The two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat topped the Cleveland Cavaliers 100-96 as LeBron James put up 43 points against his former team.
With Dwyane Wade out of the lineup for the visiting Heat, James poured in 25 points in the first quarter, the most the reigning MVP has ever scored in a single quarter.
He went 14 for 19 from the field, including six three-pointers, and snagged six defensive rebounds to ensure the victory over a Cavs squad that battled to the end.
Chris Bosh contributed 21 points for the Heat, who improved to 46-19 and sit second overall in the Eastern Conference.
In Atlanta, Jeff Teague scored a career-best 34 points to power the Hawks over the Toronto Raptors in overtime, 118-113.
The win, their fifth straight, brought the Hawks to 31-35 and gave them a 4 1/2 game lead over the New York Knicks in the race for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
DeMar DeRozan scored 29 points for the Raptors, who fell to 37-29 and remain in third place in the East.
The Portland Trail Blazers needed overtime and 26 points from Wesley Matthews to beat Milwaukee 120-115. The Oregon team (44-24) is in fifth place in the Western Conference, while the NBA-worst Bucks fell to 13-55.
Sixth place in the West belongs to the Golden State Warriors (43-26), who thumped Orlando 103-89, a sixth consecutive loss that leaves the Magic at 19-49.
Already out of playoff contention, the Sacramento Kings topped the Washington Wizards 117-111.
The Wizards, who have lost four of their last 10 games, dropped to 35-32 and occupy the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference. EFE