Cavaliers, Celtics win first series
CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James just missed a triple-double despite an apparently sore right elbow, and the Cleveland Cavaliers advanced to a playoff date with Boston by beating Chicago 96-94 in Game 5 on Tuesday night in perhaps Vinny Del Negro’s final game as Bulls coach.
James, favoring a tender right elbow that appears to hurt worse than he’s letting on, scored 19 points — 16 in the second half — and added 10 rebounds and nine assists as the Cavs finally saddled the stubborn Bulls to win the series 4-1. Unable to lift his right arm, James was forced to shoot a free throw left-handed with 7.8 seconds left.
Antawn Jamison scored 25 points for Cleveland, which will face the Celtics, reuniting teams that don’t like each other and who played a testy seven-game series in 2008. Game 1 is Saturday.
Derrick Rose scored 31 points and Luol Deng 26 for the Bulls, who had several shots roll in and out in the final minutes.
Celtics 96, Heat 86
BOSTON (AP) — Ray Allen scored 24 points, making five 3-pointers in the second half, to help Boston eliminate Miami in Game 5.
With star Dwyane Wade expected to become a free agent, it was the Heat’s final game before an eventful summer in Miami.
Boston advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals thanks to 16 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists from Rajon Rondo. Paul Pierce scored 21 for the Celtics, who will play Cleveland, which eliminated Chicago later Tuesday in Game 5 of their first-round series.
Wade scored 31 points — far short of the franchise postseason-record 46 he scored Sunday in Game 4 in Miami to help the Heat stave off elimination.
Mavs 103, Spurs 81
DALLAS (AP) — Caron Butler scored a career playoff-best 35 points and had 11 rebounds, Brendan Haywood provided a strong inside presence at both ends in his first start of this postseason, and Dallas stayed alive by beating San Antonio in Game 5.
The Spurs still lead the series 3-2, giving the veteran club two more chances to get into the second round. Game 6 is Thursday at San Antonio. Only eight teams have ever blown a 3-1 lead.
Butler’s performance turned Dirk Nowitzki into a sidekick. He had 15 points and nine rebounds. Jason Terry had 12 points, while Shawn Marion and Jason Kidd each scored 10. Kidd also had seven assists and seven rebounds.
Tony Parker led San Antonio with 18 points.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Pau Gasol had 25 points and 11 rebounds, Andrew Bynum added 21 points and the Los Angeles Lakers vigorously rebounded from back-to-back losses with a 111-87 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night, taking a 3-2 lead in their first-round playoff series.
Kobe Bryant had 13 points and seven assists in three quarters of work.