CHICAGO -- Nikola Mirotic tied season highs with 28 points and six 3-pointers, Jimmy Butler scored 25, and the Chicago Bulls beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 99-93 on a night when LeBron James moved into seventh place on the NBA's career scoring list.
James moved past Shaquille O'Neal, finishing with 26 points and giving him 28,599 for his career -- three more than O'Neal. But the big night by the four-time MVP couldn't prevent the Cavaliers from matching a season high with their third straight loss.
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That dropped them a half-game behind Boston for the Eastern Conference lead and left them with a 6-10 record in March.
Rajon Rondo added 15 assists. Robin Lopez had 10 points and 11 rebounds, and the ninth-place Bulls moved within a game of Miami and Indiana in the Eastern Conference standings.
They also finished 4-0 against Cleveland to complete their first sweep of the Bulls since they took all three games during the 2011-12 season (see full recap).
Morris' double-double lifts Pistons over Nets 90-89
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Marcus Morris had 28 points and 13 rebounds, and Ish Smith hit the go-ahead 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter, helping the Detroit Pistons beat the Brooklyn Nets 90-89 on Thursday night.
Smith, who finished with 21 points, six rebounds and five assists, gave the Pistons an 87-86 lead with 30 seconds left. Brook Lopez missed a 3-pointer on the Nets' ensuing possession, and Detroit sealed it at the free-throw line.
Sean Kilpatrick scored 15 and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Jeremy Lin each had 14 points for the Nets. Lopez added 11 points and nine rebounds.
Detroit, the No. 10 seed in the Eastern Conference, kept its dwindling playoff hopes alive (see full story).
Rubio scores career-high 33 as Wolves beat Lakers 119-104
MINNEAPOLIS -- Ricky Rubio had a career-high 33 points, 10 assists and five rebounds and Karl-Anthony Towns scored 32 points to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 119-104 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night.
Rubio shot 4 of 5 on 3-pointers and Andrew Wiggins scored 27 points for the Timberwolves (30-44), who have now won more games than they did last season. Minnesota had 30 assists and only 11 turnovers.
Jordan Clarkson scored 18 points and D'Angelo Russell had 14 points and seven assists for the Lakers (21-54), who have lost 17 of their last 19 games. Brandon Ingram missed his third straight game with patellar tendinitis in his right knee.
After playing well coming out of the All-Star break to revive their playoff hopes, the Wolves lost six straight earlier this month to fade from contention. One of those losses was an ugly one to the Lakers in Los Angeles last week and they were in danger of giving away another lead late to the lowly Lakers when Jordan Clarkson hit a 3 to pull LA within nine in the final four minutes.
But Rubio scored on a drive to the basket and knocked down a 21-foot jumper to hold off the comeback. A 37 percent shooter for his career, Rubio entered his final game of March shooting 45.8 percent for the month and made 12 of 20 field goals (see full recap).