Mike D'Antoni insisted he was proud of his Los Angeles Lakers players despite watching them crash to their fifth straight defeat against rials San Antonio Spurs.
Kobe Bryant missed a last gasp three pointer which would have taken the game to overtime as the Lakers fought back from a 83-66 deficit, as Tony Parker's 24 points helped the San Antonio Spurs to a 108-105 win.
"I'm proud of their effort," D'Antoni admitted afterwards.
"They fought. They fought last night against Houston. You can see the team getting some traction, but we're a long ways away from a smile."
Their city rivals Los Angeles Clippers have the best record in the NBA after beating the Dallas Mavericks 99-93 to extend their winning streak at home to 13.
Matt Barnes added 19 points off the bench, and Blake Griffin had 15 points and 13 rebounds while Darren Collison scored 22 points for Dallas.
Interim coach Jim Boylan picked up his second consecutive victory as the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Chicago Bulls 104-96.
Mike Dunleavy had 16 points and Monta Ellis finished with 14 for Milwaukee, while Carlos Boozer again stood out for the Bulls with 22 points and 11 rebounds.
Kenneth Faried starred at both ends of the court for Denver Nuggets as they came from nine behind at the start of the fourth quarter to beat the Orlando Magic 108-105.
Faried scored 19 points and grabbed 19 rebounds for the Nuggets against a Magic side who registered their tenth successive defeat.
Ty Lawson also finished with 19 points, including a three-point play with one minute, 27 seconds remaining that gave the Nuggets a lead which they would not relinquish, as Denver picked up their third win in a row.
Oklahoma City Thunder were comfortable victors over the Minnesota Timberwolves, winning 106-84.
Kevin Durrant top scored with 26 points, while Russell Westbrook added 23 against a Timberwolves side who were missing All-Star forward Kevin Love.
Alexey Shved scored 18 points for Minnesota, while Nikola Pekovic added 17 points and 10 rebounds.
New Orleans Hornets beat the Houston Rockets 88-79 thanks in part to a strong fourth quarter from Roger Mason.
Mason scored 15 of his 17 points in the final 12 minutes, while Greivis Vasquez and Jason Smith each scored 17 points for the Hornets, who completed three wins in a row for the first time this season. Robin Lopez added 14 points for New Orleans.
Struggling Cleveland Cavaliers picked up just their tenth win of the season as they beat the Atlanta Hawks.
Kyle Irving scored 33 points, 18 of which came in the third quarter as Cleveland completed their biggest margin of victory of the season.
Rookie Jared Sullinger put up 12 points and a career-high 16 rebounds to help the Boston Celtics to a 87-79 win over the Phoenix Suns.
Memphis Grizzlies completed a 3-0 road trip after a 94-87 win over the Golden State Warriors, thanks in part to 19 points and 12 rebounds from Zach Rudolph.
Elsewhere the Toronto Raptors beat Philadelphia 90-72, Utah Jazz won 112-102 against the Charlotte Bobcats and the Boston Celtics beat the Phoenix Suns 87-79.