The struggling Los Angeles Lakers have shown recent signs of coming together and climbing out of their season-long funk until taking a giant step backwards.
Michael Beasley scored a season-high 27 points, including the go-ahead basket in the final minute and the Phoenix Suns rallied from 13 down in the fourth quarter to hand the Lakers their eighth straight road loss 92-86. The dramatic comeback spoiled the return of Steve Nash, who starred for the Suns for 10 seasons in two separate stints before signing with the Lakers last summer.
The Lakers had won three in a row and appeared to be on their way to a first road win since December 22 after taking a 13-point lead with nine minutes remaining. But All-Star centre Dwight Howard left two minutes after aggravating a right shoulder injury with just under seven minutes left, and the Lakers collapsed.
Elsewhere, Roy Hibbert had 18 points with 11 rebounds, and the Indiana Pacers pounded the visiting Detroit Pistons 98-79.
Al Horford had 22 points, including the go-ahead dunk with 21 seconds left and the game-saving block on DeMar DeRozen just before the buzzer, as the host Atlanta Hawks edged the Toronto Raptors 93-92.
Frenchman Tony Parker scored 22 points and the league-best San Antonio Spurs won their ninth in a row overall while sending the Charlotte Bobcats to their 10th loss in 12 games 102-78.
LeBron James scored 24 points and the visiting Miami Heat blew out the Brooklyn Nets 105-85.
Philadelphia 76ers beat the visiting Washington Wizards 92-84, Boston Celtics routed the Sacramento Kings 99-81 and Chicago Bulls ran past the Milwaukee Bucks 104-88.
Blake Griffin collected 26 points with 13 rebounds and the LA Clippers beat Minnesota Timberwolves their fifth straight loss 96-90. Denver Nuggets beat Houston Rockets 118-110 and Utah Jazz held off New Orleans Hornets 104-99.DPA