The Los Angeles Lakers celebrated Dwight Howard's return from injury on Sunday with a 113-93 NBA victory over Cleveland that ended their worst losing streak in six years.
Howard, who was sidelined for three games with a right shoulder injury, scored 22 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as the Lakers ended a six-game slide.
The Lakers hadn't lost six in a row since a seven-game losing streak in 2007.
Howard connected on nine of 11 shots from the field. Kobe Bryant led all scorers with 23 points and six assists, and played a key role in limiting prolific Cleveland point guard Kyrie Irving, who scored 15 points with seven assists.
"That was a challenge I wanted to accept for sure," Bryant said. "I tried to pressure Kyrie and force someone else to initiate the offence."
Bryant said improved defence overall was key for a Lakers team that had surrendered more than 100 points in each of their past six games.
The Cavaliers, whose 9-29 record coming into the contest was the second-worst in the league, appeared to offer a good opportunity to end the skid, but they had shocked the Lakers in Cleveland in December.
"Defensively we were very active, trying to take them out of their sets," Bryant said. "I think our defensive intelligence tonight was pretty good."
Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said the return of Howard was part of the improvement on the defensive end, along with the solid play of Earl Clark, who was making his second start as Pau Gasol remained sidelined because of a concussion.
"It's a baby step, but it's a step," D'Antoni said.
Elsewhere, Kevin Durant dropped in 33 points, Russell Westbrook had 18 with nine assists and the league-best Oklahoma City Thunder (29-8) ended Portland's nine-game home winning streak, 87-83.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 33 points and 11 boards but missed a potential game-tying jumper with one second left for Portland, losers of two straight following a four-game game winning streak.
New York Knicks defeated New Orleans Hornets 100-87, Brooklyn down Indiana 97-86 and the Milwaukee Bucks prevailed 107-96 over the Toronto Raptors.
San Antonio had a 106-88 win over Minnesota while the Denver Nuggets beat Golden State Warriors 116-105.