LOS ANGELES — The Boston Celtics edged the Los Angeles Lakers 125-121 in an overtime battle tinged by controversy on Saturday.
The league-leading Celtics came out on top in a game that featured 19 lead changes, snapping a three-game skid.
The Lakers led by seven midway through the fourth quarter, but Jaylen Brown converted a three-point play to tie it up at 105-105 with 4.1 seconds left.
He went on to score 11 points in the extra session after LeBron James's drive to the basket at the end of regulation ended in a miss, with James and the Lakers pleading for a foul call after Jayson Tatum brushed his arm.
The call didn't come and Boston prevailed, withstanding a 41-point performance from James -- who jumped up and down in frustration at the non-call before kneeling on the court.
"The best player on Earth can't get a call -- it's amazing," said Lakers coach Darvin Ham, who spoke of the "agony" of losing such a huge game.
"I don't understand it," James said, adding that he didn't think it was the first time a non-call proved costly to the Lakers this season.
Los Angeles star Anthony Davis said the Lakers were "cheated," and officiating crew chief Eric Lewis told reporters after the game that the crew had "missed the play."
"There was contact," Lewis said. "At the time, during the game, we did not see a foul."
Brown preferred to focus not on officiating or the rivalry but on Boston's quest to remain the dominant team in the East.
"It was a much-needed win," he said. "We lost the last three, so we wanted to come out and get a win today."
Ham noted that any game between the Celtics and Lakers -- who have faced each other a record 12 times in the NBA Finals -- is "always hotly contested."
Brooklyn Nets coach Jacque Vaughn said that "generational" rivalry made his team's crosstown rivalry with the New York Knicks look puny -- an impression that only increased when the Nets notched a ninth straight win over the Knicks, 122-115.
With superstar Kevin Durant and teammate Ben Simmons sidelined by injury, Kyrie Irving scored 32 points, coming alive with 21 fourth-quarter points as the Nets held on, even after the Knicks -- who trailed by as many as 19 -- cut the deficit to three points with 3:07 to play.
Irving posted his sixth straight game of 30 or more points.
Elsewhere, Chris Paul scored 31 points and Mikal Bridges added 25 as the Phoenix Suns spoiled San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich's 74th birthday with a 128-118 overtime victory over the Spurs.
Phoenix never trailed, but the Spurs forced overtime with a late surge in regulation before Bridges and Paul scored eight points apiece in the extra session and the Suns escaped.
In Atlanta, Kawhi Leonard scored 32 points and Paul George added 23 to lead the Los Angeles Clippers to a fifth straight victory, 120-113 over the Hawks.
© Agence France-Presse