The Dallas Mavericks' five-match winning run came to a controversial end at home to their Texan rivals the Houston Rockets. Kevin Lowry scored 26 points, including three three-pointers, and dished out 10 assists as the Rockets won 116-108. The Mavericks' Erick Dampier was ejected from the game in the last minute for his second technical foul, leaving the team owner, Mark Cuban, fuming.
"We will definitely protest because we felt there were multiple misapplications of the rules," said Cuban. The Cleveland Cavaliers joined the Boston Celtics on 20 wins in the Eastern Conference with an 85-82 success at home to the Milwaukee Bucks. The Cavaliers made their decisive move in the third quarter as they outscored their opponents by 12 points. The Celtics' 11-match winning sequence came to an end at home to the Philadelphia 76ers as Elton Brand's tip-in with 7.7 seconds left secured a 98-97 win.
The Atlanta Hawks held off a late charge from the Utah Jazz to claim a sixth successive win, 96-83. Josh Smith top-scored for the Hawks with 16. The North-West Division-leading Denver Nuggets slipped up in a 98-92 defeat to the New Orleans Hornets, who had Chris Paul to thank for a 30-point haul. The Toronto Raptors ripped apart the woeful New Jersey Nets 118-95 while 26 points from Zach Randolph helped the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Indiana Pacers 107-94.
The Minnesota Timberwolves claimed only their fifth win of the season as they beat the Sacramento Kings 112-96, the New York Knicks saw off the Los Angeles Clippers 95-91, the Detroit Pistons went down 109-98 to the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Washington Wizards beat the Golden State Warriors 118-109. * With agencies