Kobe Bryant had a game-high 31 points for the Los Angeles Lakers while the San Antonio Spurs relied on a potent offense as each team earned playoff-opening wins in their respective Western Conference quarter-final series.
Bryant, who sat out eight of the final 10 regular-season games to rest, got off to a slow start but found his rhythm in the second half of the Lakers' 103-88 romp over the visiting Denver Nuggets.
In San Antonio, Tony Parker scored a game-high 28 points and the red-hot Spurs silenced the Utah Jazz 106-91 -- the highest offensive output by any National Basketball Association team in this year's playoffs -- for their 11th consecutive win.
The West's third-seeded Lakers doubled the score on the Nuggets before the first quarter ended and Denver never came closer than four points the rest of the way.
Lakers All-Star center Andrew Bynum tied a playoff record with 10 blocked shots to go along with the team's first triple double since 1991.
Danilo Gallinari paced Denver with 19 points.
The Lakers host Game Two on Tuesday.
For the West's top-seeded Spurs, who were upset in the opening round last year despite also being the No. 1 seed, the triumph continued an impressive April. They had closed out the regular season with a 10-0 run.
Eighth-seeded Utah, which used a five-game winning streak to squeeze into the playoffs, was led by Paul Millsap's 20 points.
Game Two is Wednesday in San Antonio.
Photograph: Chris Chambers/Getty Images