Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Bulls Roll over Crippled Cavs; Knicks Top Nets

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Bulls Roll over Crippled Cavs; Knicks Top Nets

Article excerpt

Scottie Pippen scored 31 points Friday night as the Chicago Bulls beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 104-96 in a National Basketball Association playoff opener.

Game 2 of the best-of-five series will be Sunday at Chicago Stadium.

The Cavaliers played without the heart of their inside game as John "Hot Rod" Williams, Brad Daugherty and Larry Nance watched from the bench in street clothes because of injuries.

Mark Price, Cleveland's leading scorer averaging 17.3, managed just nine points. Gerald Wilkins led Cleveland with 23 points.

Pippen, who became the Bulls' leader when Michael Jordan retired, led a third-quarter surge and then had two spectacular baskets in the fourth quarter. He also finished with 12 rebounds. His 31 points were one short of his career playoff high.

Luc Longley's dunk, Pippen's assist to Horace Grant for a layup after a length-of-the-floor dribble and Pippen's 3-point play highlighted an 11-4 run in the third quarter as the Bulls opened an eight-point lead.

Pippen finished the quarter with 11 points and Chicago led 76-71 with 12 minutes to play.

Cleveland closed within four in the final period. But Scott Williams scored eight points in a row for Chicago, and the Bulls had an 88-79 lead with 6:44 left. Cleveland got within five but Pippen slammed home a miss by Williams and then made a steal and a double clutch dunk for a 92-83 lead with 4:51 left. He added another dunk and a driving basket as the Bulls surged ahead by 10 with 2:29 to go.

Williams' previous playoff high was 12 points.

The Bulls are seeking their fourth NBA title in a row.

Knicks 91, Nets 80: Forget the regular season, they said. Forget that they had lost four of five games against the New Jersey Nets this season. It's playoff time, and the New York Knicks figure that the road to the NBA finals will have to travel through Madison Square Garden. The journey began Friday night for the Knicks, who ended a week's worth of hype with a hard-fought win over the Nets before a sellout crowd at the Garden.

It wasn't pretty, but the Knicks Ai were able to take a 1-0 edge in their best-of-five series that resumes Sunday in New York City.

The Knicks rode the strength of a 10-0 run in the fourth quarter that turned a four-point deficit into a 74-68 lead after a 3-pointer by Greg Anthony with 7:07 left. …

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