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Monday, April 18, 2011
Updated: April 20, 12:07 PM ET
Wild, wild West


NBA: The top two teams in the Western Conference took a nosedive in their first playoff games this weekend, and both were defeated on their home courts. Led by Chris Paul's 33 points and 14 assists, the seventh-seeded New Orleans Hornets shocked the defending champion No. 2 seed Los Angeles Lakers 109-100 Sunday at the Staples Center. The Lakers never led in the second half.

The West's top seed, the San Antonio Spurs, fell to the eighth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies 101-98 Sunday in an astonishing series opener. Memphis picked up its first playoff win in franchise history. The Grizzlies were 0-12 in their three previous trips. This weekend represented the first time a conference's top two seeds lost their first games in the same postseason since the playoffs expanded to a 16-team format in the 1983-1984 season, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

In another Western Conference matchup, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined for 72 of Oklahoma City's points in a 107-103 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Sunday. Durant knocked in 41 points, while Westbrook had 31 to give the Thunder a 1-0 lead in that series.

There was no shortage of excitement out in the East either. The Celtics just edged past the Knicks 87-85 on Sunday. Ray Allen hit the game-winning 3-pointer, making him the current NBA leader in go-ahead 3s in the last 10 seconds of the fourth quarter or overtime. (He has seven).

The NBA-best Bulls managed to beat the Pacers 104-99 in Game 1 on Sunday, even though Chicago took its first lead of the game with only 48 seconds remaining. Derrick Rose was behind the Bulls comeback, as he netted a career-playoff-high 39 points on the night. Rose made more free throws (19) than Indiana attempted (17).

The Miami Heat overcame a 14-point second-quarter deficit to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 97-89 on Saturday. The Big Three really showed up in the game. Chris Bosh led the trio with 25 points, LeBron had 21 and Dwyane Wade added another 17.

Despite Dwight Howard tying a career high with 46 points on Saturday, Orlando fell to the Atlanta Hawks 103-93 in Game 1 of their playoff series. Howard became only the sixth player since the ABA and NBA merged to rack up 46 points in a home playoff loss.

NHL: The Washington Capitals were headed for a 3-0 first-round playoff series lead over the eighth-seeded New York Rangers. However, New York managed to pull ahead and win Sunday's game 3-2 late in the third period, cutting the Caps' series lead to 2-1. There was about a 10-minute delay during the game, as referee Chris Rooney was injured in the second period. He stumbled and fell while skating backwards behind the Washington net. He attempted to skate off the injury but then doubled over in pain. He then went down the tunnel 3:44 into the second.

The NHL-best Vancouver Canucks are one game away from winning their first-round playoff series. Vancouver beat the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks 3-2 Sunday to take a 3-0 series lead.

MLB: Grady Sizemore hit a home run for Cleveland Sunday in his first at bat in nearly a year. Sizemore was sidelined for 11 months after undergoing knee surgery. The Indians beat the Orioles 4-2. Baltimore has now lost seven straight after starting the season 6-1. ... Alex Rodriguez didn't play in Sunday's finale of a three-game rematch of last year's ALCS series, which Texas won. He was scratched due to lower back and oblique stiffness on his left side. He left Saturday's game after the sixth with the same symptoms. The Yankees won Sunday's game 6-5 and took two out of three from the Rangers in the series. ... The Minnesota Twins announced that Matt Capps will replace Joe Nathan as the team's closer, as Nathan blew save opportunities on both Thursday and Saturday.

Women's college gymnastics: Alabama won the women's NCAA gymnastics national title on Saturday. It was the fifth gymnastics championship for the Crimson Tide, who defeated defending national champion UCLA 197.650 to 197.375.