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With Chris Paul off the floor, Clippers were outscored by over 7.5 pts per 100 possessions, which would have ranked 27th in NBA.

Chris Paul's absence a touchy subject

Paul will not play in Game 1 vs. the Rockets. He's 1 of just 5 players averaging 100+ touches this postseason, joined on that list by teammate Blake Griffin. Said coach Doc Rivers on the injury: "I just don't think he's healthy enough to play. I guess in a Game 7 he could play but I don't think the risk is worth it."

MVP Curry is the king of analytics, too

Stephen Curry was tops in ESPN's Real Plus-Minus, which measures a player's contribution to his team's scoring margin in points per 100 possessions, at +8.87. Rockets G James Harden, who finished 2nd in MVP voting, was 3rd in RPM (+8.30).

AP

Point guards on fire in Cleveland

Whether it's great offense or not-so-great defense, it's a ton of fun to watch Derrick Rose and Kyrie Irving battle in the playoffs. Rose has 16 points, Irving has 17, and the Bulls lead by 5 at halftime. Follow live

AP

Dave McMenamin @mcten

Joe Haden just pumped up the crowd, shouting into the in-arena mic. Could be the rare occurrence of a Browns player helping a CLE team win.

Here come the Cavs and Kyrie Irving

It took longer than Cleveland would have liked, but the Cavs' offense is on a roll. Kyrie Irving has 10 straight Cleveland points, and the Bulls' lead is down to single digits midway through the second quarter. Follow live

Nick Friedell @NickFriedell

Rose and Noah both have two fouls. Thibs sticks with Rose for the time being after he just picked up his 2nd.

Things not going well for LeBron & Co.

Bulls backup PG Kirk Hinrich has scored 6 points in 5 minutes, which would be bad enough. But he blew past James for a banked and-1, and the Bulls are up 35-21 early in the second. Follow live

AP

Bulls up big on Cavs after first

Kevin Love's absence has made a bit of a difference. Cleveland scored just 15 points in the first quarter; it's the Cavs' worst opening frame of the entire season. The Bulls, meanwhile, are 5-of-7 on 3s and lead by 12. Follow live

AP

Nick Friedell @NickFriedell

Interesting part is that when Hinrich checked in the Bulls thought it was for Rose. LBJ checked out -- Hinrich checked in for Butler.

Butler's rest shadows LeBron

With less than 3 minutes left in the first quarter, LeBron James has taken his first breather of the game. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau took the opportunity to give Jimmy Butler a rest, as Butler has been tasked with defending James so far. Follow live

Kevin Pelton @kpelton

Iman Shumpert has taken more shots (6) than Kyrie Irving and LeBron James combined (5).