MIAMI — All the Miami Heat really needed was two brilliant minutes to take a two-game lead over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Dwyane Wade scored 21 points, LeBron James finished with 19 and the Miami Heat took off in the fourth quarter to pull away and beat the Milwaukee Bucks 98-86 in Game 2 of the teams’ Eastern Conference first-round series on Tuesday night.
Chris Bosh, Shane Battier and Chris Andersen all scored 10 points for the Heat, who now lead the best-of-seven 2-0. Game 3 is Thursday in Milwaukee.
The Heat scored the first 12 points of the fourth quarter, needing just over 2 minutes to blow open what had been a three-point game.
Ersan Ilyasova scored 21 points for Milwaukee, which got 16 from Mike Dunleavy and 14 from Larry Sanders. The Bucks’ starting guards, Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, combined for only 15 points.
KNICKS 87, CELTICS 71
In New York, Carmelo Anthony scored 34 points, Sixth Man of the Year J.R. Smith added 19, and the Knicks opened a 2-0 lead over Boston.
Raymond Felton added 16 points for the Knicks, who used a 27-4 run spanning halftime to blow it open and move halfway to their first series victory since the 2000 Eastern Conference semifinals.
This is their first 2-0 lead since sweeping Toronto in the first round that year.
Paul Pierce scored 18 points for the Celtics, who will host Game 3 on Friday in their first home game since the Boston Marathon bombings.
CAVALIERS: Mike Brown, who led Cleveland to the playoffs in all five seasons he coached there from 2005-10, has agreed in principle to a contract to return as its coach for a second time.
Sources told ESPN it is a five-year, $20 million deal.
Brown went 272-138 and went to the playoffs every season with the Cavs, teaming with LeBron James on a run to the NBA Finals in 2007.
BOBCATS: Fired Mike Dunlap as coach after one season.
Charlotte went 21-61 under Dunlap, finishing with the second-worst record in the NBA ahead of only the Orlando Magic.
PACERS: Forward Paul George was honored as the NBA’s Most Improved Player.
George won in a runaway, receiving 52 first-place votes and 311 points – more than double the point total for runner-up Greivis Vasquez of New Orleans. Vasquez had 13 first-place votes and 146 points.