Howard shines against Magic
Dwight Howard was the centre of attention on a sweet-and-sour return to Orlando as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Magic 106-97.
Howard, who joined the Lakers from the Magic in the summer, was booed throughout by the locals but had the last laugh with 39 points and 16 rebounds in a stellar performance against his old team.
He got some help, though, as he was handed an NBA record-equalling 39 free throw attempts thanks to the Magic's misguided free-throw strategy.
The Miami Heat never trailed as they extended their winning streak to 19 games with a 98-81 win over the Atlanta Hawks.
Dwayne Wade led the way with 23 points while LeBron James added 15.
Next time out the Heat will attempt to become the fourth team in NBA history to win 20 consecutive games in a season.
Ricky Rubio bagged a triple-double to help the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the Western Conference-leading San Antonio Spurs 107-83.
Rubio achieved the feat for the first time in his career with 21 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists, while JJ Barea added 17 points.
The Spurs struggled in the absence of Tony Parker (ankle), Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard (both knee).
Vince Carter scored 23 points despite starting on the bench to help the Dallas Mavericks to a 115-108 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Monta Ellis led the Bucks with 32 points.
Gerald Henderson poured in 35 points to help the Charlotte Bobcats to their first win in 11, 100-74 over the Boston Celtics.
Brook Lopez scored 26 points as the Brooklyn Nets beat the New Orleans Hornets - and Lopez's twin brother Robin - 108-98.
The Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Washington Wizards 95-90 and the Memphis Grizzlies saw off the Portland Trail Blazers 102-97.