Tuesday, November 7, 2006
Elias Says ...
By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to ESPN Insider
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
The Hornets defeated the Warriors 97-93 to remain undefeated at 4-0, the first time in the franchise's 19-year history that it has started a season that way. With the 76ers having fallen from the unbeaten ranks, the Hornets and the Jazz (also 4-0) are the NBA's only remaining undefeated teams. It's only the third time in NBA history that a pair of teams that hadn't reached the playoffs the previous season have started a season by winning their first four games.
Sacramento and Dallas both started that way in 1995, and Utah and Phoenix did it in 2004.
• The victory for the Hornets was their 11th in a row against the Warriors at home -- wherever "home" happens to be. It's their second longest home win streak against one team. They beat the 76ers 12 straight times at home from 1992-99 when they were still located in Charlotte. (They also beat Minnesota in their 11 meetings in Charlotte from 1989-99.)
• It was a night to certify change, as those who have spent the last few years on the outside looking in came up winners. No, we're not talking about the Democrats; we mean the Hornets.
• Nineteen-year-old Andrew Bynum -- the youngest player in the NBA -- had 20 points and 14 rebounds in the Lakers' 95-88 win over the Timberwolves. Bynum became the youngest player in Lakers' history to get a 20-and-10 game; he broke the record set by Magic Johnson, who was 20 years old when he had his first 20-point, 10-rebound game in November 1979.
• The surprise star of the night in the NBA? Did you have Rawle Marshall in your office pool?
Marshall, who had not scored a point in a total of five minutes over the Pacers' first three games, scored 16 points -- tying Jermaine O'Neal for high on the team -- in Indiana's 97-86 victory over previously unbeaten Philadelphia.
Moreover, Marshall enjoyed a perfect shooting night: he went 5-for-5 from the floor and 6-for-6 from the foul line. How rare is that? Only one NBA player all last season had a perfect shooting game with at least five field goals and at least five free throws: Kwame Brown did that for the Lakers on Feb. 11 (6-for-6 on each type of shot). Two players (Jason Collins and Chris Bosh) did it in the previous season, while no one did it in either 2003-04 or 2002-03.
Who achieved the highest level of a perfect shooting night in NBA history? Charles Barkley is the only player in NBA history who took at least nine field-goal attempts and nine free-throw attempts in a game, and made all of them. Playing with the 76ers in 1989, Barkley went 10-for-10 from the floor (including a pair of 3-pointers) and 9-for-9 from the line in a 135-122 win over the Spurs.
• The Hawks took advantage of LeBron James' missed free-throw attempt in the final seconds of regulation time to tie the score, and then ran off to victory at Cleveland by outscoring the Cavaliers 14-5 in overtime. It was Atlanta's largest margin of victory in a road overtime game in more than 18 years -- since beating the Nets 119-109 on April 19, 1988.
James went to the line for two shots with a one-point lead and six seconds to play; he made the first and missed the second, and Tyronn Lue tied the game with a driving layup at the buzzer. That continued a disturbing trend for LeBron: a 74-percent overall free-throw shooter last season, he's made only 65 percent (30 of 46) of his free-throw attempts in one-possession games during the last two minutes of regulation time or of any overtime period.
The Cavaliers led 80-70 with eight minutes to play in regulation time. It marked the first time since Dec. 18, 2004, that Cleveland has lost a game in which it led by 10 or more points in the fourth quarter. And it was the first time since March 29, 1999 that Atlanta had won on the road by overcoming a double-digit fourth-quarter deficit; in that 1999 game, the Hawks overcame a 10-point Pacers lead to win 83-82 in Indianapolis.
• Joe Johnson dropped in 25 points in Atlanta's victory, and now has scored 111 points in four games this season. Over the past 30 years, only two different Hawks players have scored as many points over the season's first four games: Dominique Wilkins did it in four seasons, and Glenn Robinson did it in 2002.
• The Heat's James Posey hit a 3-point field goal with 19 seconds remaining in the game, turning a two-point deficit into a one-point lead, and Miami went on to defeat Seattle 90-87.
It was only the third time in his eight-year NBA career that Posey had hit a 3-point field goal that turned a deficit into a lead in the last two minutes of regulation time or of an overtime period. And the two other 3-pointers that he hit under those circumstances both came in the same game, for the Nuggets against the Mavericks on Jan. 27, 2001.
• Guillaume Latendresse scored his first NHL goal in Montreal's 3-2 shootout win over Edmonton. Latendresse, at 19 years and 167 days, was the youngest player to score a goal for the Canadiens since Eric Desjardins scored his first career goal on Nov. 24, 1988, when he was 19 years, 163 days old, four days younger than Latendresse was on Tuesday.
• Jim Dowd's first goal in his second stint with the Devils tied the score at 19:00 of the third period, and New Jersey went on to prevail over the Carolina Hurricanes in a shootout on Tuesday night. It was Dowd's first goal for the Devils in nearly 11 years, since he scored against Buffalo's Dominik Hasek on Nov. 18, 1995.