Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng each scored 23 points, and the Chicago Bulls escaped with an 89-80 victory over the visiting Boston Celtics on Thursday night after blowing a 16-point lead.
It was hardly an easy night for the Bulls, but they continued to pile up the wins even though reigning MVP Derrick Rose missed his fourth straight game because of lower back pain.
They struggled early before going on a big run that gave them a 16-point lead early in the third quarter. Boston came roaring back and was up 61-60 early in the fourth after Chris Wilcox's alley-oop dunk, but a 12-point run broke a 69-69 tie and sent Chicago to its seventh win in eight games.
Former Kentucky guard Rajon Rondo had 17 points, eight assists and seven rebounds for Boston.
Pacers 93, Nets 88: Danny Granger played through a sprained left ankle to score 32 points and helped host Indiana snap a season-worst five-game losing streak by beating New Jersey.
Granger missed Wednesday's loss at Cleveland and the final three quarters of Tuesday's loss to Miami because of the injury.
Around the league
Cavaliers: LeBron James said Thursday in Cleveland that he would not rule out a return to the Cavaliers, the team he carried to the brink of a championship before he spurned an entire region by leaving as a free agent for Miami in 2010. "I think it would be great," he said. "It would be fun to play in front of these fans again. I had a lot of fun times in my seven years here. ... I'm happy where I am now, but I don't rule that out in no sense."
■ The NBA is leaving it up to the fans to determine the winner of the All-Star slam dunk contest. Defending champion Blake Griffin passed on returning, leaving a lackluster field of New York's Iman Shumpert, Paul George of Indiana, rookie Derrick Williams of Minnesota and Houston's Chase Budinger. The league announced Thursday that there no longer will be judges in the event, which will be reduced to one round. Each contestant will execute three dunks. Fans will determine the champion by voting on NBA.com, Twitter or through text messaging.