Shaquille O'Neal had 31 points, 19 rebounds and 9 assists, and Kobe Bryant scored 30 points last night as the Los Angeles Lakers routed the visiting Denver Nuggets, 130-95, to run their winning streak to 15.
The victory avenged one of the Lakers' five losses this season--a 93-82 defeat in Denver on Nov. 18, when Bryant was sidelined by a broken hand.
The Lakers' 30-5 record is the NBA's best and they are on their longest winning streak since 1990-91, when they won 16 straight.
With Michael Jordan watching from a luxury suite, Bryant not only was 7 for 7 from the floor in the first quarter, he also provided enough spectacular shots for a highlight film, spinning 180 degrees for a backward slam, sinking a 12-foot fallaway jumper when his body seemed almost parallel to the floor and hitting a three-pointer with a defender all over him.
BUCKS 137, HORNETS 87: Ray Allen scored 26 points as Milwaukee trounced visiting Charlotte.
The defeat was the worst in franchise history for the Hornets, who lost their sixth straight with a listless performance in the final game of a six-game road trip.
The red-hot Bucks set a franchise record with 13 three-pointers while shooting 64 percent, including 57 percent on three-pointers. All 10 Bucks who played scored at least eight points, and eight finished in double figures.
SPURS 93, JAZZ 86: Tim Duncan scored a career-high 46 points to lead host San Antonio back into first place in the Midwest Division.
The Spurs, who lead the Jazz by a half game, had only two players in double figures as Terry Porter added 16 points.
Duncan, who also pulled down 14 rebounds, was 16 of 28 from the floor and 14 of 16 from the free throw line as he topped his previous career-high of 42 points.
Karl Malone scored 23 points to lead Utah, Howard Eisley added 16 and Bryon Russell had 15.
GRIZZLIES 112, CELTICS 103: Mike Bibby scored 33 points and Othella Harrington had 27, both career highs, as Vancouver ended a successful road trip.
Vancouver, which has the NBA's third worst record, was 4-1 away from home and evened its record under interim coach Lionel Hollins at 6-6. The Grizzlies were 4-18 before Brian Hill was fired.
NETS 100, MAGIC 94: In Orlando, Stephon Marbury scored 22 points and Keith Van Horn added 20 points and 10 rebounds as New Jersey won for the 12th time in its last 17 games.
CAVALIERS 111, CLIPPERS 106: Lamond Murray scored 20 points against his former team, Bob Sura also had 20 and Brevin Knight had 14 assists as Cleveland, at home, won its third straight.
TRAIL BLAZERS 107, MAVERICKS 94: Scottie Pippen had 17 points, including three three-point baskets in the decisive third quarter, as host Portland beat Dallas for the 15th time in 16 games.