The Dallas Mavericks are bringing their unbeaten record into the home of the defending Eastern Conference champions, and the player who will defend Dirk Nowitzki will have to do it with a broken nose.
Nowitzki scored a season-high 32 points as Dallas improved to 9-0 with a 97-86 win over the Boston Celtics on Friday night. Next up is a matchup Saturday night with the New Jersey Nets, who are 5-0 at home and are eager to add a smudge to the Mavs' unblemished record.
"Something is going to have to give," said Nets forward Kenyon Martin, who broke his nose in a collision with Vladimir Stepania as New Jersey defeated Miami 93-84.
In other games, Minnesota downed Memphis 99-95; the Lakers outlasted Golden State 96-89 in overtime; Indiana edged Milwaukee 103-100 in OT; Seattle beat Sacramento 111-97; Portland crushed the Clippers 112-88; Phoenix nipped Houston 88-87; Detroit defeated Utah 86-75; New Orleans beat Chicago 105-87; and Toronto topped Denver 84-79.
Dallas broke Boston's six-game winning streak and became only the sixth team in 15 years to start 9-0 or better. The Mavericks won by at least 10 points for the sixth time.
"It's fun," Nowitzki said. "We know the streak is going to end sooner or later, but then we'll just try to start another one."
Shawn Bradley didn't start because of an upset stomach, but played 36 minutes, blocked five shots and made all four of his shots.
"Bradley was sensational," Dallas coach Don Nelson said. "I told him he needs to get food poisoning again."
The Celtics' last lead was 16-15, but they cut the deficit to 76-70 with 8:35 left on consecutive 3-pointers by Walker and Tony Delk.
The Mavericks regained control with a 10-0 run that made it 86-70 with 6:16 remaining. Michael Finley started the surge with a 3-pointer, Nowitzki hit two jumpers and Walt Williams ended it with a 3-pointer. The closest Boston came after that was nine points.
Nets 93, Heat 84
At Miami, Martin left early in the fourth quarter after breaking his nose as he and Stepania battled for a loose ball.
Martin will likely be able to play against the Mavericks, coach Byron Scott said.
"He got his bell rung pretty good," Scott said. "I hope he can go. He looks to be OK."
Jason Kidd scored 33 points and made two pivotal plays midway through the second half to lead the Nets past the struggling Heat, who lost their fourth game and fell to 1-6 -- their worst start in eight years.
The lead changed hands seven times in the third quarter before Kerry Kittles scored, stole a pass and made a dunk to put the Nets ahead 58-55. They led the rest of the way.
Lakers 96, Warriors 89, OT
At Los Angeles, Kobe Bryant, who chipped a tooth late in regulation, scored 45 points as Los Angeles snapped a four-game losing streak.
Robert Horry had seven of his nine points and Bryant added four in overtime for the Lakers, still without Shaquille O'Neal. The Warriors went the final 4:09 with a field goal.
The victory kept coach Phil Jackson from losing five in a row for the first time since 1994, and also kept the three-time defending NBA champions out of the Pacific Division cellar.
Pacers 103, Bucks 100, OT
At Indianapolis, Ron Artest scored 22 points and made the game-winning three-point play in overtime as Indiana remained unbeaten at home and atop the Eastern Conference.
With the Pacers trailing 100-99, Artest had the ball in the low right post. He spun around Ray Allen, tossed up a leaning, one-handed shot and went crashing to the floor as the ball went through.
SuperSonics 111, Kings 97
At Seattle, Desmond Mason had 20 points and tied a career-high with 17 rebounds, leading six players in double figures.
The Sonics snapped Sacramento's three-game winning streak, beating the Kings at their own game. Sacramento came as one of four teams averaging more than 100 points a game, but it was Seattle that was better offensively.
Trail Blazers 112, Clippers 88
At Portland, Derek Anderson returned from a four-game absence, started at point guard and had 28 points and nine rebounds.
Bonzi Wells added 21 points for Portland, which snapped a two-game losing streak but appeared to have some internal problems. Guard Damon Stoudamire, who had started in all nine games, was benched.
Suns 88, Rockets 87
At Phoenix, Stephon Marbury scored 10 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, including a soaring layup with 6.3 seconds left that gave Phoenix the victory.
Shawn Marion scored 27 and Penny Hardaway was two rebounds shy of a triple-double as the Suns won their fourth in a row.
Pistons 86, Jazz 75
At Auburn Hills, Mich., Richard Hamilton scored 25 points and Chauncey Billups added 17 as the Pistons improved to 4-0 at home. Detroit also got 14 points from Cliff Robinson and 15 rebounds from Ben Wallace to sweep the season series.
Hornets 105, Bulls 87
At New Orleans, Baron Davis and David Wesley scored 22 points apiece as the Hornets improved to 6-0 in their new home. The Hornets trailed 52-49 at halftime but surged ahead for good by outscoring Chicago 34-14 in the third quarter.
Raptors 84, Nuggets 79
At Toronto, Voshon Lenard scored 19 points and Antonio Davis added 18, the two combining for the Raptors' final 12 points.
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