Date: April 23, 2012

Elias Says...

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

NBA

KNICKS WIN A THREE-POINT SHOOTOUT

From Elias: The Knicks topped the Hawks, 113-112, in a long-distance shootout that saw New York make 12 of 19 three-point attempts (63.2%) and Atlanta hit 15 of 23 shots from downtown (65.2%). It was the first game in NBA history in which both teams made more than ten three-point field goals while each shot 63 percent or better from beyond the arc.

Atlanta Hawks, New York Knicks

BIG COMEBACK FOR THE LAKERS

From Elias: The Lakers overcame an 18-point deficit to beat the Thunder in double-overtime. Oklahoma City entered play on Sunday as the only NBA team that hadn't lost a game this season in which it led by more than 12 points.

Los Angeles Lakers, Oklahoma City Thunder

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Bryant

DURANT CLAIMS LEAGUE LEAD IN SCORING AVERAGE

From Elias: Kobe Bryant entered play on Sunday as the NBA's scoring leader with an average of 27.9 points per game, one-tenth of a point more than Kevin Durant (27.8). Durant jump into the lead (27.91 to 27.86) by scoring 35 points on Sunday, compared to 26 for Bryant.

Los Angeles Lakers, Oklahoma City Thunder

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James

NO WADE, NO BOSH, NO PROBLEM

From Elias: LeBron James scored 32 points to lead the undermanned Heat to a 97-88 victory over the Rockets. It was the fifth game that Miami has played without both Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh since the "Big Three" joined forces with the club, and the Heat has won each of those games with James averaging 34.3 PPG in those triumphs.

Miami Heat, Houston Rockets

RAPTORS LOSE ANOTHER ONE-POSSESSION GAME

From Elias: The Raptors missed three field-goal attempts in the final 30 seconds of their 76-73 loss to the Pistons. The Raptors have lost the last seven games they've played that were decided by a margin of three or fewer points (since February 6), the longest losing streak of its kind in franchise history.

Detroit Pistons, Toronto Raptors

MLB

ROYALS REMAIN WINLESS IN KANSAS CITY

From Elias: The Royals loss to Toronto dropped their record to 0-9 at Kauffman Stadium this season. Kansas City is the first major-league team to lose its first nine home games of a season since the 1995 Marlins, and the Royals' streak matches the second-longest of its kind for any American League team over the past 99 seasons. Since 1914, the only other A.L. team to lose its first nine home games of a season was the 1940 White Sox.

Kansas City Royals, Toronto Blue Jays

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Kennedy

NINE STRAIGHT WINS FOR KENNEDY

From Elias: Ian Kennedy improved to 3-0 this season as the Diamondbacks defeated the Braves. Kennedy has won his last nine regular-season decisions, tying him with Clayton Kershaw for the second-longest current winning streak in the majors, behind Ivan Nova (15). Despite their regular-season winning streaks, both Kennedy and Nova lost during the 2011 postseason.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves

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Markakis

MARKAKIS WORKING OVERTIME

From Elias: Nick Markakis' RBI single in the tenth inning gave the Orioles a 3-2 win against the Angels in Anaheim. Markakis has a .459 (28-for-61) career batting average in extra innings, the highest average for any active player with at least 50 at-bats in the tenth inning or later.

Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles Angels

HAREN CAN'T BUY A WIN

From Elias: Dan Haren was victimized by the Angels' bullpen again on Sunday. He left the game with a 1-0 lead and two runners on base in the top of the eighth, only to see the Orioles take the lead with Scott Downs on the mound. It was the third blown win of the season for Haren, the most for any major-league starter.

Los Angeles Angels, Baltimore Orioles

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Chapman

CHAPMAN SHUTOUT STREAK REACHES 16 1/3 INNINGS

From Elias: Aroldis Chapman threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings to protect a two-run lead in the Reds' 4-3 win at Wrigley Field. Chapman, who hasn't allowed a run this season, has a 16 1/3-inning scoreless streak dating back to 2011, the longest of his career. The only major-league pitchers with longer current streaks of consecutive shutout innings than Chapman are David Robertson (21 1/3 innings dating back to last season) and Matt Cain (18 innings).

Cincinnati Reds, Chicago Cubs

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Dunn

DUNN SETS STRIKEOUT RECORD

From Elias: Adam Dunn went 1-for-4 with one RBI in the White Sox' victory at Seattle, but it was his first-inning strikeout that caught our attention. Dunn became the first player to strike out at least once in each of his team's first 15 games of a season since they began tracking strikeouts for individual batters in 1910. Dunn surpassed the mark of Howie Goss, who whiffed in each of Houston's first 14 games in 1963.

Chicago White Sox, Seattle Mariners

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Lohse

LOHSE LOVES APRIL

From Elias: Kyle Lohse allowed one run in seven innings in the Cardinals' 5-1 win at Pittsburgh to improve his record to 3-0 in four starts this season despite seeing his ERA increase to 0.99. It's the second-lowest ERA that Lohse has posted during a four-start span in any season of his career; he had a 0.86 ERA over a span of four starts last April. Lohse is 7-0 with a 0.92 ERA over his last eight April starts (since April 10, 2011).

St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates

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Nathan

NATHAN IS MONEY IN THE BANK IN EXTRA INNINGS

From Elias: Joe Nathan nailed down the Rangers' 3-2 win at Detroit by retiring Prince Fielder, who represented the potential winning run, on a deep foul fly ball to right field. Nathan has 22 saves in 22 career opportunities when entering a game in the tenth inning or later (one for the Giants, 20 for the Twins and one for the Rangers).

Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers

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Schafer

SCHAFER AND BIGGIO

From Elias: Jordan Schafer's second-inning grand slam increased Houston's lead to 6-0 and the Astros went on to beat the red-hot Dodgers, 12-0. Schafer was the tenth player in franchise history to hit a bases-loaded home run from the top spot in the batting order and he was the first to do so since Craig Biggio in 2007. Biggio (three times) is the only one of those ten players to do it more than once.

Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers

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Jennings

SCORING FLY BALLS HELP THE RAYS

From Elias: Desmond Jennings drove in three runs and he had one of four sacrifice flies for Tampa Bay as the Rays defeated the Twins, 6-2. The Rays, who entered Sunday's game with the American League's second-lowest percentage of runners driven in from third base with less than two outs this season (11 of 29, 37.9%), became the second major-league team in the last three seasons (2010-2012) to record as many as four sacrifice flies in a nine-inning game. They were only the second American League team to do so over the last six seasons (2007-2012).

Tampa Bay Rays, Minnesota Twins

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Betancourt

CLEAN SAVE FOR BETANCOURT

From Elias: Rafael Betancourt set the Brewers down in order in the ninth inning to preserve a 4-1 win for Jeremy Guthrie and the Rockies. It was Betancourt's fifth save of the season, all one inning in length, but it was the first of those saves in which Betancourt retired the side in order.

Colorado Rockies, Milwaukee Brewers

PADRES ARE STREAKING

From Elias: The Padres posted back-to-back wins for the first time this season, taking the final two games of their four-game series against the Phillies. San Diego entered play on Sunday as the only major-league team that hadn't won two consecutive games this season. It was the furthest into a season that the Padres have gone before posting their first two-game winning streak since 1994, when they won two in a row for the first time in their 18th and 19th games.

San Diego Padres, Philadelphia Phillies

NHL

BEST IN REGULAR SEASON OUTSED IN FIRST ROUND OF THE PLAYOFFS

From Elias: The Kings eliminated the Canucks, the team with the best record in the NHL this season, with a 2-1 overtime win in Game 5 of their first-round series. Vancouver was the sixth Presidents' Trophy-winning team to be knocked out in the first round of the playoffs since 1985-86, when the NHL began giving its award to the team with the best record in the league, but they were the first one of those teams to go out in fewer than six games. The other Presidents' Trophy winners who were "one and done" were the 1990-91 Blackhawks (eliminated by the Minnesota North Stars), 1999-2000 Blues (San Jose), 2005-06 Red Wings (Edmonton), 2008-09 Sharks (Anaheim) and 2009-10 Capitals (Montreal).

Los Angeles Kings, Vancouver Canucks

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Giroux

FLYERS ADVANCE AS GIROUX TALLIES 14 POINTS IN SERIES

From Elias: The Flyers finally got it right on their third try to eliminate the Penguins, wrapping up their first-round series with a 5-1 win in Game 6. Claude Giroux, who led all players on both teams with 14 points in the series (6 goals, 8 assists), recorded a goal and two assists in the clincher on Sunday afternoon. Giroux's 14 points were the second-most ever tallied by a Flyers player in one playoff series, behind Tim Kerr's 15 points (10 goals, 5 assists) in a seven-game series against Pittsburgh in 1989. Giroux is only the second NHL player since 1993 to score at least 14 points in a playoff series of fewer than seven games. Sidney Crosby registered 14 points in the Penguins' six-game first-round series win against Ottawa in 2010.

Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins

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Seguin

YOUNGSTER KEEPS BRUINS ALIVE WITH OT GOAL

From Elias: Tyler Seguin scored the first playoff overtime goal of his NHL career to give the Bruins a 4-3 win in Game 6 of their series against the Capitals. The 20-year-old Seguin is the third-youngest player to score a playoff overtime goal for the Bruins, behind Don Gallinger, who holds the NHL record with an OT winner at age 17 versus Montreal in 1943, and Patrice Bergeron, who was 18 years old when he scored in overtime against the Canadiens in 2004.

Boston Bruins, Washington Capitals

CAN'T GET ANY CLOSER

From Elias: The Bruins-Capitals series is the first one in NHL playoff history in which each of the first six games were decided by a one-goal margin. Boston has won by scores of 1-0 (in double overtime), 4-3 and 4-3 (in OT), while Washington's victories have been scores of 2-1 (in overtime), 2-1 and 4-3. Of course, the Bruins and Caps' exclusive hold on that record might last only one day. Game 6 of the Phoenix-Chicago series is set for Monday night and each of the first five games were decided in overtime.

Boston Bruins, Washington Capitals


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