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76ERS' WIN FIRST OF ITS KIND
From Elias: The 76ers defeated the Bulls, 79-78, and won their opening-round series in six games. Philadelphia was only 29-for-73 (.397) from the field and was out-rebounded, 56-33. No other team in NBA history won a playoff game in which it recorded a field-goal percentage under 40.0 percent and had at least 20 fewer rebounds than its opponent.
It was the third game in the series in which the winning team scored fewer than 80 points, tying a shot clock-era record. There were also three such games in the 2004 Eastern Conference Finals between the Pistons and Pacers, a series Detroit won in six games.
GARNETT CARRIES CELTICS IN CLINCHER
From Elias: Kevin Garnett had 28 points, 14 rebounds and five blocked shots on Thursday night, helping the Celtics eliminate the Hawks in the first round. Garnett was the first player to reach those three statistical levels in a series-clinching win since Shaquille O'Neal registered 28 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks for the Heat in Game Six of the 2006 Eastern Conference Finals versus the Pistons.
LAWSON HELPS NUGGETS EXTEND SERIES
From Elias: Ty Lawson scored 32 points and handed out six assists in the Nuggets' win against the Lakers, his third game with 25 or more points and at least five assists in the series. The only other player since the 2004 playoffs who had three 25/5 (points/assists) games versus the Lakers in one postseason series was Deron Williams in the 2008 Western Conference Semifinals.
GAME FOR THE RECORD BOOK AT CAMDEN YARDS
From Elias: Ryan Flaherty, J.J. Hardy and Nick Markakis hit back-to-back-to-back home runs to lead off the bottom of the first inning in the first game of the Orioles' doubleheader against the Rangers. Baltimore became the fourth team in major-league history to begin a game with three consecutive home runs. The others were the 1987 Padres, 2003 Braves and 2007 Brewers.
The Orioles collected only two more hits in the game, but they were also home runs and that was good enough for a 6-5 win against Texas. They became only the third team in major-league history to have five or more hits in a game, all of which were home runs. The others were the Indians in 1989 (six homers against the Rangers) and the Yankees in 2004 (five homers versus the Tigers).
Colby Lewis took the loss for the Rangers, allowing all five home runs, but also striking out 12 batters. Lewis is the first pitcher in major-league history to give up at least five home runs while recording 10 or more strikeouts in the same game.
HAMILTON HITS SIX HOME RUNS IN SERIES
From Elias: Josh Hamilton hit a home run in the nightcap of the Rangers-Orioles doubleheader, punctuating a four-game series at Camden Yards in which he hit six homers. The only other active major-league player who ever hit six (or more) home runs in one series is Alex Rodriguez, who did so for Texas in August 2002, in a three-game set against the Blue Jays in Arlington.
GRANDERSON IS BRONX BOMBER
From Elias: Curtis Granderson's home run on Thursday night was his 10th at Yankee Stadium this season, in the team's 16th home game. No other player in Yankees history hit 10 home runs at home so few home games into a season. The previous fastest was Babe Ruth, who reached double figures in the club's 19th home game in 1926.
Granderson and Robinson Cano each hit home runs off David Price in the Yankees' win over the Rays. It was the first time in his major-league career that Price allowed two homers to left-handed batters in one game. It was Granderson's third homer off Price; all other left-handed batters have combined for five homers against Price (Cano, Chase Utley, Jacoby Ellsbury, Hideki Matsui and Kelly Johnson).
STRASBURG PUNCHES OUT PIRATES
From Elias: Stephen Strasburg struck out 14 Pirates batters in his major-league debut (on June 8, 2010) and on Thursday night, in his second game against Pittsburgh, he struck out 13. The last player to strike out 13 or more batters each of his first two times facing a team was Kerry Wood, against the Diamondbacks in 1998.
INGE SLAMS ANOTHER ONE
From Elias: Brandon Inge's grand slam on Thursday night was his second in three games. Prior to Inge, the last Athletics player to hit two grand slams over a three-game span was Jimmie Foxx in September 1932.
FOUR-HIT GAMES FOR DIRKS AND CABRERA
From Elias: Andy Dirks and Miguel Cabrera each had four hits in the Tigers' victory over the Athletics. They were the fourth pair of teammates to each collect four hits in a game this season, joining Freddie Freeman and Eric Hinske, David Ortiz and Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Ruben Tejada and Scott Hairston. The only other Tigers tandem to do so over the last four seasons was Austin Jackson and Johnny Damon on September 25, 2010 against the Twins at Comerica Park.
ALVAREZ WINS THIRD STRAIGHT START
From Elias: Toronto's Henderson Alvarez, who turned 22 last month, defeated the Twins on Thursday night and has now won each of his last three starts, while allowing one earned run or less in each game. He's the youngest major-league pitcher since Clayton Kershaw in July 2009 to win three consecutive starts while permitting no more than one earned run in each.
RED SOX' WORST HOME START IN 80 YEARS
From Elias: The Red Sox' 8-3 loss to the Indians dropped their record to 4-11 at Fenway Park this season. It's Boston's worst mark through the first 15 home games of a season since 1932, when the team started 2-13 at home.