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Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Elias Says ...

By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to ESPN Insider

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

NBA Finals
• Miami overcame a 14-point deficit to win Tuesday night's Game 6 and, with it, the team's first NBA championship. You have to go back 14 years to find the last team to win the NBA championship by overcoming a deficit of at least 14 points in the clinching game. On June 14, 1992, Chicago beat Portland 97-93 in Game 6 after the Blazers led by 17 points.

 Dwyane Wade
Wade

Dwyane Wade had 36 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Only four other players had a 35/10/5 (points/rebounds/assists) performance in the clinching game of the NBA Finals: John Havlicek in 1968, Magic Johnson in 1980, James Worthy in 1988 and Hakeem Olajuwon in 1995.

• Wade, at 24, averaged 34.7 points per game in the Finals. He became the youngest player ever to average 30 points per game in the Finals en route to an NBA championship, breaking the record set 56 years ago by George Mikan. Mikan, then 25, averaged 32.2 points per game as his Minneapolis Lakers defeated the Syracuse Nationals in six games in the 1950 Finals.

A distant third and fourth are Shaquille O'Neal, who was 28 when he averaged 38.0 points per game as the Lakers won the 2000 Finals, and Michael Jordan, who was also 28 when he led the Bulls to the title in 1991, averaging 31.2 points in that year's Finals.

• Wade scored 654 points and Dirk Nowitzki scored 620 during this postseason. It's only the second time that two players scored 600 or more points during the same NBA playoffs. Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan did it in 1993.

• Pat Riley won his first NBA title as a head coach in 1982 with the Lakers. The span of 24 years from his first championship to his last is the third-longest for any head coach or manager in the NBA, NHL, NFL or Major League Baseball. George Halas won his first NFL title with the Bears in 1933 and his last in 1963; Scotty Bowman won his first Stanley Cup in 1973 and his last in 2002.

Alonzo Mourning blocked five shots Tuesday night, the highest total off the bench in an NBA Finals game in 17 years, since Detroit's John Salley rejected five Lakers shots on June 6, 1989.

• Four Miami players had at least ten rebounds in Game 6: Shaquille O'Neal, Antoine Walker, Udonis Haslem and Dwyane Wade. It's the first time in 26 years that a team had four players with 10 or more rebounds in an NBA Finals game. The Lakers did it May 16, 1980, against Philadelphia (Magic Johnson, Jim Chones, Jamaal Wilkes and Mark Landsberger), and that, too, was a clincher -- the game in which Magic famously filled in at center for injured Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

 Ryan Howard
Howard

MLB
Ryan Howard hit two home runs Tuesday night, giving him 25 for the season. He reached that total in the Phillies' 71st game, setting a major league record for fewest games needed to reach 25 home runs by a player in his sophomore season. Three other sophomores got to 25 home runs before their teams played 80 games: Bob Johnson of the 1934 Philadelphia Athletics (75 games), Joe DiMaggio with the 1937 Yankees (78 games) and Eddie Mathews for the 1953 Milwaukee Braves (78 games).

• Howard became the fourth active player to record at least seven RBI in a game and drive in every run that his team scored. Garret Anderson did that in 2003, as did Richie Sexson in 2002 and Rondell White in 1994. But Howard is the first player to do that in a loss since ESPN's John Kruk knocked in seven runs on Aug. 4, 1987, only to watch the Braves beat his Padres 12-7.

• Howard is the first player to hit a home run in each of his first two career plate appearances against Mike Mussina.

Mariano Rivera struck out in his first career plate appearance in a regular-season game. Entering Tuesday night, Rivera had the second-most career regular-season games played in major league history (686) without a trip to the plate. Buddy Groom holds that record: He appeared in 786 major league games and never went to bat. (Rivera has three plate appearances in the postseason.)

 Dontrelle Willis
Willis

Dontrelle Willis earned his 50th career win Tuesday night in the Marlins' 6-2 victory at Baltimore. Willis, at 24 years, 159 days, is the fourth-youngest active pitcher to record 50 wins. The three youngest: C.C. Sabathia (reached 50 wins at age 24 years, six days), Greg Maddux (24 years, 95 days) and Mark Buehrle (24 years, 153 days).

Willis allowed 12 hits to the Orioles, the most he has allowed in any of his 50 wins in the majors.

• The Athletics were shut out for the second consecutive night at Coors Field, after arriving in Colorado on a 10-game winning streak. Only three other teams in major league history suffered consecutive shutout losses immediately following a double-digit winning streak: the 1980 Expos, 1927 Pirates and 1917 Red Sox.

• The Brewers lost to Detroit 10-1, but things started out well for Milwaukee. Rick Helling struck out the side on nine pitches in the first inning, becoming the first major league pitcher to begin a game like that since Pedro Martinez on May 18, 2002, against Seattle.

• The Indians had three hits with runners in scoring position in the first inning, leading to three runs off Greg Maddux on the way to a 4-2 win against the Cubs. Maddux is allowing a .365 batting average with men in scoring position this season, the worst of any National League pitcher.

Steve Trachsel's home run Tuesday night was the first by a Mets pitcher in four years, since Shawn Estes hit one out against the Yankees' Roger Clemens on June 15, 2002. During the Mets' drought, every other NL team had at least two home runs from its pitchers, with the Cubs leading the way with 14.

• Cincinnati's left-handed batters were 0-for-15 against Trachsel on Tuesday night. Entering the game, Trachsel was allowing a .307 average to lefties this year.

• The White Sox beat the Cardinals 20-6, tying for the most runs scored against a team managed by Tony La Russa. While managing Oakland, La Russa endured a 20-6 loss to Cleveland in 1991 and 20-4 loss to Detroit in 1993.

World Cup
• Germany defeated Ecuador 3-0, on Tuesday, becoming only the fourth host nation to sweep its first three World Cup matches. Of the previous teams to do so, two won the Cup -- France (1998) and Uruguay (1930) -- and the other, Italy in 1990, finished third.

• Miroslav Klose scored twice for Germany. Klose has now scored nine goals in first-round group play over the last two World Cups, tying the record set by Teofilo Cubillas of Peru (1970-1982). Klose scored his nine group-play goals in six matches; Cubillas scored his in nine matches.

• Bartosz Bosacki scored both of Poland's goals in a 2-1 victory over Costa Rica. Bosacki became only the third defender to score two goals in a World Cup match. The others: Lilian Thuram of France (1998 vs. Croatia) and Adolfo Zumelzu of Argentina (1930 vs. Mexico).

• Henrik Larsson, who scored the tying goal for Sweden in the 90th minute against England, became the sixth player in World Cup history -- and the second so far in 2006 -- to score goals 12 years apart. Larsson scored his first World Cup goal against Belgium in 1994. The others: Sami Al Jaber (1994-2006), Michael Laudrup (1986-98), Diego Maradona (1982-94), Pele (1958-70), and Uwe Seeler (1958-70).