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76ERS' 3RD STRAIGHT 1-POINT MARGIN
From Elias: The 76ers defeated the Celtics by one point on Monday after Boston won the first game of the series by the minimum margin. And Philadelphia won Game 6 of their first-round series against Chicago by one point. The 76ers are the first team in the history of the NBA playoffs to play three consecutive games decided by a single point. The only other NBA playoff series in which the first two games were both decided by the minimum margin was the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals, when Orlando and Cleveland split the first two games (and the Magic eventually won the series in six games).
The 76ers held the Celtics to 24 points over the second and third quarters in their Game 2 win. That's the fewest points the Celtics have scored over consecutive periods in any playoff game in team history. The previous low was 26 points, in the third and fourth quarters of a pre-shot-clock 1954 loss to the Syracuse Nationals.
THUNDER CLOUTS LAKERS
From Elias: The Thunder defeated the Lakers by 29 points in Game 1 of their playoff series on Monday. That's the Lakers' largest margin of defeat in Game 1 of a postseason series since a 35-point loss to the Jazz in Game 1 of their 1998 series. Utah went on to sweep Los Angeles in that series.
Russell Westbrook scored 27 points in 27 minutes and Kevin Durant had 25 in 29 minutes on Monday. They're only the second set of teammates in NBA playoff history to each score at least 25 points in less than 30 minutes. Danny Schayes (26 points in 28 minutes) and Jay Vincent (25 in 27) did that for Denver in a win over Seattle in 1988.
#1 AND #2 IN NBA IN SCORING MEET IN PLAYOFFS
From Elias: Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant faced off in only the fifth playoff series in NBA history matching the players who finished first and second in the league's scoring race that season. The four previous instances, with the scoring champion listed first:
1951 West Semis George Mikan (Lakers) Alex Groza (Olympians)
1997 NBA Finals Michael Jordan (Bulls) Karl Malone (Jazz)
ANOTHER LOW-SCORING GAME FOR RANGERS
From Elias: The Rangers defeated the Devils on Monday, 3-0, and for the 15th straight game, neither the Rangers nor their opponent scored more than three goals. That's the longest streak of that kind in one playoff year, and it's the longest at any point since the long-defunct Montreal Maroons played 17 straight playoff games from 1931 to 1935 in which they neither scored nor allowed more than three goals.
THERE'S A NEW KID IN TOWN
From Elias: Chris Kreider, who has never played in a regular-season NHL game, scored his third goal of the playoffs for the Rangers on Monday. Only three other players have scored three or more goals in the postseason before ever playing in a regular-season game: Eddie Mazur (4 for the Canadiens in 1952 and 1953), Ray Cote (3 for the Oilers in 1982; he never scored a regular-season goal) and George McPhee (3 for the Rangers in 1983).
LESTER GOES THE DISTANCE
From Elias: Jon Lester's complete game on Monday was the first at Fenway Park by a Red Sox pitcher since Lester had one against the Twins on May 20, 2010. Boston's streak of 155 games without a pitcher throwing a complete game at home was more than twice as long as the next-longest streak of that kind in team history (75 games in 2006).
KERSHAW HOLDS ARIZONA SCORELESS
From Elias: Clayton Kershaw threw seven scoreless innings against the Diamondbacks on Monday for his third straight scoreless start when Arizona has visited Los Angeles. Last season Kershaw held the Diamondbacks off the board in 12 innings at Dodger Stadium.
HARPER HITS FIRST HOMER
From Elias: Bryce Harper hit his first home run on Monday at the age of 19 years and 211 days. He's the youngest player in Expos/Nationals history to hit a home run, breaking the record held by Gary Carter since Sept. 28, 1974, when he was 20 years, 173 days old. And he's the youngest to hit a home run for a Washington team since Harmon Killebrew did it on Sept. 25, 1955 at 19 years, 88 days old.
NATIONALS SCORE A SEASON-HIGH 8 RUNS
From Elias: The Nationals scored eight runs against the Padres on Monday in their 35th game, their most runs in any game this season. Since 2000, only two other teams went 34 or more games into a season without scoring eight runs: the 2007 Nationals (45 games) and 2007 Pirates (35 games).
DUNN TAKES A LEFTY DEEP
From Elias: Adam Dunn hit a two-run home run off of left-hander Drew Smyly in the bottom of the first inning on Monday in Chicago. It was Dunn's first a home run against a left-hander since he hit two against Clayton Kershaw on August 6, 2010. (The only other left-handed batter with a multiple-homer game against Kershaw is Carlos Gonzalez, who did it on May 2.) Dunn's streak of 30 consecutive home runs coming against right-handed pitchers had been the fourth-longest active streak entering Monday's games.
REDS GET TO VENTERS
From Elias: Brandon Phillips and Chris Heisey had eighth-inning doubles against Jonny Venters to lead the Reds to a win over the Braves on Monday. It's only the third time in 179 regular-season games that Venters has allowed two extra-base hits in one game.
TEIXEIRA'S HOME RUN LEADS YANKEES TO WIN
From Elias: Mark Teixeira's seventh-inning home run on Monday gave the Yankees a lead in their victory at Baltimore. Teixeira has hit only one other lead-changing home run in the seventh inning or later over the last three regular seasons; he did that against Cleveland in 2010. (Teixeira had a seventh-inning go-ahead home run against the Twins in the 2010 playoffs.)
SORIANO'S CLUTCH HIT LEADS CUBS TO WIN
From Elias: Alfonso Soriano's two-out single in the eighth inning put the Cubs ahead for good in their 6-4 win Monday in St. Louis. Soriano is 4 for 8 with 4 RBI when batting with two outs in the eighth inning or later this season. He was 4 for 27 (.148) with 4 RBI in those situations all last season.
ROYALS GETTING GOOD PITCHING LATELY
From Elias: The Royals defeated the Rangers on Monday, 3-1, giving them three straight wins in which they held their opponent to no runs or one run. It's the first time the Royals have allowed no more than one run in three straight games since a three-game sweep of the Indians in June 2003. The Royals' starting pitchers in those games were Chris George, Kyle Snyder and Jose Lima.
BATISTA RECORDS FIRST WIN OF SEASON
From Elias: Miguel Batista, 41 years old, earned his first win of 2012 for the Mets on Monday by throwing seven scoreless innings against the Brewers. The only other Mets pitchers to record a win as a starter at age 41 or older are Tom Glavine (13 times in 2007) and Warren Spahn (4 in 1965).