The two top contenders for the title held off challenges from pesky lower seeds, while the two No. 4 vs. No. 5 matchups produced fireworks at night, with the lower seed winning both times.
Portland Trail Blazers Recap
122 - 120 1-0 POR
5 things to know
"Game of Thrones" is the king of drama on Sunday nights, but the "Game of Runs" between the Portland Trail Blazers and Houston Rockets took that crown for one evening. In an overtime thriller filled with crazy runs, clutch shots and bizarre fouls, it was LaMarcus Aldridge, Damian Lillard and the Blazers who came out on top. Aldridge dominated early and often, setting a franchise playoff record with 46 points and 18 rebounds, scoring in every way imaginable and tipping in a miss in the final seconds of regulation to send the game to overtime.
Meanwhile, Lillard continued to cement his reputation as one of the most clutch players in the league. He scored 31 points and buried numerous huge buckets in crunch time and put Portland ahead for good with two free throws with 17 seconds left in overtime. It marked the first time two teammates had at least 45 points and 30 points in the same playoff game since 1992, when a dynamic duo that goes by "Michael and Scottie" did it. -Jason Patt
The narrative that the "young" Wizards would be happy to be here after six painful years was always flawed. Washington may have a green backcourt in John Wall and Bradley Beal, but the heart of this team has always been its veterans, all of whom have been through wars. In Game 1 against the feisty Bulls, that heart beat rapidly. Eleven-year veteran Nene pulled it together for a massive performance six days after complaining that 24 minutes in a blowout was too many for his troublesome knee. Trevor Ariza -- who has a ring, by the way -- and Andre Miller, who's been around forever, quelled Bulls runs in the third and fourth quarters, respectively. Down the stretch, it was the Wizards, and not the battle-tested Bulls, that showed more poise and offensive execution. Eventually, the Wizards had a 102-93 win despite their highly-touted backcourt shooting a combined 7-25.
The Bulls generally thrive in these types of games, which is why they should be very concerned. Wall and Beal will play much better, but how can Chicago find more offense? -Mike Prada
Deja Vu all over again
In a game where the Mavericks switched everything with the Spurs but their jerseys, it was Tony Parker who took advantage. Sound familiar? San Antonio's quick-slashing point guard got into the lane early and often against Dallas, who were determined to stop the Spurs from the three-point line by switching on screens. The Mavericks succeeded, forcing San Antonio to shoot just 3-of-17 from beyond the arc, but Gregg Popovich's team responded by dominating in the paint and on the glass, eventually pulling away in the fourth quarter in a game they should have lost.
Most concerning for Dallas: Dirk Nowitzki was rendered completely inert. The 10th-leading scorer in NBA history had just 11 points on 4-of-14 shooting, which canceled out Dallas' defensive effort. This could be a long series for Dallas. Or short, depending on how you look at it. -Dane Carbaugh
Get Big Al healthy, or the cat gets it
Welcome back to the postseason, Charlotte Bobcats. Your reward? The two-time defending champions.
That sentence is daunting enough as is, but now add this one: You must beat them with your star player limping around on a bad foot. The Bobcats held their own at times in Game 1 against the Miami Heat, but Al Jefferson was very limited after suffering what he described as a "rip" in his plantar fascia. The Bobcats' star will play through the pain, but with him operating at less than full capacity, Charlotte's in big, big trouble. Miami let them hang around a bit in Game 1, but eventually, they inserted little-used James Jones into a small lineup to make Big Al run and mercilessly sent LeBron James into the post to attack Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Gerald Henderson and Chris Douglas-Roberts.
Charlotte can and will hang its hat on never quitting, but without Big Al at full capacity, this feel like a short series. -Mike Prada
Get well soon, Craig
Craig Sager is a perennially amusing playoff fixture. No matter what's happening, he's there flitting around the periphery in the freshest of outfits, fishing a quick word or a grumble out of coaches amid the action. Sager's leukemia diagnosis broke our hearts, and TNT's first playoff broadcasts felt slightly off without him.
But the network did its best to keep Sager involved. EJ, Shaq, Kenny, Charles and later Steve Kerr paid tribute with some outlandish suits that, frankly, would look drab next to most of the things in Sager's closet. Later, Craig Sager Jr. showed up in San Antonio to tackle his father's foremost regular challenge: interviewing Gregg Popovich, who so delights in hanging Sager out to dry with one-word answers. Pop insisted that what was supposed to be a taped interview be conducted live during the game and took the opportunity to look into the camera and send Sager a heartfelt personal message. Those two love each other, no matter what their TV conversations might suggest.
Get well, Sages, and get back here. -Seth Rosenthal
Memphis Grizzlies at Oklahoma City Thunder Oklahoma City leads 1-0 | 8 p.m. ET, TNT Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Okla.
Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Clippers Golden State leads 1-0 | 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, Calif.