The Miami Heat have pipped the Los Angeles Lakers 96-94 in the first meeting between last season's NBA Finals teams since the Lakers won the title in Game Six in the Florida bubble four months ago.
Kendrick Nunn scored 27 points, Jimmy Butler had 24 points and eight rebounds and Bam Adebayo had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Heat as they triumphed on the undermanned Lakers' home court on Saturday night.
LeBron James had 19 points, nine assists and nine rebounds for the Lakers as the defending champions lost their second straight game without starters Anthony Davis and Dennis Schroder.
James stole the Heat's inbounds pass with 8.4 seconds left to create one last chance for the Lakers, but the 17-time All-Star passed off to Alex Caruso, who missed a three-pointer at the buzzer.
The Heat scored only 15 points in the fourth quarter as they hungon for their second straight win after a three-game skid during their seven-game road trip.
With a (13-17) record they are ninth in the eastern conference and have a lot to do to if they are to be title contenders again.
"We're seeing progress the last few weeks," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "I think our defensive mental toughness was better in this game to get some stops when we weren't able to knock down some shots in the fourth quarter."
Los Angeles (22-9) also lost back-to-back games for the first time since January 27-28, falling to East contenders Brooklyn and Miami at Staples Center, but they are comfortable in third spot in the western conference.
Davis missed his third straight game after aggravating his strained right calf last weekend, and Schroder missed his second straight under the NBA's health and safety protocols.
Kyle Kuzma scored 23 points while hitting four 3-pointers, and Montrezl Harrell had 18 points and 10 rebounds as the Lakers took their third loss in 11 games.
In Memphis, Devin Booker scored 23 points, hitting five of the Phoenix Suns' franchise-record 24 three-pointers in a 128-97 romp over the short-handed Memphis Grizzlies.
In Charlotte, Terry Rozier hit a buzzer-beating jumper from the left corner to cap a wild finish as the host Charlotte Hornets overtook the Stephen Curry-less Golden State Warriors 102-100.
Warmed up and ready to make his annual Charlotte homecoming, Curry was escorted back to the locker room shortly before the opening tip, reportedly feeling unwell.
Warriors star Draymond Green picked up two technical fouls and was ejected with 9.3 seconds left for arguing the outcome of a jump ball before Rozier hit his off-balance jumper to snatch the win.
In Chicago, Zach LaVine scored 38 points and Coby White chipped in 19 to pace six players in double figures as the host Bulls sent the Sacramento Kings to their sixth straight defeat with a 122-114 victory.
In Portland, Russell Westbrook had 27 points, 13 assists and 11 rebounds, and the Washington Wizards snapped Portland's six-game win streak with a 118-111 victory over Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers.
Bradley Beal scored 37 points, helping Washington to their fourth straight win.
Lillard had 35 points and 12 assists, but he was 10 for 30 from the field