NEW YORK – Dirk Nowitzki’s streak survives despite one of the worst seasons of his career.

Two other old stars are no longer All-Stars.

Nowitzki was chosen Thursday to his 11th straight All-Star game, with coaches overlooking the lowest scoring average since his second NBA season in favor of his long-term excellence.

Paul Pierce will join him despite his own slow start and was picked for the 10th time.

But Kevin Garnett wasn’t chosen after 14 consecutive selections, and Tim Duncan was left out after 13 straight. Other All-Star regulars such as Ray Allen and Amare Stoudemire will be home, giving way to five first-timers among the reserves: Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge, Marc Gasol of Memphis, Andre Iguodala of Philadelphia, Indiana’s Roy Hibbert and Chicago’s Luol Deng.

Also headed to the Feb. 26 game are Steve Nash of Phoenix, Tony Parker of San Antonio, Russell Westbrook of Oklahoma City, Kevin Love of Minnesota, Chris Bosh of Miami, Atlanta’s Joe Johnson and Deron Williams of New Jersey.

Pierce said during an interview on TNT before the Celtics played the Lakers that he was a little surprised to be picked.

But he’ll go alone from Boston, a year after Garnett, Allen and Rajon Rondo went with him.

“They’re getting older,” Boston Coach Doc Rivers said. “It’s just, you know, change. It happens.”

CAVALIERS: Rookie point guard Kyrie Irving remains day to day because of a concussion.

HAWKS: Atlanta signed 15-year veteran center Erick Dampier to a 10-day contract.

THURSDAY’S GAMES

ROCKETS 96, SUNS 89: Luis Scola scored 16 points and Patrick Patterson added 14 for Houston at Phoenix.

WARRIORS 109, NUGGETS 101: Stephen Curry scored a season-best 36 points and visiting Golden State handed Denver its fifth straight loss.


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