The Houston Astros and the Chicago Cubs combined for 197 losses in 2011. No National League teams were worse, and by December of that year, both teams would have new people running their baseball operations. Jeff Luhnow started fresh in Houston, like Theo Epstein in Chicago, both with the necessities for a methodical rebuild: high draft picks and patience.
Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins took advantage of a matchup against the Saints’ struggling defense, throwing a career-high four touchdown passes — each one longer than any he had completed all season — as Washington routed New Orleans. Cousins was 20 for 25 passing for 324 yards, with no interceptions and a perfect passer rating of 158.3. His scoring throws came on passes of 78 yards, to running back Matt Jones; 16 and 8 yards, to tight end Jordan Reed; and 11 yards, to receiver Jamison Crowder. Cousins did not have a scoring toss of more than 7 yards this season.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 21 points, including 7 during a pivotal stretch late in the fourth quarter, to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a 92-86 victory in Philadelphia. The 76ers have lost all 11 of their games this season and 21 in a row dating to last season.
Sporting five o’clock shadows and mustaches — forbidden during the regular season by the former general manager Lou Lamoriello — the Devils have won 10 of their last 13 games, including two victories over the Chicago Blackhawks, the Stanley Cup champions.