|The Lakers’ Pau Gasol (right) gives kudos to Andrew Bynum for his dunk. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)|
Pau Gasol scored 19 points and Andrew Bynum added 13 as the Los Angeles Lakers used their twin 7-footers to dominate in an 87-79 victory yesterday over visiting Oklahoma City in the opener of their playoff series.
Kobe Bryant added 21 points on 6-of-19 shooting after missing four of the final five regular-season games to rest his swollen right knee and broken right index finger.
Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 24 points and Russell Westbrook added 23.
Bynum returned from a 13-game absence because of a strained right Achilles’ tendon, teaming with Gasol to pull down a combined 25 rebounds and deny the Thunder second-chance baskets.
History is on the Lakers’ side against the NBA’s youngest team, with an average age of 25 years 42 days. When coach Phil Jackson wins Game 1 of any series, his teams are 45-0.
Mavericks 100, Spurs 94 — Dirk Nowitzki opened the playoffs in a high gear, making 12 of 14 shots and scoring 36 points to lead host Dallas past San Antonio.
The Spurs did a good job of slowing Nowitzki in the first round last year, usually by swarming him with two and sometimes three defenders. They went with only one most of this game and paid the price.
Nowitzki shot over guys his size and went to the basket when covered by someone smaller. He made all 12 free throws, adding to a streak of 74 straight made free throws.
Caron Butler scored 22 points and Brendan Haywood added 10 in their Dallas playoff debuts. Both were part of a major trade in February that turned a good Mavericks team into a much better one.
Tim Duncan had 27 points and eight rebounds, Manu Ginobili scored 26, and Tony Parker had 18 points and four assists for the Spurs.
Magic 98, Bobcats 89 — Jameer Nelson scored 24 of his 32 points in the first half, then host Orlando nearly blew a 22-point lead before beating Charlotte.
Rashard Lewis added 19 points, and Dwight Howard had nine blocks but was limited offensively and in foul trouble for most of the second half.
Gerald Wallace had 25 points, and Stephen Jackson played through a hyperextended left knee to finish with 18 points in the Bobcats’ first playoff game in franchise history.
Charlotte swarmed and slapped Howard on every opportunity near the rim to frustrate the All-Star center. Howard had 5 points and seven rebounds, and was 1 for 6 on free throws.
Trail Blazers 105, Suns 100 — Andre Miller scored 15 points in the fourth quarter and tied his career playoff high with 31 as shorthanded Portland stole homecourt advantage from Phoenix — despite the absence of the Blazers’ scoring leader, Brandon Roy.
LaMarcus Aldridge added 22 points and Nicolas Batum 18 for Portland. Jerryd Bayless also had 18 for the Blazers, 10 in the fourth quarter.