NBA scores 2014: Mavericks hold off Blazers in wild finish, Houston blows out Indiana and more

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Also: the Grizzlies stunted the Bulls and O.J. Mayo punched Greg Stiemsma.

The Blazers were down 40-10 early in the second quarter; they caught up. The Mavericks eventually trailed by eight points in the fourth quarter; then they scored the game's final 11 points. With the game tied at 98 and under 30 seconds remaining, Devin Harris completed a three point play. The Blazers turned the ball over twice and it was game from there, as the Mavericks won 103-98.

LaMarcus Aldridge led all scorers with 30 points and he also collected 17 rebounds and Wes Matthews added 26 points. Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas with 22 points, Jose Calderon knotted 19 and Monta Ellis chipped in 17.

Houston Rockets 112, Indiana Pacers 86

James Harden scored as many points (16) in the third quarter as the Pacers did as Houston blasted past Indiana. He did this on back-to-back possessions:

He then got into it with Evan Turner which led to double technicals and moments later he drained another three-pointer. He finished with 28 points and didn't even play in the fourth quarter.

The Pacers have now lost three games in a row for the first time all season.

Memphis Grizzlies 85, Chicago Bulls 77

In preparing to watch Memphis against Chicago, one should understand that neither team thrives on offense. On Friday that was the absolute story line. Two of the longest standing defensive machines, neither the Bulls or Grizzlies could ever get cooking in this game. Memphis dropped 30 points in the third quarter and then held on the fourth quarter, but this game is as it was advertised: defensive and gritty.

Marc Gasol had 18 points and 10 rebounds and went to war against Joakim Noah. Noah, never one to back down from a challenge, finished with 15 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Taj Gibson led the Bulls with 18 points off the bench, but Memphis opened up a three-possession lead in the final minutes and it was smooth sailing from there.

Charlotte Bobcats 101, Cleveland Cavaliers 92

Back-to-the-basket players are antiques in the NBA and the analytic-heads have discovered that straight back downs often lead to inefficient shot attempts. But no one works to dispel that theory more than Al Jefferson; he's an absolute delight on the left block. He has an arsenal of post moves and a feathery touch and has carried a Bobcats offense that completely nose dives when he hits the bench. Against the Cavaliers, his magic was on full display: he finished with 28 points on 12-of-18 shooting. Just a fun, fun player and one that is greatly under-appreciated.

Toronto Raptors 99, Sacramento Kings 87

The Raptors bested the Kings, a team that they shipped Rudy Gay in what may have been the most important trade of the season. Gay has rediscovered an efficient form of himself in Sacramento, but it hasn't translated to many wins for the Kings. Toronto, however, is fighting for a top-four seed after being originally pegged as Tank Candidates. Terrence Ross, who has been the beneficiary of the Rudy Gay trade in the form of minutes and shot attempts, fittingly led the Raptors with 18 point on 6-of-12 shooting from the floor.

Boston Celtics 91, Brooklyn Nets 84

The scrappy Celtics put together a fantastic outing on the defensive end, holding Brooklyn to 36 percent from the floor and 4-of-30 (13 percent) from behind the arc. Rajon Rondo led the way with 20 points, nine assists, seven assists and four steals. Joe Johnson led Brooklyn with 21 points and Deron Williams notched 20, but no one else scored more than 11.

New York Knicks 108, Utah Jazz 81

In handling the Jazz, the Knicks have now won two-straight games for the first time since late January, thanks in part to Carmelo Anthony's 29 points, eight assists and four rebounds. Tyson Chandler added 16 points, 11 boards and J.R. Smith chipped in 17 points. Alec Burks and Gordon Hayward each notched 18 points, but Utah was never really in this game.

Minnesota Timberwolves 114, Detroit Pistons 101

Minnesota scored 39 points in the first quarter and never looked back from there. The Pistons outscored the Timberwolves by 15 points in the fourth quarter and still lost by 13, if that tells you anything. Kevin Love led the way with 28 points, 14 rebounds and five dimes and Kevin Martin chipped in 24 points.

New Orleans Pelicans 112, Milwaukee Bucks 104

Anthony Davis led all scorers with 29 points and he added 14 rebounds, five assists and two blocks to go along with it. He's dominant on both ends, but that hasn't translated to much success for New Orleans as a whole. But it didn't matter against the Bucks. Milwaukee was without Ersan Illyasova, who was suspended for this game after punching and shoving Reggie Evans a couple of nights earler. It also lost O.J. Mayo after he punched Pelicans big man Greg Stiemsma.

Denver Nuggets 134, Los Angeles Lakers 126

After giving up almost 150 points to the cross-town rival Clippers, the Lakers surrendered 77 points in the first half to the Nuggets, which has to be some sort of six-quarter record. Kenneth Faried dominated with 32 points and 13 rebounds and Ty Lawson ran the show, finishing with 30 points and 17 assists.

Golden State Warriors 111, Atlanta Hawks 97

Jermaine O'Neal thinks its 2004. No, seriously. The 35-year-old center provided the Warriors 17 points and eight rebounds in 19 minutes off the bench. Golden State blitzed Atlanta with a balanced offensive attack: 11 guys scored in all. Klay Thompson strained his lower back and only logged six minutes, but it doesn't look like too big of a deal:

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