SCOREBOARD
Wednesday, May 7
Utah at Los Angeles Lakers (10:30 p.m. EDT). MVP Kobe Bryant scored 38 points to lead the Lakers to a 109-98 win over the Jazz in Game 1 on Sunday.

STAR
Tuesday
-Kevin Garnett, Celtics, had 28 points and eight rebounds as Boston took a 1-0 series lead over Cleveland with a 76-72 victory.

OFF-TARGET
Cleveland's LeBron James, shooting 48 percent from the field and averaging almost 30 points per game in the postseason, went just 2-for-18 for 12 points with 10 turnovers in a 76-72 loss to Boston in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series Tuesday night.

MVP
Kobe Bryant earned the NBA MVP award on Tuesday after leading the Lakers to the best record in the Western Conference. Bryant received 82 first-place votes and 1,100 points in the media vote. He was followed by New Orleans' Chris Paul (28 and 894), Boston's Kevin Garnett (15 and 670) and Cleveland's LeBron James (1 and 438). Bryant averaged 28.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.84 steals while playing all 82 games despite tearing a ligament in his right pinkie in February.

OOPS
The NBA admitted Chauncey Billups' 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter of Monday's Detroit-Orlando playoff game should not have counted, but said referees weren't allowed to review instant replay to determine that. League president Joel Litvin also said the disputed shot, which gave the Pistons a 78-76 lead in their 100-93 victory, could not have been replayed after the clock malfunction was discovered.

BAD SIGN
San Antonio trails New Orleans 2-0 in their Western Conference semifinal series heading into Thursday's Game 3 at home. The last time the Spurs were down 0-2 was 2001, when they were swept by the Lakers in the Western Conference finals.

SURGERY
Houston guard Tracy McGrady had arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder and left knee on Tuesday. Dr. Tom Clanton, the team physician, told the Houston Chronicle that no structural damage was found in the ligament or cartilage of McGrady's knee.

SPEAKING
``This was two heavyweights, just body-punching. There was no finesse, no jabs, just an all-out, beat-down, defensive fight.'' - Boston's Kevin Garnett after a 76-72 series-opening victory over Cleveland on Tuesday night.

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