Jrue Holiday scored 26 points and the Philadelphia 76ers beat the top-seeded Chicago Bulls 109-92 to even their best-of-seven Eastern Conference first-round series at 1-1.

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CHICAGO — Fans gave Chicago guard Derrick Rose, last season’s league most valuable player, a standing ovation before the game. There wasn’t much for them to cheer about in the end.

Jrue Holiday scored 26 points, Lou Williams added 20 and the Philadelphia 76ers beat the top-seeded Bulls 109-92 Tuesday to even their best-of-seven Eastern Conference first-round series at 1-1.

It was Chicago’s first game since Rose suffered a knee injury that will prevent him from playing in the postseason.

The Sixers outscored Chicago 36-14 in the third quarter, turning an eight-point deficit into an 83-69 lead.

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Game 3 is Friday in Philadelphia.

“This game, we caught fire and it was pretty hard to put it out,” Holiday said.

All the Bulls could do was shake their heads and vow to do better.

“Disappointed,” said Chicago center Joakim Noah, who had 21 points on 10-of-11 shooting. “Disappointing effort overall. We didn’t play well defensively. We didn’t play well offensively.”

Holiday was 11 of 15 from the field, and the Sixers shot 59 percent overall. Williams came up big, going 8 for 13.

Stoudemire has surgery,

will miss Game 3

NEW YORK — Amare Stoudemire’s difficult season might be over.

Stoudemire had a muscle in his left hand surgically repaired and will not play for the New York Knicks in Game 3 of their East first-round series against the Miami Heat on Thursday.

Stoudemire had cuts after he punched the glass case surrounding a fire extinguisher after the Knicks’ 104-94 loss Monday in Miami.

The Heat leads the series 2-0.

“We all have done thing out of anger that we regret,” Stoudemire, who is listed as doubtful for Game 4, wrote on his Twitter account. “That makes us human. Bad timing on my part. Sorry guys. This (too) shall pass.”

Stoudemire missed time in February after his older brother died in a car accident. He sat out 13 games late in the season with a bulging disk in his back, and when he did play had his worst statistical season since he was a rookie in 2002-03.

“It was a really stupid thing to do,” analyst and ex-player Charles Barkley said on TNT when discussing Stoudemire’s punch of the glass case. “But they were not going to beat the Miami Heat either way.”

Other games

At Lakers 104, Nuggets 100

Kobe Bryant scored 38 points, Andrew Bynum added 27 and Los Angeles took a 2-0 lead over Denver in their West first-round series.

Ty Lawson scored 25 points for the Nuggets, who host Game 3 Friday.

When they have won the first two games, the Lakers have prevailed in 42 of 43 series.

Celtics 87, at Hawks 80

Paul Pierce had game-high totals of 36 points and 14 rebounds as Boston — playing without suspended standout Rajon Rondo — beat Atlanta in Game 2 of their East series.

The series is tied 1-1. Game 3 is Friday in Boston, and Rondo is expected to be back for the Celtics in that one. He got a one-game suspension for bumping an official in the opener.


Gregg Popovich was honored as the league’s Coach of the Year after guiding San Antonio to 50 victories in 66 games and the No. 1 seed in the West.

The Spurs defied naysayers who have written them off as too old since their last title in 2007 and did so in a lockout-shortened season that tested every coach when it came to managing minutes and finding practice time.

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