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CELTICS SQUANDER LATE LEAD
From Elias: Ray Allen's three-point field goal with 6:26 remaining in the fourth quarter gave the Celtics a 73-66 lead, but the Hornets then rallied to win at Boston, 83-81. The Celtics have lost only three regular-season games over the last three seasons after leading by at least seven points with less than seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, but two of those three defeats have occurred within the last week: at Orlando on Christmas Day and Friday afternoon versus New Orleans
The Celtics scored 18 consecutive points spanning the third and fourth quarters. That was their longest scoring streak in a regular-season defeat since November 29, 2003, when Boston lost at Milwaukee after recording 19 straight points.
DURANT STAMPS 2010 WITH 33 POINTS
From Elias: Kevin Durant scored a game-high 33 points in the Thunder's victory over the Hawks, lifting his points total for the calendar year to 2,409 in 80 games, an average of 30.1 points per game.
Durant became only the fifth different NBA player in the last 20 years to average 30 points per game over a calendar year, joining Michael Jordan (four years: 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996), Allen Iverson (four years: 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006), Kobe Bryant (two years: 2006, 2007) and LeBron James (2006). Jordan also averaged 30 points per game in five calendar years in the 1980s, giving him a career total of nine such years, an NBA record.
SUNS BREAK STREAK
From Elias: The Suns defeated the Pistons 92-75, ending Phoenix's streak of 388 consecutive regular-season games allowing more than 75 points. That was the second-longest current streak of that type in the NBA. Golden State has played 593 straight games since it last allowed 75-or-fewer points.
BOOZER JOINS BRAND NAMES
From Elias: Carlos Boozer's 20 points and 15 rebounds led the Bulls to a 90-81 win over the Nets, and Boozer finished the month of December having accumulated 330 points and 155 rebounds in 16 games. He became the first Bulls player with 300 points and 150 rebounds in one calendar month since Elton Brand (328 points and 151 rebounds) in January 2001. And, with respect to Bulls history, Boozer's outstanding December provided some sort of symmetry: the first Bulls player with 300 points and 150 rebounds in a month was Bob Boozer (no relation), who had 322 points and 166 rebounds in January 1967, during the team's inaugural season.
DeROZAN'S 37 POINTS NOT ENOUGH
From Elias: DeMar DeRozan scored 37 points, but was not credited with an assist or a steal in the Raptors' loss to the Rockets. That was the most points scored by a starting guard in a game in which he failed to record an assist or a steal since December 2, 2000. On that date, the Knicks' Allan Houston scored 37 points against Minnesota, but was shut out in the assists and steals categories.
WALL DROPS 25 ON PACERS
From Elias: John Wall scored 25 points in the Wizards' loss to the Pacers; it was Wall's fourth game this season with at least 25 points. That equals the total number of 25-point games before January 1 for all Washington rookies over the previous 25 years combined: one by A.J. English in 1990 and three by Tom Gugliotta in 1992.
WARRIORS EDGE BOBCATS
From Elias: Golden State edged Charlotte 96-95, giving the Warriors only their second victory by one point in the last four seasons. Their 2-8 (.200) record since the start of the 2007-08 season in games decided by the minimum margin is the second-worst in the NBA during that span, ahead of only Milwaukee (1-7, .125).
DEVILS END LOSING STREAK
From Elias: The Devils ended their six-game losing streak with a 3-1 win over the Thrashers. Not only had the Devils lost six straight games entering play on Friday but they scored only one goal in each of those losses. New Jersey avoided becoming only the second team in NHL history to lose seven consecutive games while scoring no more than one goal in each game. The Red Wings did that in March 1977.
WISNIEWSKI MAKES QUICK IMPRESSION
From Elias: Defenseman James Wisniewski scored two goals on Friday, including the overtime winner than enabled the Canadiens to finish 2010 with a 3-2 victory against the Panthers. Wisniewski, a Michigan native who was acquired by Montreal from the Islanders earlier this week, is the first U.S.-born defenseman to record a multiple-goal game for the Canadiens since Jan. 5, 2001, when Eric Weinrich scored two goals at Pittsburgh
VORACEK SCORES IN OVERTIME
From Elias: The Blue Jackets squandered a 3-0 lead but beat the Senators, 4-3, on an overtime goal by Jakub Voracek. It was the second OT goal of the season for Voracek, who scored in extra time against the Islanders on November 24. Voracek is the third player to score two overtime goals in one season for Columbus. The other Blue Jackets to do that are Rick Nash (in both 2003-04 and 2008-09) and David Vyborny (2006-07).
ANOTHER BUSY NIGHT FOR ROLOSON
From Elias: The Islanders used 38 saves from goaltender Dwayne Roloson and an overtime power play goal by P.A. Parenteau to beat the Red Wings in Detroit, 4-3. Roloson has posted a 4-1-0 record over his last five games while facing an average of 40 shots on goal per game over that span.
SEDIN TWINS STAR IN DALLAS
From Elias: Henrik and Daniel Sedin each had a goal and an assist in the Canucks' 4-1 win at Dallas. The Canucks played 14 games in December with Henrik tallying 22 points and brother Daniel registering 20 points. The Sedin twins have both scored 20 or more points in four of the last five months in which the Canucks played at least ten regular-season games. In addition to this past month they did it in December 2009 (Henrik 25, Daniel 22), January 2010 (Henrik 25, Daniel 22) and March 2010 (Henrik 24, Daniel 22).
BLAKE ENDS DROUGHT VERSUS FLYERS
From Elias: Jason Blake, who scored a goal in the Ducks' win at Philadelphia on October 21, scored twice in Anaheim's home-ice win over the Flyers on New Year's Eve. Blake was a thorn in the side of the Flyers during his last two seasons with the Islanders (2005-06 and 2006-07), scoring 11 goals in 15 games against Philadelphia, but he was goalless in nine games versus the Flyers over the past three seasons while playing for the Maple Leafs.
DOAN REACHES MILESTONE
From Elias: Shane Doan scored two goals in the Coyotes' loss to the Blues, the first of which was the 700th point of his NHL career. Doan is the third player in Jets/Coyotes history to reach the 700-point mark, joining Dale Hawerchuk (929) and Thomas Steen (817). He's the eighth active NHL player with 700 or more points, all for one franchise. The others are Nicklas Lidstrom, Daniel Alfredsson, Jarome Iginla, Patrik Elias, Vincent Lecavalier, Milan Hejduk and Patrick Marleau.