Guards Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker scored 18 points each to help the host San Antonio Spurs beat the Los Angeles Lakers 91-79 in the opener of their Western Conference first-round playoff series.

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SAN ANTONIO — Manu Ginobili cautioned against expecting too much from him in his second game back from a hamstring injury.

All he did is help the San Antonio Spurs snap a three-game skid and win their first-round Western Conference playoff opener against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Ginobili and fellow guard Tony Parker scored 18 points each as the Spurs led from early in the first quarter and beat the Lakers 91-79 Sunday to start the best-of-seven series.

“It was great to have Manu back,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “He does what he does. He makes big shots. He creates problems for the opponent and he’s got a great will, a great desire. I’ll worry all night about how he’ll feel in the morning. If he says he feels great, then that will be a good sign for our team.”

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In his 11th season, Ginobili has battled leg injuries all season and was playing for the second time after a nine-game absence because of a strained right hamstring. He played 19 minutes.

“I feel good,” Ginobili said. “I’m very happy that I played the whole game, that I didn’t get hurt and that I scored a little bit.”

Dwight Howard had 20 points and 15 rebounds, Steve Nash scored 16 points and Pau Gasol added 16 points and 16 rebounds for the Lakers. Nash returned after missing nine games with a hip/hamstring injury.

Thunder romps

OKLAHOMA CITY — Kevin Durant scored 24 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder routed ex-teammate James Harden and the Houston Rockets 120-91 in Game 1 of their West playoff series.

Harden, playing against the team that traded him shortly before the season started, had 20 points but the league’s second-highest scoring offense was held 15 points below its regular-season average while shooting a mere 36 percent.

Heat cruises

MIAMI — LeBron James scored 27 points on 9-for-11 shooting, ex-Sonic Ray Allen scored 20 off the bench and the defending champion Miami Heat never trailed on the way to beating the Milwaukee Bucks 110-87 in Game 1 of their East first-round series.

“All I care about is the win,” said James, who added 10 rebounds and eight assists. “I didn’t even know my stats.”

Brandon Jennings scored 26 points for the Bucks, who have not won the opening game of a playoff series since 2001.

Pacers prevail

INDIANAPOLIS — Paul George scored 23 points and recorded his first playoff triple-double, leading the Indiana Pacers past Atlanta 107-90 for a 1-0 lead in their East first-round series.

George also had 12 assists and 11 rebounds.

“I know what the team will expect from me now,” George said. “But, again, I like the pressure.”

Indianapolis native Jeff Teague led the Hawks with 21 points and seven assists.


• All-Star forward David Lee of the Golden State Warriors will miss the rest of the playoffs after injuring his right hip in Saturday’s 97-95 loss at Denver in Game 1 of their West series.

MRI results Sunday showed a torn hip flexor.

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