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Mavericks put an end to Raptors' win streak at 6

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Mavericks put an end to Raptors' win streak at 6

DALLAS -- J.J. Barea scored 20 points, including a clinching layup in the final seconds, and the Dallas Mavericks ended another six-game winning streak by Toronto with a 98-93 victory over the Raptors on Tuesday night.

The Mavericks held DeMar DeRozan and the Raptors to season lows in shooting percentage as Toronto lost for just the second time in 14 games, with each loss coming after six straight wins.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 18 points and fellow German Maxi Kleber had 15 points and matched his rookie season best with five blocks. Harrison Barnes had 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Kyle Lowry led Toronto with 23 points but didn't score in the fourth quarter, while DeRozan couldn't get going at all after averaging 37 points on a three-game road winning streak that ended.

DeRozan scored eight points while shooting 19 percent (3 of 16). His previous low was 20 percent (1 of 5) in his only other single-digit game this season -- two points in a 112-78 win at Atlanta in November.

The teams combined to make just five of 31 shots in the final 8 minutes -- including two misses by Serge Ibaka with the Raptors trailing by three before Barea hit a layup with 10 seconds left after dribbling out most of the shot clock (see full recap).

Leonard, Aldridge lift healthy Spurs to victory
SAN ANTONIO -- Kawhi Leonard scored 21 points, LaMarcus Aldridge added 20 and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Brooklyn Nets 109-97 on Tuesday night in their first game of the season with every player healthy and available.

San Antonio is third in the Western Conference at 24-11 despite being without Leonard and/or Tony Parker for 30 games this season.

Playing with a full roster for the first time led to some hesitation, as the Spurs scored just 19 points in the opening quarter while trying to involve all their scoring options. San Antonio settled into a rhythm, shooting 51 percent overall in capturing its 15th straight win at home over Brooklyn.

Pau Gasol added 15 points, Parker had 14 and Patty Mills and Manu Ginobili each had 11 for the Spurs.

Playing in just his fifth game, Leonard was 8 for 17 from the field in scoring a season high.

The Nets were able to keep pace early despite injuries to their top two point guards, D'Angelo Russell and Jeremy Lin.

Caris LeVert led Brooklyn with 18 points and Allen Crabbe added 15 (see full recap).

Mirotic leads Bulls to yet another win
MILWAUKEE -- Nikola Mirotic came off the bench to score 24 points in 28 minutes and the Chicago Bulls won for the eighth time in 10 games, beating the Milwaukee Bucks 115-106 on Tuesday night.

Chicago's surge coincides with the return of Mirotic, who missed the beginning of the season after suffering facial fractures in an October fight with teammate Bobby Portis.

Kris Dunn rebounded from a 1-for-12 shooting game Saturday against Boston with 20 points and 12 assists in 33 minutes for the Bulls.

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 28 points and Eric Bledsoe had 22 to pace Milwaukee, which has lost five of seven.

Mirotic led Chicago's bench in outscoring Milwaukee's reserves 54-25. It was the second time the Bulls won at Milwaukee in 12 days, including a 115-109 victory on Dec. 15.

David Nwaba tipped in a rebound to cap an 8-2 run that gave the Bulls a 100-92 lead with 6:16 to go. The closest Milwaukee got the rest of the way was 109-104 with 1:11 left.

Chicago took the lead for good, 86-85, on a 3-pointer by Mirotic with 10:59 left (see full recap).

Embiid, Simmons get their fate for ASG starters

Embiid, Simmons get their fate for ASG starters

BOSTON — Joel Embiid is an All-Star starter.

The Sixers' big man is joined by LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kyrie Irving and DeMar DeRozan to represent the Eastern Conference.

Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins are the Western Conference starters.

These players were selected by fans (50 percent of the votes), current NBA players (25 percent) and a select group of media (25 percent).

Embiid finished third among fans, fourth among players and third among the media for frontcourt guys.

Embiid is averaging 23.8 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in his second NBA season. He has stressed making the playoffs is his main goal.

"I feel like my play is gonna do the talk," Embiid said at shootaround Thursday prior to the Sixers' game against the Celtics. "So if I’m an All-Star starter, that’d be great. But I feel like I have the résumé to be an All-Star. But tonight my focus is about beating a Celtics team that’s 3-0 against us. I don’t want to [be swept in] the series. I want to win tonight." 

Ben Simmons, who had been third among backcourt players in the last voting returns, still could be named a reserve. Head coaches will vote for those players, announced Jan. 23. Simmons is averaging 16.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 7.3 dimes. 

"I think both of them are All-Stars in their own right," Brett Brown said of Embiid and Simmons. 

This season, the All-Star teams will be chosen in a draft format of all players instead of East versus West. The top two vote getters from each conference, James and Curry, will be team captains to select the squads. The rosters will be announced Jan. 25. 

The 2018 All-Star Game will be played Feb. 18 in Los Angeles.

Video proof that Embiid, Saric are soccer prodigies

Video proof that Embiid, Saric are soccer prodigies

BOSTON — Noise of energy and excitement emanated from a small area just off the basketball court at Sixers shootaround Thursday morning.

Joel Embiid, Dario Saric and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot were in a circle with a member of the staff enthusiastically playing soccer. 

Well, kind of. They were using a basketball.

Watch the video above to see the trio of soccer fans show off their skills. 

Just last week they met with several European football players during the team's trip to London, including Thierry Henry.

@frenchtouch20 meets his childhood idol @thierryhenry!

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My guys @thibautcourtois @hazardeden_10 #Blues #TheProcess #Blues

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Meet up with some @spursofficial today after practice!

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