Special to ESPN.com
DUNCAN WINS HIS 25TH PLAYOFF SERIES
Tim Duncan and the Spurs defeated the Mavericks, 97-87, to advance to the second round of the playoffs. It was the 25th playoff series victory of Duncan's NBA career. The only active players with more postseason series wins than Duncan are Shaquille O'Neal (32), Derek Fisher (29) and Kobe Bryant (27). The Spurs have now advanced to the Conference Semi-Finals in 11 of Duncan's 13 seasons in the league.
ANOTHER 30-POINT GAME FOR NOWITZKI WITH HIS TEAM ON THE BRINK
Dirk Nowitzki's 33 points were not enough to help the Mavericks stave off elimination in Game 6 of their series against the Spurs. It was the 13th time in Nowitzki's career that he scored 30 or more points in a playoff game in which his team faced elimination. Only two other players in NBA history have scored 30 or more points in as many win-or-go-home games as Nowitzki: Jerry West (14) and Wilt Chamberlain (13) .
MAVS' EIGHT-POINT FIRST QUARTER TIES NBA PLAYOFF LOW
The Mavericks were outscored 22:8 in the first quarter of their Game 6 loss to the Spurs. The Mavs tied the record for the fewest first-quarter points by one team in a playoff game during the NBA's shot-clock era (i.e., 1954-55 to date). Utah scored eight points in the first quarter against the Lakers on May 8, 1988.
KELLY JOHNSON IS A MAJOR POWER THREAT IN APRIL
Kelly Johnson had four hits in the Diamondbacks' 13-5 win at Wrigley Field, including his ninth home run of the season (and sixth over the past seven days). Johnson has hit 21 home runs in 311 April at-bats in his major-league career, an average of one home run every 14.8 at-bats, which is the same as Ted Williams' career home-run rate. Johnson's home-run rate in all other months combined (one every 43.2 at-bats, 33 homers in 1425 ABs) is equivalent to Jim Fregosi's career rate.
ON THE MENU IN TORONTO: THREE HOMERS FOR A BUCK
Blue Jays catcher John Buck hit three home runs and drove in five runs in Toronto's 6-3 win over the A's, after entering the game with a .155 batting average, one home run and six RBIs in 18 games this season. He was the first major-leaguer to hit three homers as a catcher in one game since Victor Martinez did that for the Indians at Seattle on July 16, 2004. Buck was the third Blue Jays catcher to have a three-homer game, joining Ernie Whitt (Sept. 14, 1987 vs. Baltimore) and Darrin Fletcher (Aug. 27, 2000 at Texas).
KONERKO IS FIRST PLAYER IN MAJORS TO HIT 10 IN 2010
Paul Konerko became the first player in the majors to reach double-figures in home runs this season when he hit the second of his two home runs in the White Sox' win at Texas. It's the first time in White Sox history that one of their players has been the first major-leaguer to reach 10 homers in a season.
DONTRELLE WILLIS GETS FIRST WIN OF 2010
Dontrelle Willis picked up his first win of the season with six innings of shutout pitching against the Twins on Thursday afternoon. It was only the second time in the last four seasons that Willis pitched at least five innings in a game and did not allow a run. The only other time he did that since the beginning of the 2007 season was on May 19 last year against Texas, when he earned his only other win for the Tigers with 6.1 innings of one-hit shutout work.
SIX-RBI GAME FOR CARDINALS' ROOKIE DAVID FREESE
Rookie David Freese drove in six runs in the Cardinals' 10-4 win over the Braves. Freese's six RBIs were the most in one game by a rookie in the nascent 2010 season. Three rookies had six RBIs in a game last year: Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen, Milwaukee's Casey McGehee and Baltimore's Michael Aubrey.
BRAVES GO 0-7 ON ROAD TRIP
The Braves finished 0-7 on their road trip to New York and St. Louis. It was only the second time in the franchise's 135-season history that they lost every game on a road trip of at least seven games. The previous instance came in September 1949, when the Boston Braves went 0-8 on a road trip that took them to Philadelphia and Brooklyn.
A.J. BURNETT DOMINATES A.L. EAST FOES
A.J. Burnett allowed only three hits in eight innings in his 4-0 win at Baltimore. Burnett's victory improved his career record against the Orioles to 10-2 and his lifetime mark versus all A.L. East teams to 35-12. Burnett is five games under .500 against the rest of MLB (68-73).
TWO MORE BIG INNINGS FOR THE RAYS
The Rays jumped out to an early 9-0 lead in their win over the Royals by scoring five runs in the second inning and four more in the third inning. Tampa Bay has scored four or more runs in an inning a major league-high 14 times this season. No other team is in double-figures.
OSWALT BEATEN BY THE REDS FOR ONLY THE SECOND TIME
Roy Oswalt lost to the Reds for only the second time in his major-league career when Cincinnati posted a 4-2 victory in Houston. He's now 23-2 against the Reds. Oswalt's only previous loss to the Reds was on April 28, 2006 at Cincinnati. The Reds beat 195 different pitchers between that win against Oswalt just over four years ago and the one they posted on Thursday night.
PAVELSKI'S SECOND STRAIGHT THREE-POINT GAME
Joe Pavelski, who recorded two goals and one assist in the Sharks' series-clinching win against Colorado in the first round, posted identical totals in San Jose's 4-3 victory in Game 1 of their second-round series against the Red Wings. We doubt that even the most die-hard Sharks fan knows that the only other San Jose player to score three points or more in each of two consecutive games in one playoff year was Niko Dimitrakos in Games 1 and 2 of the Sharks' second-round series versus Colorado in 2004. Dimitrakos had three assists in each game.
SHARKS SCORE THREE GOALS IN 79 SECONDS
The Sharks set a franchise playoff mark by scoring three goals in a span of 1:19 during the first period of their Game 1 win over the Red Wings. They were the fastest three goals in a playoff game by any team since Colorado scored three times in 1:18 against St. Louis on May 18, 2001.