The Clippers maintained NBA bragging rights in Los Angeles by beating their co-tenants, the Lakers, surviving a last quarter comeback to win 107-102 on Friday.
Other teams to suffer disappointing home-court results were Miami, beaten by Chicago, and Memphis, who were defeated by Portland. The NBA-leading Oklahoma City Thunder kept on rolling though, downing Philadelphia.
The Clippers led all the way against the Lakers, with Chris Paul having 30 points and 13 assists and Blake Griffin adding 24 points, but the Lakers stayed right in it.
Kobe Bryant scored 38 points and carried the Lakers in the fourth quarter when they closed to 99-97 with one minute, 29 seconds left.
However, Paul scored the Clippers’ final eight points to seal the victory and move a full 10 games above their more-famous city rivals.
“It’s a big win because it’s a division game,” Paul told reporters after the game.
“That was ugly down the stretch and it was all my fault. We had some terrible possessions [late] and made it interesting for the fans,” he said.
The Chicago Bulls became only the third visiting team to win at Miami this season, dominating the boards and beating the Heat 96-89, with Carlos Boozer scoring 27 points.
Chicago outrebounded Miami 48-28. The Bulls had 19 offensive rebounds to four for the Heat.
Miami’s LeBron James scored 30 points, extending his streaks of scoring at least 20 points to 31 consecutive games this season, and 52 games in a row overall when including last year’s playoffs.
Oklahoma City beat the Philadelphia 76ers 109-85 to keep their nose ahead of the Clippers in percentage terms for overall top spot in the standings.
Russell Westbrook scored 27 points, Kevin Durant added 26 for the Thunder, who made eight of their first 10 3-point attempts in the second half to break open the game.
Nick Young’s 21 points led Philadelphia, playing their seventh of eight straight road games.
The Portland Trail Blazers edged the Memphis Grizzlies 86-84 in a contest that saw the scores tied nine times and 21 lead changes.
Wesley Matthews scored 21 points and J.J. Hickson added 19 points and 11 rebounds for Portland, who only hung on when Rudy Gay’s jump shot from near the top of the key at the buzzer was off the mark.
Marreese Speights had a season-high 22 points and 13 rebounds for the Grizzlies in place of Zach Randolph, who missed the game with illness.
The Boston Celtics ended a four-game skid by beating the Indiana Pacers 94-75, with Kevin Garnett scoring 18 points before he was ejected for a flagrant foul in the fourth quarter.
Rajon Rondo added 18 points, seven assists and five rebounds for Boston, who took control with a 17-3 run in the second quarter.
Tyler Hansbrough scored 19 points for the Central Division-leading Pacers, who had won six of seven.
The Detroit Pistons won their fourth on the trot, edging the Atlanta Hawks 85-84.
The Hawks, who trailed by as many as 19, had the ball in the final seconds, but Andre Drummond blocked Lou Williams’ jumper at the buzzer to preserve Detroit’s win.
Austin Daye had a season-best 20 points for the Pistons, who got 41 points from their bench.
Josh Smith had 20 points for Atlanta.
Utah’s Al Jefferson scored 21 points and Paul Millsap added 19 to lead the Jazz past the slumping Phoenix Suns 87-80.
The Sacramento Kings won back-to-back road games thanks to a 105-96 victory at the Toronto Raptors, with DeMarcus Cousins scoring a season-high 31 points, matching his career high with 20 rebounds.