Bulls Take 2-0 Lead On Heat In NBA

Wednesday, April 25th 2007, 7:29 am
By: News On 6

CHICAGO (AP) _ The Chicago Bulls and the Phoenix Suns took 2-0 leads in their opening round NBA playoff series and the Toronto Raptors evened their series with the New Jersey Nets 1-1.

The Chicago Bulls need two more wins to oust the defending NBA champions in the first round of the playoffs. Ben Gordon scored 27 points and Luol Deng added 26 as the Chicago Bulls beat the Miami Heat 107-89 to take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. Gordon and Deng were both 11-for-19 from the field to help the Bulls shoot over 55 percent.

Kirk Hinrich added 14 points and eight assists for the Bulls, who took control by outscoring the Heat 30-to-19 in the third quarter.

Dwyane Wade finished with 21 points and Shaquille O'Neal had 17, but the rest of the Heat starters combined for only 12.

Game Three is slated for Friday at Miami.

Phoenix also grabbed a 2-0 lead in its opening-round series. Leandro Barbosa scored 26 points for the second straight game as the Suns buried the Los Angeles Lakers 126-98.

Steve Nash had 16 points and 14 assists before sitting out the final 14 and a half minutes. Amare Stoudemire added 20 points, nine rebounds and four blocks while Shawn Marion chipped in 18 points and ten boards.

The Suns outscored the Lakers 68-47 in the first half and led by as many as 28 in the third quarter before winning a Game Two for the first time in six tries.

Kobe Bryant finished with just 15 points and contributed little after the first quarter. He missed five of six shots while scoring six points over the final three periods.

The Lakers host Game Three tomorrow.

Toronto evened its first-round series at a game apiece by downing New Jersey 89-83. Anthony Parker scored 26 points while Chris Bosh added 25 points and 13 rebounds to help the Raptors bounce back from Saturday's loss to the sixth-seeded Nets.

Nets forward Richard Jefferson was held scoreless in the first half and finished with 13 points after getting a game-high 28 Saturday.

Vince Carter had 19 points and eleven rebounds for the Nets, who host Game Three Friday.