The Milwaukee Bucks beat the Los Angeles Lakers 111-104 to win the battle of the NBA's two best teams.
Both sides went into Friday's game with 24 wins and four defeats and it was the Bucks, led by 34 points from Giannis Antetokounmpo, who edged clear.
LeBron James contributed a triple double of 21 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists for the Lakers, while Anthony Davis scored 36 points and 10 rebounds.
"It wasn't a special game," said 25-year-old Greek forward Antetokounmpo.
"It's great that we're the number one team in the NBA right now, but we might end up playing them at the end of the season. No-one's going to remember this regular season game then."
The Bucks restricted the Lakers to a season-low 17 points in the first quarter as they bounced back from defeat by the Dallas Mavericks last time out, which had ended an 18-game winning run.
A late Lakers charge closed a 19-point deficit but, ultimately, that slow start and 19 turnovers in the game cost the visitors.
With just over a third of the season played, the Bucks are now five games clear at the top of the Eastern Conference, while the Lakers, who have lost their last two, remain top of the Western Conference.