Lakers, Bucks enjoy big NBA playoff wins

·2-min read

Anthony Davis had 34 points and 11 rebounds, LeBron James added 21 points and nine assists and the Los Angeles Lakers celebrated their first home playoff game in more than eight years with a 109-95 victory over the Phoenix Suns.

Around 7,000 masked fans watched inside Staples Center on Thursday night as Dennis Schroder added 20 points and the seventh-seeded defending NBA champions took a 2-1 lead in their Western Conference first-round series.

"I told you all after Game One that was on me. I just had to make the effort to make sure that doesn't happen again," Davis said.

Deandre Ayton had 22 points and 11 rebounds but Chris Paul contributed only seven points and six assists for the second-seeded Suns, who are in an early hole in their first postseason in 11 years.

Devin Booker scored 19 points on 6-of-19 shooting, but the star guard was ejected with 35 seconds to play after committing a flagrant foul against Schroder. Moments later, Jae Crowder got a technical foul, following Booker off the court after apparently trying to confront Schroder.

"That just can't happen ... Hard fouls, things like that - it's a playoff basketball. We accept those. But just to blatantly push a guy with two hands out of the air, it's a scary play ... It's unacceptable," Davis added.

Elsewhere in the West, the Denver Nuggets have taken a 2-1 lead over the Portland Trail Blazers following a 120-115 victory in Oregon.

Nikola Jokic had 36 points and 11 rebounds while Austin Rivers hit four consecutive three-pointers during a crucial stretch in the final quarter to finish with 21 points for third-seeded Denver.

Damian Lillard had 37 points as the Blazers struggled from beyond the arc, despite cheers from the biggest home crowd allowed at the Moda Center this season.

In Miami, the Milwaukee Bucks moved to within one win from reaching the Eastern Conference semi-finals after whipping the Heat 113-84.

Khris Middleton scored 22 points, Jrue Holiday added 19 points and 12 assists, and Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 17 points and 17 rebounds for the Bucks, who will try to complete their mission on Saturday.

"The last two games haven't been easy," Antetokounmpo said.

"Obviously, we were up 30, but it's not easy ... I'm not surprised that we're able to win a game because once we focus on ourselves, play together, have fun and be tough, good things are going to happen. And in these three games, good things have happened for us."

Jimmy Butler scored 19 points and Bam Adebayo had 17 for Miami.

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