Special to ESPN.com
EAGLES RELEASE "THE FREAK"
Jevon Kearse was released by the Eagles on Thursday. Kearse had a rookie record 14.5 sacks in 1999 for the AFC champion Titans, and followed that up with 11.5 sacks in 2000 and 10 in 2001. Kearse was the only player who entered the NFL in the 10-year period from 1992 to 2001 who reached double-figures in sacks in each of his first three seasons. In six seasons since 2002, Kearse has had a total of just 33.5 sacks in 63 games. (The NFL started recording sacks for individual players in 1982).
FARMAR IS THE FIRST BRUIN TO LEAD LAKERS IN SCORING SINCE ABDUL-JABBAR
Jordan Farmar led the Lakers with a career-high 24 points in their 106-88 win over the Heat. The last time a former UCLA Bruin led the Lakers in scoring was March 13, 1989, when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had 21 points against the Rockets.
HARRIS HAS A BIG GAME IN NETS DEBUT
Devin Harris led his new team with 21 points in New Jersey's win. Harris is the fifth player to score 20 or more points in his Nets' debut after joining the team mid-season since the franchise joined the NBA in 1976. Vince Carter had 23 in 2004, Stephon Marbury had 21 in 1999, Roy Hinson had 22 in 1988 and Louie Nelson had 22 in 1977.
NETS SCORE 120 WITHOUT KIDD
The Nets beat the Bucks, 120-106. The last time New Jersey scored that many points without Jason Kidd in the lineup was March 4, 2001, a 120-96 win at Indiana.
DUNCAN BACK ON TRACK VS. MAVS
Tim Duncan had 31 points and 15 rebounds in the Spurs' 97-94 win over the Mavericks. Duncan had double-digit points and rebounds in 25 of his first 27 career games against Dallas (from 1997 to 2004), but Thursday was only Duncan's fourth double-double in 11 games versus the Mavs since January 2005.
CLIPPERS RELEASE CASSELL
The Clippers released Sam Cassell on Thursday. Cassell is the only player ever to win a championship in his rookie and sophomore years (for the Rockets in 1993-94 and 1994-95) while scoring at least 10 points per-game in the NBA Finals both seasons. What's odd is that those were the only two seasons in Cassell's 15-year career that he didn't average double-figures in points in the regular season, and they were the only two NBA Finals that Cassell appeared in.
ROCKIES CLOSER CORPAS SIGNS A NEW CONTRACT
Manny Corpas and the Rockies agreed on a four-year contract. Corpas recorded 19 saves in 20 chances upon becoming Colorado's closer in early July after 2007 All-Star Brian Fuentes went on the disabled list. Corpas had to be that good to retain the 9th inning job because Fuentes had an ERA of 1.52 in 23.2 innings after returning in mid-August. In the Rockies' first round sweep of the Phillies, Corpas became only the fourth pitcher to save every game of a postseason series, joining Dennis Eckersley (1988 ALCS, 1996 Division Series) and Mark Wohlers (1996 Division Series).
NEW COACH CAN'T GIVE SENATORS WIN
The Senators, in their first game since the coaching change which saw general manager Bryan Murray go back behind the bench, lost 3-1 in Philadelphia on Thursday night. Ottawa was the third NHL team to make a permanent coaching change since the season began but they were the first one of those teams that did not win its first game after the switch. Atlanta G.M. Don Waddell won his first game after firing Bob Hartley and assuming the coaching duties (Oct. 18 vs. Rangers), and Washington's Bruce Boudreau won his debut (Nov. 23 at Philadelphia) after Glen Hanlon was fired.
ISLANDERS FINALLY HAVE A 20-GOAL SCORER
On Thursday night, the Islanders became the last NHL team to have a 20-goal scorer this season when Mike Comrie reached the 20-goal plateau by scoring twice in the Isles' overtime win in Atlanta. Comrie hit the 20-goal level in the Islanders' 65th game of the season. The last time the Islanders went this many games into a season before one of their players accumulated 20 goals was in 1998-99, when Mariusz Czerkawski did that in game #81.
BRUINS NEARLY GET BACK-TO-BACK SHUTOUTS
Tim Thomas and the Bruins shut out Ottawa, 4-0, on Tuesday. On Thursday, Thomas and Boston had a 4-0 lead until the Penguins' Pascal Dupuis scored at 13:03 of the third period, spoiling the Bruins' chance for a second straight shutout. The Bruins have not posted a shutout in each of two consecutive regular-season games since April 3-5, 1999, when Byron Dafoe blanked the Flyers and Canadiens in succession. The only NHL team that's gone a longer stretch of time since its last back-to-back shutouts than Boston is Pittsburgh. The Penguins have not had consecutive shutouts since Feb. 8-10, 1993.
BIG MONTH FOR BIG Z
Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara scored his 15th goal of the season in Boston's 5-1 win over Pittsburgh on Thursday night. Chara has scored eight goals in 12 games this month, twice as many as he scored in any other calendar month in his 10-season NHL career. Chara had four goals in December 2001 and October 2005, both when he played for Ottawa.
AN NHL FIRST FOR BRAD RICHARDS
Brad Richards had five assists in his Stars debut, a 7-4 win over the Blackhawks. Richards is the first player in NHL history to record five assists in his first game with a team. He's the first player with five points in a team debut since the Flyers' Al Hill had 2 goals and 3 assists in his NHL debut against the Blues on Valentine's Day, 1977.