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PIERCE TURNS BACK THE CLOCK
From Elias: Paul Pierce, 34 years old, had 36 points and 14 rebounds in the Celtics' win over the Hawks on Tuesday. The only other Celtics players to score 35 or more points in a playoff game at age 34 or older are John Havlicek (twice in 1974, at age 34, including in Game 6 of the NBA Finals) and Sam Jones (in 1968, at age 34).
BRYANT LEADS LAKERS TO WIN
From Elias: Kobe Bryant, 33 years old, scored 38 points on Tuesday in the Lakers' win over the Nuggets. The only other Lakers players to score that many points in a playoff game at age 33 or older are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (three times in the 1980 playoffs, including twice in the NBA Finals) and Wilt Chamberlain (45 in Game 6 the 1970 Finals against the Knicks).
And coupled with Pierce's 36-point game, it's the first time that two players age 33 or older have scored 35 points on the same day in the NBA playoffs.
JRUE WAS TRUE; 76ERS RUN WITH, AND PAST, THE BULLS
From Elias: Jrue Holiday made 11 of 15 shots (73.3%) for the 76ers in their win over the Bulls on Tuesday, tying the highest shooting percentage by a 76ers player in a playoff win in which he took at least 15 shots., Andrew Toney made 11 of 15 shots against Milwaukee in the 1983 playoffs. Holiday had the highest shooting percentage by a guard with at least 15 attempts in a postseason game since Dwyane Wade made 13 of 17 (76.5%) on May 27, 2006 against Detroit.
The 76ers made 46 of 78 shots (59.0%), their second-highest field-goal percentage in a road playoff game, behind a 54 for 91 (59.3%) game against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden in 1978.
The 76ers outscored the Bulls, 36-14, in the third quarter and went on to defeat the Derrick Rose-less home team, 109-92. It marked the first time in Bulls playoff history - a history that encompasses 305 playoff games and 1,220 quarters - that the Bulls have been outscored by 20-or-more points in one quarter. (The previous high was 19 points, also in a game against Philadelphia: on May 11, 1990, before Michael Jordan and Co. had won their first championship, Charles Barkley's 76ers outscored the Bulls, 33-14, in the first quarter of Game Three of a second-round series.)
DEVILS DOWN FLYERS
From Elias: The Devils scored four third-period goals to overcome a 1-0 deficit and post a 4-1 victory that evened their series against the Flyers at one win each. Rookie defenseman Adam Larsson, making his NHL playoff debut, scored the first goal in New Jersey's third-period rally. Larsson is only the second teenager ever to score a playoff goal for the Devils. The first was Brendan Shanahan, who was 19 years old (but a little more than two months younger than Larsson) when he scored two goals for New Jersey in the 1988 playoffs.
Larsson is the third teenage defenseman to score a goal in his playoff debut over the last 20 seasons, joining Ottawa's Erik Karlsson (age 19 in 2010) and San Jose's Vlastimil Kroupa (age 18 in 1994).
LAYING DOWN THE LAW
From Elias: Brett Lawrie, who turned 22 in January, hit his second career walk-off home run in the Blue Jays' win over the Rangers on Tuesday. Lawrie, who is the only player born in the 1990s to hit a walk-off home run, is one of three active players to hit multiple walk-off homers before turning 23 years old. The others: Carl Crawford and Ryan Zimmerman (three times).
MATUSZ ENDS SKID; SHOWALTER WINS #1,000
From Elias: Brian Matusz ended his 12-game losing streak and Buck Showalter recorded his 1,000th career win as a manager in the Orioles' win over the Yankees on Tuesday. Showalter, who started his managerial career with the Yankees in 1992, is the first manager to win his 1,000th game against a team that he formerly managed since Billy Martin notched #1,000 against the Yankees in 1982 (while he was managing Oakland).
Matusz is the first pitcher in nearly 59 years to start and win against the Yankees to end a losing streak of 12 or more games. The last pitcher to do that was Ted Gray for the Tigers in 1953.
WILLIAMS GOES THE DISTANCE FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 2003
From Elias: Jerome Williams threw a complete game for the Angels against the Twins on Tuesday, his first complete game in eight years, 299 days, since having one for the Giants on July 7, 2003. That's the longest span between complete games for any major-league pitcher since Lindy McDaniel went 13 years, 56 days, from 1960 to 1973 (while pitching almost exclusively in relief over that time).
KOTSAY COMES THROUGH IN PINCH
From Elias: Mark Kotsay hit his first pinch-hit home run since Aug. 9, 2002 in the Padres' win over the Brewers on Tuesday. It's the second time in three days that a player ended a streak of nine or more years without a pinch-hit homer - on Sunday, Todd Helton hit his second career off-the-bench home run, and his first since Aug. 25, 1997.
NOLASCO LOVES AT&T PARK
From Elias: Ricky Nolasco limited the Giants to one run in 7 1/3 innings on Tuesday, improving his career won-lost record at AT&T Park to 4-0, with a 0.87 ERA. The only players with at least three starts at that venue with a lower ERA than Nolasco are Clayton Kershaw (4-1, 0.45 in six games, five starts) and Cliff Lee (3-0, 0.51 in four games, all starts).
A RARE OUTING FOR VENTERS
From Elias: The Phillies had four hits off Jonny Venters in their 4-2 win over the Braves on Tuesday. It was only the fourth time in 174 career games that Venters has allowed four or more hits.
WEEKS LEADS ATHLETICS TO WIN
From Elias: Jemile Weeks went 2 for 5, scored two runs and drove in two more in the Athletics' win over the Red Sox on Tuesday. Entering the day, Athletics' leadoff hitters had a .175 batting average, the second-lowest for any major-league team, ahead of the Reds (.144). Weeks had scored at least two runs in a game in only one of his previous 43 games in the leadoff spot, dating back to last September.
From Elias: A.J. Pierzynski hit his fifth home run of the season on Tuesday in his 20th game, leaving him only three shy of his total from all last season. Pierzynski did not hit his fifth home run of last season until July 29, in his 92nd game of the year. Pierzynski is second in the major leagues this season in home runs as a catcher, behind Matt Wieters, who has six.
NATIONAL NIGHTMARE CONTINUES
From Elias: The Diamondbacks and Trevor Cahill extended the Nationals' skid, with a 5-1 win in Washington on Tuesday. The Nationals have lost five straight games, in which they've scored a total of seven runs, had 25 hits in 161 at-bats, a .155 batting average and gone 5 for 52 (.096) with runners on base. That's the lowest team batting average with men on base in a five-game span this season.
TIGERS MAUL HOCHEVAR
From Elias: The Tigers scored nine runs in four innings against Luke Hochevar on Tuesday, in a 9-3 win. Hochevar now has a 7.68 ERA at Comerica Park, second-highest among pitchers who have started there at least five times, behind Nick Blackburn (7.71).
FREESE TAKES MORTON DEEP
From Elias: David Freese became the second right-handed batter to hit a home run off of Charlie Morton this season with a blast on Tuesday; Colorado's Ramon Hernandez took Morton deep on April 25. Last season, Morton allowed only one home run in 381 at-bats to right-handed batters (to Houston's Jose Altuve). That was the most at-bats by right-handed batters in one season against any pitcher without hitting more than one homer since Greg Maddux allowed only one home run in 393 at-bats to right-handed batters in 1992 (by San Diego's Jerald Clark).
LILLY STREAK ENDS IN DODGERS WIN
From Elias: Ted Lilly allowed his first home run in his last 10 starts on Tuesday, a two-run shot off the bat of Carlos Gonzalez. Lilly's nine game start streak without allowing a home run had been the third-longest current streak among active players and was by far the longest of Lilly's career, topping a five-game streak in 2001.
Gonzalez is now 7 for 17 with five homers off Lilly. The only active player with five homers off of an active pitcher in so few at bats is Andrew Jones, who has five in 13 at-bats against Jason Marquis.
JOYCE REPLACES LONGORIA, AT LEAST FOR A NIGHT
From Elias: Matt Joyce moved to the third spot in the Rays' batting order on Tuesday, replacing the injured Evan Longoria, and hit a triple and a home run in Tampa Bay's win over Seattle. Joyce started 22 games in the third spot in the batting order for the Rays last season, and did not have a home run or a triple in any of those games.