The lengthy layoff for the All-Star Game didn't do either of the top two teams in the NBA any good.
The champion Lakers were humiliated at Oakland and the Boston Celtics, the team with the best record this season, didn't fare much better at Sacramento.
The lowly Kings built a 19-point lead in the third quarter Tuesday night and held on for a 105-100 victory that ended the Celtics' 13-game winning streak. It was the first loss for the Celtics (38-9) since they were beaten on Jan. 7 at Detroit, 113-109.
The Celtics had a cold hand in the third quarter, in which they were outscored by the Kings' Mike Woodson, 13-12, and couldn't quite overcome the big deficit. The Celtics were 4 for 27 in the third quarter.
They fought back, getting within three on a three-point shot by Dennis Johnson with a minute remaining, but they couldn't get any closer.
Larry Bird missed two free throws with 31 seconds left that would have cut the lead to a point. Bird, the league's leading free-throw shooter at 92.7%, led the Celtics with 29 points.
The Kings (21-30) got 27 points from Woodson and 22 from Eddie Johnson.
It was the opener of a seven-game trip for the Celtics. They play the SuperSonics, the only team to beat them at home, Thursday night.
Houston 113, Atlanta 100--The Rockets took advantage of a second-quarter Hawk cold spell to build a big lead and held on to improve their home record to 26-2.
The Rockets held only a 53-51 lead with 5:20 left in the first half. But while the Hawks failed to score the rest of the half, the Rockets scored 16 points.
At the start of the third period, the Rockets picked up where they left off, outscoring the Hawks, 15-6, to raise the lead to 84-57.
The Hawks, who were 5 for 25 in the second quarter, shot only 39.4% from the field for the game. Dominique Wilkins, the No. 3 scorer in the league with a 28.3 average, made 5 of 19 shots from the field and scored only 13 points.
Akeem Olajuwon, who scored 20 of his 25 points in the first half, and Ralph Sampson, with 27 points, led the Rockets. John Lucas had 16 assists for the Rockets.
Washington 124, Portland 116--Jeff Malone scored a career-high 43 points at Portland to enable the Bullets to end a five-game losing streak.
Center Sam Bowie rejoined the Trail Blazers after missing 13 games with a shin injury.
Manute Bol, the Bullets' 7-7 center, blocked five shots in the first quarter to help the Bullets take a 12-point lead.
New Jersey 130, Detroit 122--Mike Gminski had 27 points and 17 rebounds at East Rutherford, N.J., to help the Nets overcome the absence of Micheal Ray Richardson. The Nets' top scorer and playmaker is under suspension, awaiting the result of a drug test.
The Nets, fighting to overtake Philadelphia, the second-place team in the Atlantic Division, also were without center Darryl Dawkins, who has a pulled thigh muscle.
The Nets had to overcome a season-high 39 points for Isiah Thomas, who followed up his brilliant All-Star Game performance, with another big game. He also had 7 rebounds and 8 assists.
"We responded well to the challenge," Gminski, who registered his season's best in points and rebounds, told the Associated Press. "Despite the problems, we had a spirited practice yesterday and it carried over to the game."
Buck Williams and Otis Birdsong each scored 21 for the Nets.
Cleveland 119, Indiana 97--World B. Free scored 13 of his 27 points in a five-minute span of the second quarter at Richfield, Ohio. Free's spurt enabled the Cavaliers to end an eight-game losing streak.
Free's outburst was part of a 41-point quarter, highest of the season, and gave the Cavaliers a 75-57 lead at halftime. Edgar Jones had 12 points in the period for Cleveland.
It was the seventh loss in a row on the road for the Pacers.
Dallas 121, San Antonio 107--Rolando Blackman scored 31 points--10 of them in succession in the fourth quarter--at San Antonio to lead the Mavericks to their seventh win in the last eight games.
The Mavericks were holding only a 99-96 lead when Blackman put on his spurt to break it open.
The Spurs lost all chance when star guard Alvin Robertson had to leave the game because of the flu. Robertson played only 18 minutes.
Newly acquired Ray Williams was trying to guard Blackman when the Mavericks' star guard went on his scoring spree.
Seattle 105, Utah 92--The All-Star break didn't do the SuperSonics any harm. In this game at Seattle, Jack Sikma had 19 points and 19 rebounds to help the Sonics end a four-game losing streak.
Adrian Dantley led the Jazz with 27 points. Utah trailed almost all the way except for the early minutes of the second half.