Friday, December 8, 2006
Elias Says ...
By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to ESPN Insider
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• Washington overcame a 20-point deficit to beat Philadelphia 113-98. You have to go back to March of 2000 for the last time an NBA team won a game by at least 15 points after trailing by at least 20 points. And it happened twice in that calendar month, with the Clippers losing both times! On March 10, 2000, Charlotte beat the Clippers 118-101 after falling behind by 20 points; and on March 18, 2000, Sacramento beat the Clippers 104-83 after falling behind by 23 points.
• Dwight Howard, whose 21st birthday was on Friday, scored 25 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in Orlando's loss to Detroit. Many players in NBA history have scored at least 25 points and had at least 10 rebounds in a game played on their birthday, but only two others did it on the day they turned 21: Chris Webber (in 1994) and Bernard King (in 1977). No NBA player has ever had 25 or more points and 10 or more rebounds on his birthday when he was younger than 21.
• Adam Morrison was 1-for-11 from the field on Friday vs. Houston, after he made only one of 10 field-goal attempts on Wednesday against San Antonio. Before Morrison, the last two players to convert no more than 10 percent of their field-goal attempts in each of two consecutive games (while attempting at least 10 shots in each game) were the Clippers' Quentin Richardson in 2003-04 and Hall-of-Famer Nate Thurmond for the San Francisco Warriors in 1970-71.
• The Rockets beat the Bobcats 92-62. Last Saturday, Houston defeated the Cavaliers 81-63. Since the introduction of the 24-second shot clock in 1954, only one other NBA team allowed fewer than 65 points in a game twice within the span of one week. Indiana did that in consecutive games during the 1997-98 season, holding Portland to 59 points on February 27 and limiting Denver to 63 points on March 1.
• Ben Wallace played 40 minutes in Chicago's victory against Toronto and he attempted only one field goal (he missed it). Over the last ten seasons, there were only two other instances in which a player logged at least 40 minutes and took no more than one shot from the field: Shawn Bradley did that for Dallas on Dec. 18, 2002 (44 minutes, one FGA) and Wallace did it for Detroit on March 15, 2002 (44 minutes, one FGA).
• San Antonio beat the Clippers 111-82, the third consecutive game that the Spurs have won by at least 20 points. They are the first NBA team this season with three straight 20-point victories and only one team in the league did it all of last season (Memphis had a three-game streak, spanning November and December 2005).
• The Pacers rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit to beat Portland 108-95. Jamaal Tinsley led the rally with 18 points after the intermission. It marked only the fourth time in 308 career NBA games that Tinsley scored 18 or more points in a half. The last time he did that was Jan. 19, 2005 at New Orleans (20 points in the second half).
• Joel Przybilla and Martell Webster started for the Trail Blazers against the Pacers, but neither player scored a point. It was the first NBA game this season in which two starters on one team were held scoreless. That happened 12 times last season, and Portland led the way with four occurrences.
• Ruben Patterson led Milwaukee with 30 points in the team's win against Memphis. He's the third different Bucks' player to score 30 or more points in game in the last eight days: Mo Williams scored 31 on December 1 and Michael Redd had 33 on December 6. The last time Milwaukee had three different players score at least 30 points in a game within a span of eight or fewer days was in April 2001, when Glenn Robinson, Sam Cassell and Ray Allen did it in six days.
• Our colleague Buster Olney reported on Friday that the Yankees have agreed to terms with Andy Pettitte for the 2007 season. Even after three years with the Astros, Pettitte is by far the winningest pitcher for Joe Torre during the manager's 25-year career (137-69). In fact, only two pitchers have won even half as many regular-season games for Torre as Pettitte has: Mike Mussina (92-53) and Roger Clemens (77-36).
• In the Anaheim-Washington game, the Ducks' George Parros fought the Capitals' Donald Brashear at 1:48 of the first period and Anaheim's Shawn Thornton fought Washington's John Erskine at the 3:00 mark. It was the first time that there were four fighting majors called in the first three minutes of an NHL game since Atlanta played Buffalo on March 17, 2004, with Kip Brennan (Thrashers) battling Andrew Peters (Sabres) at 2:54 and Francis Lessard (Thrashers) and Eric Boulton (Sabres) squaring off four seconds later.
• The Hurricanes were without captain Rod Brind'Amour when they played the Canucks in Vancouver. Brind'Amour sat out with what was cryptically described in press reports as a "lower-body injury." Brind'Amour's absence hurts Carolina in many areas, since, entering Friday's action, he led the league in road points (22), third-period points (17), faceoffs taken (829) and faceoffs won (494). Through the Hurricanes' first 30 games this season Brind'Amour took 46 percent of the team's faceoffs, the highest percentage for any NHL player. Buffalo's Chris Drury was a distant second at 35 percent.
• Martin Brodeur and the Devils beat the Flyers in New Jersey 2-0. It was Brodeur's seventh career shutout in regular-season play versus Philadelphia, matching his highest total against any club; he's also blanked the Islanders seven times. The only other active NHL goaltender with at least seven shutouts against one team is Ed Belfour, who has shut out the Ducks 10 times.
• The Oilers had only 15 shots on goal in their 2-0 win in Dallas. It was the ninth consecutive game in which Edmonton had 25 or fewer shots on goal (Nov. 18 to date), setting a franchise record. (The Oilers' old mark was eight straight games in November 2000.) It's also the longest streak of its kind by any NHL team since October 2003, when the Penguins had no more than 25 shots in each of nine straight games.