Los Angeles Lakers finally moved into the NBA play-off places after securing a 90-81 victory over the Chicago Bulls at the Staples Center.
Dwight Howard hauled in 21 rebounds as well as scoring 16 points and blocking four shots, while five other members of the Lakers scored in double figures.
The injury-hit Bulls battled hard but were ultimately outclassed, even though Joakim Noah impressed with 18 points and 17 rebounds. British star Luol Deng contributed 11 points and eight rebounds to the losing effort.
The Lakers struggled to get into an offensive rhythm early on, missing their first 11 attempts from three-point range before Jodie Meeks finally drained a shot from beyond the arc.
Chicago's offence was not firing on all cylinders either and despite the Lakers' problems the home side managed to eke out a 44-40 lead at half-time.
Nate Robinson led all scorers with 13 points at the break, the diminutive Bulls point guard also dishing out five assists prior to intermission.
But the Lakers made their move in the third quarter, opening up an 18-point lead as point guard Steve Nash scored eight points in a row for the hosts.
Although the Bulls showed admirable spirit to chip away at the advantage, they never realistically threatened a proper comeback.
In other NBA games, Miami Heat defeated Indiana Pacers by 105-91 and went 18 games unbeaten.
Mario Chalmers scored 26 points and Chris Bosh added 24 as the Heat tied the seventh longest in NBA history and the best since the Boston Celtics won 19 straight during the 2008-09 season.
David West scored 17 of his 24 points in the first half for the Pacers, who fell nine games behind Miami in the Eastern Conference standings.
Amir Johnson scored 17 points and matched his career-high of 16 rebounds as the Toronto Raptors downed the Cleveland Cavaliers 100-96.
Cavaliers star guard Kyrie Irving was knocked out by an apparent shoulder injury late in the third quarter as Cleveland lost for the fourth time in five games.