Special to ESPN.com
PATRIOTS HAD SIX MORE WINS THAN GIANTS IN REGULAR SEASON
The Patriots (16) won six more games than the Giants (10) did this regular season. That's the largest differential in wins between any two Super Bowl participants. The previous record was four: Oakland (13) vs. Green Bay (9) in Super Bowl II and Chicago (15) vs. New England (11) in Super Bowl XX.
FEAGLES' LONG WAIT TO PLAY IN BIG GAME IS ALMOST OVER
Jeff Feagles, in his 20th season in the NFL, will be playing in his first Super Bowl this Sunday. It is the longest wait in NFL history for a player appearing in his first Super Bowl or Championship game. The previous record for an NFL player was the 17-year wait for both Morten Andersen (played in his first and only Super Bowl for Atlanta following the 1998 season) and Bruce Matthews (played in his first and only Super Bowl for Tennessee following the 1999 season).
Two major league baseball players waited 21 seasons before finally getting to play in a World Series: Joe Niekro for the Twins in 1987 and Mike Morgan for the Diamondbacks in 2001.
Dave Andreychuk is the only player in NHL history to wait at least 20 years before getting to play in the Stanley Cup Final. Andreychuk played in the Cup Final for Tampa Bay in 2004, his 22nd season in the NHL.
The NBA record for such a thing belongs to Kevin Willis. Willis played in his first NBA Finals in 2003 for San Antonio, his 18th season in the NBA. Chris Mullin waited 15 years for his first action in the NBA Finals, the only other player in NBA history to wait at least 15 years.
BOSTON'S WIN STREAK VS. WESTERN CONFERENCE TEAMS
The Celtics beat the Mavericks Thursday night, their 13th straight win against a Western Conference team. The last Eastern Conference team to win 13 straight games against teams from the west in one season was Chicago in 1995-96 (14-game win streak vs. the West).
NOWITZKI IS SECOND-BEST AGAINST CELTICS
Dirk Nowitzki scored 31 points in the Mavericks' loss in Boston. Nowitzki is now averaging 27.2 points in 17 career games against Boston. Only one active player has a higher career average against the Celtics than Nowitzki: LeBron James (30.5).
KOBE'S INTERESTING STATISTICS LINE
Kobe Bryant had 39 points, 10 rebounds and 11 turnovers some might think this is a triple/double, we don't in the Lakers' loss in Detroit. Bryant is the fifth player since the NBA starting keeping track of turnovers in 1977-78 to score at least 35 points, grab 10-or-more rebounds and commit at least 10 turnovers in a game. The others in this interesting club: Hakeem Olajuwon for Houston on April 19, 1990 (52 points, 18 rebounds, 11 turnovers); Rony Seikaly for Miami on March 13, 1994 (36,16,10); Tim Duncan for San Antonio on March 4, 1998 (35, 17,10) and Paul Pierce for Boston on November 8, 2006 (35,13,12).
PRINCE LATE THREE-POINTER GIVES PISTONS THE WIN
Tayshaun Prince hit a three-pointer with 4.5 seconds left to give the Pistons the win over the Lakers Thursday night. The last Detroit player to hit a three-pointer that late in the game that gave his team the lead was Chauncey Billups on March 26, 2003. Billups' three with less than one second left in overtime gave Detroit a 102-99 win versus Atlanta.
SPURS STREAK OF CONSECUTIVE MONTHS WITH A WINNING RECORD ENDS
The Spurs finished the month of January with a record of 8-8, ending San Antonio's streak of 27 consecutive months with a winning record, dating back to November 2003. The Spurs matched the fifth-longest such streak in NBA history, also done by the Kings from October 2000 to March 2004. The NBA record for consecutive calendar months with a winning record is 44 by the Lakers from November 1984 to November 1991.
SUNS SCORE FEWEST POINTS IN A HOME GAME IN THREE YEARS
The Suns scored only 81 points in their loss to the Spurs Thursday night. It's the fewest points they've scored in a home game since an 88-79 loss to Memphis on January 19, 2005.
BUTLER TIES NBA RECORD
Caron Butler finished January a perfect 63-for-63 from the free throw line. That matches the NBA record for most free throw attempts without a miss for a player in a calendar month. Minnesota's Michael Williams went 63-for-63 in April 1993.
ALL-STAR SELECTORS SNUB WARRIORS
Some NBA experts expected at least one player from the Golden State Warriors to be selected to the Western Conference All-Stars - either Baron Davis or Stephen Jackson. Neither was, extending the Warriors streak to 11 straight seasons without an All-Star, the longest current streak in the NBA. The Warriors last All-Star was Latrell Sprewell in the 1997 game.
Only two other teams in NBA history went 11 (or more) seasons without an All-Star: the Pacers (12 seasons, 1978 to 1989) and Kings (1982 to 1992).
LONGEST CURRENT STREAKS WITH AN ALL-STAR FOR AN NBA TEAM
Seattle did not have a player selected for the 2008 NBA All-Star Game. The Sonics had at least one player selected to the All-Star team in each of the past 14 seasons, which was the longest current streak for any NBA team. That distinction now belongs to the Lakers, who have had at least one player selected to the All-Star Game in each of the last 11 NBA seasons, including Kobe Bryant this season.
SANTANA AND THE METS CONTINUE TO NEGOTIATE, BASEBALL WORLD WAITS
The baseball world waits while the Mets and Johan Santana try to ink a deal. Johan Santana struck out 983 batters over the last four seasons, 139 more than any other major league pitcher over that span (Jake Peavy was next with 844). Only one pitcher in Mets history struck out that many batters over any four-season span: Tom Seaver, whose best four-season strikeout total in a Mets uniform was 1072 from 1970-73.