The Toronto Raptors may have had their eyes on Wednesday's showdown in OKC, as they slipped up on Tuesday in a significant upset loss. The Raptors saw their six-game win streak come to an end on Tuesday night with a 98-93 loss to the lowly Dallas Mavericks. J.J. Barea had 20 points and converted a layup in the final seconds to earn just the 10th win of the season for the Mavs. Eight of those wins have come on their home floor, as veterans Dirk Nowitzki and Harrison Barnes contributed with 18 points and a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds respectively. The loss for the Raptors was just their second in the past 14 games, both of which snapped six-game winning streaks. Kyle Lowry had 23 points to lead the Raptors, but the point guard did not score in the fourth quarter, when his team needed him the most. DeMar DeRozan had been averaging 37 points in the past three road games, but was held to just eight points on 3-of-16 shooting in Dallas. Toronto suffered their ninth loss of the year and came into the game with the best winning percentage in the Eastern Conference. They were held to under 40 percent shooting for the first time this season and will have to pick it up against Russell Westbrook and the Thunder. The Mavericks will also be in action on Wednesday when they visit the Indiana Pacers.
James Harrison Joins New England Patriots
The New England Patriots added a familiar foe to their team less than a week until the regular season finale on Tuesday. The Pats agreed to a deal with former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison, who was cut by the Steelers less than a week ago. Harrison officially cleared waivers on Monday and visited the Pats on Tuesday, before making the deal official later that evening. The 39-year-old did reportedly draw interest from other teams, but the Patriots were in desperate need of defensive help with their defensive line and linebacker depth struggling led by Trey Flowers. Harrison is the Steelers all-time leader with 80.5 sacks, including at least five in each of the past three regular seasons. His playing time went down dramatically this season, as the veteran has played 40 snaps through 14 games after getting 587 snaps a season ago. Harrison posted a picture to social media with Tom Brady, expressing happiness that he is "finally" with a teammate that is older than him. Reports say that multiple Steelers players are not happy with Harrison, whom they accuse of "forcing" the team to release him. This move is interesting with the Steelers and Patriots battling for the top spot in the AFC, as they currently sit as the expected AFC Championship Game come January.
UCLA Falls in Cactus Bowl Without Rosen
The UCLA Bruins were short-handed early on on Tuesday night as quarterback Josh Rosen was ruled out due to him dealing with a concussion. Many believe the QB could've played, but decided to sit out to protect his health for when he declares for the NFL Draft. That is if he actually does, since he has claimed that he does not want to be selected by the Cleveland Browns, who have two of the top four picks in the draft. This decision haunted the Bruins, who fell to the Kansas State Wildcats, 35-17, in the Cactus Bowl. Alex Delton ran for 158 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Wildcats, who end the season 8-5, and sent UCLA to a tough 6-7 record. The Bruins went with Devon Modste under center, and he threw for 292 yards and two touchdowns in relief of Rosen. Delton did not get the start for the Wildcats, but took over for Skylar Thompson in the first quarter and went on to score on runs of 68 yards, three yards, and one yard. That performance led K-State to an impressive 345 yards on the ground. UCLA did build a 10-point lead in the first half, but was held scoreless after halftime at Chase Field. The game has been said to quite possibly be Wildcats head coach Bill Snyder's final game with the team. Snyder un-retired in 2008 and took the team to eight straight bowl appearances.