Ronald Martinez, Getty Images
SAN ANTONIO — Tony Parker scored 23 points and the San Antonio Spurs, backing up their NBA-best record against the defending champions, beat Kobe Bryant and the reeling Los Angeles Lakers 97-82 on Tuesday night.
DeJuan Blair had 17 points and 15 rebounds, leading an unlikely Spurs cast that handed the Lakers their third straight loss while Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili muddled through a dreadful game.
Bryant finished with 21 points on 8-of-27 shooting. He missed 13 in a row at one point, and might be fuming again after railing on his team following a Christmas Day loss to Miami.
The Spurs improved to 27-4, among the best starts in NBA history. The Lakers dropped to 21-10, marking the first time since 2007 they've reached 10 losses this early.
HEAT 106, KNICKS 98: At Miami, Dwyane Wade scored a season-high 40 points, LeBron James and Chris Bosh each finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Miami held off a big fourth-quarter rally to beat New York. Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Miami, which is 15-1 in its last 16 games and has beaten the Knicks seven straight times. Miami led by as many as 22, then saw the lead cut to three before Wade's step-back 3-pointer with just inside of 2 minutes remaining helped save the Heat. Amare Stoudemire scored 30 points for the Knicks, who were outrebounded 50-32. Wilson Chandler added 21 and Raymond Felton scored 15.
MAGIC 110, CAVALIERS 95: At Cleveland, Gilbert Arenas scored 22 points, fellow newcomer Jason Richardson added 20, and Orlando made a season-high 19 3-pointers in a victory over Cleveland. Orlando won its fourth straight by breaking open a close game in the fourth quarter with leading scorer Dwight Howard on the bench. Howard went out with his fourth foul late in the third period and didn't play in the fourth as the Magic extended a one-point lead to 102-85 with 4:23 to play. The Cavaliers lost for the 14th time in 15 games and are 1-13 in December. The 3-pointers allowed was their season high.
CELTICS 95, PACERS 83: At Indianapolis, Paul Pierce scored 21 points and Ray Allen added 17 to help Boston hand Indiana its second straight home loss. Boston point guard Rajon Rondo missed his fifth straight game with a sprained left ankle. The Celtics improved to 4-1 without him and maintained the best record in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics were coming off an 86-78 loss at Orlando on Christmas that ended a 14-game winning streak. Brandon Rush led the Pacers with 17 points. Danny Granger scored 15 points, but he shot 5 for 21 from the field.
BULLS 90, BUCKS 77: At Chicago, Carlos Boozer had 24 points and nine rebounds, Luol Deng scored 24 points, and Chicago beat Milwaukee. Derrick Rose had 18 points, 12 assists and six assists for Chicago, which has won 11 of its last 13 games. John Salmons scored 18 points for the Bucks, who shot a season-low 32.1 percent. Chicago pulled away for good midway through the fourth quarter by going on a 16-4 run.
RAPTORS 84, MAVERICKS 76: At Dallas, Rookie Ed Davis scored a career-high 17 points and pulled down 12 rebounds, Linas Kleiza and DeMar DeRozan added 16 points apiece, and short-handed Toronto upset Dallas. The Raptors were missing several key players, but took advantage of the injury absence of Dallas' top scorer, Dirk Nowitzki. Toronto, which had dropped its last 10 games in Dallas and had lost nine of its previous 11 overall, got 12 points each from Amir Johnson and Leandro Barbosa. Jason Terry scored 18 points and Caron Butler 15 for the Mavericks, who had won 17 of their previous 18.
NUGGETS 95, TRAIL BLAZERS 77: At Denver, Chauncey Billups scored 18 points and the short-handed Denver Nuggets snapped a season-high three-game losing streak. J.R. Smith and Nene added 17 points apiece for the Nuggets, who were without forward Carmelo Anthony for a fourth consecutive game following the death of his sister. LaMarcus Aldridge had 18 points and 13 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who lost their fifth straight at the Pepsi Center while being held to a season low in scoring by a Denver opponent. The previous low also was by Portland in an 86-83 victory over the Nuggets at the Rose Garden on Nov. 18.
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