The leaders of the Eastern and Western conferences sparred off in what could be a preview of the NBA Finals as Los Angeles went into the final quarter with an 11-point lead.
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 32 for the Bucks, who have already qualified for post-season basketball, while the Lakers have a commanding lead in their conference.
Brandon Ingram atoned for earlier lacklustre shooting by scoring five in the final minute to help the New Orleans Pelicans to a 110-104 win over the Miami Heat.
Jrue Holiday top-scored for the Pelicans with 20, while Jimmy Butler had 28 for the Heat as New Orleans won for the first in four and Miami lost its first in five.
Caris LeVert scored 27 points, recorded 11 rebounds and made 10 assists as the Brooklyn Nets beat the San Antonio Spurs 139-120, Bradley Beal scored 35 as the Washington Wizards overcame the Atlanta Hawks 118-112 and the Phoenix Suns bested the Portland Trail Blazers 127-117.
The Orlando Magic beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 132-118 thanks in part to 28 points and 12 rebounds from Nikola Vucevic, Domantas Sabonis had 24 points and 12 rebounds as the Indiana Pacers defeated the Chicago Bulls 108-102 and Oklahoma City had six players recording double-figures in a 126-103 win for the Thunder over the New York Knicks.
Kristaps Porzingis had 26 points for the Dallas Mavericks who beat the Memphis Grizzlies 121-96 as seventh took on eighth in the Western Conference, and the Boston Celtics were downed by the Utah Jazz 99-94.