Pelicans sweep Blazers to book place in second round of play-offs

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The New Orleans Pelicans swept the first round of the NBA play-offs with a 131-123 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday combined to score 88 points, while Rajon Rondo added 16 as the Pelicans took the series 4-0.

Davis scored 33 of his 47 points in the second half and had 11 rebounds, while Holiday provided eight assists.

CJ McCollum scored 38 for the Blazers, who were on the Pelicans’ tail until the closing phase.

New Orleans will face the Golden State Warriors in the second round if the defending champions complete their sweep of the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday.

The Minnesota Timberwolves posted their first play-off victory since 2004 with a commanding 121-105 win over the Houston Rockets, putting their Western Conference series at 2-1.

Jimmy Butler scored 28 points, took seven rebounds and assisted five for Minnesota, while James Harden sank the most for Houston with 29 points.

Minnesota will try to level up the best-of-seven in game four on Monday.

The Philadelphia 76ers are within a game of progressing after beating the Miami Heat 106-102 to take their series to 3-1.

Star newcomer Ben Simmons scored 17 points for the Sixers to go with 13 rebounds and 10 assists – the first play-off triple-double by a rookie since Magic Johnson in 1980.

Ricky Rubio helped the Utah Jazz pull ahead of the Oklahoma City Thunder in their Western Conference series with a 115-102 win.

With Rubio’s 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists – Utah’s first play-off triple-double in 17 years – supplemented by Donovan Mitchell’s 22, Utah now lead the play-off 2-1.

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