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Paul, Blake and Irving rise to the occasion

Chris-Paul-150419-Dribbles-G-300 (1)Dominant performances from a number of team leaders in Sunday’ playoffs action showed how competitive the series are set to become.

Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Kyrie Irving stood out when their teams needed them most, and the playoff seasons is officially open.

Paul poured in a game-high 32 points, Griffin added 26 points and 12 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Clippers edged out the defending champions San Antonio Spurs 107-92 to take control of the first-round series.

Griffin dominated the paint area with successive dunks, leaving San Antonio unable to respond.

It was the Spurs consecutive defeat, after enjoying an eleven-game winning streak later in the regular-season.

The Clippers lead the series 1-0.

Game 2 between Spurs and Clippers come up on Wednesday at Staples Centre in Los Angeles.

In Cleveland, Irving made his playoffs debut with a remarkable performance.

The former Rookie of the Year made 15 of his game-high 30 points from beyond the three-point line, powering the Cavaliers to a 113-100 home victory over the Boston Celtics.

Kevin Love, another playoffs debutant, added 19 points and a game-best 12 rebounds, while MVP candidate LeBron James finished with 20 points and seven assists in 41 minutes.

Although the Cavaliers led by as many as 20 points in the third quarter, the Celtics, propelled by Isaiah Thomas, cut the deficit to just five points early in the fourth.

Thomas finished with a team-high 22 points off the bench.

The Cavaliers lead the series 1-0. Game will take place on Tuesday at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

In Memphis, five Grizzlies players scored in double figures as they trounced the Portland Trail Blazers 100-86.

Beno Udrih scored 20 points off the bench and the Grizzlies never trailed to control their Western Conference first-round series.

In Atlanta, Kyle Korver live up to this three-pointer specialist reputation, making 15 of his game-high 21 points to help the Hawks get past the Brooklyn Nets 99-92.

The Hawks lead the series 1-0.

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