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Asik, Malone, Thorpe and Olajuwon
From Elias: Omer Asik scored 22 points, hauled in 18 rebounds and made 11 of 13 shots in the Rockets win over the Magic. Asik is the fourth player in Rockets franchise history to score at least 20 points, grab 18 or more rebounds and make at least 80 percent of his shots from the field in one game. Moses Malone did it in March 1977 and again in February 1978; Otis Thorpe, in February 1994; and Hakeem Olajuwon, in February 1998.
Three Hawks swish and dish
From Elias: Devin Harris scored 25 points and handed out seven assists, Jeff Teague chipped in with 19 points and nine assists while Josh Smith scored 18 points and doled out eight assists in the Hawks' win over the Cavaliers. It's only the fourth time in Hawks franchise history that they had three players with at least 18 points and seven assists in the same game. It also happened on Nov. 8, 1961 (Bob Pettit, Cleo Hill and Cliff Hagan), Dec. 20, 1980 (Dan Roundfield, Eddie Johnson and Charlie Criss), and March 12, 2004 (Jason Terry, Bob Sura and Stephen Jackson).
Ellis stuffs the boxscore
From Elias: Monta Ellis scored 19 points, handed out 14 assists and recorded six steals for the Bucks Monday night. Ellis is the first player in Bucks history with that many points, assists and steals in a game. (The NBA began compiling steals in 1973.)
Ridnour rolls another seven
Here is the "strange, but true" note of the day: Luke Ridnour has taken exactly seven shots in each of his last five games. We couldn't help but wonder whether that was an NBA "record" of sorts. But what do you know: Leon Wood of the Nets took seven shots from the field in each of six consecutive games in 1986.
Harper gets early jump on Sophomore Of The Year
From Elias: Bryce Harper homered in each of his first two at-bats in the Nationals' opening-day victory over the Marlins, becoming the first player in major-league history under the age of 21 to hit two or more home runs in his team's season opener. Previously, the youngest player to homer more than once in an opener had been Don Money, who was 21 years, 305 days old when he did it for the Phillies in 1969.
Harper is only the third player to hit two homers in an opener the season after winning the Rookie of the Year Award. Carlton Fisk did it for the Red Sox in 1973 and Raul Mondesi followed suit for the Dodgers in 1995. Harper is the first player since Garrett Jones in 2010 to hit home runs in each of his first two at-bats of a season and the first player in Nationals/Expos history to do that. Only two other players in franchise history hit a pair of homers in a season opener: Al Oliver in 1983 and Vladimir Guerrero in 2000.
Kershaw does it with his arm and bat
From Elias: Clayton Kershaw belted an eighth-inning home run to break a 0-0 tie and went on to toss a four-hit shutout while striking out seven and walking none against the Giants. Kershaw is the second pitcher in major-league history to hit a homer and throw a shutout in his team's season opener. Bob Lemon did it for the Indians against the White Sox on April 14, 1953, throwing a one-hitter to boot (Minnie Minoso's two-out first inning single was Chicago's only hit).
Kershaw was the first starting pitcher to hit a home run in the eighth inning or later of a scoreless game since Sept. 16, 1971 when the Cubs' Juan Pizzarro hit one off Tom Seaver in the eighth inning to give the Cubs a 1-0 triumph at Shea Stadium. Kershaw became just the fifth pitcher in Dodgers history to throw a shutout while allowing four or fewer hits and hitting a home run in the same game. The others to do it were Carl Erskine in 1955, Stan Williams in 1960, Tommy John in 1977 and Chan Ho Park in 2000.
Brewers win in walkoff fashion
From Elias: Jonathan Lucroy's walk-off sacrifice fly gave the Brewers a win over the Rockies--only the second time in franchise history that the Brewers won in walk-off fashion on opening day. The other occurrence was in 1980 when Sixto Lezcano's grand slam off Boston's Dick Drago in the bottom of the ninth inning broke a 5-5 tie. The Red Sox had tied the game in the top of the ninth on solo homers by Carl Yastrzemski and Butch Hobson.
Rollins tied Concepcion
From Elias: Jimmy Rollins made his 13th consecutive Opening Day start at shortstop (2001-2013), matching the longest such streak by a National League shortstop for one team since 1900. Dave Concepcion was the Reds' starting shortstop in 13 straight season openers from 1974 to 1986.
Samardzija tosses best game by a Cubs pitcher since Zanbrano's no-no
From Elias: Jeff Samardzija pitched eight innings, struck out nine while allowing only two hits for the Cubs on Monday. The last Cubs pitcher to throw at least eight innings while allowing no more than two hits and striking out at least nine batters was Carlos Zambrano in his no-hitter against the Astros (at Milwaukee) on Sept. 14, 2008. Zambrano struck out 10 batters in that game.
Cowgill hits slam from the first spot in the order
From Elias: Collin Cowgill, batting in the first spot in the batting order for the Mets, hit a grand-slam homer to help beat the Padres. Cowgill became only the third player since 1900 to hit a grand slam from the first spot in the batting order in a season opener. The others to do it were Dain Clay for the Reds in 1945 and Alfonso Soriano for the Yankees in 2003. (Clay hit only two other homers in his 433-game major-league career.)
Verlander owns the Twins
From Elias: Justin Verlander improved his record to 7-0 with a 1.22 earned-run average over his last seven starts against the Twins. The last pitcher to win seven consecutive starts against the Twins was David Wells, who won nine in a row against them from 1996 to 2000.
Flowers powers White Sox to 1-0 win
From Elias: A home run by Tyler Flowers was all that the White Sox needed in their 1-0 win over the Royals. Flowers became just the fourth player in major-league history to hit a home run in a 1-0 game in a season opener. The other players to do that were Bob Bailey for the Pirates in 1965, Frank Fernandez for the Yankees in 1968 and Gary Sheffield for the Dodgers in 2001.
Lots of Ks in Cincy
Reds pitchers struck out 17 batters while Angels pitchers struck out 13 in their 13-inning opening-day battle. That set a modern major-league record for strikeouts by both teams in what was a season-opening game (of any length) for each team. The previous high was 29, by the White Sox and Mariners, on March 31, 1996.
Freeman and the Crime Dog
From Elias: Freddie Freeman had three hits and knocked in three runs in the Braves' victory over the Phillies, becoming only the second player in the Braves' Atlanta history to get at least three hits and three RBIs in a season opener. Fred McGriff had four hits and five RBIs in a 12-5 win over the Giants back in 1995.
Sox pound Yankees
From Elias: The Red Sox soundly defeated the Yankees, 8-2, on Monday afternoon, matching the largest margin of defeat for the Yankees in a season-opening game at Yankee Stadium. The Bronx Bombers lost to the Twins, 6-0, on Opening Day at the original Yankee Stadium in 1961, as Pedro Ramos threw a three-hitter while Bob Allison (off Whitey Ford) and Reno Bertoia (off Ralph Terry) homered for the Twins.
Stepan scores twice for the Rangers
From Elias: Derek Stepan, who led the Rangers with 15 points in March, scored two goals to help the Broadway Blueshirts begin April with a 4-2 win over the Jets. Stepan scored three goals when he made his NHL debut with the Rangers on Oct. 9, 2010 at Buffalo, but until Monday he had recorded only one multiple-goal game since then. That was on Dec. 11, 2011, when he scored twice in a 6-1 Rangers win over the Panthers.
Nabokov is a Devils killer
From Elias: Evgeni Nabokov made 24 saves as he led the Islanders to a 3-1 win at New Jersey that pulled the Isles within two points of the Devils in the Eastern Conference standings. Monday's game completed the season series between the two teams, which the Islanders won with three victories to the Devils' two. Nabokov was in goal for the Islanders in all five games, posting a 2.01 goals-against average. He's the first Islanders goaltender to register three wins against New Jersey in one season since Rick DiPietro went 4-1-0 in five games against the Devils in 2007-08.
Brunner ends goal drought
From Elias: Damien Brunner ended his 15-game goal drought when he scored what proved to be the game-winning goal for the Red Wings in their 3-2 victory over the Avalanche. Brunner's last two goals before Monday came in Detroit's 8-3 win against the Canucks on February 24. Brunner was tied for seventh in the NHL with 10 goals through that date and he was the second-highest goal-scorer among Western Conference players, behind the Sharks' Patrick Marleau with 12 goals.
Fasth records another clean sheet
From Elias: Ducks first-year goaltender Viktor Fasth recorded his third NHL shutout with a 4-0 win at Minnesota on Monday night. The 31-year-old Fasth is too old to be officially considered a rookie but he's the first goaltender in Anaheim franchise history to post three shutouts in his first NHL season. The only other goaltender to register three or more shutouts in his first season with the Ducks was Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who had four clean sheets in his first season in Orange County (2000-01).