The Golden State Warriors are in a commanding position in the NBA playoffs, and so are the Houston Rockets and the Washington Wizards.
Golden State accounted for the visiting Portland Trail Blazers 110-81 in game two on Wednesday.
Steph Curry led the way in the absence of Kevin Durant as the Warriors took a 2-0 lead in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.
The Houston Rockets topped the Oklahoma City Thunder 115-111, despite 51 points from Russell Westbrook in game two.
Houston lead the series 2-0 and so do the Wizards, who defeated the Atlanta Hawks 109-101.
NO DURANT, NO WORRIES
Durant was rested by the Warriors as Golden State erred on the side of caution due to a calf injury.
But reigning MVP Curry scored 19 points on an otherwise off night and JaVale McGee had 15 points from the bench.
Draymond Green put up 12 rebounds, 10 assists and six rebounds.
Damian Lillard (12 points) and C.J. McCollum (11 points) struggled for the Trail Blazers.
The series moves to Portland for game three on Saturday.
WESTBROOK MAKES HISTORY
The record-breaking guard became the first player in NBA history to record a 50-point triple-double in the playoffs. But it came in a losing effort.
Westbrook scored 51 points to go with 10 rebounds and 13 assists, but went ice cold from the floor in the fourth quarter as the Rockets rallied.
The Thunder held a 92-86 lead after three quarters, but Westbrook made only four of his 18 shots in the final quarter and was just two of 11 from behind the three-point line for the game. Westbrook's 18 shots in the fourth quarter were more than any of Thunder player attempted during the game.
While Westbrook is a top contender for NBA MVP honours, Houston's candidate had a much more efficient night. Harden was seven of 17 from the floor, including three of seven from long range, to finish with a team-high 35 points and eight assists.
The Thunder host the Rockets in game three on Friday.
WALL AND BEAL LEADS WIZARDS
Wizards guards John Wall and Bradley Beal both had big games against the Hawks.
Wall scored 32 points to go with five rebounds and nine assists. Beal had 31 points, including a three-pointer off a Wall assist with 38 seconds remaining that helped seal the victory.
Wall and Beal are the first Washington combo to each score at least 30 points in a playoff game since Jeff Malone and Cliff Robinson in 1986.
Paul Millsap's 27 points and 10 rebounds led the Hawks, who were up 78-74 entering the final quarter.
Atlanta will host game three on Saturday.
CAVS IN CONTROL
On Wednesday, the Cleveland Cavaliers have the chance to open up a 3-0 lead against the Indiana Pacers. The San Antonio Spurs travel to the Memphis Grizzles and the Milwaukee Bucks host the Toronto Raptors.
21. April 2018
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