Was it jet lag? Emotional emptiness? Good defense? Bad luck? Or just one of those nights?
Whatever it was, the Los Angeles Lakers weren't the team on Wednesday night that won 12 of its previous 14 games and five of six on the road.After leading by as many as eight points, the Lakers lost the edge in the second half against the Cleveland Cavaliers, scoring 11 points in the fourth quarter, 29 in the half and losing 84-74.
It was the Lakers' lowest total since moving to California from Minneapolis in 1960. Their previous low was 76, against Chicago on Nov. 17, 1974.
"We missed everything - inside, outside. Missing, missing, missing," said Magic Johnson, who led Los Angeles with 18 points and 15 assists.
Johnson appeared to subscribe to the `good defense' theory, crediting the Cavaliers for the Lakers' poor shooting - 15.4 percent in the fourth quarter and 27.5 percent in the second half
"They played tough. They were the aggressor," Johnson said. "You have to give them credit. But we still missed a lot of layups that we should have made. I mean, we were right there to knock them down. We missed a lot of shots."
Los Angeles coach Mike Dunleavy said the Lakers were drained after winning 100-97 in New York the previous night.
Celtics 115, 76ers 105
Boston beat Philadelphia for its fifth consecutive victory and a four-game lead in the Atlantic Division as four Celtics scored 20 or more points.
Reggie Lewis had 26, Larry Bird 24, Kevin McHale 23 and Kevin Gamble 20 as Boston's balanced scoring more than offset a 35-point outburst by Charles Barkley.
Pistons 105, Bulls 84
Detroit, which fell to third place in the Central Division by losing seven of eight games, held Chicago to 35.4 percent shooting in its first loss in four outings.
Michael Jordan scored 33 points for the Bulls, while Joe Dumars and Isiah Thomas each scored 19 points for Detroit.
Spurs 144, Nuggets 109
Sean Elliott led eight San Antonio players in double figures with 18 points and the Spurs won their seventh consecutive game with a rout of Denver.
Terry Cummings scored 17 points and David Robinson added 16, although neither saw action in the fourth quarter as the Spurs led by as many as 39.
Suns 112, Timberwolves 96
Phoenix built a 30-point lead, then averted a fourth-quarter collapse to beat Minnesota for the fifth straight time.
Jeff Hornacek had 23 points and 16 assists and Xavier McDaniel scored 18 points for the Suns, who are 7-0 since acquiring McDaniel from Seattle on Dec. 7.
Nets 118, Clippers 105
Derrick Gervin, Derrick Coleman and Mookie Blaylock led the way as New Jersey outscored Los Angeles 41-28 in the fourth quarter.
Gervin scored 11 of his career-high 27 points, Coleman 10 of his 26 and Blaylock 10 of his 25 in the final period as the Nets handed the Clippers their fourth straight loss and sixth in seven games.
Knicks 104, Heat 94
New York handed Miami its ninth consecutive loss as Patrick Ewing scored 17 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter.
Glen Rice and Sherman Douglas led the Heat with 23 points apiece.
Bullets 114, Pacers 112 OT
Bernard King and Harvey Grant combined for Washington's final 16 points, leading the Bullets past Indiana in overtime.
King, who scored six of his game-high 37 points in the final three minutes of regulation, put Washington on top 113-110 with a layup with 36 seconds remaining in overtime.