Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Updated: December 27, 10:27 AM ET
Elias Says ...
By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to ESPN Insider
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• The Wizards led the Grizzlies 45-18 at the end of the first quarter, en-route to a 116-101 win. Their 27-point lead entering the second was the second largest in franchise history. On Dec. 9, 1972, the Bullets led the Kansas City-Omaha Kings 45-12 after one quarter in Baltimore.
• Allen Iverson dished out 13 assists in his second game for the Nuggets, a 116-105 win over the Celtics. Iverson had 10 assists in his Denver debut and is just the third player in NBA history to reach double-digit assists in each of his first two games for a team he joined midseason. The others are Kenny Anderson for the 1995-96 Hornets and Mack Calvin for the 1976-77 Nuggets.
• Chauncey Billups shot 1-for-10 from the field, but his two free throws with 7.2 seconds left gave the Pistons a 92-91 win over the Nets. Billups is the first player with no more than one field goal to sink game-tying and game-winning free throws in the final 10 seconds of the fourth quarter or overtime since Reggie Miller did it at New Orleans on Nov. 21, 2003.
• The Clippers' 102-92 loss to the Jazz dropped their all-time regular season record at EnergySolutions Arena (formerly known as the Delta Center) to 1-28 (.034). That's the worst record in NBA history by any team that has played at least 20 games at a site. Next worst: 1-22 (.043) by the Grizzlies at ARCO Arena.
• Boris Diaw played 33:43, but failed to score in the Suns' 110-87 win over the Blazers. In 2005-06, the only NBA player to fail to score in more playing time was Rasheed Wallace, in 35:43 on Nov. 8.
• Jeff Foster had 16 rebounds but just one point for the Pacers in their 81-76 win over the Rockets. The 16 rebounds were the most in a game this season by a player who failed to make a field goal. It was the second such career game for Foster. He had 16 rebounds without a field goal on March 8, 2006.
• Tracy McGrady returned to action for Houston after missing seven games, but the rust showed. McGrady shot 7-for-22 with five assists and seven turnovers. It's been over two years since a player made less than one-third of his field goals (min. 20 attempts), with at least seven turnovers and an assist/turnover ratio below one. Carmelo Anthony (7/23, 3 A, 7 TO) was the last to do it, on Dec. 12, 2004.
• Josh Howard led the Mavericks with 27 points in their 97-84 win over the Bobcats, but Howard's streak of 36 straight free throws made came to an end. Howard fell three short of the longest streak in the NBA this season, 39 by Kevin Martin in November.
• Baron Davis had 14 points and 11 assists in the first half of the Warriors' 116-97 win over the 76ers. It was the fourth time in the last three seasons that Davis reached double figures in points and assists before halftime. The only NBA player with as many 10-point/10-assist first halves since 2004-05 is Steve Nash (6).
• The Sabres scored six goals in the first 10:57 against the Capitals and cruised to a 6-3 win. Only two teams have ever reached six goals in a game faster: The Maple Leafs versus the Red Wings (10:33) on Jan. 12, 1946, and the Canadiens against the Black Hawks (10:35) on March 10, 1951.
Buffalo became the fifth team in NHL history to score at least six times in the first period and be shut out the rest of the game.
• The Islanders shut out the Rangers 2-0, their third straight shutout at Nassau Coliseum. The Islanders have recorded three consecutive home shutouts only one other time, in February 1994.
Tuesday's win was the Islanders' fourth straight over the Rangers. That's the Isles' longest winning streak over their neighbors to the west since they won five in a row in 1982.
Jaromir Jagr failed to score a point at Nassau Coliseum for the first time since Feb. 25, 1995. His streak of scoring in 22 straight games on Long Island was the longest by a visiting player at any arena since Wayne Gretzky scored in 24 consecutive road games at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., from 1982 to 1997 -- spanning his tenure with the Kings, when he played his home games there.
• Carolina won its fifth game in a row, beating Florida 4-2 in Raleigh. The Hurricanes have not allowed more than two goals in any game during their current winning streak. It's the first time in Hartford/Carolina franchise history that the team has won five consecutive games and held its opponent to two or fewer goals in each game. They did that in four straight wins on four previous occasions, last in 1998.
• Jim Slater's goal with 8.1 seconds left in regulation time broke a 1-1 tie and gave the Thrashers a victory over Tampa Bay. It was the fifth time this season that a player scored a tie-breaking goal in the final 10 seconds of the third period (the others to do it were Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby, Carolina's
Ray Whitney, Montreal's Andrei Markov and San Jose's Joe Pavelski) and the first time in Atlanta franchise history.
• Martin Brodeur recorded his fifth shutout of the season (and 85th of his career) as the Devils blanked the Penguins in New Jersey 3-0. It's the ninth time Brodeur has posted five or more shutouts in a season, tying him with Ed Belfour, Glenn Hall,
Dominik Hasek and Jacques Plante for second-most in league history, behind Terry Sawchuk, who had 10 seasons with at least five shutouts.
• The Predators' Paul Kariya had a goal and an assist in Nashville's 3-2 shootout win over St. Louis. The Predators have won all 11 games this season in which Kariya has posted two or more points.
• The Predators beat the Blues 3-2 in a shootout, their 12th straight win over St. Louis. That is the longest current winning streak by one team over another.
• The Angels signed Shea Hillenbrand to a one-year contract. Hillenbrand has 133 walks in 3,538 career plate appearances, an average of one every 26.6 times up, the lowest walk rate for any active player (minimum 2,500 PA). Anaheim might be a good destination for Hillenbrand, because the Angels' 2,321 walks drawn over the last five seasons are third fewest of any major league team.