Kobe Bryant scored 22 points before sitting out the fourth quarter, and Pau Gasol added 16 points, five rebounds and four assists as the Los Angeles Lakers routed the San Antonio Spurs 99-85 on Sunday.
The win was the fourth straight and 14th in 17 games for the Lakers (35-8), whose .814 winning percentage is the best in the NBA although the defending champion Boston Celtics (37-9) lead them by a half-game in the overall standings by virtue of their 124-100 victory over Dallas earlier Sunday.
Tony Parker had 19 points and six assists and Tim Duncan added 15 points and eight rebounds for the Spurs (29-14), who lost for just the fourth time in their past 18 games.
CELTICS 124, MAVERICKS 100
At Boston, Ray Allen scored 20 of his 23 points in the first half when the Celtics opened a 27-point lead, and Eddie House added seven 3-pointers to help Boston beat Dallas and give the defending NBA champion its eighth straight victory.
House scored 23 — making 7-of-11 from 3-point range — Kevin Garnett scored 23, and Rajon Rondo had 13 points and 14 assists for Boston. After a 2-7 slump that was the worst of the new Big Three era, the Celtics have won eight in a row by an average of 16 points, and six straight in double digits.
Jason Terry scored 27 for the Mavericks, who have won just three of their last nine games.
SUNS 104, HAWKS 99
At Atlanta, Amare Stoudemire scored 23 points, and Shaquille O’Neal had 19 points and 11 rebounds to help Phoenix down Atlanta and snap a three-game losing streak.
Steve Nash, who finished with 14 points and 13 assists, used a give-and-go with Stoudemire to make it 102-99 with 26.2 seconds remaining.
The Hawks had won three straight, but made just one field goal, a short jumper by Solomon Jones, after Jones gave Atlanta its last lead, 95-94, at the 6:06 mark.
O’Neal hit two free throws to put Phoenix ahead 96-95 for the game’s 19th and final lead change.
Leandro Barbosa had 20 points for the Suns, who were coming off a season-worst 22-point loss at Charlotte.
In other NBA games it was:
• Raptors 113, Kings 97
• Rockets 108, Pistons 105
• Timberwolves 109, Bulls 108, OT
• Pacers 98, Bobcats 93
• Nuggets 117, Jazz 97
• Warriors 107, Clippers 92