Tim Duncan had 29 points and 12 rebounds, and the San Antonio Spurs beat the New Jersey Nets 81-70 for their 10th straight NBA victory.
|Tim Duncan leads the way...again [AFP]|
Manu Ginobili added 12 points for the Spurs, who sit atop a competitive Western Conference, where just a handful of games separates them from the eighth-place Golden State Warriors.
Vince Carter led New Jersey with 19 points.
The Spurs dispatched the Nets with ease for the second time in three days, winning the season series 2-0.
Lakers 117, Kings 105
At Sacramento, California, Kobe Bryant scored 17 of his 34 points in an electric fourth-quarter performance, and Pau Gasol added 31 points in Los Angeles' 12th victory in 13 games.
Bryant scored all of his fourth-quarter points in the final 5:56 against the Kings, including 11 straight as the Lakers took their first lead in a mean-spirited game between longtime rivals.
Bryant, newly christened the NBA's player of the month for February, led the way with a series of balletic moves, including a spinning layup and a 360-degree two-handed jam as Los Angeles pulled away.
Kevin Martin and Ron Artest scored 23 points apiece for the Kings, who lost for the fifth time in six games.
Suns 97, Trail Blazers 92
At Portland, Oregon, Amare Stoudemire scored 22 points and Phoenix fought off a late surge by Portland.
Phoenix had lost two straight and was 2-4 since adding center Shaquille O'Neal to the lineup. The Suns have also surrendered the top spot of the Western Conference's Pacific Division to the Los Angeles Lakers.
O'Neal finished with six points and 13 rebounds.
The Suns led by as many as 23 points while Portland struggled on both ends, but Steve Blake's layup early in the fourth quarter narrowed it to 79-73.
Brandon Roy had 25 points for Portland, which has lost five of its last seven with hopes for the playoffs slipping away.
Magic 102, Raptors 87
At Orlando, Florida, Hedo Turkoglu scored 24 points, Dwight Howard overcame a slow start to collect 19 points and 14 rebounds, and Orlando beat Toronto.
Howard had only three points on 1-for-3 shooting until the fourth quarter, sitting long stretches with foul trouble. He seemed energized after the rest, and scored six straight in a 1:10 stretch that expanded Orlando's lead to 89-79 with six minutes remaining.
T.J. Ford single-handedly kept Toronto alive in the fourth quarter. He scored 13 of his 20 points in the period, the first 13 the Raptors had. But Toronto lost its third straight.
Warriors 135, Hawks 118
At Atlanta, Baron Davis scored 35 points, Stephen Jackson had 29, and Mickael Pietrus finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds to lead Golden State to its fourth straight victory, beating Atlanta.
The Warriors, who lead the NBA in scoring, set their season high for points. Golden State improved to 16-12 on the road, its most victories away from Oakland since 1994.
Joe Johnson had 38 points for the Hawks.
Bobcats 109, Timberwolves 89
At Minneapolis, Jason Richardson had 25 points and eight rebounds, Emeka Okafor added 19 points and 11 boards, and Charlotte snapped a nine-game road losing streak with a victory over Minnesota.
Matt Carroll scored 18 points for the Bobcats, who won for just the fifth time on the road this season and first since Jan. 28.
Al Jefferson had 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Timberwolves.
Pistons 100, SuperSonics 97
At Auburn Hills, Michigan, Tayshaun Prince scored 24 points, Chauncey Billups added 20 points and nine assists, and Detroit overcame a slow start to beat Seattle.
Seattle shot 82 percent in the first quarter on its way to a 41-28 lead, but that fell to 32 percent in the final three periods as the SuperSonics lost for the fifth time in six games. The Pistons have defeated the Sonics seven straight times.
Richard Hamilton scored 18 for Detroit. Earl Watson had 23 for Seattle, while Chris Wilcox and Kevin Durant added 20 apiece.
Bulls 112, Grizzlies 97
At Chicago, Drew Gooden and Luol Deng scored 21 points apiece, and Chicago beat Memphis to extend the Grizzlies' losing streak to nine games.
Gooden had his best game since the Bulls acquired him, hitting 10 of 15 shots and grabbing 14 rebounds. Kirk Hinrich added 19 points and 12 assists, while Andres Nocioni scored 20.
Kyle Lowry scored 24 for Memphis, which is on its longest losing streak since an 0-13 start in 2002.