NBA playoffs

Golden State's Stephen Curry (30) reacts after scoring against Denver during the second half of Game 4 in a first-round NBA playoff series on Sunday in Oakland. The Warriors won, 115-111, to take a 3-1 series lead.
Golden State's Stephen Curry (30) reacts after scoring against Denver during the second half of Game 4 in a first-round NBA playoff series on Sunday in Oakland. The Warriors won, 115-111, to take a 3-1 series lead. Ben Margot/AP Photo

Heat 88, Bucks 77

LeBron James can cross another item off his to-do list.

James scored 30 points, Ray Allen had another big game against his old team and Miami got its first playoff sweep in the Big Three era, advancing to the Eastern Conference semifinals with a victory over Milwaukee on Sunday.

"It was our next big step as far as our growth," James said. "It's so hard to win on the road in the playoffs, in someone's building — especially when someone is playing for their last life. It's a big step for us."

And now the Heat have some much-needed time to rest. Dwyane Wade sat out Sunday's game, only the second postseason game he's missed in his career, because of his aching right knee. But with Miami not playing until next Saturday, at the earliest, he'll have plenty of time to treat the three bone bruises that caused him to miss six games near the end of the regular season.

Miami plays the winner of the Brooklyn-Chicago series. The Bulls lead that series 3-1, with Game 5 on Monday night in New York.

"It's big," Wade said of the time off. "Obviously, we're one of the oldest teams in the league, maybe the oldest team in terms of rotation players. Guys have some bumps and bruises coming out of this series, so it's going to be great to get some rest. But also we have to take this time to continue to stay sharp, to continue to stay in shape as well."

Judging by the clinical way in which the Heat dissected the Bucks in this series, that isn't likely to be a problem.

The defending NBA champions won each game by double digits, getting contributions from their stars and subs alike. Allen finished with 16 points, the third time in the series he scored in double figures, and was 4 of 7 from 3-point range.

Udonis Haslem added 13 points and five rebounds, and Mario Chalmers kicked in eight rebounds and six assists for Miami, which never trailed Sunday.

"They had the whole package," Bucks coach Jim Boylan said. "When you can afford to sit guy like Dwyane Wade and perform at the level they performed at, that's a championship-caliber team."

Monta Ellis led the Bucks with 21 points, and Larry Sanders had 11 rebounds to go with seven points.

But Milwaukee got almost nothing again from Brandon Jennings, who didn't even play in the fourth quarter. Jennings, who had guaranteed the Bucks would win the series in six games, finished with three points on 1-of-7 shooting.

After scoring 26 points in Game 1, Jennings had 27 total in the final three.

"Frustrated, a little down because I came into this season with so much confidence," he said. "I thought we had a chance to steal a game in Game 1, Game 2. We let that slip away from us. Game 3, we came back home. Had a 10-point lead, lost that. I mean it's frustration all around."

Spurs 103, Lakers 82

Tony Parker scored 23 points, and San Antonio completed its first-round sweep of the injury-plagued Los Angeles Lakers with a victory in Game 4.

Tim Duncan had 11 points and six rebounds for the second-seeded Spurs, who will face the winner of Denver's series with Golden State in the second round. They'll get plenty of rest after flattening the Lakers, who finished without three regular starters in their first opening-round exit since 2007.

In his final game before unrestricted free agency, Dwight Howard scored seven points before getting ejected early in the third quarter for arguing.

Pau Gasol had 16 points for the Lakers, who were swept from the postseason for the second time in three years despite a late courtside appearance by Kobe Bryant on crutches.

Warriors 115, Nuggets 101

Stephen Curry shook off a sore left ankle to score 22 of his 31 points in the third quarter, leading the Warriors past the Nuggets for a commanding 3-1 series lead.

Curry shot 10 of 16 from the floor and added seven assists in a dominant and dazzling display that rivaled his days in the NCAA tournament for tiny Davidson. His five 3-pointers in the third quarter lifted Golden State to a 20-point lead and its third straight victory in this frenetic and flashy series.

Jarrett Jack added 21 points and nine assists and Andrew Bogut broke out in the first half with 12 points and five rebounds for the sixth-seeded Warriors, who can close out the Nuggets in Game 5 on Tuesday night in Denver.

Ty Lawson scored 26 points and Andre Iguodala had 19 for the third-seeded Nuggets.

Late Saturday

Thunder 104, Rockets 101

Kevin Durant scored 41 points in his first game without injured All-Star Russell Westbrook, and Oklahoma City fought off Houston's late rally to beat the Rockets for a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven playoff series.

Durant scored 27 points in the first half, and the Thunder led by 26 points before a big third-quarter rally by the Rockets put them within striking distance.

Houston regained the lead with about 4 minutes left, and was up with less than a minute remaining. But Durant hit a 3-pointer seconds later to put Oklahoma City on top 100-99.

A turnover by James Harden gave the Thunder the ball back and Derek Fisher made two free throws to push the lead to 3. Harden made a layup, but Reggie Jackson hit two more free throws after that.

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