Your Top Plays for Today: AP's Sports Guide

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VALENCIA ENDS MADRID'S 22-MATCH WIN STREAK

Valencia ended Real Madrid's 22-game winning streak by fighting back for a 2-1 victory, but the blow was softened by Barcelona also stumbling to a 1-0 loss at Real Sociedad in the Spanish league.

http://news.yahoo.com/rayo-rallies-win-2-1-getafe-spanish-league-131309042.html

MAVERICKS HAND CAVALIERS ANOTHER LOSS

Monta Ellis scored 20 points, Dirk Nowitzki added 15 and the Mavericks won their fifth straight game, a 109-90 victory over the Cavaliers, whose news on the injury front gets worse by the day.

http://hosted2.ap.org/apdefault/347875155d53465d95cec892aeb06419/Article_2015-01-04-BKN--Mavericks-Cavaliers/id-9f50c58cd28343269941510cecb8a10b

DEFENDING ASIAN CUP CHAMPS JAPAN WITHOUT KEY DEFENDER

The Asian Cup will be part of a rapid getting-to-know-you phase for the bulk of teams and their coaches in Australia, adding an extra layer of difficulty - and intrigue - to the continental championship.

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/defending-champs-japan-arrive-without-key-defender-053356027--sow.html

MANCHESTER CLUBS THROUGH IN FA CUP

Manchester City and Manchester United left it late to avoid embarrassment at the hands of lower-league opposition in the FA Cup, leaving third-tier Sheffield United to deliver the biggest shock of the third round.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/soccer/2015/01/04/manchester-clubs-through-in-fa-cup-qpr-stunned/21255811/

ESPN SPORTSCASTER STUART SCOTT DIES AT 49

Stuart Scott, the longtime "SportsCenter" anchor and ESPN personality known for his enthusiasm and ubiquity, died after a long battle with cancer.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/breaking/chi-stuart-scott-espn-dead-20150104-story.html