For the N.B.A. Playoffs, Go West Young Fan

The top two seeds dropped their opener. Scores were in the 100s. The Grizzlies won their first playoff game since they beat the T. rexes . The Thunder’s Kevin Durant looks like a superstar again. The Lakers show signs of being the latest long-running soap opera to face cancellation.

Fortunately, the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant did not respond to being dumped by No. 7 seed New Orleans by denigrating and insulting a large group of people. No,, he just denigrated and insulted Pau Gasol. While points out that this looked a lot like the Lakers’ late-season snooze stretching into the playoffs, The sees all kinds of bad signs for the future here, although his just thinks it makes things a whole lot more fun.

The Hornets got a blast from his more productive past from Chris Paul, , but more impressively, they in the game. And the funniest thing is, they were far from the least likely candidate to pull an upset, with the Grizzlies hogging that title. Having gone 0-12 in its previous attempts at playoff games, the team will certainly enjoy this turnaround, even if it’s for only one game over the top-seeded Spurs, . Shane Battier certainly , which not only included him hitting the game-winning shot but also his wife, Heidi, giving birth.

In the other side of that upset, the Spurs aren’t quite as adept at melodrama as the Lakers, but there is some dissatisfaction with Tony Parker coming up small in a big role, .

Oh, and the really funny thing about the West, was probably the Thunder’s 107-103 win over the Nuggets, with Durant scoring 41 points. Game scores in the 80s? That’s so Eastern Conference.

The N.H.L. is following a bit of the N.B.A.’s lead, with the compelling story line out West being the Vancouver Canucks looking very un-Canucklike in the first round, putting the defending champ, Chicago, on the brink of elimination. the Canucks as resilient, which means they are not folding like a cheap tent, and that is a real change, . That role has apparently been turned over to the Blackhawks, who are proving you cannot jettison 10 members of your championship team and expect a repeat, . Game 3 was the Blackhawks’ chance to show what they were made of, and the answer was, not enough, writes .

One dark cloud in the Canucks’ sunny universe was forward Raffi Torres celebrating his return from a four-game suspension for a flagrant head shot by throwing at Chicago’s Brent Seabrook. The Canucks whined about Torres serving a two-minute penalty, but The that he should be suspended again quickly and the Canucks should read up on what everybody knows now about concussions.

One head injury that has drawn attention sportswide is the one that has left the San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow fighting for his life. On Sunday his family about the ordeal and drawing strength from the reaction flowing his way. Perhaps fittingly, the Dodgers — whose stadium was the site of the brutal beating — are encountering more woe, with the owner from Fox to keep the franchise lights on.

In auto racing, at Talladega on Sunday, Jimmie Johnson’s by a margin of .002 seconds, but it came because Dale Earnhardt Jr. decided to extend his own winless streak to help his teammate.

Let’s hope he cheered himself up by watching the Western Conference playoffs.

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Celtics’ Allen Savors a 3-Point Record, but the Lakers Celebrate a Victory

He hugged , right after breaking Miller’s career 3-point record. He hugged his coach, , and the assistant . He hugged Miller again. He hugged his mom, Flo Allen-Hopson. He hugged his wife, Shannon. He hugged his teammates.

Everyone else at the TD Garden just stood and cheered early Thursday evening as Allen became the most prolific 3-point shooter in history — an achievement marred just slightly by the , who ripped a 92-86 victory from Allen and the .

Foul trouble limited Allen in the second half, and injuries put a crimp in the Celtics’ rotation. finally spoiled the mood by scoring 20 of his 23 points in the second half to lead the Lakers to the victory in this latest rematch of perennial championship rivals.

It was a tough defeat for Boston, but Allen, now the career leader with 2,562 3-pointers, was still aglow an hour after the final buzzer.

“Definitely a magical moment,” he said, adding, “I almost felt a little embarrassed, because there was so much attention that was surrounding this 3-point record.”

The Lakers overcame an early 15-point deficit and gradually wore down the Celtics, who began the game without , and Marquis Daniels and finished it without Nate Robinson, who bruised a knee.

For the Lakers (37-16), who had been flailing lately, the win provided some relief. They had been 0-5 against the four top teams in the league, including a 13-point loss to Boston just 11 days earlier.

Pau Gasol (20 points, 10 rebounds) and Andrew Bynum (16 points, 9 rebounds) took advantage of the Celtics’ thin front line all night. Allen led the Celtics (38-14) with 20 points, but scored just 6 in the second half.

Allen tied, then passed Miller with two 3-pointers in the first quarter and padded the total with another 3 in the fourth. Miller, sitting courtside as a TNT analyst, said he took pride in having served as a model for Allen years ago.

“I had a conversation with Ray earlier tonight and he was like, ‘When I was a rookie and I came to Market Square Arena and I saw you for three, three-and-a-half hours before shooting, that’s how I wanted to patent my game,’ ” Miller said during the broadcast.

Allen got the record with 1 minute 48 seconds left in the first quarter, on a feed from Rajon Rondo, who penetrated and kicked the ball out to him near the right wing. The ball swished. The roar was instant and sustained.

Twenty-two seconds later, as Bynum shot free throws, Allen took the opportunity to jog to midcourt and embrace Miller. The record was announced at the end of the quarter, setting off another round of hugs and roars. Allen held up his hand in acknowledgment, looking emotional.

Every electronic surface in the arena flashed the figure “2,561” in green and white.

“I’m truly happy for Ray,” said Bryant, who like Allen was drafted in 1996. “That’s just unbelievable.”

Allen came out firing from the start, teasing the crowd with three 2-point attempts before launching his first 3, from the left corner, to a soundtrack of “ooohs,” as the ball rattled in and out. His next attempt was true.

Allen dribbled to the top of the arc, just to the right of the key, then stopped and launched. The crowd, 18,624 strong, screamed in elation when the ball swished through. He and Miller were tied.

Allen shot another 3 on his next trip down the court, but it bounced off the rim, delaying history for a few more minutes. He missed the next one as well before finally meeting destiny — 14 years and 3 months after hitting his first 3-pointer, as a Milwaukee Buck, on Nov. 1, 1996.

A video montage showed Allen making big 3-pointers with the and the and finally the Celtics, the team he joined in a trade in 2007.

“It is a moment that I had to catch my breath a little bit, because I was emotional,” he said, adding, “It’s a moment that is going to stay with me forever.”

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Pierce Helps Celtics Beat Lakers in Finals Rematch

“It’s another game, but it was definitely an emotional game, especially because we lost Game 7 here,” Pierce said.

Bryant became the youngest to pass 27,000 career points but could not spark the Lakers, who have lost four of seven.

“Is it the playoffs yet?” Lakers Coach said. “No.”

Boston, which has won 8 of 10, showed off a complete offensive game, outrebounding the Lakers by 43-30, hitting nine 3-pointers and getting 34 assists.

“We knew we could run on L.A.,” Rajon Rondo said. “L.A., given the personnel that we have, we thought we could outrun them.”

Garnett was cut near his left temple in the second quarter after Pau Gasol swiped his hand at him.

HEAT 108, THUNDER 103 Eddie House made a go-ahead 3-pointer with 22.2 seconds left, then added two free throws to seal the victory for visiting Miami, whose All-Star threesome — Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh — played together for the first time in nearly three weeks.

Wade scored 32 points, James added 23 points and 13 rebounds and Bosh had 20 points.

Kevin Durant scored 33 points for Oklahoma City but missed a shot with 15 seconds left that would have tied the score.

104, 102 The backup center Marcin Gortat scored 25 points for host Phoenix. Charlotte nearly erased an 8-point deficit in the final 18 seconds, but blocked an inside attempt by Marcus Thornton with 3.9 seconds left and a 3-point attempt by the Hornets’ Chris Paul missed at the buzzer.

MAGIC 103, 87 had 20 points and 20 rebounds in three quarters of work, and Ryan Anderson added 23 points and 16 rebounds for host Orlando. Howard had his 36th double-double of the season by halftime. Cleveland has lost 30 of 31, including 20 in a row.

110, 99 Andre Iguodala scored 24 points and Thaddeus Young had 21 for host Philadelphia. Chauncey Billups led Denver with 27 points.

FINE FOR RIVERS Celtics Coach was fined $15,000 for leaving the court too slowly after being ejected from a loss Friday night in Phoenix.

FIRE O’BRIEN The Indiana Pacers fired Coach Jim O’Brien. The Pacers were 121-169 in O’Brien’s three and a half seasons, including 17-27 this season. The assistant Frank Vogel was named the interim coach.

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