Chicago Bulls pummel Bucks to reach second round

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Mike Dunleavy No.34 of the Chicago Bulls shoots a three pointer in the first quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks during the first round of the 2015 NBA Playoffs at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. AFP PHOTO

Mike Dunleavy No.34 of the Chicago Bulls shoots a three pointer in the first quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks during the first round of the 2015 NBA Playoffs at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. AFP PHOTO

MILWAUKEE: Mike Dunleavy scored a team-high 20 points as the Chicago Bulls cruised to a 120-66 drubbing of the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday (Friday in Manila) to reach the second round of the NBA playoffs.

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The Bulls easily eliminated the Bucks in game six, beating them so soundly that their 54-point win margin was the third largest in NBA postseason history.

They advance to face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The Bulls win was just four points shy of the 133-75 shellacking Minnesota delivered to St. Louis in 1956. It was also the most lopsided postseason game for both franchises.

In the other playoff contest on Thursday, Blake Griffin finished with 26 points, 12 rebounds and six assists, and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Spurs in San Antonio 102-96 to avoid elimination and force game seven in their first-round Western Conference series.

Bulls star Derrick Rose tallied 15 points, seven assists and five rebounds and was given the fourth quarter off with the game sewn up. Pau Gasol and Jimmy Butler scored 19 and 16 points, respectively, and Joakim Noah finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

The Bucks made it a competitive series with two straight wins after going down 3-0. But they trailed from start to finish and showed little fight except to land a few cheap shots that resulted in technical fouls and ejections.

Dunleavy was on the wrong end of a Giannis Antetokounmpo body check late in the second quarter. Chicago was leading by 30 when a frustrated Antetokounmpo hammered Dunleavy as he was shooting a three-pointer.

Dunleavy made the shot despite being blind-sided. Antetokounmpo was ejected and had to watch the rest of the blowout from the locker room.

All 13 players scored for coach Jason Kidd’s team, with Zaza Pachulia’s eight points leading the way. Milwaukee turned the ball over 18 times.

An already action-packed North American sports Saturday, featuring the Kentucky Derby and Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao super fight, now gets a Spurs-Clippers winner-take-all contest.

AFP

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