Davis blitzes Blazers as Lakers level series

Anthony Davis scored 31 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as the Los Angeles Lakers levelled their first-round series with the Portland Trail Blazers with a 111-88 Game 2 win.

Thursday night’s playoff scores

  • Blazers 88-111 Lakers – Series tied 1-1
  • Magic 96-111 Bucks – Series tied 1-1
  • Heat 109-100 Pacers – Heat lead 2-0
  • Thunder 98-111 Rockets – Rockets lead 2-0

NBA first-round playoff games live on Sky Sports

  • Gm 3: Clippers @ Mavericks | Saturday 2am | Sky Sports Arena
  • Gm 3: Heat @ Pacers | Saturday 8:30pm | Sky Sports Arena
  • Gm 4: Celtics @ 76ers | Sunday 6pm | Sky Sports Arena
  • Gm 4: Lakers @ Trail Blazers | Tuesday 2am | Sky Sports Arena

Portland Trail Blazers 88-111 Los Angeles Lakers

Anthony Davis scored 31 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as the Los Angeles Lakers earned a 111-88 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night to even the first-round series at one game apiece.

LeBron James added a modest 10 points with six rebounds and seven assists in 27 minutes as the Lakers rebounded from a 100-93 defeat to the eighth-seeded Blazers in Game 1.

The Lakers led by nine points in the opening quarter minutes and increased that to 17 in the first half. The advantage reached 32 late in the third quarter as the Lakers jumped on top 88-56.

Blazers guard Damian Lillard was held to 18 points while CJ McCollum added 13. Portland were limited to 40 per cent shooting from the field and 27.6 per cent (8-of-29) from three-point range.

Lillard, who left the game with a dislocated left index finger late in the third quarter, had his lowest scoring game since the NBA’s restart late last month. He scored at least 34 points in each of his previous five games, including a 61-point effort on August 11 against the Dallas Mavericks.

Anthony Davis celebrates a basket during the Lakers' Game 2 win over Portland
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Anthony Davis celebrates a basket during the Lakers’ Game 2 win over Portland

Davis took charge early in Game 2, scoring 21 points by half-time and reaching 31 through three quarters. He did not play in the fourth. Davis was 13-of-21 from the field and 3-of-4 from three-point range.

James took more of a background role in Game 2. His 10 points marked his lowest scoring playoff game since he had seven points for the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the 2014 Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope scored 16 for the Lakers while JR Smith had 11 and JaVale McGee added 10.

Orlando Magic 96-111 Milwaukee Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks held the Orlando Magic to three first-quarter field goals en route to a double-digit lead, then rode Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 28 points and game-high 20 rebounds to a 111-96 victory on Thursday night to even their best-of-seven playoff series at one game apiece.

Nikola Vucevic went for a game-high 32 points, but no other member of the Magic topped 12, as Milwaukee avenged a poor defensive effort in a 122-110 loss in Game 1 on Tuesday.

Orlando shot just 3-for-23 in the first 12 minutes and mixed in six turnovers, as the top-seeded Bucks established dominance early on and never allowed the eighth-seeded Magic back within arm’s length.

Milwaukee led by as many as 23 in the third quarter, and Orlando only momentarily got within single digits in the second half. The Magic gave the Bucks a brief scare with an eight-point run late in the contest to trim a 17-point deficit to 101-92 on a Markelle Fultz hoop with 3:55 to play.

Giannis Antetokounmpo celebrates after scoring in the Bucks' Game 2 win over the Magic
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Giannis Antetokounmpo celebrates after scoring in the Bucks’ Game 2 win over the Magic

But Antetokounmpo countered with a lay-up and a dunk, and the Bucks tightened the defensive screws again, limiting the Magic to just two more hoops the rest of the way.

Brook Lopez chipped in with 20 points, while Pat Connaughton added 15, Eric Bledsoe had 13 to complement a game-high seven assists and Donte DiVincenzo 11 for the Bucks. Lopez connected on four of his eight three-point shots, helping Milwaukee outscore Orlando 45-21 from beyond the arc.

Miami Heat 109-100 Indiana Pacers

Duncan Robinson tied a franchise postseason record with seven three-pointers in just his second career playoff game, helping the Miami Heat take a 2-0 lead in their first-round series against the Indiana Pacers with a 109-100 victory.

Robinson finished with a game-high 24 points, Goran Dragic added 20 and Jimmy Butler had 18 in a balanced attack that allowed the fifth-seeded Heat to successfully follow up on Tuesday’s 113-101 triumph in the series opener.

Victor Oladipo, playing two days after suffering an eye injury that required brief hospitalisation, paced fourth-seeded Indiana with 22 points.

Indiana led by five points and Miami by no more than nine in a tightly-contested first-half that ended with the Heat clinging to a 51-46 advantage but Miami gradually pulled away in the third quarter, with Robinson playing a leading role.

Duncan Robinson reacts after nailing a three-pointer in Miami's Game 2 win over Indiana
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Duncan Robinson reacts after nailing a three-pointer in Miami’s Game 2 win over Indiana

The second-year forward hit three triples in the third period as the Heat ran up a 16-point lead.

The Pacers got no closer than seven in the final quarter.

Oklahoma City Thunder 98-111 Houston Rockets

James Harden had 21 points and nine assists to lift the Houston Rockets to a 111-98 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Rockets used a big fourth-quarter burst to grab control and take a 2-0 series lead despite once again being without Russell Westbrook.

The Thunder led 80-77 in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter before Oklahoma City went cold from the floor and the Rockets caught fire. Houston scored 17 consecutive points, including three three-pointers by Jeff Green, to take control.

Oklahoma City missed eight consecutive shots during the spree and never came closer than eight points the rest of the way.

After hitting six three-pointers and scoring 37 points in the series opener, Harden was just 2-of-11 from behind the three-point line. Luguentz Dort was a big part of the Thunder’s success in slowing him down.

James Harden pictures during Houston's Game 2 win over Oklahoma City
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James Harden pictures during Houston’s Game 2 win over Oklahoma City

While he wasn’t hitting shots most of the game, Harden moved the ball around and kept his team-mates involved. Danuel House added 19 points for Houston, while Green and Eric Gordon had 15 each among seven players in double figures.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder with 31 points. Chris Paul struggled once again, going just 6-of-15 from the floor and scoring 14 points.

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