Earl Boykins scored a season-high 22 points, John Salmons added 20, and the shorthanded Milwaukee Bucks stunned the Lakers in Los Angeles last night, snapping the two-time defending champions’ five-game winning streak with a 98-79 victory.
Kobe Bryant scored 21 points and Pau Gasol added 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, who belly-flopped in their final tuneup before a Christmas visit from the Miami Heat.
Ersan Ilyasova scored 17 points for the Bucks, who had lost three straight and were down to nine players against the Lakers, who had beaten them six straight times.
Yet with sturdy defense that held the Lakers to their franchise-low in points against the Bucks, Milwaukee jumped ahead early and finished on a 21-7 run.
Mavericks 105, Magic 99 — Caron Butler scored 20 points, Dirk Nowitzki had 17, and visiting Dallas became the latest team to topple reconstructed Orlando.
Tyson Chandler added 16 points to help the Mavericks pull away in the fourth quarter for their 16th win in 17 games. A night after winning at Miami, they shot 50 percent from the floor, including 46 percent from 3-point range.
The Magic again looked like a team that hasn’t had time to hold a practice since newcomers Gilbert Arenas, Jason Richardson and Hedo Turkoglu were acquired Saturday. They’ve lost the first two games since the pair of blockbuster trades and dropped eight of their last nine.
The latest came on another monster night for Dwight Howard, who had 26 points and 23 rebounds, but got no help from teammates.
Thunder 99, Bobcats 81 — Kevin Durant scored 32 points and visiting Oklahoma City overcame a poor shooting night by dominating the fourth quarter in a victory over reeling Charlotte, which dropped its fourth straight.
The Thunder entered the final period trailing, 69-68, but responded with a 25-3 run. The Bobcats missed their first 11 shots, committed five turnovers and didn’t get their first field goal until 2:52 remained.
Durant hit 14 of 16 free throws and added seven rebounds. Russell Westbrook scored 15 points.
Bulls 121, 76ers 76 — Derrick Rose and Luol Deng each scored 22 points, and host Chicago beat Philadelphia for its eighth win in nine games.
Chicago dominated nearly every offensive category and recorded its most lopsided win of the season.
Rose also had 12 assists for his seventh double-double, while Carlos Boozer had 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Kurt Thomas added 12 points.
Andre Iguodala scored 17 points.
Nets 101, Grizzlies 94 — Brook Lopez scored 26 points, Sasha Vujacic added a season-high 16 and New Jersey snapped a 10-game road losing streak with a victory over Memphis.
Lopez was 8 of 14 from the field, and missed only one of his 11 free throws as New Jersey won its second straight and third in the last four games.
Devin Harris and Kris Humphries scored 12 apiece.