Mavericks 102, Bucks 76
DALLAS — Dirk Nowitzki went over 23,000 career points, Vince Carter had his highest-scoring game in Dallas and the Mavericks stretched their winning streak to four games with a 102-76 victory over Milwaukee on Friday night.
The defending NBA champion Mavericks (6-4) are finally on a roll after an 0-3 start. Dallas has won its last five home games since lopsided losses on consecutive days there to open the season nearly three weeks ago.
Nowitzki became the 23rd NBA player with 23,000 points, hitting that mark when he made a free throw with 7:17 left in the first half. He finished with 11 points, putting him at 23,008, third among active players behind Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett.
Carter had 11 of his 16 points in the first 6 1/2 minutes of the game. Jason Terry led Dallas with 17 points, including three three-pointers.
Brandon Jennings had 19 points and Shaun Livingston 15 for the Bucks (4-7), who are undefeated at home but now have an NBA-high seven road losses.
Milwaukee was without seven-foot Andrew Bogut, who was out because of concussion-like symptoms.
Bogut fell backward and hit the back of his head on the floor while taking a charge during Thursday night's victory over Detroit. Coach Scott Skiles said Bogut failed a pregame check for concussion symptoms and was ruled out in accordance with the league's concussion policy.
Bulls 88, Celtics 79
BOSTON — Derrick Rose returned from a one-game absence to score 25 points and help the Chicago Bulls hold off a second-half charge and beat the Boston Celtics 88-79 on Friday night.
The Celtics had trimmed a 52-33 halftime deficit to 67-66 on a three-pointer by Mickael Pietrus with 10 minutes left in the game. Then Boston missed its next two shots, while Rose scored four straight points. Kevin Garnett responded with a short jumper, but Rose came through again with a three-pointer for a 74-68 lead with 7:30 remaining.
Rose, who missed Wednesday's 78-64 win over the Washington Wizards with a sprained left big toe, scored 12 points after Boston cut the lead to one.
Ray Allen scored 16 for Boston and Rajon Rondo had 14 points and 11 assists.
Lakers 97, Cavaliers 92
LOS ANGELES — Kobe Bryant scored 42 points in his third straight 40-point performance, and the Los Angeles Lakers blew a big early lead before hanging on for their fifth straight victory, 97-92 over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night.
Pau Gasol had 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers, who won their eighth consecutive game at Staples Center since Christmas. Until Bryant took charge, Los Angeles allowed a 19-point lead to dwindle to three in the final minutes of coach Mike Brown's first meeting with the Cavaliers since they fired him in 2010.
Bryant managed just seven points in the fourth quarter but hit two big jumpers down the stretch, giving him three straight 40-point games for the first time since March 2007, when he had five straight. Kobe is third in NBA history with 110 40-point games, trailing only Wilt Chamberlain and Michael Jordan.
Kyrie Irving scored 21 points and Ramon Sessions added 12 for the Cavaliers, who have played eight of their first 11 games on the road. Cleveland foundered in the first half before rallying impressively in the second half, avoiding anything close to the embarrassment of last season's 112-57 debacle at Staples Center.
Nuggets 117, Heat 104
DENVER — Ty Lawson returned from a sprained right foot to score 24 points, and the Denver Nuggets sent the Miami Heat to their third straight loss with a 117-104 victory on Friday night.
LeBron James had 35 points for the Heat, who have lost their last 10 games in Denver.
Nene added 17 points for the Nuggets. Rudy Fernandez and Al Harrington each had 15 points.
Lawson, who was held out of Wednesday's game against New Jersey, also had nine assists.
Nets 110, Suns 103
PHOENIX — Deron Williams had 35 points, his most since coming to New Jersey at last season's trade deadline, and 14 assists as the Nets held off the short-handed Phoenix Suns 110-103 Friday night for just their third victory in 12 games this season.
Phoenix, playing without Victoria guard Steve Nash and Grant Hill because of injuries, was down by three at the half before the Nets pulled away with a barrage of three-pointers. A rally in the final minutes by the Suns fell short.
Williams tied a career high with six three-pointers. MarShon Brooks scored 20, Anthony Morrow 16 and Kris Humphries 15 for the Nets, who snapped a three-game skid.
Ronnie Price scored a career high 18 in Phoenix's third loss in a row.
Spurs 99, Trail Blazers 83
SAN ANTONIO — Tony Parker scored 20 points to help the San Antonio Spurs beat the Portland Trail Blazers 99-83 on Friday night and stay unbeaten at home.
Parker shook off a slow start as the Spurs (8-4) improved to 8-0 at home, their best start since the 2007-08 season when they won started 13-0. Portland (7-4), meanwhile, lost its second straight game and for only the second time in its last 10 games against San Antonio.
Tiago Splitter scored 14 points for the Spurs, and DeJuan Blair and Danny Green each added 13. Rookie Kawhi Leonard had 11.
LaMarcus Aldridge led Portland with 29 points. The Blazers lost veteran centre Marcus Camby to a sprained ankle in the loss.
Timberwolves 87, Hornets 80
NEW ORLEANS — Kevin Love scored 34 points, Ricky Rubio hit the tie-breaking free throws in his first career start, and the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the New Orleans Hornets 87-80 on Friday night.
Rubio finished with 12 points and nine assists. Love had 17 points in the third quarter and also grabbed 15 rebounds for his 11th consecutive double-double. The Timberwolves finished 33 of 38 from the foul line.
Marco Belinelli scored a season-high 20 points for the Hornets, who lost for the eighth time in nine games and their fifth in a row at home. Emeka Okafor contributed 16 points and 14 rebounds.
Rockets 103, Kings 89
HOUSTON — Kyle Lowry's 25 points led five double-digit scorers and the Houston Rockets beat the Sacramento Kings 103-89 on Friday night.
The Kings led at halftime, but Houston used a strong third quarter to take the lead and Sacramento never really threatened after that.
Former King Samuel Dalembert added 21 points and 16 rebounds, and Luis Scola also had 21 points and grabbed 11 boards.
Tyreke Evans scored 27 points for Sacramento, which has lost five of seven. Evans has scored at least 25 points in four of the last five games.
DeMarcus Cousins' streak of four straight double-doubles was snapped with a tough night. He finished with four points and four rebounds, going 1 of 7 after missing all of his six field goal attempts in the first half.
76ers 120, Wizards 89
PHILADELPHIA — Jodie Meeks tied a career high with 26 points, Lou Williams had 19 and Spencer Hawes added 10 points and 10 rebounds to help the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Washington Wizards 120-89 on Friday night.
Led by their usual balanced offence, the Sixers led by 34 points in the third quarter and crushed the NBA-worst Wizards. All five starters reached double-digit scoring for the Atlantic Division leaders. They won for the seventh time in eight games overall and improved to 5-0 at home.
While the Sixers dominated the entire game, the real damage was done in the third quarter. They made 16 of 23 shots from the floor and outscored the Wizards by 20.
Meeks finished 10 of 11 from the floor and 6 of 7 from 3-point range.
Pistons 98, Bobcats 81
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Jonas Jerebko tied a career high with 22 pointsand the Detroit Pistons won the race to three victories Friday night against the Charlotte Bobcats, 98-81.
Both teams entered the game with identical 2-9 records and on lengthy losing streaks: the Bobcats having lost five straight and the Pistons six in a row.
The Pistons were able to snap their streak behind the inside play of Jerebko and Greg Monroe, who chipped in with 19 points and nine rebounds. The Pistons dominated inside, scoring 50 points in the paint through the first three quarters to open a 78-59 lead.
This one wasn't even close as the Pistons led by 12 at the half and pushed it to 21 in the fourth quarter as the Bobcats never mounted a serious challenge.