USA TODAY Sports
The Lakers' defense was in disarray once again, this time in a 108-103 loss to the Raptors. In Denver, the Nuggets beat the Thunder in overtime despite blowing a late double-digit lead in regulation.
Dwight Howard was ejected in the first half and the Lakers' defense struggled mightily once again in a 108-103 loss to the Raptors in Toronto.
Toronto sprinted out to a 19-4 lead in the first quarter, carving up a Los Angeles defense which has been woeful most of the year. The Lakers did make several runs, but the Raptors had answers each and every time.
Jose Calderon led Toronto with 22 points and nine assists on 9-of-15 shooting. Landry Fields recorded a double-double with 18 points, 10 rebounds and four steals, while Ed Davis added 18 points and eight rebounds.
A silver lining for Los Angeles was the strong performance of Pau Gasol, who took advantage of Howard's ejection to score 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting in his return to the starting lineup. Kobe Bryant scored 26 points, but it took him 32 shots to get there.
After blowing a late 11-point lead in regulation, the Nuggets held off the Thunder 121-118 in overtime at the Pepsi Center.
Denver led throughout much of the game, and appeared in control late thanks to a huge fourth quarter from Corey Brewer. But Oklahoma City stormed back in the final minutes, with Russell Westbrook's game-tying three with 22 seconds left sending the game to overtime.
The overtime went back and forth to start, but the Nuggets took the lead for good on a Kenneth Faried layup. Westbrook and Kevin Durant both had opportunities to send the game to double-overtime, but could not convert.
Brewer scored a team-high 26 points off the bench in 34 minutes, with 15 of those points coming in the fourth quarter. Brewer was one of seven Nuggets to reach double figures in scoring.
Durant led the Thunder with 37 points despite going scoreless in the first quarter. He shot just 7-of-20, but went 20-of-21 from the free throw line. Westbrook also made a killing at the line, knocking down 15-of-17 freebies as part of a 36-point effort.
Shawn Marion led a balanced Dallas scoring attack to beat Orlando 111-105 at the Amway Center. Marion notched a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds, and was one of seven Mavs in double figures.
Greg Monroe recorded his fifth straight double-double as Detroit walloped Boston 103-88 at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Monroe finished with 15 points, 11 rebounds and five assists. Rookie big man Andre Drummond led the Pistons with 16 points off the bench.