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Heat Take 2-0 First-Round Series Lead on Bucks

Miami — 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 last 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 tomorrow 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.

Pacers’ George
Named Most Improved

Indianapolis — Pacers forward Paul George spent the past summer turning himself into a better player.

Now he’s planning to dedicate himself to becoming the NBA’s best all-around player.

A few minutes after accepting the league’s Most Improved Player Award, the 6-foot-9 swingman promised to work even harder to attain the biggest rewards of all — an NBA title and perhaps an MVP.

“I think I can play at an MVP level. I think that’s very much within reach,” George said yesterday. “For me, it’s all about being consistent and having that aggressive mindset.”

George has already emerged as one of the league’s top young players, which explains his runaway victory in the balloting. He received 52 of 120 first-place votes and 311 points, more than double the total of New Orleans’ Greivis Vasquez, who had 13 first-place votes and 146 points. Milwaukee’s Larry Sanders was third with 141 points and was one of three players to receive 10 first-place votes.

Bobcats Fire
Another Coach

Charlotte, n.c. — Mike Dunlap is one and done with the Charlotte Bobcats.

The Bobcats fired Dunlap as coach Tuesday after a single season.

The Bobcats went 21-61 under Dunlap, finishing with the second-worst record in the NBA ahead of only the Orlando Magic. Charlotte won just seven games in the lockout-shortened 2011-12 season, but tripling last year’s victory total and a three-game winning streak to close the season weren’t enough to save Dunlap’s job.

Cavs Brick Back Ex-Coach

Cleveland — Mike Brown and the Cavaliers are getting back together.

Brown, who led the Cavs to the playoffs in all five seasons he coached them from 2005-10, has agreed in principle to a contract to return as their coach for a second time, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press yesterday.

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. He was fired after the Cavs lost to Boston in the 2010 Eastern Conference semifinals, shortly before James decided he was leaving Cleveland as a free agent.

Football

BCS Replacement Announced

Pasadena, Calif. — The Bowl Championship Series will be replaced by the College Football Playoff.

The BCS conference commissioners announced the name of the new postseason system that starts in 2014 yesterday, the first of three days of meetings at a resort hotel in the Rose Bowl’s backyard.

They also will choose the remaining three sites for the six-bowl semifinal rotation in the new system and the site of the first championship game to be held Jan. 12, 2015, this week.

The website www.collegefootballplayoff.com is already up and running and allowing fans to vote on a new logo.

Golf

Woods Takes Pass
On Quail Hollow

Charlotte, n.c. — Tiger Woods is sticking to his long break after the Masters, meaning he will miss the Wells Fargo Championship next week.

Asked about Woods not playing Quail Hollow this year, agent Mark Steinberg replied in an email, “Accurate.”

Woods typically takes three weeks off after the year’s first major. Because of a change in scheduling this year, the Wells Fargo Championship is only two weeks after the Masters.

Woods won at Quail Hollow in 2007. He has missed the cut the last two times he played, in 2010 and 2012. He missed in 2011 trying to recover from leg injuries. Before the two missed cuts, his worst finish had been a tie for 11th.

The Wells Fargo Championship still has a strong field, featuring Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson.