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WEST SHOWS HIS VERSATILITY
From Elias: David West scored 21 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, and handed out seven assists in the Pacers' 118-109 home win over the Bucks. Only one other Indiana player in the last 19 years has reached those three statistical levels in the same game. Jermaine O'Neal had 21 points, 15 rebounds, and 7 assists against the Celtics on April 12, 2006.
PACERS KEEP WINNING
From Elias: Danny Granger (29 points) topped Brandon Jennings (27 points) as the Pacers defeated the Bucks, 118-109. It was the fourth game this season in which players from both Indiana and its opponent scored 27 or more points, and the Pacers have won each of those games. The other victories of that kind were against the Mavericks (Paul George and Dirk Nowitzki), Nets (Granger and Deron Williams) and Knicks (Granger and Carmelo Anthony).
MIAMI'S WIN IS MORE THAN A MERE TECHNICALITY
From Elias: James Jones and Dwyane Wade were called for flagrant fouls, while Wade and LeBron James were also whistled for technical fouls in the Heat's 83-72 home win over the Bulls. The last team to win a game despite having two flagrants and two technicals called against its players was the Mavericks on Jan. 9, 2007. In that game at Utah, Jerry Stackhouse was called for two flagrant fouls and a tech, and teammate Anthony Johnson, who didn't even play in the game, was also called for a technical.
TWO NEW ORLEANS SUBS GRAB 10 BOARDS
From Elias: Carl Landry and Gustavo Ayon each came off the bench to grab 10 rebounds in the Hornets' 105-99 overtime win against the Rockets. The last time two Hornets substitutes reached double-digits in rebounds was on April 16, 2001, when Derrick Coleman and Eddie Robinson each grabbed 10 boards in Charlotte's win over Atlanta.
WORLD WITHOUT LOVE
From Elias: Nikola Pekovic scored a game-high 23 points in the Timberwolves' victory over the Pistons. It was Minnesota's ninth game this season (and fifth in a row) without Kevin Love, and the T'wolves are 2-7 in those games. The Nets (1-7 without Deron Williams) are the only other NBA team that's lost as many games as Minnesota in which their leading point scorer (for the season) didn't play.
GRANDERSON: FIVE HITS AND THREE HOMERS
From Elias: Curtis Granderson went 5 for 5 with three home runs and a pair of singles in the Yankees' 7-6 win over the Twins. Granderson is the first player in Yankees history to record a five-hit game that included three home runs and only the fourth active major-leaguer who's pulled off that feat. The others are Victor Martinez (July 16, 2004), Albert Pujols (July 20, 2004) and Dustin Pedroia (June 24, 2010).
NAPOLI: HOME RUNS IN FOUR STRAIGHT GAMES
From Elias: Mike Napoli hit a home run in his fourth consecutive game to help the Rangers extend their winning streak to seven games with a 10-3 victory at Detroit. Napoli was hitting .100 (2 for 20) with no home runs and one RBI in seven games this season when he began his power surge last Sunday. He's hitting .500 (9 for 18) with five homers and 10 RBIs over his last four games.
THREE FIRST-INNING TRIPLES FOR HOUSTON
From Elias: The Astros scored five runs in the first inning of their 11-4 win at Washington, with Jose Altuve, Brian Bogusevic and Matt Downs all hitting triples for Houston in the first frame. It was the first time that a major-league team hit three first-inning triples in one game since the Marlins' Greg Colbrunn, Kurt Abbott and Russ Morman did that against the Giants on July 25, 1995.
MATT KEMP IS MR. APRIL WHEN IT COMES TO HOME RUNS
From Elias: Matt Kemp hit his seventh home run of the season in the Dodgers' 4-3 win at Milwaukee on Thursday afternoon. Kemp has hit 20 April home runs over the last three seasons (7 in 2010, 6 in 2010), the most by any major-league player.
NOLASCO PREFERS OPPONENTS FROM CENTRAL CASTING
From Elias: Ricky Nolasco picked up his second win of the season with a 5-3 victory over the Cubs. All three of Nolasco's starts this season have been against N.L. Central teams; he beat the Reds in his first start and did not get a decision in a Marlins win over the Astros in his second start. Nolasco probably wouldn't mind if he faced the six Central Division clubs in every game, since he's 10-4 with a 3.94 ERA in 19 starts against those teams since the beginning of the 2010 season.
SWEET SIXTEEN FOR ORIOLES PITCHERS
From Elias: Starter Jason Hammel and three Baltimore relief pitchers combined for 16 strikeouts in the Orioles' win over the White Sox in Chicago. It was the fifth time in the team's 59 seasons in Baltimore that their pitching staff recorded 16 or more strikeouts in a nine-inning game. Before Thursday the Orioles' last such game was a 1-0 win in Boston on Sept. 24, 2000. Mike Mussina, in what would be the next to last start of his Orioles career, fanned 15 batters that day and reliever Mike Trombley added one K to make the final tally a sweet 16.
LONGORIA HELPS THE RAYS BEAT THE JAYS
From Elias: Evan Longoria homered for the first time since the Rays' season opener and drove in four runs to lead Tampa Bay to a 9-4 win in Toronto. It was Longoria's fifth home run in his last 11 games against the Blue Jays, dating back to August 4 last year. Longoria had hit only four home runs in 55 career games versus Toronto up to that time.
LUDWICK HOMERS BY THE GATEWAY ARCH
From Elias: Former Cardinal Ryan Ludwick hit a home run and a double to help the Reds post a 6-3 win at St. Louis on Thursday. It was Ludwick's second home run in 10 games at Busch Stadium since since the Cardinals traded him to San Diego on July 31, 2010. Ludwick hit 33 home runs at Busch during his 3 1/2 seasons with the Redbirds, second-most on the team, behind Albert Pujols.
50 Combined Goals Through 1st 5 Playoff Games
BRODEUR SETS PLAYOFF SHUTOUT RECORD
From Elias: Martin Brodeur took sole ownership of the record for most career shutouts in Stanley Cup play with his 4-0 win over the Panthers that tied the Devils' series against Florida at two wins each. Brodeur's 24th postseason shutout moved him ahead of Patrick Roy (23) on the all-time list. It was the first playoff shutout in four days short of three years for Brodeur, who will celebrate his 40th birthday on May 6. Over the last 40 years only two NHL goaltenders as old as Brodeur have posted playoff shutouts: Dominik Hasek with two shutouts for the Red Wings at age 42 in 2007 and Dwayne Roloson with a shutout at age 41 for Tampa Bay last year.
CAPS ROOKIE MAKES 44 SAVES IN GAME 4 WIN
From Elias: Rookie Braden Holtby made 44 saves to lead the Capitals to a series-tying 2-1 win over the Bruins. In the NHL's expansion era, the only other rookie goaltender to make that many saves while posting a win in a non-overtime playoff game was Montreal's Ken Dryden on April 16, 1971 at Boston. Dryden stopped 46 of the 48 shots he faced in a 4-2 victory.
Washington has won 16 games over the last four playoff years and all of those wins have been recorded by rookie goaltenders: seven by Semyon Varlamov in 2009, three more by Varlamov in 2010, four by Michal Neuvirth in 2011 and two by Holtby this year. That's one more playoff win than rookies have posted for all other NHL teams combined over the same span! The 15 wins over the last four playoff years by rookies on other NHL teams were registered by Boston's Tuukka Rask (seven in 2010), Detroit's Jimmy Howard (five in 2010) and Chicago's Corey Crawford (three in 2011).
BOEDKER SCORES IN OT FOR SECOND STRAIGHT GAME
From Elias: Mikkel Boedker scored in overtime for the second straight game to give the Coyotes a three-games-to-one lead in their series against the Blackhawks. Boedker is the eighth player in NHL history to score overtime goals in consecutive games in one playoff series. The last two players to do that before Boedker were Colorado's Joe Sakic in 2004 against San Jose and Chicago's Chris Chelios in 1995 against Vancouver.