Mavericks Take 2-0 Lead Over Lakers; Bulls Tie 1-1 With Hawks

Mavericks Take 2-0 Lead Over Lakers
Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks goes up for a shot between Ron Artest and Pau Gasol of the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference semifinal playoff series. Photographer: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks took a 2-0 lead against the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round of the National Basketball Association playoffs, while the Chicago Bulls tied their series with the Atlanta Hawks at one game each.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 24 points as the Mavericks beat the Lakers 93-81 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Kobe Bryant had 23 points for the Lakers, who travel to Dallas tomorrow in search of their first win in the best-of-seven series.

At the United Center in Chicago, Derrick Rose, who last night accepted the trophy as the youngest Most Valuable Player in NBA history, scored 25 points and Joakim Noah added 19 points and 14 rebounds for the Bulls in their 86-73 win. Jeff Teague led the Hawks with 21 points and Joe Johnson had 16.

The series shifts to Atlanta for a pair of contests tomorrow and on May 8.

There are no playoff games scheduled today.