Shaquille O'Neal, Eddie Jones and Dwyane Wade teamed up to overcome a 31-point performance from LeBron James on Thursday, leading the Miami Heat to a 100-88 home win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
O'Neal had 26 points and 12 rebounds while Jones chipped in with a 22 point contribution and Wade added 20 to give the Eastern Conference leading Heat their fourth win in five games.
However, it was James, who earlier in the day celebrated another career milestone when he was named a starter for the NBA all-star game for the first time, underlined his credentials with a game high 31-point, 10 assist performance.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored 23 and Drew Gooden added 10 and 12 boards for the slumping Cavaliers, who have now lost three of their last four.
Leading by 17 points in the third quarter, Miami made it a close call for the home fans by allowing the Cavaliers to pull back within one 77-76, before going on an 9-0 run to retake control.
In Memphis, Bobby Simmons poured in 26 points and Marco Jaric added 25 as the Los Angeles Clippers fought off the Grizzlies 106-103,to win on the road for the first time in seven games.
Elton Brand had 17 points and 11 rebounds and Zeljko Rebraca added 14points as the Clippers overcame a total team effort from the Grizzlies, who got double figure performances from seven players.
Mike Miller led the Grizzlies with 16 points while Jason Williams added 15 and Lorenzen Wright hit for 14 points and 10rebounds.
In Los Angeles, Tony Parker had 22 points and nine assists as Tim Duncan scored 17 points to lead the San Antonio Spurs to a 103-91victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Thegame was the first for Los Angeles since Rudy Tomjanovich resigned as coach and his temporary replacement Frank Hamblen will be disappointed with the result after his team a threatened a remarkable recovery. The Spurs outscored the Lakers 37-15 in the third quarter and led 89-61 early in the fourth when the Lakers went on a 23-2 run to draw within seven points with 3:51 remaining.
That was as close as they would get as Lamar Odom's 23-point, 13rebound effort was nowhere near enough to overhaul San Antonio.