Becky Hammon became the first woman to lead an NBA team after the San Antonio Spurs’ head coach Gregg Popovich was ejected against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Popovich put assistant coach Hammon in charge after he was removed in the second quarter of the Spurs’ 121-107 defeat by the Lakers in Texas.
LeBron James led the Lakers with 26 points on his 36th birthday.
“Obviously it’s a big deal, a substantial moment,” said Hammon, who joined the Spurs in 2014.
“I try not to think of the huge picture and huge aspect of it because it can be overwhelming.”
Former WNBA star Hammon, who was the first woman to join an NBA coaching staff, said she did not know she would take charge if Popovich were to be sent off until he pointed at her and said: “You got ’em.”
Popovich was thrown out by official Tony Brown after shouting and entering the court when he felt a foul was incorrectly not called.
James scored double figures for a 1,000th consecutive game, extending his own NBA record.
“It’s a beautiful thing just to hear her barking out calls, barking out sets,” said James. “Congratulations to her and congratulations for our league.”
Kawhi Leonard returned after two games out to score 28 points and lead the Los Angeles Clippers to a 128-105 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
Leonard wore a face guard, having required eight stitches in his mouth after accidentally colliding with team-mate Serge Ibaka in the Christmas Day game against the Denver Nuggets.
The Clippers lead the Western Conference with a record of four wins from five games.
Two-time NBA champion Kevin Durant hit 33 points as the Brooklyn Nets beat the Atlanta Hawks 145-141 in New York.
Nets guard Kyrie Irving added 17 points to help deny the Hawks a fourth win in a row.
Two-time reigning Most Valuable Player Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 26 points but could not prevent the Milwaukee Bucks from falling to a 119-108 defeat by the Miami Heat.
The Bucks set an NBA record of 29 three-pointers in a crushing 144-97 victory over the Heat on Tuesday, but Miami did a fine job of keeping their shooters in check this time.
Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown scored a career-high 42 points in his side’s 126-107 win over the Memphis Grizzlies, while the Charlotte Hornets beat the Dallas Mavericks 118-99.