NBA: Mavs win 12th straight game
DALLAS (AP) – Dirk Nowitzki had 31 points and 15 rebounds, and the Dallas Mavericks extended their winning streak to 12 games with a 103-97 victory over the Utah Jazz on Saturday night.
The Mavericks rallied after wasting a 25-point first-half lead. DeShawn Stevenson added a season-high 17 points, going 5 of 7 from 3-point range, and Caron Butler had 16 points for Dallas.
The Mavericks put on a long-range shooting clinic, hitting 14 of 26 from beyond the arc to prevail in a matchup of Western Conference heavyweights.
Dallas-area native Deron Williams scored 19 of his 34 points in the first half and paced the Jazz, who had won nine of 11.
The Mavericks (19-4) are off to their best start since 2002-03 and own the NBA’s longest current winning streak.
Celtics 93, Bobcats 62
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Ray Allen and Glen Davis scored 16 points apiece and Boston overcame a thin front line with smothering defense, cruising past listless Charlotte for its 10th straight victory.
Kevin Garnett had 13 points and 11 rebounds and got to sit out the fourth quarter as the Celtics weren’t threatened after halftime.
Boston played its second straight game without Shaquille O’Neal, who rested his sore right calf. With Jermaine O’Neal (knee) still sidelined and Kendrick Perkins (knee surgery) out until February, rookie Semih Erden started at center.
It didn’t matter, not with the Celtics allowing no more than 16 points in any quarter. The Bobcats shot 34 percent and committed 22 turnovers in an ugly effort.
Raptors 120, Pistons 116
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) – Jerryd Bayless matched a career high with 31 points and Toronto pulled off the biggest comeback in franchise history, beating Detroit.
Toronto overcame a 25-point second-half deficit to end a four-game losing streak. The victory was just the Raptors’ third of the season on the road.
Andrea Bargnani added 22 points, including a pair of key 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, and Leandro Barbosa scored 20. Ben Wallace had a career-high 23 points and 14 rebounds, while Rodney Stuckey also scored 23.
Detroit led by 25 midway through the third period, then faltered on defense.
Bulls 113, Timberwolves 82
CHICAGO (AP) – Derrick Rose had 21 points and seven assists, leading Chicago over Minnesota for its season-best fifth straight victory.
The Bulls (14-8) are six games over .500 for the first time since finishing the 2006-07 season with a 49-33 record.
Rose set a career high with five 3-pointers and finished 8 for 10 from the field. It was the third time this season he has made four or more 3s. He made that many just once during his first two NBA seasons.
Luol Deng added 19 points and Carlos Boozer 17 for Chicago, which outrebounded Minnesota 53-36.
Kevin Love had 23 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Timberwolves. Grizzlies 84, Clippers 83
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Zach Randolph had 18 points and 13 rebounds, Marc Gasol added 17 points and Memphis held off Los Angeles when Baron Davis missed an 18-footer at the buzzer.
Randolph was 9 for 20 from the field against his former team after posting season highs of 34 points and 17 rebounds Wednesday in an overtime win at Phoenix. The Clippers held Grizzlies leading scorer Rudy Gay to 12 points – 9.6 below his average – on 5 for 12 shooting in 44 minutes.
Eric Gordon scored 25 points for the Clippers, who were coming off an 87-86 loss to the Lakers on Derek Fisher’s driving layup at the buzzer. Blake Griffin had 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Los Angeles, off to an NBA-worst 5-19 start, committed a season-high 27 turnovers against a defense that came in having forced a league-leading 16.8 per game by its opponents.
Rockets 110, Cavaliers 95
HOUSTON (AP) – Kevin Martin scored 32 of his season-high 40 points in the first half, Luis Scola added 14 points and 14 rebounds and Houston handed Cleveland its seventh straight defeat.
Shane Battier scored 16 for the Rockets, who outrebounded the Cavaliers 48-34 and went 12 for 26 from 3-point range. Martin finished 12 for 19 from the field, sank three 3-pointers and hit 13 of 14 from the free throw line.
Antawn Jamison scored a season-high 24 points and Mo Williams added 18 points and nine assists for Cleveland. The Cavaliers’ seven-game skid matches their longest since they dropped seven in a row from March 29 to April 9, 2004.
Hawks 97, Pacers 83
ATLANTA (AP) – Josh Smith took care of his sore hamstring and then took care of the Indiana Pacers, scoring 21 points to lead Atlanta.
Smith was treated for cramping in his right hamstring before the game and showed no sign of being limited against the Pacers. He had consecutive three-point plays late in the fourth quarter, each time after Indiana cut Atlanta’s lead to seven points.
Jamal Crawford led the Hawks with 25 points. Al Horford finished two assists shy of a triple-double with 16 points, 16 rebounds and eight assists.
Crawford and Smith combined to make 18 of 21 free throws. Smith had seven rebounds and blocked two shots.
Mike Dunleavy had 16 points for Indiana.
The Hawks have won eight straight over the Pacers and six straight in the series at Philips Arena.