CHICAGO — Derrick Rose had 23 points and seven assists in his first postseason game in three years, Jimmy Butler scored 25 points, and the Chicago Bulls opened the playoffs with a 103-91 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night.
Rose was at his fearless best, driving hard to the rim in the early going, and mixed in three 3-pointers in the second half. He shot 9 of 16 and got serenaded with “MVP! MVP!” chants.
It was quite a night for a superstar point guard making his first playoff appearance since he tore a knee ligament in the 2012 playoff opener against Philadelphia.
Chicago hosts Game 2 on Monday.
Khris Middleton scored 18 points and Zaza Pachulia had 15, but Michael Carter Williams finishing with nine on 4-of-13 shooting as the sixth-seeded Bucks came up short after jumping from 15 wins to 41 this season.
Butler showed the form that made him an All-Star for the first time this season. He was 8 of 14 and had six assists.
Aaron Brooks provided a spark off the bench with 13 points, and the Bulls opened the series on a winning note after fighting through injuries to finish 50-32.
They led by nine at halftime and hung on after the Bucks pulled within three points early in the third quarter.
The Bulls won despite committing 19 turnovers. They outrebounded Milwaukee 52-41, with Pau Gasol grabbing 13 and Joakim Noah and rookie Nikola Mirotic 11 apiece.
Wizards 93, Raptors 86: In Toronto, Paul Pierce beat the Raptors with a veteran mix of brains and baskets.
Pierce scored five of his 20 points in overtime, Nene had 12 points and 13 rebounds, and Washington beat Toronto in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.
Pierce hit a 3-pointer, his fourth of the game, to begin the extra session, further tormenting a Raptors team he eliminated with Brooklyn in last year’s playoffs, then derided this week by saying, “I don’t feel they have the ‘It’ that makes you worried,” in an interview with ESPN.
Bradley Beal scored 16 for the Wizards.
Amir Johnson scored 18 points and DeMar DeRozan had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Raptors, who have yet to win the opening game of a first-round series in seven postseason appearances.
Washington held a double-digit lead in the second half, but Greivis Vasquez, who came on after All-Star Kyle Lowry fouled out, tied it at 82-all by hitting a 3-pointer with 25 seconds left.
Neither team scored again until Pierce made a 3-pointer 36 seconds into overtime, the first basket in a 7-0 Wizards run. Toronto missed seven straight shots before DeRozan’s dunk with 29 seconds left.
Rockets 118, Mavericks 108: In Houston, James Harden had 24 points and Corey Brewer scored 13 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter to lead Houston to a 118-108 victory over Dallas in Game 1 of their Western Conference series.
Brewer made three 3-pointers in about 3 minutes in the fourth to keep the Mavericks at bay. He added another three points when he made a layup and a free throw to give Houston a 109-95 lead with 3 minutes left. Houston won the opener in the best-of-seven series after losing both home games last season in a first-round loss to Portland. Game 2 is Tuesday night in Houston.
Dirk Nowitzki had 24 points for the Mavericks. They are in the playoffs for the 14th time in the last 15 seasons.