NBA Playoffs, MVP, Firings And Signings
UNDATED (AP) — Last year's NBA finalists have opened their respective conference semifinal series with lopsided victories.
The Miami Heat led by just three at halftime before dominating the remainder of a 107-86 rout of the Nets in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Miami took control with a 24-9 run in the third quarter en route to their first victory over the Nets in five tries this season.
LeBron James scored 22 points for the Heat, who shot 57 percent and improved to 5-0 in the postseason. Chris Bosh added 15 points and 11 rebounds, while Ray Allen went 4-for-7 from 3-point range to finish with 19 points off the bench.
Joe Johnson and Deron Williams each had 17 points for the Nets, who will try to even the series Thursday in Miami.
Unlike the Heat, the San Antonio Spurs took control early and rolled to a 116-92 rout of Portland in the Western Conference semis. Tony Parker poured in 33 points and had nine assists for the Spurs, who led 65-39 at halftime of their second consecutive blowout win. Marco Belinelli had 19 points off the bench, and Tim Duncan finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds for San Antonio.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 32 points and 14 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who will stay in San Antonio for Game 2 on Thursday.
Durant wins honor
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The NBA has a new Most Valuable Player.
LeBron James' two-year reign is over after Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant captured the honor. Durant averaged a league-high 32 points a game this season, along with 7.4 rebounds and 5.5 assists. He helped the Thunder finish second in the Western Conference at 59-23.
Durant totaled 119 first-place votes and 1,232 points in the voting of sportscasters and writers. James picked up sixth first-place votes following Miami's second-place finish in the East. Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin was third in the balloting.
Club president taking indefinite leave of absence
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles Clippers President Andy Roeser is taking an indefinite leave of absence while the NBA restructures the franchise in the wake of owner Donald Sterling's lifetime ban. The league announced plans last week to appoint a CEO to oversee the franchise in Sterling's absence. Roeser is one of the league's longest-tenured executives, having just completed his 30th season with the team.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The Golden State Warriors have fired coach Mark Jackson after the team's first-round loss to the Los Angeles Clippers in a seven-game series.
Jackson had the job for three years and compiled a record of 121-109, including a 51-31 mark this season. He was just the third coach in team history to have a 50-win season, joining Don Nelson and Al Attles.
New deal for the coach
TORONTO (AP) — The Toronto Raptors have rewarded coach Dwane Casey with a three-year contract extension after the team won a franchise-record 48 games this season. This was Casey's third season with the team, which won the Atlantic Division for the second time and ended a six-year playoff drought before losing to Brooklyn in a seven-game opening round.
NBA rookie of year has shoulder surgery
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia 76ers guard and NBA Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams has undergone successful surgery to repair the labrum of his right shoulder. Carter-Williams is only the third player since 1950-51 to lead all rookies in scoring, rebounding and assists, joining Oscar Robertson and Alvin Adams. There is no timetable set for his recovery.