Special to ESPN.com
A VERSATILE DISPLAY BY JOSH SMITH
Josh Smith had 22 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and six blocked shots in Atlanta's win against Denver on Saturday night. Smith was the first NBA player to reach all four of those statistical levels in one game since the Pacers' Jermaine O¿Neal in February 2007 against Phoenix.
AN UNUSUAL WIN FOR THE CELTICS
Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo each scored a team-high 16 points in Boston's 86-76 win at New Jersey on Saturday night. It was the first time in more than 50 years that the Celtics won a road game by at least 10 points despite none of their players scoring more than 16 points. That had last happened on January 8, 1958, when Boston beat the Minneapolis Lakers, 107-87, led by Tom Heinsohn's 16 points.
THE CELTICS' WINNING STREAK AGAINST THE NETS REACHES DOUBLE FIGURES
Boston's victory was its 10th straight against New Jersey, the second-longest streak for either team in the history of their rivalry. The Celtics beat the Nets 11 consecutive times spanning 1980 to 1982.
ANOTHER BAD FIRST QUARTER FOR THE KNICKS
The Knicks lost to the Cavaliers at Madison Square Garden on Friday night, 100-91, and were defeated, 102-87, in Milwaukee on Saturday night. In each of those games New York allowed 40 points in the first quarter and fewer than 40 points in the second half. No other team in NBA history allowed 40 or more points in the first period and fewer than 40 points after halftime in each of back-to-back games. In fact, the only other team to do that twice in one season was the 1991-92 Seattle SuperSonics.
NOAH ACES THE BOBCATS
Joakim Noah had 21 points and 16 rebounds in Chicago's win against Charlotte on Saturday night. It was the first time in six seasons that the Bulls' starting center had at least 20 points and 15 or more rebounds in one game. That had last been done by Marcus Fizer, who had 21 points and 16 rebounds against Indiana on April 14, 2004.
A ROOKIE LEADS THE KINGS
Tyreke Evans scored 32 points in Sacramento's win at Utah on Saturday night. That was the most points scored by a Kings rookie in more than 15 years - since Walt Williams had 35 points in an overtime loss to Portland on March 25, 1993.
BAREA PROVIDES A BIG ASSIST OFF THE BENCH
Jose Juan Barea had 12 assists off the bench in the Mavericks' win against the Raptors on Saturday night. That was the most assists in one game by a Dallas reserve since Derek Harper had 13 against Philadelphia in February 1987.
ELLIS LOVES L.A.
Dan Ellis made 27 saves, including 14 in the third period, to lead the Predators to a 3-1 victory over the Kings at Staples Center. Ellis has won all three of his career starts against the Kings in Los Angeles, including his NHL debut with the Dallas Stars on Feb. 18, 2004, allowing only five goals in those three games.
THE DEVILS RALLY IN OTTAWA
New Jersey overcame a 2-0 deficit to win 3-2 at Ottawa with power play goals by Zach Parise, David Clarkson and Andy Greene. It was only the second time in the last two seasons that the Devils scored three power play goals in a road game. They also did that in a 5-1 win at Los Angeles on January 10 last season.
CHARA ENDS HIS GOAL DROUGHT
Zdeno Chara scored his first goal of the season in the Bruins' 4-2 win over the Sabres. Chara scored 19 goals last season, fourth-most among NHL defensemen, but he had been goalless in 15 games this season before Saturday. It was Chara's longest goal drought since he failed to score in 23 consecutive games spanning the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons.
A RARE FAST START FOR THE ISLANDERS
The Islanders outscored the Thrashers, 3-1, in the first period en route to a 6-3 win over Atlanta on Saturday night. It was a rare first-period offensive outburst for the Isles, who had not scored more than one goal in the first period of a game since they scored twice in the first 20 minutes at Toronto on March 10 last season. The Islanders played 31 games in the interim without scoring more than one first-period goals in any game. It was the third-longest such streak in Islanders history, behind a 37-game stretch in 2001 and one of 33 games in 2007.
NASH CAPS RALLY WITH SHORT-HANDED GOAL
The Blue Jackets beat the Hurricanes, 3-2, on Saturday night, with all of their goals coming in a 2:41 span early in the third period. That stretch was capped off by Rick Nash's unassisted goal, his first solo tally this season. Nash led all NHL players with 10 unassisted goals last season.
KNUBLE TIES CAREER HIGH WITH FOUR POINTS
Mike Knuble had two goals and two assists for the Capitals in their 7-4 win over the Panthers. Knuble's four points matched his career high for one game. Knuble did that once before, against the same opponent, with two goals and two assists for the Bruins in their 6-5 win at Florida on Valentine's Day in 2003.
TORONTO TROUNCES DETROIT
The Maple Leafs' 5-1 win over the Red Wings on Saturday night was their largest margin of victory against Detroit since Nov. 2, 1996, when Toronto won 6-2 at Maple Leaf Gardens.
THIS IS NOT THE NIITTYMAKI THAT MONTREAL REMEMBERS
A change of teams may have been what Antero Niittymaki needed to have some success against the Canadiens. Niittymaki, who signed with Tampa Bay as a free agent last summer, beat the Canadiens, 3-1, in his first game versus Montreal in a Lightning uniform. Niittymaki was 1-8-1 in 10 games against the Canadiens during his five seasons playing for the Flyers.