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Tentative agreement made to end NBA lockout

The NBA is closer to returning to court, and finally, it's the basketball court.

A meeting lasting roughly 15 hours ended early Saturday morning and resulted in NBA owners and the disbanded players association reaching a tentative agreement to end the lockout.

The work stoppage has lasted nearly five months despite several marathon negotiating sessions between the parties. The stakes were raised earlier this week when the players combined a pair of antitrust lawsuits against the NBA in two different states into the same court in Minnesota.

The NBPA filed a disclaimer of interest earlier this month, disbanding as a union after rejecting the owners' latest offer of a 50-50 split of basketball- related revenue.

Details of the agreed-upon deal were not immediately available.

"We thought it was in both of our best interests to try to reach a resolution and save the game," union executive director Billy Hunter said.

While the deal appears imminent, several hurdles need to be cleared in order for the season to be officially salvaged, including both the owners and union voting on the proposal.

"We've reached a tentative understanding that is subject to a variety of approvals and very complex machinations, but we're optimistic that will all come to pass," NBA commissioner David Stern said.

The league had canceled all regular season games up to December 15, and it was feared the highly-anticipated Christmas Day schedule was in jeopardy.

Stern mentioned the showcase date as the tentative start to a 66-game regular season, beginning with the annual triple-header on December 25.