Bulls 110, Pacers 94
Luol Deng scored 23 points, Derrick Rose added 20 points and the host Chicago Bulls knocked off the NBA’s last unbeaten team on Saturday night. Taj Gibson had 15 points and eight rebounds for Chicago (5-3), which won its fourth in a row behind 11-of-19 shooting from 3-point range.
Indiana (9-1) was the NBA’s first 9-0 team since the 2002-’03 Dallas Mavericks, who started 14-0. The nine wins to start a season matched a franchise record.
Nursing a sore right hamstring, Rose was effective in his 30 minutes on the court. He weaved around and penetrated the league’s best defense, which hadn’t allowed more than 91 points to any opponent this year.
The 25-year-old former MVP shook off the rust after a pair of early off-balance misses. He sank a floater in the lane three minutes in, followed by a 3-pointer 30 seconds later to ignite a 12-2 first-quarter run for Chicago.
Rose cozied up at the 3-point arc in the second quarter, knocking down all three attempts as the Bulls took a 25-point advantage into the half. He finished 6-for-11 from beyond the arc.
Kirk Hinrich came off the bench to contribute 13 points, eight assists and four rebounds for the Bulls.
The Pacers lost despite having all five starters — and two reserves — score in double-digits.
Roy Hibbert led Indiana with 14 points a day after posting season-highs with 24 points and eight blocks.
Heat 97, Bobcats 81
LeBron James scored 30 points to help visiting Miami beat Charlotte for the Heat’s 13th consecutive victory against the Bobcats. With Mario Chalmers suspended, Chris Bosh limited due to foul trouble, Ray Allen out with the flu and Dwyane Wade a nonfactor, James came up big for the Heat. The four-time MVP was 13-of-18 from the field and had seven assists in his eighth 20-point game this season.
Michael Beasley added 15 points for the Heat, winners of six of their last seven overall.
Kemba Walker had 22 points to lead the Bobcats, who shot 35 percent from the field. Jeffery Taylor scored 14 points and has now finished in double digits in six of his last seven games.
The Bobcats had won two straight coming in, and stayed within 10 points for most of the fourth quarter but couldn’t get the lead.
Eventually, the Heat wore them down and the shooting struggles caught up with the Bobcats.
James had 20 points in the first half on 8-of-11 shooting and Miami led by as many as 16. Only one of James’ first-half field goals came from outside of 10 feet as he did his damage driving and attacking the basket.
Mavericks 108, Magic 100
Monta Ellis had 19 points and eight assists to help the Dallas Mavericks hold off the host Orlando Magic. Dirk Nowitzki and DeJuan Blair added 18 apiece for the Mavericks, who won for the eighth straight time in Orlando.
Arron Afflalo led Orlando with 25 points and four assists.
Orlando trimmed a 15-point first-half deficit to 91-87 after Nikola Vucevic’s layup with 6:58 left in the game. The Magic had chances to get closer, but Vucevic missed another layup attempt, rookie guard Victor Oladipo committed back-to-back turnovers and Afflalo missed a jumper.
Hawks 110, Knicks 90
Jeff Teague scored 16 points to lead eight players in double figures, and the Atlanta Hawks sent the New York Knicks to a fifth consecutive home loss. Paul Millsap, back in the starting lineup, had 14 points and 13 rebounds as the Hawks shot 56 percent and won for the fourth time in five games. Carmelo Anthony had 23 points and 12 rebounds for New York.
Timberwolves 106, Celtics 88
Kevin Love had 23 points and 12 rebounds and Nikola Pekovic had 20 points and 12 boards to lead the host Minnesota Timberwolves. Kevin Martin scored 20 on 6-for-18 shooting and Dante Cunningham scored 12 off the bench to help Minnesota rebound from a tough loss in Denver Friday.
Avery Bradley scored 27 points and Vitor Faverani had nine points and 14 rebounds for the Celtics.
Thunder 92, Bucks 79
Russell Westbrook scored 26 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder snapped a two-game losing streak by beating the host Milwaukee Bucks. Kevin Durant added 24 points for the Thunder.
Rockets 122, Nuggets 111
Dwight Howard scored 18 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, including 13-of-19 free throws in a 2½-minute stretch, and the host Houston Rockets beat the Denver Nuggets. Chandler Parsons added 20 points for Houston and James Harden had 17 for the Rockets, who never trailed and led by as many as 23.
Pelicans 135, 76ers 98
Anthony Davis had 13 points, nine rebounds and a career-high eight blocks in less than three quarters, and the host New Orleans Pelicans emphatically snapped a three-game skid.