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76ers WIN, QUIET NIGHT FOR STARTING CENTER
From Elias: The 76ers defeated Toronto despite starting center Lavoy Allen failing to score a point or collect a rebound while playing more than 21 minutes.
That's an unusual occurrence - it was the first time this season that a winning team's starting center had `zero' in both categories and it happened only twice last season - but it's not so unusual for Philadelphia - the 76ers did it both times last season, too. Nikola Vucevic was the starting center when the 76ers beat the Nets last April and Spencer Hawes did it last January when Philadelphia topped Sacramento. Maybe there was something in the air because Boris Diaw started for San Antonio later on Saturday night and scored no points and grabbed no rebounds (while playing 14:53) as the Spurs edged the Trail Blazers in Portland.
The last starting center to do this for any winning team while playing as many minutes as Allen was Jason Collins for the Nets in April 2007.
The 76ers outscored the Raptors 32-7 in the second quarter. The last time Philadelphia outscored an opponent by that much in a single period was on April 3, 2005 when the 76ers led Boston 38-13 at the end of the first quarter on the way to a 97-93 win. The last time Philadelphia held an opponent to seven points or fewer in a quarter was March 30, 2004 when the Warriors managed only six points in the third quarter of a 95-71 Philadelphia victory.
JAMAAL TINSLEY SCORELESS BUT DISHES OUT 14 ASSISTS
From Elias: Jamaal Tinsley was unselfish tonight in his first start of the season for the Utah Jazz. He handed out 14 assists and scored no points as Utah defeated Phoenix, 94-81. Only three others have had that many assists in a scoreless game in the last 25 seasons: Greg Anthony (14 assists for the Knicks in 1993), Anthony Carter (14 assists for the Nuggets in 2008) and Rajon Rondo (15 assists for the Celtics last April.)
YOUNG KIDD-GILCHRIST REMINDS US OF SOMEONE
From Elias: Rookie forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist scored 25 points and pulled down 12 rebounds for the Bobcats as they defeated the Mavericks in overtime. Kidd-Gilchrist turned 19 less than two months ago. Only one NBA player ever reached those levels of points and rebounds in a game at a younger age: LeBron James did it in 2003 while he was still only 18 years old.
DOUBLE-DIGIT ASSISTS AGAIN FOR RONDO
From Elias: Rajon Rondo extended his streak to 30 consecutive games with at least 10 assists. He had 10 assists Saturday as the Celtics beat the Bucks. Only Magic Johnson (46 games, 1982-83 into 1983-84) and John Stockton (37 games, 1988-89 into 1989-90) have ever had longer streaks than Rondo. No other active player has had even 15 straight games with at least 10 assists and no other Celtics player in franchise history ever had even a 10-game streak. Nate Archibald and Bob Cousy each had a seven-game streak as his longest; Rondo also had a nine-game streak earlier in his career.
CAN'T SCORE 90? THIBODEAU'S TEAM WINS ANYWAY
From Elias: The Bulls scored only 87 points against the Timberwolves but that was more than enough to win, 87-80 in Chicago. Since Tom Thibodeau became the Chicago head coach in 2010-11, the Bulls are 20-12 in games when they score fewer than 90 points. That's a .625 winning percentage; the rest of the league combined has a winning percentage of only .167 in such games and no other team has a winning record (San Antonio has the next best winning percentage, 7-13 for .350).
DERRICK WILLIAMS MISSES EVERY FIELD GOAL ATTEMPT, BUT HE'S NOT ALONE
From Elias: Derrick Williams shot 0-for-10 in the Minnesota loss to Chicago. He's the fourth Timberwolves player to miss at least 10 attempts without making a single field goal, following Randy Foye (10 misses in 2008), Tom Gugliotta (13 in 1996) and Scott Roth (10 in 1990). He's the second Chicago opponent to do this; George Williams missed all 10 attempts for Milwaukee in a double-overtime defeat of the Bulls in 1974.
Chicago starters Carlos Boozer (0-for-5) and Kirk Hinrich (0-for-4) also failed to hit a field goal attempt Saturday. The only other game in the last nine seasons with three of the 10 starters without a field goal was February 8, 2012 when Danny Green and Richard Jefferson of the Spurs and Nikola Vucevic of the 76ers all came up empty in a 100-90 San Antonio win.
NEAL SPARKS SPURS OFF THE BENCH
Gary Neal came off the bench to score 27 points on 11-of-16 (.688) shooting as the Spurs won 112-109 in Portland. In the last 15 seasons, only three other Spurs subs had scored that many points while making at least two-thirds of their field goal attempts: George Hill (March 2011), Matt Bonner (December 2009) and Manu Ginobili (four times).
The entire Spurs bench scored 63 points tonight compared to just four points by Portland reserves. That 59-point advantage is the most San Antonio has ever enjoyed from their nonstarters. The previous best was a 58-point difference on November 28, 2008 when San Antonio defeated Memphis 109-98 and the Spurs subs outscored the Grizzlies subs, 62 to 4.
Saturday's 59-point advantage for S.A. subs was the most since the Minnesota bench outscored the Clippers bench 72-11, a 61-point difference on February 28, 2012 (Minnesota won that game 109-97).
DETROIT LOSES FIRST SEVEN GAMES OF THE SEASON
From Elias: The Detroit Pistons fell to 0-7 with the loss Saturday in Houston. It's the third time in franchise history the season began with seven straight losses (1962-63 and 1980-81). But the Pistons did win their next (eighth) game in both previous seasons.