Date: April 21, 2012

Elias Says...

By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to ESPN.com

NBA

SPURS TROUNCE LAKERS

From Elias: The Spurs defeated the Lakers on Friday night, 121-97, the fifth time this April that San Antonio scored 120 or more points in a game. That's the franchise's highest such total in a calendar month under Gregg Popovich, who became the team's head coach in 1996. In fact, you have to go back to November 1990, when David Robinson was beginning his second season with the Spurs, for the last time they had five 120-point games in a calendar month.

San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers

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Johnson

JOHNSON LEADS HAWKS OVER CELTICS

From Elias: Joe Johnson had 30 points, six assists and five rebounds against the Celtics on Friday night. In the past 25 years the only other Hawks players with a 30-5-5 (points-rebounds-assists) game against Boston were Al Harrington in November 2005 and current Celtics coach Doc Rivers in December 1990.

Boston Celtics, Atlanta Hawks

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Irving

IRVING ICES KNICKS

From Elias: Kyrie Irving scored a game-high 21 points in the Cavaliers' victory over the Knicks. It was the 10th time this season that Irving was the outright leading scorer for both teams in a game. No other rookie has done that even half as many times in 2011-12. With only four games remaining in Cleveland's season Irving will not be able to match LeBron James' rookie total in that category. James scored more points than any other player on either team 17 times in 2003-04.

Cleveland Cavaliers

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Thompson

ROOKIES SHINE VS. DEFENDING CHAMPS

From Elias: Klay Thompson scored 26 points and Charles Jenkins had 10 assists in the Warriors' loss to the Mavericks on Friday night. It's the first time this season that a rookie scored 25 points while a rookie teammate recorded 10 assists in the same game. And no rookie tandem had done that against the defending NBA champion since April 15, 1989 when the Clippers' Charles Smith (26 points) and Gary Grant (25 points and 15 assists) did so versus the Lakers.

Golden State Warriors, Dallas Mavericks

BOBCATS SQUANDER 4TH-QUARTER LEAD

From Elias: The Bobcats held a 67-59 lead over the Grizzlies early in the fourth quarter, but still went on to lose their 19th consecutive game. It was the second-largest fourth-period lead owned by Charlotte in those 19 games, behind a 10-point advantage they had with a little more than 10 minutes remaining versus the Pistons on March 31.

Charlotte Bobcats, Memphis Grizzlies

MLB

BAD DAY FOR HOME TEAMS

From Elias: Home teams were only 2-12 (.143) in the major leagues on Friday, the lowest such winning percentage on a date with at least 14 games since August 4, 2006, when clubs playing in their own park were 2-13 (.133).

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Buchholz

YANKEES SPOIL PARTY WITH 5 HOMERS OFF BUCHHOLZ

From Elias: The Red Sox hosted the Yankees on Friday afternoon on the 100-year anniversary of the team's first game at Fenway Park. This is the 101st season in which Fenway Park has hosted major-league games (1912-2012), the most for any venue. Next-highest: Wrigley Field (99 seasons, 1914-2012, including two years hosting a Federal League team in 1914-15); Tiger Stadium (88 seasons, 1912-99), the original Yankee Stadium (84 seasons, 1923-73 and 1976-2008); Comiskey Park (81 years, 1910-90).

The Yankees spoiled the party by clubbing five home runs off Clay Buchholz in a 6-2 win. Buchholz became only the third Red Sox pitcher to allow five home runs in one game to the Yankees. The others were Dennis Eckersley in 1979 (at Yankee Stadium) and Josh Beckett in 2009 (at Fenway).

It was the sixth time that the Yankees hit at least five home runs in a game at Fenway Park. The only venue at which they've had more five-homer games as a visiting team was Shibe Park, where they hammered five or more homers eight times, all against the Philadelphia Athletics in the 1930s.

Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees

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Kemp

KEMP JOINS MAYS AND WALKER

From Elias: Matt Kemp was 3-for-3 and drove in two runs on Friday night, giving him 26 hits and 20 RBIs in only 14 games this season. Over the last 50 seasons, only two other major-league players had at least 25 hits and 20 or more RBIs before they had played 15 games: Willie Mays for the 1962 Giants and Larry Walker for the 1997 Rockies.

Los Angeles Dodgers

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Presley

PRESLEY LEADS OFF WITH INSIDE-THE-PARK HOMER

From Elias: Alex Presley led off the bottom of the first inning with an inside-the-park home run, but that was the extent of the Pirates' scoring in their 4-1 loss to the Cardinals. It was the first time in more than three decades that a major-league team's lone run was scored with an inside-the-park homer by its first batter of the game. On August 25, 1979 Kansas City leadoff man Willie Wilson circled the bases in the first inning on a ball that did not clear the fence at Royals Stadium, and that was the only score for both teams in a 1-0 win against the Red Sox.

Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals

BLUE JAYS TURN FIRST TRIPLE PLAY SINCE 1979

From Elias: The Blue Jays turned their first triple play since 1979 on Friday night, ending the longest such current drought in the major leagues. In fact, Toronto's streak of 32 years and 212 days without a triple play was the third-longest span in major-league history. The Dodgers did not "turn three" for 47 years and 50 days, covering 1949 to 1996, and the Yankees did not do so for 41 years and 323 days, from 1968 to 2010.

Toronto Blue Jays

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Freeman

FREEMAN STAYS HOT

From Elias: Freddie Freeman was 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs in Atlanta's win against Arizona on Friday night. Freeman, over his last four games, has eight extra-base hits and 12 runs batted in. Since 1920, when RBIs were first officially recorded in the major leagues, only two other Braves players had at least eight extra-base hits and 12-or-more RBIs in a four-game span: Joe Adcock in 1954 (he had a game with four home runs in that stretch) and Brian McCann in 2006.

Atlanta Braves, Arizona Diamondbacks

WASHINGTON WINNING WITH STRONG STARTING PITCHING

From Elias: Ross Detwiler threw six scoreless innings on Friday night and three Nationals relievers preserved that shutout in Washington's 2-0 win over the Marlins. The Nationals are now 11-4 and their starting pitchers' ERA is 1.94. The only other major-league team in the last 10 seasons whose starters had an earned run average below 2.00 through the first 15 games of a season was the 2005 Marlins. Their rotation to that point included Josh Beckett, Al Leiter, A.J. Burnett, Dontrelle Willis and Brian Moehler.

Washington Nationals, Miami Marlins

CUBS FANS SEEING RED

From Elias: The Cubs' 9-4 loss to the Reds on Friday afternoon was their sixth loss in a row, and also marked the sixth consecutive game in which they scored fewer than five runs and allowed at least five runs. That's tied for the second-longest such streak in franchise history. The Cubs' only longer stretch of that type occurred in September 1996, when they failed to score five or more runs, while allowing at least that many, in eight straight games.

Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds

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Willingham

WILLINGHAM'S BASES-CLEARING DOUBLE EXTENDS HIT STREAK

From Elias: Josh Willingham's three-run double in the seventh inning highlighted the Twins' come-from-behind 5-4 win over the Rays. Willingham, who had only a .246 batting average for the Athletics last season, has at least one hit in all 14 Twins games this year.

The only other major-league player in the past 15 years who hit safely in each of his team's first 14 games coming off a season with a batting average that low was Scott Brosius. Brosius hit .230 for the Yankees in 2000, but then had a hit in each of their first 14 games in 2001, which was his final season in the big leagues.

Minnesota Twins, Tampa Bay Rays

GIANTS WIN CONSECUTIVE EXTRA-INNING GAMES

From Elias: The Giants followed up Wednesday night's 11-inning 1-0 win over the Phillies, with a 4-3 victory in 10 innings over the Mets on Friday evening. It's the first time in nearly 12 years that San Francisco won back-to-back extra inning games. The Giants had last done that in April 2000, with consecutive road victories over the Marlins, the first in 11 innings and the next in 12 innings.

San Francisco Giants, New York Mets

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Braun

BRAUN STRUGGLING

From Elias: Ryan Braun was 0-for-3 with three strikeouts in the Brewers' loss to the Rockies at Miller Park on Friday night. Braun is hitless in his last four games, after never going more than three straight games without a hit all of last season.

Milwaukee Brewers

NHL

FIRST TEAM TO SCORE LOSES AGAIN

From Elias: The Penguins, who lost their first three games of their series against the Flyers, staved off elimination for the second consecutive game with a 3-2 win on Friday night. While the low score didn't fit the pattern set in the first four games of the series when a record 45 goals were scored, Pittsburgh's victory continued another trend and tied an NHL record in the process. In each of the first five games of the series the team that scored the first goal lost. It's only the third series in NHL playoff history to follow that unusual pattern; the others were Pittsburgh vs. St. Louis in 1981 and Dallas vs. San Jose in 2008.

Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins

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Legwand

LEGWAND SCORES TIE-BREAKING GOAL

From Elias: David Legwand scored a tiebreaking goal 13 seconds into the third period and the Predators preserved their one-goal lead the rest of the way for a 2-1 series-clinching win over the Red Wings. It was the second straight game in which Legwand scored a third-period goal; his goal in the final minute wrapped up Nashville's 3-1 win in Game 4 at Detroit. Before that game Legwand had scored only two third-period goals in 40 career NHL playoff games.

Nashville Predators, Detroit Red Wings


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