Elias Says ...

A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:


Richard Jefferson Jefferson

• The Nets beat the Raptors 98-97 to win their series in six games. Richard Jefferson had both a game-winning field goal and a steal within the final 10 seconds of the game. The last NBA player to convert a game-winning basket and also steal the ball with less than 10 seconds remaining in a postseason game was Robert Horry, for the Lakers, on April 28, 2002, in a 92-91 win at Portland.

Jason Kidd averaged 13.2 assists per game and 10.0 rebounds per game in the series. Only one other NBA player averaged at least 13 assists per game and 10 or more rebounds per game in a postseason series: Magic Johnson (14.0 assists and 10.5 rebounds against San Antonio in the 1983 Western Conference finals).


Chris Drury Drury

• The Rangers were less than eight seconds away from a 1-0 victory Friday, but Chris Drury's goal at 19:52 of the third period tied the score and Maxim Afinogenov scored in overtime to give the Sabres a 2-1 win. It was the latest point that the Rangers held a lead in any playoff game in team history that they did not win, and it matched the Sabres' latest deficit in a postseason victory.

Twice before, the Rangers lost a playoff game after taking a lead into the final minute of the third period, and both instances were series openers in 1994, when they won their last Stanley Cup. In Game 1 vs. New Jersey, Claude Lemieux tied the score at 19:17 of the third and Stephane Richer won it in double-overtime. In Game 1 vs. Vancouver, Martin Gelinas knotted the game at the 19:00 mark of the third period and Greg Adams scored for the Canucks in overtime.

Buffalo had two other playoff wins in which it tied the score in the final minute of the third period: against Vancouver in 1981 (Andre Savard had the score-tying goal at 19:52) and Ottawa last year (Tim Connolly's goal at 19:49 of the third evened things up).

• Twenty-six of Chris Drury's 41 career playoff goals (63.4 percent) have either tied a game or given his team a lead, tying him with Joe Sakic (52 of 82) for the highest percentage for any active player with 40 or more postseason goals.


• It was a typical B.J. Upton night: four at-bats, two hits, two strikeouts. Upton maintained his lead in the A.L. batting race (.386) despite tying Alex Gordon for the league lead in strikeouts (32). This is only the third day in the last 42 years (1966-2007) on which a played held at least a share of his league lead in both categories. Andres Galarraga led the N.L. through July 17, 1988 (.335, 88 strikeouts) and George Foster led the N.L. through April 29, 1979 (.383, 17 strikeouts).

Something for Upton to shoot for on Saturday: The last player to hold league leads in both categories for more than one day was Dick Allen in
1965 (July 1-4, July 7).

Julio Franco Franco

Julio Franco, age 48, homered off Randy Johnson, 43, on Friday night, producing the oldest combined age for the batter and pitcher on any home run in major-league history.

• The Yankees scored five runs in the bottom of the first inning to take a 5-0 lead over Seattle, but the Mariners rallied to win 15-11. The Yankees had won the last 26 games in which they held a lead of at least five runs at the end of the first inning. Their last loss of that type prior to Friday was against the Red Sox on July 26, 1994, when Boston overcame a 5-0 deficit to prevail 10-7.

• Seattle's starters in the 7-8-9 slots in the batting order -- Kenji Johjima, Yuniesky Betancourt and Jose Lopez -- each had at least two hits, two runs scored and two RBIs. The last major-league team to get a multi-hit, run and RBI performance from each of its last three starters in the batting order was the 2001 White Sox (Chris Singleton, Royce Clayton, and Mark Johnson in a 19-10 win against the Indians on Sept. 2).

Derek Jeter went 0-for-6 to end his 20-game hitting streak. In the last 50 years, only three other players carrying a hitting streak of at least 20 games were hitless in six or more at-bats: Mike Vail in 1975 (0-for-7 ended his 23-game streak), Steve Sax in 1986 (0-for-7, 25-game streak) and Bip Roberts in 1994 (0-for-6, 23-game streak).

• Since April 22, the Mariners have played the Angels, Rangers, Athletics (twice), Royals (three times), White Sox (twice), Red Sox (a makeup game on Thursday night) and Yankees (Friday). New York was Seattle's seventh different opponent in its last 11 games. No major-league team has done that since the 1966 White Sox faced seven different teams in an 11-game span (Angels, Athletics, Senators, Red Sox, Indians, Twins and Tigers from April 21 through May 6).

Scott Linebrink entered in the eighth inning with San Diego leading Florida 4-3 and allowed home runs to the first two batters he faced (Josh Willingham and Joe Borchard), resulting in a 5-4 Marlins victory. It was the first time this season that a reliever gave up a home run to each of the first two hitters he opposed in a game.

David Ortiz Ortiz

David Ortiz hit a solo home run in the sixth inning to break a scoreless tie in Boston's 2-0 win over Minnesota. It was Big Papi's first career home run in the Metrodome as a visiting player. He hit 20 homers in that building playing for the Twins from 1997 to 2002. Ortiz has now hit a hit a home run as a visiting player against every current American League team.

Justin Verlander earned the victory at Kansas City on Friday night, his fifth win against the Royals over the last two seasons. Only two pitchers have more wins against one team over that span: C.C. Sabathia has beaten the White Sox six times and Brad Penny has six wins vs. Colorado.

Carlos Zambrano gave up four runs in the top of the first inning, then threw five scoreless innings and earned the win in Chicago's 6-4 triumph over Washington. In the past 30 years, only one other Cubs pitcher surrendered four or more runs in the first inning of a game, but allowed no more runs and got credit for the victory: Scott Sanderson on May 8, 1986, vs. the Dodgers.

• The Brewers beat the Pirates 10-0, tying the largest shutout victory in the major leagues this season. The Mets blanked the Cardinals by that same score on April 4. It was Pittsburgh's worst shutout defeat in five years, since an 11-0 loss to Arizona on May 13, 2002.

Dan Haren allowed two runs in seven innings and took a no-decision in Oakland's win against Tampa Bay. Haren's ERA is 1.75 in 2007. It's been 17 years since an Athletics starting pitcher began the season with such a low ERA through his first seven outings: Bob Welch (1.41) and Dave Stewart (1.46) each did that in 1990.