NBA teams jockey for a high seed in the playoffs for a reason.
In all eight of the 2013 NBA playoff series, the top seeds defeated their Game 1, with six of them winning in convincing fashion. Teams with home-court advantage simply outclassed their visitors over the weekend, proving the clear importance of gaining a top-four seed in the conference.
In the East, the Knicks were able to hold off the Celtics, 85-78, limiting Boston to just eight points in the fourth quarter on Saturday. Across the bridge in Brooklyn, the Nets jumped out to an 11-point first-quarter lead and never looked back against the Chicago Bulls, 106-89.
On Sunday, both the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat cruised past their opponents. Paul George recorded a triple-double, scoring 23 points, grabbing 11 rebounds, and dishing out 12 assists in a win against the Atlanta Hawks, 107-90. LeBron James was even less hospitable to the Bucks, with Miami's star forward knocking down nine of his 11 shots to go along with his 10 rebounds and eight assists en route to 110-87 victory.
Only one game in the West came down to the wire. The Denver Nuggets got a late layup from veteran guard Andre Miller to hold off the Golden State Warriors, 97-95, on Saturday. Miller scored 28 points and had five assists.
The score of the next game that night saw the Los Angeles Clippers route the Memphis Grizzlies, 112-91, behind a dominate fourth quarter by the home side, 37-22. The Grizzlies entered the final quarter trailing by just six, but point-guard tandem Chris Paul and Eric Bledsoe were too much for Memphis.
On Sunday, the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds made quick work of their lower-seed opponents. The San Antonio Spurs finished the third quarter strong to prevent the Los Angeles Lakers from making a late run without their star guard Kobe Bryant, 91-79. The late game saw the Oklahoma City Thunder romp the Rockets by outscoring Houston in every quarter, 120-91. The 29-point win was the largest margin of victory for the weekend.
Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, who is expected to receive strong consideration for MVP, led all scorers in the first games of the postseason with 36 points.