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BRANDON JENNINGS TAKES HIS PLACE AMONG NBA ROYALTY
Brandon Jennings, playing in only his seventh NBA game, scored 55 points in Milwaukee's win against Golden State on Saturday night. He set the record for fewest games into an NBA career with a 50-point game. Wilt Chamberlain held that distinction for 50 years and two days. Chamberlain scored 55 points on November 12, 1959, in the eighth game of his NBA career.
Jennings was the fifth rookie in NBA history - and the first since 1968 - to score at least 55 points in one game. The other four -- all of whom went on to win the Rookie of the Year award and eventually earn induction to the Basketball Hall of Fame - were, in chronological order, Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain (who did it three times), Rick Barry and Earl Monroe.
Jennings, who turned 20 in September, is only the second player in NBA history to score at least 50 points in a game before his 21st birthday. LeBron James did that twice, with a 56-point game in March 2005 and a 52-point game in December 2005, each at age 20.
WADE DOES IT ALL IN ONE-POINT VICTORY
Dwyane Wade's three-point field goal with less than one second remaining in the fourth quarter gave Miami an 81-80 win against New Jersey on Saturday night. Wade, who had 22 points, eight rebounds, six steals and six assists is only the second player in the last five seasons to have a 20/5/5/5 (points/rebounds/assists/steals) in a game decided by one point. LeBron James did that in a win against Boston in February 2008.
HAWKS WIN FOURTH STRAIGHT GAME BY AT LEAST 10 POINTS
The Hawks beat the Hornets, 121-98, on Saturday night, giving Atlanta four straight wins, each by a double-digit margin. It's the first time in 10 years that the Hawks have won four consecutive games by at least 10 points; they last did that in April 1999.
The victory improved the Hawks' record to 8-2. It's their best record through 10 games since beginning the 1997-98 season with an 11-game winning streak.
ROY PROVIDES THE OFFENSE IN LOW-SCORING GAME
Brandon Roy scored a game-high 25 points in Portland's 80-74 win at Charlotte on Saturday night. That's the most points scored by any NBA player this season in a game in which his team scored 80-or-fewer points.
BOYKINS RETURNS TO THE NBA WITH 20-POINT GAME
Earl Boykins returned to the NBA and scored 20 points in the Wizards' loss to Detroit on Saturday night. In the past 20 years, the only player who scored more points in his first career game for Washington was Antawn Jamison, who dropped 34 points on Memphis in his Wizards debut in November 2004. Wondering about Michael Jordan? He scored 19 points in his first game with Washington in 2001.
GRANGER BACKS UP HIS PROMISE
Danny Granger scored 29 points in Indiana's 113-104 win versus Boston on Saturday night. It was the most points scored against the Celtics by a Pacers player in five years --- since Jamaal Tinsley had 29 points on November 23, 2004.
A GAME AGAINST THE JAZZ IS SWEET MUSIC FOR THE CAVS
The Cavaliers beat the Jazz on Saturday night, improving their record to 9-2 against Utah dating back to the 2004-05 season. The only team with a better record against Jerry Sloan's team over that span is Miami (9-1).
JACKMAN SCORES EARLY GOAL ON HIS BIRTHDAY
Tim Jackman, who turned 28 years old on Saturday, gave the Islanders a 1-0 lead at the 16-second mark of their game against the Panthers. It was the quickest goal ever scored by an NHL player in a game played on his birthday. Only three other players scored a goal in the first minute on their birthday: Thomas Eriksson (32 seconds into a game on his 24th birthday in 1983), Elmer Lach (43 seconds, on his 26th birthday in 1944) and Dave Taylor (52 seconds, on his 24th birthday in 1979).
VOKOUN REMAINS PERFECT AT HOME AGAINST THE ISLANDERS
Tomas Vokoun kept his perfect record on home ice against the Islanders intact but it took a shootout win on Saturday night to do so. Vokoun has won all eight games he's played at home against the Islanders in his NHL career (3-0-0 at Nashville, 5-0-0 at Florida), allowing a total of 12 goals.
PROSPAL SCORES FIRST SHORT-HANDED GOAL OF HIS CAREER
The Rangers beat the Senators in a shootout, after the teams played to a 1-1 stalemate through the regulation 60 minutes and five minutes of overtime. New York's goal was a shorthanded tally by Vinny Prospal. It was the 203rd goal of Prospal's 13-year NHL career but it was his first shorthanded goal. Entering play on Saturday, Prospal was one of five active NHL players with 200 or more career goals but no shorthanded goals. The others are Andrew Brunette, Danny Briere, Sergei Samsonov and Michael Nylander.
ZETTERBERG SCORES THIRD-PERIOD HAT TRICK
Henrik Zetterberg scored a career-high five points (3 goals, 2 assists) in the Red Wings' 7-4 win over the Ducks. Zetterberg scored all three of his goals in the third period, the last into an empty net in the final second of the game. It's the second time that Zetterberg has recorded a third-period hat trick; he did that against Columbus on March 19, 2008. The only other active players with more than one third-period hat trick are Daniel Alfredsson, Ryan Smyth and Eric Staal (each with two).
IGINGLA IGNITES ANOTHER FLAMES VICTORY
The Flames jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in their win at Toronto on goals by Jarome Iginla and Eric Nystrom in the first 97 seconds. Iginla has scored the first goal of a game a league-high five times this season and all of his opening goals have come in Calgary's last eight games.
THE DEVILS SCORE FIVE GOALS FOR THE FIRST TIME THIS SEASON
The Devils spotted the Capitals a 2-0 lead just over five minutes into their game on Saturday night but New Jersey then scored five unanswered goals to beat Washington, 5-2. Entering play on Saturday, the Atlantic Division-leading Devils were the only NHL team that had not scored five goals or more in a game this season.
CROSBY SCORES THREE POINTS IN WIN AGAINST BOSTON
Sidney Crosby had a goal and two assists in the Penguins' overtime win against the Bruins. Crosby has played 15 games versus Boston in his NHL career and he's scored three points in six of those 15 games. The only other teams against which Crosby has at least six three-point games are the Islanders (8) and Flyers (6).
RINNE BLANKS THE CANADIENS
Pekka Rinne and the Nashville Predators beat the Canadiens, 2-0, on Saturday night. It was Rinne's ninth career shutout, the first of which he registered less than 12 months ago (Dec. 1, 2008 at Buffalo). Rinne is tied with San Jose's Evgeni Nabokov for the league high in shutouts since the beginning of December last year.