Special to ESPN.com
BIG MAN GOES OUTSIDE
Channing Frye, who is 6'11", has made at least one three-point field goal in 20 consecutive games. Only two other players listed 6'11" or taller made a three-pointer in 20 straight games within one season: Dirk Nowitzki (7'0") had a 30-game streak for the Mavericks in 2002-03 and Troy Murphy (6'11") made a triple in 29 straight games for the Pacers in 2008-09.
ODEN FRACTURES KNEECAP
Greg Oden is expected to miss the rest of the season after fracturing his kneecap in Portland's win over Houston. Oden has played only 82 games since Portland selected him first overall in the 2007 NBA draft. Since 1966, the first year the NBA draft did not have territorial picks, only one player appeared in as few as 82 games in the first three NBA seasons after being selected first overall in the draft. David Robinson also played only 82 games in the first three NBA seasons after being selected first overall by San Antonio in the 1987 draft. Robinson missed the first two seasons entirely due to his military obligations and then played all 82 games in 1989-90.
'MELO DOES IT AGAIN
Carmelo Anthony scored 34 points for Denver in its win over San Antonio. 'Melo has now scored at least 20 points in all 20 games this season. Over the last 20 seasons, only one other player scored 20 or more points in each of his first 20 games of a season: Allen Iverson, who did it twice (2005-06 and 2006-07).
PARKER AND DUNCAN SCORE BIG, SPURS LOSE
Tony Parker (27 points) and Tim Duncan (26) each scored at least 25 points in San Antonio's loss to Denver. It was 17th time that both Parker and Duncan scored at least 25 points in the same game. The Spurs are now 12-5 in those 17 games.
BOBCATS OVERCOME FOURTH QUARTER DEFICIT
The Bobcats overcame a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter in their win over the 76ers. Charlotte had lost its previous 46 games in which it trailed by at least 10 points in the fourth quarter. The last time the Bobcats won such a game was February 13, 2008 against Atlanta (100-98 in overtime).
THE OTHER A.I. HAS A BIG GAME FOR SIXERS
Andre Iguodala scored 22 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and dished out seven assists in the 76ers' loss to the Bobcats. It's the second time this season that Iguodala reached those levels in all three categories. He also did it on Halloween at Madison Square Garden (32 points, 11 rebounds, 8 assists). Carlos Boozer is the only other player in the NBA with two such games this season.
HAWKS STEP UP AGAINST NBA'S BEST
Atlanta beat Dallas Saturday night, 80-75. The Hawks have a better record this season against teams that currently have a record at or above .500 (8-2) than they do against teams with a losing record (6-4). Only three other NBA teams can boast that: Cleveland (5-1, 9-4), Dallas (7-3, 7-4) and Minnesota (2-11, 1-6).
CLIPPERS POUND BOARDS
The Clippers outrebounded the Pacers, 58-34, Saturday night. It was the largest rebound advantage the Clippers have had in a game since March 10, 2002 when they had 25 more boards (59-34) than the Cavaliers in a 95-78 win.
TORONTO WINS AND LOSES BIG ON THE ROAD
The Raptors beat the Bulls by 32 points in Chicago Saturday night. Toronto is the first team in the NBA this season to win and lose a road game by at least 30 points. The Raptors lost by 35 points in Charlotte on November 25 and by 31 points in Atlanta on December 2.
SMID ENDS 151-GAME GOAL DROUGHT
The Oilers beat the Stars in a shootout after tying the score with 3:07 left in the third period via a goal from a very unlikely source, defenseman Ladislav Smid. It was only the fourth goal of Smid's NHL career and it was his first since Edmonton's final game of the 2006-07 season. Smid entered play on Saturday with a 151-game goal drought, tying him with Sean O'Donnell for the third-longest current dry spell among active skaters, behind Derek Boogaard (184 games) and Shane O'Brien (157).
BRUNETTE HAS THREE STRAIGHT MULTI-POINT GAMES
Andrew Brunette recorded his third straight multiple-point game with one goal and one assist for the Wild in their 5-3 win at Nashville. Brunette, who made his NHL debut in January 1996, has had only one other streak of three or more consecutive multi-point games. He scored two points in each of four straight games for Colorado in March 2007.
MAYBE IT'S NOT THE COACH
Peter Laviolette's first game as head coach of the Flyers was one he'd just as soon forget as Philadelphia was routed at home by the Capitals, 8-2. The six-goal margin of defeat was the largest for any NHL team in its first game after a mid-season coaching change since Feb. 2, 1991, when the Canucks lost 9-1 at Los Angeles under Pat Quinn, who had replaced Bob McCammon behind the Vancouver bench.
LEAFS AT BOSTON EQUALS HAT TRICK
Marc Savard scored three goals in the Bruins' 7-2 win over the Maple Leafs in Boston. It was Savard's third career hat trick and his first since Jan. 30, 2002, when he scored three goals for Calgary against the Red Wings. Toronto might need to make some defensive adjustments when they return to TD Garden for a game next Thursday. A Bruins player has recorded a hat trick in each of the Maple Leafs' last three games in Boston: David Krejci (Dec. 18, 2008), Blake Wheeler (Nov. 6, 2008) and Savard (Saturday).
COLE DOESN'T STOP AT TWO
Erik Cole scored three goals for the Hurricanes in their 5-3 win over the Canucks on Saturday afternoon. Cole has had only two multiple-goal games over the last two seasons and they've both been hat tricks. He scored three goals for Edmonton in Washington on January 13 last season. The nine other NHL players with more than one hat trick since the start of the 2008-09 season all have at least two two-goal games over the same span.
ROAD SWEET ROAD FOR KARIYA
Paul Kariya scored two goals, both in the third period, in the Blues' shootout win in Los Angeles. Kariya has scored eight goals this season but none on home ice. His first two goals came in the Blues' season opener against the Red Wings in Stockholm, Sweden, and his six goals since then have come at various locations in North America other than St. Louis (Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Nashville, Columbus, and two in L.A.). Kariya's eight goals this season are the most by any player that has not scored on home ice.
HIGGINS CUTS SABRES
Christopher Higgins scored the first goal for the Rangers in their 2-1 victory at Buffalo. Higgins has scored 10 goals in 26 games against the Sabres, equaling his career high for goals versus one team. He's also scored 10 times against the Ottawa Senators.
STEWART GETTING COMFY ON THE ROAD
Chris Stewart, who scored the game-winning goal in the Avalanche's 3-2 victory in Columbus, has three goals and five assists over his last five road games, after registering no goals and one assist in his previous ten road games this season.
MR. SMITH BLANKS ISLES
Mike Smith stopped 30 shots on goal in his 4-0 win over the Islanders. It was the ninth shutout of Smith's NHL career but only the second in which he faced more than 25 shots. Smith made 32 saves in a 1-0 shutout victory for Dallas against Anaheim on Feb. 10, 2007.
NIEMI IS A ROAD WARRIOR
Blackhawks goaltender Antti Niemi was selected as the first star in Chicago's 2-1 overtime win at Pittsburgh. Niemi is 3-0-1 on the Blackhawks' travels this season, having allowed a total of four goals in those four games. His previous two victories away from home were shutouts: October 3 against the Panthers in Helsinki, Finland, and November 22 at Vancouver.
KOVALCHUK MAULS PANTHERS
Ilya Kovalchuk's goal with 1:04 left in the third period tied the score at 1-1 in the Thrashers' game against the Panthers, and Atlanta went on to beat Florida in a shootout. It was Kovalchuk's 30th career goal (in 46 games) against the Panthers, tying him with Peter Bondra and Jaromir Jagr as the all-time co-leaders in goals versus Florida.