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NEW REDSKINS HEAD COACH ZORN TIES STARR'S RECORD
The Redskins ended the speculation on Saturday night, issuing a statement naming former pro quarterback Jim Zorn as their new head coach.
Get a load of this one: Zorn threw 3,149 passes over an NFL career spent primarily with the Seahawks, with some games for the Packers and the Buccaneers thrown in. That's exactly the number of passes that Hall-of-Famer Bart Starr threw in his NFL career - and so, rather remarkably, Zorn equals Starr's all-time record for the most passes thrown in the NFL by someone who eventually went on to be a head coach in the league.
CHRIS PAUL: 16 ASSISTS AND 1-FOR-10 SHOOTING
In his first three games vs. Memphis this season, Chris Paul averaged 37.0 points and 10.3 assists per game, while leading the Hornets to three victories. He used a different formula on Saturday. Paul dished out 16 assists but scored only two points shooting 1-for-10 from the floor in a 112-99 win by New Orleans over the Grizzlies.
But even that added another bullet-point to Paul's expanding resume. Consider: there have been more than 1,600 times in NBA history that a player has had 16-or-more assists in a game but in only three of those games did someone with that many assists have at least 10 field-goal attempts, shoot 10 percent or less from the floor and still come up a winner! Dick McGuire shot 1-for-10 back on Dec. 14, 1949, in the Knicks' 94-84 win over the Minneapolis Lakers in what was the NBA's very first 16-assist game; Guy Rodgers shot 1-for-11 with 16 assists in the San Francisco Warriors' 113-108 win over the Chicago Zephyrs on Nov. 10, 1962; and Jason Kidd shot 1-for-11 with 18 assists while the Nets defeated the Pistons, 88-75, on Dec. 27, 2001.
JAZZ: NBA'S TOP TEAM IN '08
One night after its 10-game winning streak ended at Sacramento, the Jazz defeated the Bulls to boost its record to 16-3 since we pinned the new calendar to the refrigerator door. That's not only the best record by any NBA team since January 1, but it matches the best 19-game start to any year in the history of the franchise. (The Jazz's only other 16-3 start came in 1995, in the middle of what was already Jerry Sloan's seventh season as the team's head coach.)
ELLIS'S BIG FINISH LEADS WARRIORS TO 30-20
Monta Ellis finished with 34 points, and scored 16 points in the fourth quarter his highest total in any quarter as a pro to lead the Warriors to a 105-102 win over the Kings. Ellis's big quarter matched the highest fourth-quarter points total by a Golden State player this season; Stephen Jackson had 16 fourth-quarter points in a two-point win over the Knicks on January 27.
The victory lifted the Warriors' record to 30-20, their best 50-game record since they had an identical mark through 50 games in 1993-94, Don Nelson's last full season in his first go-round as the Golden State head coach, and the team's last 50-win season.
76ERS' FAVORITE NUMBER: 101
The 76ers might think about changing their name to the 101ers. Philadelphia had little trouble dismissing the Clippers, 101-80, two nights after defeating the Heat, 101-84, and four nights after defeating the Wizards, 101-96.
It's the first time in the franchise's NBA history dating all the way back to 1949, when it made its NBA debut as the Syracuse Nationals that the team has scored the same exact point total in each of three consecutive games (let alone winning all three of those games).
KNICKS TURN THE TABLES
The Knicks had lost eight in a row, and had lost the last four games in which they held a double-digit lead, including a Friday night home loss to the Spurs in which they blew an 18-point lead. So they tried something different on Saturday night, and trailed the Bucks, 81-64, in the late stages of the third quarter.
But from there to the end, New York outscored Milwaukee, 35-17, to take a one-point victory. So the Knicks became only the second NBA team this season to win a game in which they trailed by at least 17 points coming off a loss in which they had led by 17-or-more points. The Pacers did that in mid-January, with both games against the Warriors: they lost in Oakland on January 13, blowing a 17-point lead, then won their next game at Indianapolis three days later, overcoming a 17-point deficit.
PACERS WIN DESPITE LOW SHOOTING PERCENTAGE
The Pacers made only 31 of their 84 field-goal attempts against the Trail Blazers, and NBA teams with a shooting percentage as low as that (36.9 percent) had won only 10 percent of games this season - that's nine wins and 81 losses! But Indiana defeated Portland, 101-93.
It was the first time that the Pacers had won a game with such a low shooting percentage since the day after Christmas 2006, when Indiana shot only 34.9 percent from the floor in its 81-76 victory over Houston.
ROCKETS' HOME STREAK vs. HAWKS
The Rockets extended their home winning streak against the Hawks to nine games with a resounding win on Saturday night. The last time that the Rockets won nine consecutive home games against one team was from 1993 to 2002 when they beat the Pistons in nine straight home games.