Derrick Rose had 28 points and 11 assists and the Bulls won for the 13th time in 15 games, beating the struggling, shorthanded Cleveland Cavaliers, 100-91, last night in Chicago.
Sluggish in a win over New Jersey the previous day, the Bulls trailed by 10 against a team that was missing three of its best players. But they outscored Cleveland, 32-9, in the third quarter and hung on after nearly blowing a 15-point lead in the fourth, sending the Cavaliers to their 16th loss in 17 games.
Luol Deng had 23 points for Chicago and Carlos Boozer added 20 points and 11 rebounds.
The Cavaliers hung in even though center Anderson Varejao (broken cheekbone) and guards Mo Williams (left hip flexor strain) and Daniel Gibson (left thigh contusion) were sidelined. They cut it to 92-89 on Antawn Jamison’s two free throws with 2:48 remaining.
Rose converted a layup, Boozer hit one of two free throws, Kurt Thomas stripped J.J. Hickson of the ball underneath, and the Bulls prevailed despite missing three free throws in the final 36 seconds.
Hickson scored 21 points. Jamison added 19, but the Cavaliers were 3 of 21 from the field in the third quarter — turning a 61-53 halftime lead into an 85-70 deficit.
Heat 114, Warriors 107 — LeBron James had 25 points and 10 assists, Dwyane Wade also scored 25 points, and host Miami overcame a 20-point deficit to beat Golden State for its 17th victory in 18 games.
Chris Bosh added 20 points and 11 rebounds for Miami, which pulled into a virtual tie with the Celtics atop the Eastern Conference. The Celtics lead Miami by .031 percentage points.
Former Heat forward Dorell Wright scored 30 points for Golden State in his first trip to Miami as an opponent. Monta Ellis added 25 and Stephen Curry had 15 for the Warriors.
Golden State had 36 points in each of the first two quarters, then 35 in the second half. Miami held the Warriors to 13-of-43 shooting after halftime. James, Wade, and Bosh combined for 35 points in the second half — matching Golden State’s total.
Spurs 101, Thunder 74 — Tim Duncan scored 21 points, George Hill had 16, and host San Antonio won its fourth straight to raise its record to 29-4 — one of the 10 best starts in NBA history.
Kevin Durant had 16 points for cold-shooting Oklahoma City, which started the game 4 for 24 and shot a season-low 32.9 percent from the field.
Tony Parker added 14 points and 10 assists before sitting out the fourth quarter along with Duncan.
Oklahoma City also called it an early night, sitting Durant and the rest of its starting five for the fourth.
Bucks 99, Mavericks 87 — Earl Boykins scored a season-high 26 points and host Milwaukee beat injury-plagued Dallas.
Missing Dirk Nowitzki for the third straight game because of a sprained right knee and Shawn Marion with a thigh injury, the Mavericks suffered another blow when Caron Butler injured his right knee in the first quarter.
Dallas turned to reserve guard Jose Barea, who scored a career-high 29 points.
The extent of Caron’s injury wasn’t known, but the Mavericks were preparing to play an extended time without the 6-foot-7-inch forward who entered the night averaging 15.4 points.
“We’re afraid that it’s potentially serious,’’ Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said.
Nuggets 104, Kings 86 — Carmelo Anthony was rusty in his return after a two-week absence following the death of his sister, and his teammates picked up the slack in host Denver’s victory over Sacramento.
Anthony missed 15 of his first 18 shots and finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Chauncey Billups led the Nuggets with 22 points, and Nene had 16 points and 14 rebounds.
Jazz 98, Grizzlies 92 — Paul Millsap scored 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting to help Utah beat visiting Memphis, which played without leading scorer Rudy Gay (illness).
Zach Randolph led Memphis with 27 points and 16 rebounds.
Hornets 92, Wizards 81 — Trevor Ariza scored a season-high 22 points, Emeka Okafor had 17 points and 15 rebounds, and Chris Paul added 13 points, 11 assists, and 7 steals to help New Orleans beat host Washington.
Timberwolves 103, Nets 88 — Kevin Love had 23 points and 10 rebounds to lead host Minnesota over New Jersey, which scored 9 points in the third quarter.