NBA Playoffs – First Round Finally Ends, East Enters Second Round

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Michael Garcia - May 15, 2012

It took two game sevens, but the Western Conference first round finally ended over the weekend, with both Los Angeles squads advancing. Meanwhile, the Eastern Conference had two second round series get underway.

Los Angeles Lakers 96 - Denver 87

The Lakers needed something big out of their big men and Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum delivered. Gasol had 23 points, Bynum added 18 boards, and the return of Metta World Peace was key to the Lakers rather easy win. MWP locked down Andre Miller and Danilo Gallinari, holding them to a combined six points. On the other end, World Peace scored 15 points, connecting on four threes. Tonight, the Lakers are in Oklahoma City and we'll see if going seven games with Denver took a toll on L.A.

Los Angeles Clippers 82 - Memphis 72

The Clips won just their third playoff series in the last 41 years, thanks to a strong effort by the bench. Kenyon Martin scored 11 and grabbed 10 boards, and Nick Young scored 13 points. Not only was it a rare playoff series win for the Clippers, it came on the road. Memphis was terrible from the field, shooting only 32.5 percent on their home floor. The Clippers now face the top seeded Spurs in the second round.

Miami 95 - Indiana 86

Miami held steady in game one of the second round, but have lost Chris Bosh. ESPN is reporting that Bosh is out indefinitely with a strained abdominal muscle. Now LeBron James will have to earn that MVP trophy he was awarded before the game all over again, as it's going to be an uphill battle with only he and Dwyane Wade there to shoulder the load. Miami went 4-5 in the nine regular season games Bosh missed. Game two between Miami and Indiana is Tuesday night.

Boston 92 - Philadelphia 91

The Celtics squeaked out the game win, as Kevin Garnett continues to play out of his mind, and Rajon Rondo notched his eighth career playoff triple double. Rondo had 13 points, 12 boards and 17 assists. Garnett had 29 points, as Boston had to come back from 13 down in the second half. Philadelphia, the 8th seed in the East, showed they are for real after their 'upset' over the injury ravaged Bulls in the first round. Game two is tonight in Boston at 7 p.m. eastern.

Here's LeBron talking about his third MVP award.

Article by Eric Gray

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