Kyrie Irving scored 28 points in his return after missing 11 games with a broken finger, leading the host Cleveland Cavaliers to a 100-94 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, who dropped to a new low Tuesday night.
Irving added 11 assists in 39 minutes as the Cavs ended a five-game losing streak.
Kobe Bryant scored 42 points and Dwight Howard had 19 points and 20 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Lakers from losing for the eighth time in 11 games and to a Cleveland team that came in with only four wins.
‘‘This is one of the most challenging stretches of my 17 years, and the most baffling, too,’’ a puzzled Bryant said. ‘‘We have the talent and personnel to do it, but we’re not. It’s extremely frustrating. It doesn’t make any sense. We’re still finding ways to lose games.’’
Los Angeles was without Pau Gasol, who missed his fifth straight game with knee tendinitis.
Knicks 100, Nets 97 — Carmelo Anthony scored a season-high 45 points, Jason Kidd made the tiebreaking 3-pointer with 24 seconds left, and host New York rallied from an early 17-point hole as Brooklyn lost its fifth straight.
Kidd finished with 18 points against his former team.
Clippers 94, Bulls 89 —Blake Griffin scored 8 of his 22 points in the final quarter and grabbed 10 rebounds as Los Angeles stretched its winning streak to seven by defeating host Chicago.
Chris Paul scored 18 points and Matt Barnes added 14 as the Clippers won for the 10th time in their last 12 visits to Chicago.
Wizards 77, Hornets 70 — Jordan Crawford scored 26 points and visiting Washington beat New Orleans to spoil the return of overall No. 1 pick Anthony Davis.
Davis, who missed 11 games with a stress reaction in his left ankle, had 13 points and seven rebounds.
Nuggets 101, Pistons 94 — Ty Lawson had 26 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds to lead visiting Denver.