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Celtics Turn Tables On Knicks
From Elias: The Celtics annihilated the Knicks at Madison Square Garden, 114-73, after New York had won its last two games by scores of 121-83 (Friday versus Orlando) and 113-83 (Thursday at Brooklyn). Boston's 41-point margin of victory was the largest in NBA history against a team that had won each of its previous two games by margins of 30 or more points.
From Elias: Dwight Howard scored 20 points and grabbed 22 rebounds against his former team to help the Rockets top the Magic. It was Howard's third game against Orlando (including two last season with the Lakers), and he has scored 20 or more points with at least 15 rebounds in each of them. The only other players with three consecutive 20/15 games (points and rebounds) against Orlando are another former Magician, Shaquille O'Neal, who had a four-game streak of that kind against his ex-mates (Feb. 18, 2000-Nov. 11, 2001), and Hakeem Olajuwon (three in a row, Nov. 8-Dec. 26, 1990).
Heat On Target From 2-Point Range
From Elias: LeBron James made 10 of his 15 field-goal attempts despite going 0-for-2 from beyond the arc as he led the sharp-shooting Heat to a 110-95 win at Detroit. Miami made 66 percent of its two-point field goal attempts (29-for-44) on Sunday after shooting 65 percent from two-point range (39-for-60) in its victory at Minnesota on Saturday. It's the second time in team history that the Heat made at least 65 percent of its shots from two-point range in each of two consecutive games; the previous occurrence was Feb. 25-27, 2006.
Durant Does It All
From Elias: Kevin Durant scored 26 points, gathered 10 rebounds and handed out five assists for Oklahoma City in its 118-94 victory over the Pacers. It was the sixth 35/10/5 game (points, rebounds, and assists) of Durant's NBA career. The only other NBA players with as many such games as Durant since his first season in the league (2007-08) are LeBron James (22) and Kobe Bryant (9).
Krug Setting A Fast Pace
From Elias: Rookie defenseman Torey Krug scored a tiebreaking power play goal in the second period that gave the Bruins a lead they would not relinquish as Boston went on to register a 5-2 win over the Maple Leafs. Krug has scored eight goals while playing in all 30 games for the Bruins this season. Over the last 20 years the only other rookie defenseman to score eight or more goals in his first 30 games of a season was Minnesota's Kurtis Foster with nine goals in 2005-06. The last rookie D-man to do that for Boston was Greg Hawgood with eight goals in 1988-89.
Grubauer Gets Win #1 At MSG
From Elias: Philipp Grubauer, making his first start of the season and the second start of his NHL career, posted his first big-league win with a 4-1 victory over the Rangers in New York. Grubauer is the ninth goaltender whose first NHL win was recorded as a visitor at the current Madison Square Garden, which opened in February 1968. Grubauer may have a future in broadcasting (at least in Germany, his native country) considering that Darren Eliot, Glenn Healy, and Daryl Reaugh are among the eight previous goaltenders to do that. The last goaltender before Grubauer whose first NHL win came as a guest at the "World's Most Famous Arena" was Atlanta's Frederic Cassivi in March 2002.
Harding Emerges From Busy Night With "W"
From Elias: Josh Harding faced a season-high 38 shots on goal in his 3-1 win against the Sharks. It was only the third time in 24 games this season that Harding faced 30 or more shots. Harding had only one previous win in his NHL career in which he faced at least 38 shots on goal and allowed no more than one goal. That was a 2-1 Minnesota victory at Chicago on Feb. 22, 2009 in which the Blackhawks put 45 shots on target.
No Points By Kicking In Eagles' High-Scoring Win
From Elias: The Eagles defeated the Lions, 34-20, on a snow-covered field to produce the highest-scoring game in NFL history in which no points were scored on kicks. The previous record was a 31-0 victory by the New York Giants over the Frankford Yellow Jackets at the Polo Grounds in 1929.
The last game prior to Sunday's without a point scored on a field goal or kicked point after TD was a 6-0 Steelers win over the Eagles in 1957. Although that game was played in late October, it too was played in snow. Earl Morrall's TD pass accounted for the game's only score.
Eagles Run Past Lions In 4th Quarter
From Elias: After the Lions and the snow held the Eagles to only six points through three quarters on Sunday, Philadelphia erupted in the fourth quarter for 28 points with LeSean McCoy running for scores of 57 and 40 yards and Chris Polk taking a handoff 38 yards to the end zone. No other team in NFL history scored on three TD runs of 30 or more yards in one quarter of a game in the regular season or postseason.
Brees Reaches Major Milestone
From Elias: Drew Brees passed for 313 yards in the Saints' 31-13 win over the Panthers, boosting his career total to 50,026 yards. Of the five players to reach the 50,000-yard mark, Brees did so in the fewest games (183). The other players to achieve that level were Peyton Manning (191 games), Dan Marino (193), Brett Favre (211), and John Elway (229).
Brees Throws TDs In Threes
From Elias: Drew Brees threw three touchdown passes in the second quarter to give the Saints a 21-6 halftime advantage over the Panthers. Brees is the third quarterback to throw at least three touchdown passes in a quarter this season - Peyton Manning has done so three times, and Nick Foles has done so twice. Including tonight, Brees has thrown three or more TD passes in a quarter 10 times in his career. The only other quarterback in NFL history with more such quarters is Peyton Manning (12).
The Wildest Of Endings
From Elias: As Elias first reported on Sunday, the total of six lead changes in the final 15 minutes of the Ravens' 29-26 win over the Vikings were a record for the fourth quarter of an NFL game. Of note, all six lead changes came on touchdowns, including one just before the 2-minute warning and four more after it. There was only one other game in NFL history with even three lead-changing TDs in the final 2 minutes of the fourth quarter (Raiders-Bills in 1974).
Manning Sets NFL Record
From Elias: Peyton Manning threw four touchdown passes in the Broncos' win over the Titans. It was the seventh time this season that Manning threw four or more TD passes in a game, an NFL record. The previous single-season record of six was set by Dan Marino in 1984 and matched by Peyton Manning in 2004.
Denver scored at least 10 points in each quarter (10-10-14-17). It's the first time in franchise history that the Broncos reached double digits in points in all four quarters of the same game. The last NFL team to do that was the Redskins, who scored exactly 10 points in all four quarters on September 9, 2012 at New Orleans.
Patriots Tie Comeback Record
From Elias: The Patriots tied an NFL record by winning three consecutive games despite trailing by at least 10 points during the second half in each of them. New England overcame double-digit deficits after halftime to defeat the Broncos in Week 12, the Texans last week and the Browns on Sunday. The other teams that rallied to win from 10 points down in the third or fourth quarter in three straight games were the 1975 Cardinals, 1980 Dolphins, 1986 Colts and 1993 Eagles.
Rivers Triumphs Over Manning
From Elias: Philip Rivers threw three touchdown passes in the Chargers' 37-14 win over Eli Manning and the Giants. Manning and Rivers were the first and fourth picks in the 2004 NFL Draft, who were traded for each other on draft day. Only five other players who threw at least 200 touchdown passes in the NFL were drafted by teams for which they never played: Y.A. Tittle (drafted by the Lions in 1948), Johnny Unitas (Steelers in 1955), John Hadl (Lions in 1962), John Elway (Colts in 1983), and Jim Everett (Oilers in 1986).
Manning Suffers From Tipped INTs
From Elias: Eli Manning threw another deflected interception in Sunday's loss at San Diego. To answer one of the most frequent questions we receive on Twitter, it was Manning's 41st INT that was tipped before being picked off, and that's the highest such total in the NFL during his 10 seasons in the league. The runner-up is Drew Brees (35).
Gore's Long Run Keys TD Drive vs Seahawks
From Elias: Frank Gore was the rushing leader with 110 yards in the 49ers' 19-17 win over the Seahawks. Nearly half of Gore's total¿51 yards, to be exact¿came on the key play of San Francisco's game-winning drive. That was the fifth time that Gore ran for at least 50 yards on one play against Seattle, by far the highest such total in the Seahawks' 38-year history in the NFL. In fact, only two other players had even two rushing plays of 50 yards or longer versus Seattle: Tyrone Wheatley of the Raiders (both in 2000) and Terrell Davis of the Broncos (1998 and 2001).
Rainey Sets Early Tone
From Elias: Bobby Rainey ran 80 yards for a touchdown on the Buccaneers' second play from scrimmage to kick off Tampa Bay's 27-6 romp over Buffalo. It was the sixth rushing TD of 80 yards or longer allowed by the Bills in and the longest in Buccaneers history, surpassing Michael Pittman's 78-yard TD against the Chiefs in 2004. It was also the quickest touchdown scored in Tampa Bay history, surpassing an interception return for a TD by Ronde Barber against the Falcons 60 seconds into a win over Atlanta in 2007.
Bengals Cooking At Home
From Elias: The Bengals have scored more than 40 points in each of their last three games at Paul Brown Stadium: a 49-9 rout of the Jets in late October, a 41-20 decision against the Browns last month and a 42-28 victory over the Colts on Sunday. Cincinnati is only the third NFL team in the past 50 years to exceed 40 points in each of three straight home games in one season. The Greatest-Show-on-Turf St. Louis Rams did that in four straight home games in 2000, and the Los Angeles Rams did so three straight times at Anaheim Stadium during the 1980 season.
Chiefs Cruise To Win Over Redskins
From Elias: Dexter McCluster had a 74-yard punt return for a touchdown and Quintin Demps had a 95-yard kickoff return TD in Kansas City's rout of Washington on Sunday. The only other game in Chiefs history in which they had a kickoff return and punt return for a touchdown was in a 49-10 win over the Rams in 2002. Dante Hall scored both ways, on an 88-yard kickoff return in the first quarter and an 86-yard punt return in the second period.
Cardinals Score Safety, Win Safely Over Rams
From Elias: John Abraham brought down Kellen Clemens in the end zone for a safety in the third quarter of the Cardinals' win over the Rams, marking only the second time in Arizona's last 150 games that the Cardinals' D produced a safety. Arizona also had a safety earlier this season against the Panthers. The only other time in the last 50 years that the Cardinals had multiple safeties in a single season was in the 1998 campaign, when they had two.
Austin Needs Single Carry To Lead Rams Rushers
From Elias: Rookie wide receiver Tavon Austin led the Rams with 56 rushing yards, which all came on just a single rushing attempt late in the third quarter. The last Rams player to lead St. Louis in rushing yards for a game with only one rushing attempt was Kenneth Darby, who ran for a team-high 51 yards on a single carry on December 13, 2009 at Tennessee.
Packers Spread No Holiday Cheer At Lambeau
From Elias: The Packers outscored the Falcons, 12-0, in the second half to post a 22-21 victory. Since 2000, Green Bay has won 27 of 31 regular-season games at Lambeau Field during the month of December. Almost as impressive as the Packers' December home record is the fact that they trailed by at least 10 points in seven of those 27 victories.
Dolphins Win With Help From Sideline
From Elias: Ryan Tannehill's 12-yard touchdown pass to Charles Clay with 2:53 remaining in the fourth quarter gave Miami a 31-28 lead it would not relinquish in Pittsburgh. Earlier this season Tannehill also threw a behind-to-ahead TD pass with 38 seconds to play to defeat Atlanta. He's the first Dolphins player with two such TD passes in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter in one season since Dan Marino in 1995.
Raiders Feel Chill When They Go East
From Elias: The Jets defeated the Raiders, 37-27. It was Oakland's 13th straight loss in games played in the Eastern time zone, matching the longest such losing streak in NFL history by a team based in the Pacific time zone. That mark was set by the Los Angeles Rams from 1958 to 1963. The Raiders' last win in the Eastern time zone was at Pittsburgh in 2009.