The LA Clippers’ NBA championship aspirations took a battering at the Staples Center as they went down 140-114 to the Memphis Grizzlies.
The home side got the first score of the game but never led after that, belying their position on the Western Conference table, fourth, in comparison to the Grizzlies’ 11th.
Jae Crowder scored 27 for Memphis, Jaren Jackson Jr got 24 and Ja Morant and Dillon Brooks had 22 each as the Grizzlies took full advantage of the absence of Los Angeles’s Paul George.
Boston won their third straight game by beating the Bulls 111-104 in Chicago.
The Bulls had a 10-point lead in the first quarter, lost it, then rallied back from 16 down.
With 91 seconds left on the clock Zach LaVine’s layup brought the Bulls within four points of the visitors, but then Jayson Tatum scored a long three-pointer that put Boston back in charge.
The Celtics remain in second place in the Eastern Conference.
The team in first spot in the Eastern, the Milwaukee Bucks, have now won five straight, after beating the San Antonio Spurs 127-118.
The Spurs kept Giannis Antetokounmpo relatively quiet for the first half, but not in the second, and he ended up with a game-high 32 points.
Antetokounmpo was fouled many times and converted all 12 of his free throws in the second half, including 10 in the third quarter.
Elsewhere, the Brooklyn Nets lost 121-102 at home to the Toronto Raptors, the Orlando Magic won 109-96 at home to the Utah Jazz and the Cavaliers were beaten 121-106 in Cleveland by the Oklahoma City Thunder.
In Atlanta, the Hawks won 116-111 over the Indiana Pacers, in Dallas the Mavericks lost 123-120 to the Charlotte Hornets after overtime, and the Detroit Pistons overcame the Golden State Warriors 111-104.
The Washington Wizards won 128-114 against the Denver Nuggets and the Kings were beaten 117-115 in Sacramento by the New Orleans Pelicans.