Paul Pierce scored 23 points and Ricky Davis added 18 to spark the Boston Celtics to a 100-86 win over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday.
Back in Indiana's line-up for the first time since receiving a 30-game ban for brawling with Detroit fans November 19, forward Stephen Jackson played 38 minutes and contributed 17 points.
Jackson, whose suspension was the third longest in NBA history, showed no signs of rust, hitting his first three shots. But his production tailed off in the second half, picking up only six points.
Raef LaFrentz had 12 points and 11 rebounds while Gary Payton chipped in with 10 points as the Celtics won at home for the ninth time in 10 games to move top of the Atlantic Division.
In Cleveland, LeBron James continued his torrid play with 27 points, a career-high 15 assists and nine rebounds to power the Cavaliers to a 114-111 win over the undermanned Memphis Grizzlies.
James crumpled to the floor in pain clutching his left ankle with less than 10 minutes to play. He was helped off by team mates before returning to the court to thunderous applause with 4:53 to go to help seal the victory.
The Grizzlies, without leading scorer Pau Gasol, suffered their third loss in 15 games.
In Auburn Hills, Ben Wallace notched 14 points and 12 rebounds as the NBA champion Detroit Pistons broke out of a season-high, four-game losing skid with an 87-70 rout of the Denver Nuggets.
The Pistons received double figure efforts from six players and limited Carmelo Anthony to five points.
In Milwaukee, Shawn Marion drained 24 points while Amare Stoudemire added 23 and Steve Nash had 21 points and 17 assists to help the high-flying Phoenix Suns tame the Bucks 121-115 for their third straight win.
In Washington, Gilbert Arenas poured in 33 points to carry the Wizards to a 117-107 triumph over the Philadelphia 76ers, who were without Allen Iverson.
With Iverson out due to a shoulder problem, Willie Green did his best to fill the void, hitting for a career-high 32 points. Washington's victory was the team's fourth in a row.
In Los Angeles, Elton Brand scored 28 points and Bobby Simmons 20 as the Clippers pounded the Lakers 105-89 to register the first win over their city rivals in six contests.
In New Orleans, Tracy McGrady had 33 points and Yao Ming chipped in with 12 points and 13 rebounds as the Houston Rockets squeezed past the last-place Hornets 82-77.
In Toronto, Shaquille O'Neal claimed 33 points and 18 rebounds and Dwyane Wade added 16 points while dishing out 10 assists to drive the Miami Heat to a 111-96 win over the Raptors.
In Salt Lake City, the Utah Jazz had seven players in double figures, led by 20 points from Raul Lopez, to defeat the Seattle SuperSonics 109-100 and break out of a two-game losing skid.
In Minneapolis, Latrell Sprewell notched a season-high 32 points and Kevin Garnett posted 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves past the Atlanta Hawks 104-87.
In Portland, Dirk Nowitzki recorded 24 points and 15 rebounds and Michael Finley added 22 points to guide the Dallas Mavericks to a 95-88 victory over the Trail Blazers.
In Oakland, Brian Scalabrine had 29 points as the New Jersey Nets cruised past the Golden State Warriors 113-99.