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Bulls beat Celtics 105-103 in OT in Game 1

DERRICK Rose had 36 points and 11 assists in his playoff debut to help the visiting Chicago Bulls beat the Boston Celtics 105-103 in overtime Saturday.

Tyrus Thomas made a jumper from the corner with 51 seconds left in overtime to lead the Bulls past the defending NBA champions in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series.

Rajon Rondo had 29 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for Boston, which was without the injured Kevin Garnett and without much help from the rest of the Big Three.

Paul Pierce scored 23 points on 8-of-21 shooting, but missed the potential winning free throw at the end of regulation and had a potential tying basket blocked with 3.7 seconds left in overtime. Ray Allen, who had four points on 1-for-12 shooting, had a chance to send it to a second overtime but his jumper bounced off the back of the rim.

Game 2 is Monday night in Boston, the anniversary of the 1986 playoff game when Michael Jordan scored 63 points against Boston - in a Chicago loss. In fact, Chicago had not beaten the Celtics in 10 postseason games since the Chicago Stags topped the Celtics in the 1948 Basketball Association of America quarterfinals.

Cavaliers 102, Pistons 84

At Cleveland, LeBron James banked in a 3-pointer at the halftime horn to finish with 38 points, eight rebounds and seven assists as Cleveland downed Detroit.

James' 41-foot shot stunned the Pistons and gave Cleveland, the NBA's most dominant team - home or away - during the regular season, a 12-point halftime lead in the playoff opener. Game 2 is Tuesday night in Cleveland.

Joe Smith scored 13 points, and Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 12 and 10 rebounds for Cleveland. Rodney Stuckey had 20 points for the eighth-seeded Pistons.

Rockets 108, Trail Blazers 81

At Portland, Oregon, Yao Ming scored 24 points, all in the first half, as Houston spoiled Portland's back-in-the playoffs euphoria.

Yao, who also had nine rebounds, hit all nine of his attempts from the field and all six of his free throws. He did not attempt a shot in the second half and sat for all of the fourth quarter.

Aaron Brooks added 27 points for the Rockets, who haven't advanced out of the first round of the playoffs since 1997. Brandon Roy had 21 points for the Blazers in their first playoff appearance since 2003.

Game 2 is Tuesday night in Portland.

Mavericks 105, Spurs 97

At San Antonio, Josh Howard scored 25 points to lead Dallas past San Antonio for its first road playoff victory since its NBA finals run in 2006.

The sixth-seeded Mavericks had lost nine consecutive playoff road games.

Tim Duncan scored 27 points, and Tony Parker had 24 for the Spurs.

Game 2 is Monday night in San Antonio.


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