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NBA - The Heat Are Running
IT WAS ALLEN'S TURN
From Elias: Ray Allen led all scorers with 28 points as the Celtics beat Denver for their eighth straight win. Boston has had a different outright leading scorer in each of their last five games (Allen, Nate Robinson, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo). It's the first time that the Celtics have won five straight games with a different outright high scorer in each game since February 1991 (Kevin McHale, Kevin Gamble, Reggie Lewis, Larry Bird and Robert Parish).
THE WAIT FOR 1,000
From Elias: The Nuggets lost on back-to-back nights at Charlotte and Boston while George Karl stands one victory shy of becoming the seventh head coach in NBA history to record 1000 regular-season wins. Pat Riley and Jerry Sloan are the only current members of the 1000-win club who failed to register their 1000th victory on their first try. Karl is the first head coach to lose two straight games while stuck on 999 wins, but if Denver wins either of its next two games (at Toronto and New York) he would become the first head coach to earn his 1000th NBA victory in a road game.
LOVE DOES IT AGAIN
From Elias: Kevin Love scored 22 points and grabbed 21 rebounds for the Timberwolves in their 111-103 loss to the Thunder. Love has surpassed both 20 points and 20 rebounds in five games this season while all other NBA players have combined to do that only once (Andris Biedrins on Nov. 26). No NBA player had more than two such games in 2009-10 and the last player with as many as five in one season was Dwight Howard, who did it six times in 2008-09.
TURNING UP THE HEAT
From Elias: LeBron James (33 points) and Dwyane Wade (28) led Miami to its sixth straight win, a 111-98 victory in Utah. It was the first game this season in which both James and Wade scored more than 26 points. Miami has won each of its last six games by a double-digit margin to match the longest winning streak of that kind in franchise history and the longest such streak for any NBA team since the Lakers won seven straight games by at least ten points in the fall of 2009.
Amar'e Stoudemire scored 34 points and Raymond Felton added 28 for the Knicks in their three-point win over the Raptors. Stoudemire (25.7 points per game this season) and Felton (18.6) are the highest-scoring pair of current NBA teammates who switched teams during the past offseason. Yes, even higher than LeBron James (24.1 PPG) and Chris Bosh (17.9).
CAREER HIGH FOR BARGNANI
From Elias: Andrea Bargnani scored a game-high and career-high 41 points in the Raptors' loss in New York. Bargnani has been the leading scorer, either tied or outright, in ten games this season. Only Kobe Bryant (13), Dirk Nowitzki (13), LeBron James (12) and Amar'e Stoudemire (10) have done that as often as Bargnani.
WARRIORS CAN'T WIN AT SAN ANTONIO
From Elias: The Spurs recorded their 25th consecutive home win against the Warriors with a 111-94 victory on Wednesday night. It's the longest winning streak for one NBA team in home games against a particular opponent since the Lakers won 26 consecutive games against the Mavericks in Los Angeles from April 1991 through October 2003.
ROSE LIFTS BULLS OVER CAVS
From Elias: Derrick Rose's old-school three-point play with 19.6 seconds remaining in the game gave the Bulls an 85-83 lead in their 88-83 victory at Cleveland. It was Chicago's third win this season in a game they trailed in the final 20 seconds of either the fourth quarter or overtime. That ties them with the Thunder for the most such wins in the NBA this season.
BOGUT AT THE BUZZER
From Elias: Andrew Bogut's tip-in at the buzzer gave the Bucks a 97-95 win over the Pacers. It was the second time in Bogut's NBA career that he made a game-winning field goal with no time remaining on the clock. His previous game-winning buzzer-beater was in overtime versus San Antonio on December 20, 2005.
GRIZZLIES HOLD SUNS TO DOUBLE-DIGITS
From Elias: The Grizzlies posted a 104-98 overtime victory at Phoenix and became the first team to hold the Suns to fewer than 100 points at US Airways Center since last March, when the Trail Blazers came away from the Valley of the Sun with a 93-87 loss. It was the Suns' first overtime loss at home in which they failed to score at least 100 points since the Heat posted a 100-90 OT win at Phoenix on December 2, 2002.
PISTONS REMAIN WINLESS AGAINST TEAMS ABOVE .500
From Elias: The Pistons are 0-11 against teams that currently have a winning record following their loss at New Orleans. The only other NBA teams that are winless this season against opponents that are above the .500 mark are the Wizards (0-10) and Kings (0-7).
SUPERMAN TURNS 25
From Elias: Dwight Howard celebrated his 25th birthday on Wednesday, having played the most games (508) and grabbed the most rebounds (6419) of any player in NBA history at that age. LeBron James (505) is the only other man to play at least 500 NBA games before turning 25 and Howard has almost 2000 more rebounds than any other player prior to his 25th birthday. Moses Malone had the second most (4544).
From Elias: Sidney Crosby scored two goals for the Penguins' in the 5-2 victory over the Maple Leafs which extended Pittsburgh's winning streak to 11 games. Can one player be almost single-handedly responsible for a team winning 11 consecutive games? Judge for yourself: Crosby has scored 14 goals during the Penguins' winning streak and the next-highest goal total by a Pittsburgh player during the team's last 11 games is three by Chris Kunitz!
BICKELL BREAKING THE ICE
From Elias: Bryan Bickell scored the first goal in the Blackhawks' 5-3 win over the Stars. Bickell has scored only six goals this season but four of them have been the first goal of a game. No other NHL rookie has more than two "first goals" this season.
AN UNLIKELY COMEBACK
From Elias: San Jose's 5-4 shootout win at Philadelphia marked the first time in Sharks history that they won a game in which they trailed by three goals in the third period. It also ended the Flyers' streak of 232 consecutive wins in regular-season home games in which they led by three goals or more in the third period. Before Wednesday, the last time the Flyers failed to win a home game in such a circumstance was on Nov. 21, 1987 against the Islanders (led 4-1, lost 6-4).
VISITING ROOKIE BEATS RED WINGS
From Elias: Anders Lindback, making his third consecutive start in goal for Nashville in place of the injured Pekka Rinne, stopped 35 shots to lead the Predators to a 3-2 victory in Detroit. Lindback is only the fourth visiting rookie goaltender to win a game at Joe Louis Arena over the last three seasons. Rinne was one of those rookies, with two wins for the Predators at "the Joe" in 2008-09; the others were the Blue Jackets' Steve Mason in 2008-09 and the Oilers' Jeff Deslauriers in 2009-10.