MAR 07, 2014 10:55p ET
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.
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.
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 3 1/2 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.
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.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Kevin Love had 28 points, 14 rebounds and five assists, and Minnesota outlasted Detroit.
Nikola Pekovic had 17 points and nine rebounds for Minnesota.
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.
DeMarcus Cousins topped Sacramento with 24 points.
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.
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.