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NBA Playoffs: Heat shake off slow start to clip Bobcats

USA TODAY Sports Miami guard Dwyane Wade, left, passes the ball around Charlotte center Bismack Biyombo during the first half in Game One of a first-round playoff series Sunday at American Airlines Arena in Miami.

MIAMI — LeBron James had 27 points and nine rebounds as host Miami knocked off Charlotte 99-88 in the opener of the seven-game Eastern Conference playoff series Sunday.

Dwyane Wade scored 23 points on 10-of-16 shooting for the second-seeded Heat, who also host Wednesday’s Game 2. Chris Bosh added 13 points and James Jones scored 12 off the bench.

Al Jefferson had 18 points and 10 rebounds but was hampered while playing through a foot injury for the seventh-seeded Bobcats. Kemba Walker scored a team-best 20 points, Gary Neal added 17 off the bench and Josh McRoberts added 15 points.

The contest was tied at 59 with less than three minutes left in the third quarter before James scored eight points to help the Heat take a 72-65 lead into the final stanza.

Wizards 102, Bulls 93

Nene led the way with 24 points and eight rebounds as visiting Washington came through down the stretch and knocked off Chicago in Game 1 of the first-round Eastern Conference series.

Trevor Ariza scored 18 points and Marcin Gortat collected 15 points and 13 rebounds for the fifth-seeded Wizards, who visit the Bulls for Game 2 on Tuesday. John Wall scored 16 points and Bradley Beal added 13 points and seven assists for Washington.

D.J. Augustin and Kirk Hinrich scored 16 points apiece to lead Chicago, which was outscored 30-18 in the fourth quarter. Jimmy Butler scored 15 points, Taj Gibson added 12 and Joakim Noah recorded 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulls.

Spurs 90, Mavericks 85

Tim Duncan shook off a third-quarter knee injury and scored 10 points in the fourth as the Spurs defeated the Mavericks in the opening game of their Western Conference playoffs series.

Duncan, who limped off before returning, finished with 27 points while Tony Parker contributed 21 points and six assists as San Antonio used a 14-0 push to erase a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit.

The Mavs missed 12 straight shots down the stretch, scoring just four points — two on free throws — during the final 7:45.

Reserve Devin Harris came off the bench to score 19 for Dallas, who saw leading scorers Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis each score just 11 on 4-of-14 shooting.

Game Two is in San Antonio on Wednesday.