to come his way. Then he found a way to take the edge off: He had to stop caring quite so much. Durant said he decided to try the new mindset after he watched an interview featuring seven-time NBA champion Robert Horry last offseason during which the player known as "Big Shot Rob" talked about taking the pressure off himself in that fashion. "He made some big shots in some big moments," Durant said. "So, I just tried to take that approach." Maybe it's no coincidence that Durant opened this postseason by hitting a foul-line jumper with 1.5 seconds left to lift the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 99-98 win over the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 of their first-round series. "I was calm," Durant said after Oklahoma City's practice on Sunday. "I had some success getting to the rim a little bit in the fourth, so I just tried to put my head down and go. But Shawn Marion did a great job of cutting me off. I work on that spin back all the time, and I just tried to get to my spot and take a good shot. "If I'd have missed it, then I'd have had to walk off the court and deal with it and learn from it. But I'm glad I made it." It gave the Thunder the early edge in a rematch of last season's Western Conference finals that Dallas won 4-1. Game 2 is Monday night in Oklahoma City. Bynum's triple-double leads Lakers past Nuggets LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A day before Andrew Bynum produced one of the most eye-popping defensive performances in NBA playoff history, he spoke up to his Lakers teammates about the importance of getting off to a good start in their championship quest. With an NBA record-tying 10 blocked shots, the 7-foot All-Star center put the Lakers on the good foot -- and the Denver Nuggets on their heels. Kobe Bryant scored 31 points, Bynum posted the Lakers' first playoff triple-double in 21 years, and Los Angeles thoroughly controlled the tempo in a playoff-opening 103-88 victory Sunday. Despite a few well-chronicled fluctuations in his motivation and discipline this year, the seventh-year pro had perfect focus in Game 1, capping his utter dominance in the paint with his record-tying block of Timofey Mozgov with 3:02 to play. Bynum also had 10 points and 13 rebounds before checking out to an ovation. "It's the only way really possible for me to get a triple-double -- through blocked shots," Bynum said of his first career triple-double. "If I play good D, we'll win games. I think I'm just going to be as aggressively as I can defensively to contest their shots. ... You've got to win Game 1. Statistics are against the teams that lose Game 1, especially on the home court." Game 2 is Tuesday night. SPURS 106, JAZZ 91 SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Tony Parker scored 28 points and San Antonio beat Utah to win its playoff opener for the first time in four years. Tim Duncan added 17 points and 11 rebounds, helping the Spurs dodge another early playoff letdown. Despite boasting the No. 1 seed again, San Antonio hadn't won a Game 1 in its last six postseason series -- including the one that began a shocking first-round ouster last year. Paul Millsap led Utah with 20 points. The Jazz hung close until the third, when the NBA's top 3-point shooting team began burying Utah with three in a two-minute burst to finish the quarter. The Spurs have won 11 in a row. Game 2 is Wednesday in San Antonio.


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