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The Mavericks (35--15) had won eight straight through Sunday, fueled by Tyson Chandler's (right) presence in the paint (9.5 rpg) and Dirk Nowitzki's (23.4 ppg) return to the starting lineup. Sporting the sixth best D in the league (94.5 ppg), Big D trails only San Antonio for best record in the West.
The Catalans' 3--0 win over Atletico Madrid last Saturday was their 16th straight league victory, breaking a 50-year-old record. Two-time FIFA player of the year Lionel Messi (right) had all three goals. Over the streak Barcelona (20-1-1) has outscored opponents 60--6.
The Bulls (34--15) sit 12½ games up in the Central, as Derrick Rose (right) was voted into the East's All-Star starting lineup, the first Bull to start since MJ in '98. More good news: Carlos Boozer is back from injury, averaging 18.2 points and 11.0 boards in the last five games.
COASTAL CAROLINA GREAT
With 20 straight wins (D-I's second-longest active winning streak), the Chanticleers (13--0, 22--2) are atop the Big South and riding high as the hottest team in Carolina—North or South. With 19.1 ppg, junior Desmond Holloway (right) leads C.C.'s best squad since 1993.