Cavs win game one, Leonard spurs San Antonio as Bucks end drought
The Cleveland Cavaliers withstood a late surge from the Indiana Pacers to win the opening game of their Eastern Conference playoff series, while Kawhi Leonard inspired the San Antonio Spurs.
Defending NBA champions the Cavaliers emerged triumphant in game one of the first round, topping the Pacers 109-108 on Saturday.
LeBron James scored 32 points as the Cavs survived to draw first blood in Cleveland on the weekend.
It was much more comfortable for the Spurs, who eased past the Memphis Grizzlies 111-82.
Leonard led the way with a postseason-high 32 points on home court in San Antonio.
The Milwaukee Bucks snapped an unwanted losing streak in the playoffs with a 97-83 victory over the Toronto Raptors, while the Los Angeles Clippers fell 97-95 to the Utah Jazz.
CAVS PUT REGULAR-SEASON WOES BEHIND THEM
The Cavs had lost their final four games of the regular season in an alarming form slump.
But the titleholders - seeded second in the east - sent a timely reminder to their rivals, albeit in nervy fashion.
James added 13 assists and six rebounds in his 200th playoff game as he won his 18th consecutive first-round match.
Kyrie Irving added 23 points for the Cavaliers, who won their 12th successive playoff game on home court.
The Pacers, who outscored the Cavs 24-17 in the final quarter, were led by Paul George's 29 points.
Game two is on Monday.
SPURS MAKE IT LOOK EASY
Game one of this Western Conference first-round playoff series was relatively straightforward for the Spurs at home.
Despite being outscored 30-25 in the first squad, the Spurs surged to blitz the visiting Grizzlies.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 20 points and Tony Parker contributed 18 of his own with game two back in San Antonio on Monday.
Marc Gasol had 32 points for the Grizzlies, who trailed by as many as 36 against the Spurs.
BUCKS END LONG PLAYOFF STREAK
Led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee pulled away from the Raptors in the second half in Toronto.
The win snapped Milwaukee's 17-game road losing streak in game ones. The Bucks had not won a playoff opener on the road since 1983.
Antetokounmpo, who had a game-high 28 points, had an emphatic block of DeMar DeRozan with less than two minutes remaining and the Bucks comfortably holding a 95-76 lead.
TRY AND STOP KAWHI
JAZZ LOSE GOBERT BUT WIN
Centre Rudy Gobert left the opening-round playoff game after just 13 seconds.
While setting a screen, Gobert knocked knees with Clippers forward Luc Mbah a Moute and fell to the court at Staples Center.
Gobert, who averaged 14 points, 12.8 rebounds and 2.6 blocks this season, had to be helped off the court but the Jazz still won thanks to Joe Johnson's 21 points. Gordon Hayward had 19 points and 10 rebounds.
WARRIORS AND CELTICS IN ACTION
The number one seeds take to the court on Easter Sunday. Western Conference top seeds the Golden State Warriors host the Portland Trail Blazers, while the Boston Celtics - number one in the east - welcome the Chicago Bulls. The Oklahoma City Thunder visit the Houston Rockets and the Atlanta Hawks face the Washington Wizards.