Date: April 9, 2014

Elias Says...

By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to


Nets sweep the Heat with another one-point win

From Elias: The Nets edged the Heat, 88-87, and swept their four-game season series. Brooklyn's wins over Miami were by scores of 101-100, 104-95, 96-95 and 88-87. That ties the NBA record for most one-point wins against a particular opponent in one season. The Suns had three against the Trail Blazers in 1979-80, as did the Rochester Royals versus the Philadelphia Warriors in 1956-57.

Brooklyn is the third team in the past 10 seasons to sweep a regular-season series of at least four games versus the defending NBA champion, joining the 2006-07 Magic (4-0 vs. the Heat) and 2011-12 Lakers (4-0 vs. the Mavericks).

Jason Kidd is only the second rookie head coach to lead his team to a 4-0 (or better) record versus the reigning NBA title winner. Seattle's Nate McMillan did that in 2000-01, with four wins and no losses against the Lakers.

Brooklyn Nets, Miami Heat

Four 30-point scorers in one game

From Elias: Four players scored at least 30 points in the Rockets' 145-130 win over the Lakers: Terrence Jones (33), James Harden (33), Nick Young (32) and Jodie Meeks (30). It was the first NBA game with four 30-point scorers since a Suns-Mavericks overtime matchup in March 2007 (Stoudemire, Nash, Stackhouse and Nowitzki).

But you have to go back to a Knicks-Hornets contest in February 1993 for the previous such game played in regulation time. Patrick Ewing and John Starks scored 30 or more points for New York, while Alonzo Mourning and Larry Johnson did so for Charlotte.

Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers


Nash passes Jackson on career assists list

From Elias: Steve Nash moved into third place on the NBA career assist list on Tuesday night, passing Mark Jackson. His 10,335 assists now trail only John Stockton (15,806) and Jason Kidd (12,091). The three players who scored the most field goals with assists from Nash were Amar'e Stoudemire (1,155), Shawn Marion (823) and Dirk Nowitzki (797).

Los Angeles Lakers


For Durant one streak ends but another continues

From Elias: Kevin Durant's 41-game streak of scoring at least 25 points ended Tuesday night, when he scored 23 in the Thunder's win over the Kings. Durant averaged 34.8 points per game over those 41 games and his 1426 points in that stretch (January 7 to April 6) were 141 more than the next-highest total by any player (Carmelo Anthony, 1285).

Oklahoma City Thunder

Spurs trail by 28 in loss to Timberwolves

From Elias: The Timberwolves led the Spurs, 65-37, in the third quarter and went on to an easy 110-91 victory. That 28-point lead was the second-largest of the season against the Spurs; Miami led San Antonio by 29 points during a 113-101 victory on January 26.

Minnesota Timberwolves, San Antonio Spurs



50 goals for Ovechkin

From Elias: Alex Ovechkin scored his 50th goal of the season in the Capitals' 4-1 win at St. Louis. It's the fifth time that Ovechkin has reached the 50-goal mark in his nine seasons in the NHL. The only other active NHL players with more than one season of 50 or more goals are Jaromir Jagr (3), Teemu Selanne (3), Dany Heatley (2), Jarome Iginla (2) and Steven Stamkos (2).

Washington Capitals


Another 20-goal season for Richards

From Elias: Brad Richards scored his 19th and 20th goals of the season in the Rangers' 4-1 win over the Hurricanes. It's the 10th time that Richards has scored 20 or more goals in a season and the second time he's done so for the Rangers. Richards has always been a consistent goal scorer but not a prolific one. Though he's reached the 20-goal mark ten times his NHL single-season high for goals is only 28 with Dallas in 2010-11. Richards' career total of 276 goals is the highest among active players who've never had a 30-goal season. The only other active players with at least 250 career goals but no 30-goal seasons are Saku Koivu (254) and Alex Tanguay (253).

New York Rangers


Lindback records a shutout in relief

From Elias: Tampa Bay's backup goaltender Anders Lindback relieved injured starter Ben Bishop at the 5:43 mark of the first period and then stopped all 25 shots he faced as he recorded a 3-0 victory against the Maple Leafs. Lindback is the first goaltender in Lightning history to win a game in a relief appearance in which he played at least 50 minutes and did not allow a goal. The only other win of that kind by an NHL goaltender over the last two seasons was by Minnesota's Niklas Backstrom on Jan. 30, 2013 against the Blackhawks. Backstrom prevailed in a shootout after playing over 58 minutes without giving up a goal in relief of starter Josh Harding.

Tampa Bay Lightning


Spezza leads Senators over Islanders

From Elias: Jason Spezza tallied two goals and one assist in the Senators' 4-1 win over the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum. It was the sixth time that Spezza has scored three points in one game this season and the fourth time he's done so on the road. The only NHL player with more road games of at least three points this season than Spezza is Sidney Crosby with six.

Ottawa Senators

Sabres rookie scores twice

From Elias: Rookie Zemgus Girgensons scored both goals for the Sabres in their 4-2 loss to the Red Wings. It was the first multiple-goal game in the NHL for Girgensons, who turned 20 years old on January 5. Since 1990, the only players younger than Girgensons to score two goals in one game for the Sabres are Mikhail Grigorenko (at age 19 on Nov. 8 this season), Tyler Myers (age 19 in January 2010) and Maxim Afinogenov (at age 20, but slightly younger, in November 1999).

Buffalo Sabres


Pominville produces against Eastern Conference

From Elias: Jason Pominville scored a pair of goals for the Wild in their shootout win against the Bruins on Tuesday. Pominville, who played his entire NHL career in the Eastern Conference with the Buffalo Sabres until he was traded to Minnesota just over a year ago, leads the Wild with 29 goals this season and he's scored the majority of his goals (17) in the 32 games he's played against Eastern teams (12 goals in 48 games versus Western Conference clubs).

Minnesota Wild


Lehtonen extends home win streak

From Elias: Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen extended his home-ice winning streak to six consecutive decisions with a shootout victory against the Predators on Tuesday. Lehtonen won only two of his first ten home games this season (2-4-4) but he's posted a 15-4-2 record in 23 games in Dallas since then, including three wins in three games versus Nashville. Lehtonen's current run of six consecutive home wins matches the longest previous home winning streaks of his NHL career: six home wins in a row for the Thrashers in March 2007 and six straight for the Stars spanning the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons.

Dallas Stars



Braun is money at Citizens Bank Park

From Elias: Ryan Braun belted three homers and drove in seven runs at Philadelphia on Tuesday afternoon. Braun is now batting .405 (32 for 79) with 10 home runs and 21 RBIs in 20 career games at Citizens Bank Park.

The only other players who had a .400 batting average with 10 home runs and 20 RBIs in their first 20 games as a visitor at a particular stadium were Joe DiMaggio (Sportsman's Park), Willie Mays (Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum), Mike Piazza (Coors Field) and Carlos Delgado (The Kingdome).

Braun's three-homer game came 40 years to the day after Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run to overtake Babe Ruth as the all-time leader. So this is as good a time as any to remember that Aaron had only one three-homer game in his major-league career - in June 1959 at Seals Stadium against the Giants.

Milwaukee Brewers

Buck's Birds put up 14 in the Bronx

From Elias: The Orioles crushed the Yankees in the Bronx on Tuesday afternoon, 14-5. That's the most runs that a Buck Showalter team has ever scored in the 101 games that he's managed against the Yankees. The previous high was 13 runs by the Rangers on May 16, 2006, in a game Texas lost, 14-13!

Baltimore Orioles, New York Yankees


Hudson wins his first 2 starts

From Elias: Tim Hudson threw eight innings in the Giants' easy victory over the Diamondbacks, improving his record to 2-0 in two starts this season. Hudson has 207 lifetime wins - the most for any active pitcher - and this is his 16th year in the majors, but he won each of his first two starts in only one previous season (in 2011 with the Braves).

San Francisco Giants


Cabrera matches Bautista's streak

From Elias: Jose Bautista homered to give the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead and Melky Cabrera's two-run shot put the finishing touch on the Blue Jays' 5-2 win over the Astros. Cabrera has hit a home run in four straight games, becoming only the third active player to do that while batting leadoff in each game. The others were Bautista in September 2009 and Coco Crisp in April of last year.

Toronto Blue Jays

Mets spoil Braves' home opener

From Elias: The Mets defeated the Braves, 4-0, spoiling Atlanta's home opener. It was only the second time in Mets history that they shut out an opponent that was playing its first home game of a season. They also did that in 1981, with a 2-0 win at Wrigley Field in which Pat Zachry earned the win, Neil Allen registered a three-inning save, and Rusty Staub and Lee Mazzilli each hit home runs.

Atlanta Braves, New York Mets

Marlins can't score in Washington

From Elias: The Marlins, who were blanked by the Nationals, 5-0, have lost 10 of 11 games in Washington since the start of last season, while scoring only 15 total runs in those contests. Miami's average of 1.36 runs per game at Nationals Park over the last two seasons is the lowest over that span for any major-league team at any venue in which it's played at least five games.

Miami Marlins, Washington Nationals


Perez keeps Red Sox grounded

From Elias: Martin Perez pitched 6 1/3 innings, earned the win, and got the Red Sox to ground into five double plays on Tuesday night. Perez was the first pitcher since the Diamondbacks' Joe Saunders in 2011 to induce five GIDPs in one game, but nobody had done so in a start with so few innings since the Indians' Dave Otto forced five groundball twin-killings in a six-inning stint in 1991.

Texas Rangers


Loney breaks scoreless tie

From Elias: James Loney's RBI-single in the ninth inning gave the Rays a 1-0 win over the Royals. It was the first 1-0 American League game that was scoreless through the first eight innings since an Indians-White Sox matchup (won by Cleveland) on April 12, 2013. In the interim there were 14 National League or interleague games of that kind.

Tampa Bay Rays


Murphy powers Indians from ninth slot

From Elias: David Murphy, batting last in the order, homered and drove in four runs in a win against the Padres. It was the Indians' first home run from the ninth position in the lineup this season. Last year they led the majors with 20 homers from that slot in the order.

Cleveland Indians