Lakers finish off Blazers; Bucks advance


    ANTHONY Davis scored 43 points and LeBron James added 36 to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 131-122 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night near Orlando to win the Western Conference first-round series in five games.

    Davis was 14-of-18 shooting and collected nine rebounds, while James made 14 of 19 shots and recorded 10 rebounds and 10 assists to increase his NBA playoffs 30-point, triple-doubles record to 13.

    Los Angeles won a playoff series for the first time since beating the Denver Nuggets in the first round in 2012 during Kobe Bryant’s tenure.

    The Lakers will face the winner of the series between the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma City Thunder in the conference semifinals.

    Bucks 118, Magic 104

    Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton recorded double-doubles as Milwaukee returned to the court and made short work of Orlando to finish off a 4-1 win in their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando.

    Three days after walking out to protest the recent shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis., the Bucks led by as many as 21 points in coasting to a fourth straight win that vaults the top seed into an Eastern semifinal matchup with the fifth-seeded Miami Heat.

    Antetokounmpo put up game-highs in points (28) and rebounds (17) in leading the Bucks to their second straight first-round series win after they had been eliminated there in eight consecutive trips to the postseason.

    Rockets 114, Thunder 80

    James Harden scored a game-high 31 points, Robert Covington made a career playoff-high six 3-pointers and Houston welcomed back All-Star guard Russell Westbrook with a victory over Oklahoma City in Game 5 of their Western Conference first-round series in The Field House at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando.

    Houston will advance to the Western Conference semifinals with a victory in Game 6 Monday.

    Harden shot 11 of 15, including 4 of 8 on 3-pointers, while adding five assists. He had little trouble scoring on Thunder guard Luguentz Dort, who gained renown for his rugged defense against Harden in Games 2-4.