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BOSTON (AP) — Rajon Rondo scored 20 points and the Boston Celtics dominated the boards to beat Brooklyn 91-84 and stop the Nets' four-game winning streak Friday night.
Boston scored the first five points and never trailed, although Brooklyn used an 11-point run to cut the lead to 70-68 with 2:02 left in the third quarter. But the Celtics came back to take a 78-70 lead entering the final quarter and led by at least seven the rest of the way.
The Celtics outrebounded the Nets 62-37, an important advantage because they turned the ball over 28 times, twice as many as Brooklyn. Rondo also had nine assists and seven rebounds.
The Nets were led by Joe Johnson with 21 points and Deron Williams with 20 as they fell back to .500 two days after going over the mark for the first time this season.
Jason Collins, the NBA's first openly gay player, did not play for the Nets for the first time in seven games since signing a 10-day contract Feb. 23.
MAVERICKS 103, TRAIL BLAZERS 98
DALLAS (AP) — Dirk Nowitzki scored 22 points, Devin Harris hit the go-ahead shot in the final minute and Dallas rallied in the fourth quarter to beat Portland after blowing a 30-point lead.
LaMarcus Aldridge finished with 30 points for the Trail Blazers, including 18 in the third quarter when they went in front for the first time at 69-67 after trailing 44-14 early in the second.
The Mavericks snapped their season-high, three-game skid but nearly tied the franchise record for their biggest blown lead.
Aldridge also grabbed 17 rebounds and Wesley Matthews had 26 points for Portland.
BOBCATS 101, CAVALIERS 92
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Al Jefferson scored 28 points, Kemba Walker had 20 points and 14 assists, and Charlotte defeated Cleveland for its sixth straight win at home.
Jefferson shot 12 of 18 from the field and reached 20 points for the 22nd time in his last 24 games. Chris Douglas-Roberts added 14 points, including four 3-pointers, and a season-high nine rebounds for Charlotte (29-33), which surpassed its win total from the previous two seasons combined.
The Bobcats, seventh in the Eastern Conference, improved to 3-0 this season against the Cavaliers and now own the tiebreaker against both Detroit and Cleveland, the ninth- and 10th-place teams in the East.
Dion Waiters and Luol Deng each scored 19 points for Cleveland, which began the night 3½ games behind Atlanta for the final playoff spot in the East.
Charlotte's six-game home winning streak is its longest since a seven-game run in March 2010.
GRIZZLIES 85, BULLS 77
CHICAGO (AP) — Marc Gasol had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Memphis used its stout defense to defeat Chicago.
Mike Miller made four 3-pointers and finished with 14 points as the Grizzlies closed out a three-game road trip with their third victory in four games. Zach Randolph added 10 points and 11 rebounds after missing Memphis' previous game with the flu.
The Grizzlies shut out the Bulls after Taj Gibson's layup trimmed Memphis' lead to 81-77 with 3:15 to go.
Gibson had 18 points for Chicago, which had won 10 of 12. Playing with a sprained right thumb, Joakim Noah finished with 15 points, eight rebounds and six assists, but also had six of the Bulls' 13 turnovers.
TIMBERWOLVES 114, PISTONS 101
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Kevin Love had 28 points, 14 rebounds and five assists, and Minnesota outlasted Detroit.
Kevin Martin scored 24 points and Ricky Rubio added 11 points, nine assists and eight rebounds for the Timberwolves, who are trying to mount a push for the Western Conference playoffs.
Greg Monroe had 20 points and 15 rebounds, and Will Bynum scored all 17 of his points in the fourth quarter for the Pistons. But Detroit shot 40 percent and lost for the ninth time in 11 games.
Nikola Pekovic had 17 points and nine rebounds for Minnesota.
RAPTORS 99, KINGS 87
TORONTO (AP) — Terrence Ross scored 18 points to lead the Raptors over Sacramento, spoiling Rudy Gay's return to Toronto.
Gay had 15 points for the Kings, who acquired him in a seven-player deal on Dec. 9. The game marked his first trip back since he was shipped with Aaron Gray and Quincy Acy to the Kings for Greivis Vasquez, Patrick Patterson, John Salmons and Chuck Hayes.
Patterson and DeMar DeRozan each scored 15 points, while Jonas Valanciunas added 14 points and Amir Johnson had nine rebounds to go with nine points for the Raptors, who have won eight of 10.
DeMarcus Cousins topped Sacramento with 24 points.
KNICKS 108, JAZZ 81
NEW YORK (AP) — Carmelo Anthony scored 18 of his 29 points in the first quarter, sending New York to a rare easy night against Utah.
Anthony added a season-high eight assists while playing just three quarters of a game that wasn't competitive for long after the opening tip. J.R. Smith had 17 points and Tyson Chandler finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Knicks, who led by as many as 32.
With a long way to go to get back into playoff position, the Knicks won their second straight following a seven-game losing streak.
Gordon Hayward and Alec Burks each scored 18 for the Jazz, who dropped their fifth straight and fell to 0-5 on their six-game, nine-day trip that ends Saturday in Philadelphia.
PELICANS 112, BUCKS 104
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Anthony Davis had 29 points and 14 rebounds, and New Orleans defeated struggling Milwaukee.
Tyreke Evans scored 25 points for the Pelicans, who have won two straight after losing their previous eight games. Anthony Morrow added 16 points, including a 3-pointer as he was fouled to give the Pelicans their largest lead at 100-90 with 4:50 left. Brian Roberts scored 14 and Eric Gordon 12 for New Orleans.
Khris Middleton scored 25 for Milwaukee, which lost its second straight. Jeff Adrien added 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Milwaukee played without starting forward Ersan Ilyasova, suspended for throwing a punch in a game Wednesday. The Bucks then lost guard O.J. Mayo to an ejection for a flagrant-2 foul late in the first quarter.
NUGGETS 134, LAKERS 126
DENVER (AP) — Kenneth Faried scored a career-high 32 points and Ty Lawson had 30 in Denver's victory over skidding Los Angeles.
Lawson also had 17 assists and Faried grabbed 13 rebounds. Wilson Chandler had 19 points, and Timofey Mozgov and Evan Fournier added 13 apiece for the Nuggets, who swept the three-game season series.
Pau Gasol scored 27 points to lead the Lakers in their third straight defeat and sixth in eight games. This one ensured their first losing season since going 34-48 in 2004-05.
Jordan Farmar and Robert Sacre had 24 points apiece for the Lakers, who were coming off a 142-94 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday. The 48-point defeat was the biggest in franchise history.
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