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Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Updated: December 20, 8:00 AM ET
Elias Says ...

By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to ESPN Insider

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


• Will Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony both be able to continue taking shots at their customary paces? Iverson ranked either first or second in the league in field-goal attempts per game in each of the previous eight seasons (1998-99 through 2005-06). He leads the league again this season, but Anthony is right behind him on the list of leaders: Iverson (24.4), Anthony (24.0), Gilbert Arenas (21.8), Joe Johnson (21.4).

 Allen Iverson
• Iverson leads NBA players in fast-break points over the last 10 seasons with 55 percent more than the runner-up. The top five: Allen Iverson, 3,607; Ray Allen, 2,331; Gary Payton, 2,257; Jason Kidd, 2,161; Kobe Bryant, 2,156. That may be a good fit with the Nuggets. Denver has scored the second-most fast-break points in the league this season. The top three: Warriors, 541; Nuggets, 450; Wizards, 432.

• Iverson is averaging 31.2 points per game this season. Only one other player in NBA history changed teams during a season with his scoring average at 30 points per game or higher at the time. That was Wilt Chamberlain, who was averaging 38.9 points per game when he was traded from the Warriors to the 76ers in Jan. 1965.

• Iverson's career average is 28.1 points per game. Four players in NBA history were traded with a higher career average at the time: Wilt Chamberlain, twice (he was averaging 41.5 points per game in Jan. 1965, when he was dealt from San Francisco to Philadelphia, and 36.0 points per game in July 1968, when he was traded from Philadelphia to Los Angeles); Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (30.4, Milwaukee to Los Angeles in June 1975), Oscar Robertson (29.3, Cincinnati to Milwaukee in April 1970) and Bob McAdoo (28.2, Buffalo to New York, in Dec. 1976).

 Steve Nash
• The Suns took a 19-point halftime lead over Toronto and then extended their winning streak to 15 games with a 115-98 victory. Steve Nash had 13 assists in the first half, tying his career high for any half. The last NBA player with more assists in a half was Jason Kidd, who had 14 over the first two quarters for Phoenix on March 6, 2000, against Miami.


 Philip Rivers
Philip Rivers and Tony Romo, each in his first season as an NFL starter, were both selected to the Pro Bowl on Tuesday. Only five other quarterbacks were chosen for the AFC-NFC Pro Bowl in the season they made their first career start: Dan Marino, Brett Favre, Kurt Warner, Daunte Culpepper and Tom Brady.

It's the second time in three seasons that Marty Schottenheimer has had a quarterback chosen for the Pro Bowl; Drew Brees earned that honor in 2004. That equals the total of Pro Bowl QBs for Schottenheimer in his 18 previous seasons as an NFL head coach (spanning 1984 to 2003). Bernie Kosar (1987 Browns) and Steve Bono (1995 Chiefs) were his other Pro Bowl quarterbacks.

Bill Parcells also does not have a long list of Pro Bowl quarterbacks. It's only the fifth time in his 19 years as an NFL head coach that he's had a quarterback chosen to play in Honolulu. The other seasons were 1985 (Phil Simms), 1994 and 1996 ( Drew Bledsoe), and 1998 (Vinny Testaverde).


Jason Blake
Jason Blake scored three consecutive goals in the Islanders' 4-3 win over the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. It was only the second "natural" hat trick by an Islanders player in the team's 202-game regular-season rivalry against the Rangers. The previous one was by Bryan Trottier on Dec. 23, 1978, when he set the franchise record with eight points in one game (5 goals, 3 assists) in a 9-4 Islanders win at Nassau Coliseum.

Blake also had the last "natural" hat trick by an Islander against any team; he scored three straight goals against Atlanta on Jan. 11, 2003. Blake had only four goals in 29 career games against the Rangers before his three-goal burst on Monday night.

• The Ottawa Senators lost to the Bruins 7-2. It was the fifth time in calendar year 2006 -- and the third time this season -- that the Senators lost a game by a margin of five goals or more, matching their total of such losses from 1999 through 2005 combined. The only NHL teams with as many five-goal losses since Jan. 1 as Ottawa are Washington (eight), Philadelphia (six) and Phoenix (five).

• The Blues jumped out to a 3-0 lead and beat the Penguins in Pittsburgh 4-1. It was only the third game this season in which St. Louis had a lead of three goals or more. That's the league low this season; the Bruins only had three such games before Tuesday, but they scored the first five goals of their game in Ottawa and went on to a 7-2 win over the Senators.

• The Sabres, who dropped a 3-1 decision at home to Ottawa on Saturday, lost 5-2 to the Canadiens in Buffalo on Tuesday night. It marked the first time this season that the Sabres lost consecutive games in regulation time. That leaves Anaheim and Montreal as the only NHL teams that have not gone pointless in two straight games this season.

Patrice Bergeron
• Boston's Patrice Bergeron had five assists in the Bruins' win over the Senators. Bergeron's five assists matched the single-game high in the NHL this season, a standard set by Teemu Selanne (Nov. 19 vs. Phoenix) and equaled by Sidney Crosby (Dec. 13 vs. Philadelphia). Over the last 12 seasons, the only other Bruin to have a five-assist game was Joe Thornton (Dec. 28, 2001 at Florida).

• Tampa Bay's Vincent Lecavalier scored his 200th career goal in the Lightning's win in Washington. Lecavalier, the No. 1 overall pick in the 1998 NHL draft, is the first player from that draft class to reach the 200-goal plateau. The only other 1998 draftee within 50 goals of Lecavalier is Philadelphia's Simon Gagne (the 22nd overall pick), who scored his 177th career goal on Tuesday night.

Marian Hossa
Marian Hossa scored a pair of shorthanded goals in the Thrashers' shootout victory over the Devils at the Meadowlands. Hossa became the first player in Thrashers history to score two shorthanded goals in one game, and the first visiting player ever to score two SHGs in a game in New Jersey. Only three other players have scored two shorthanded goals in a game against the Devils anywhere: Don Maloney (Oct. 1983), Mario Lemieux (Dec. 1988) and Mike Ridley (Dec. 1990).

• When the Devils' Johnny Oduya scored a goal Tuesday night it marked the first tally by a New Jersey defenseman at even strength in New Jersey's 33 games this season. The last NHL team to go that long from the start of a season without an even-strength goal by a defenseman was the 1964-65 Rangers, who went their first 49 games of that season without such a goal.

• Colorado's 7-6 win over Edmonton was the 12th game in the "new NHL" (i.e., since the start of the 2005-06 season) in which both teams scored at least six goals. There were only six such games in the three seasons prior to the lockout combined (two each in 2001-02, 2002-03 and 2003-04).

Petr Sykora
Petr Sykora scored a pair of goals for the Oilers in their loss to Colorado. It was the 32nd two-goal game of Sykora's career, the most in NHL history among players who have never had a hat trick. The only other player with more than 25 two-goal games but no three-goal games is Hall-of-Fame defenseman Larry Murphy (28).


Brad Radke made his retirement official at a press conference on Tuesday. Radke, whose last major-league appearance was a Game 3 loss at Oakland in the ALDS finale, made 377 regular-season starts in his career, all for the Twins. The only pitcher in major-league history to end his playing career with a postseason appearance after starting at least 300 games, all for one franchise, was Sandy Koufax (314 major-league starts, all for the Dodgers). Koufax's final appearance was a Game 2 loss in the 1966 World Series.