Monday, January 29, 2007
Updated: January 30, 9:20 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 Suns, who hadn't lost since the end of December, had their 17-game winning streak snapped by the Timberwolves in Minnesota on Monday. Heading into the game, their last in January, the Suns were 15-0 for the month. The loss prevented Phoenix from posting only the third 16-0 month in NBA history. The Lakers went 16-0 in December 1971 and the Spurs were 16-0 in March 1996.
• Kevin Garnett scored 44 points in the Timberwolves' 121-112 victory, echoing Gilbert Arenas' 54-point performance when the Wizards ended the Suns' 15-game winning streak on Dec. 22. Those were the two highest-scoring games in NBA history against a team on a winning streak of 15 games or longer.
• Garnett had 11 rebounds Monday, and he's now had at least 10 rebounds in each of his last 23 games against Phoenix. That's the longest streak of double-digit rebound games by a player against one team since Moses Malone had 26 straight 10-board games against the Kings from 1978-87.
• Steve Nash had 18 assists for the Suns, giving him 208 in 16 games in January. That's the most assists for any player in a calendar month since John Stockton had 208 in March 1995.
• The Nets won by one point Monday in Utah, 116-115. Before beating the Nuggets by 10 points on Saturday, the Nets had lost three straight games by a single point (tying an NBA record in the process), and they also beat the Knicks by the minimum margin on Jan. 19, so the Nets have played a one-point game in four of their last five games and in five of their last seven.
They are the first team in NBA history to have five of seven games decided by a single point. Before this season, the only other team to have four of five games decided by one point was the Rockets, who did it in March and April 1979.
• The Jazz lost despite having more than twice as many rebounds as the Nets, 44-21, something not often seen in NBA history. Before Monday, teams with more than twice as many rebounds as their opponents had won over 90 percent of those games, and they had won 37 of the previous 38 games dating back to 1992. The exception was a Pistons' win over the Bucks in 1999, in which Detroit was outrebounded 48-23.
• Allen Iverson made 10 of 15 shots in Monday's loss to the Bobcats, his highest field goal percentage in a game in which he made at least 10 shots in nearly four years, since shooting 17 for 25 (68 percent) in Atlanta on March 29, 2003.
• Defensemen Sheldon Souray and Mark Streit each scored for the Canadiens in their 3-1 win over the Senators on Monday, giving Montreal 37 goals by defensemen this season, tops in the NHL.
Souray's goal gave him the Canadiens' team lead with 17, one more than Saku Koivu. He's the only defenseman leading his team in goals this season, and he has a chance to become the first defenseman in Canadiens' history to do it.
• The Canadiens retired Ken Dryden's uniform No. 29 before their game against Ottawa at Bell Centre on Monday night. Dryden's .758 regular-season career winning percentage (258-57-74 in 397 games) is the best of any goaltender in NHL history who appeared in at least 300 games. In fact, it's over 100 percentage points higher than the next-best mark, that of Gerry Cheevers (.651).
Just how dominant were Dryden and the Canadiens in the 1970s? Perhaps this will give some perspective: Ken Dryden's longest regular-season losing streak was a mere two games, and it was not until the 228th game of his career that he did it for the first time! (Dryden lost two consecutive decisions only six times overall.)
Dryden made his NHL debut for the Canadiens on March 14, 1971, and 11 weeks later he recorded his 12th win of the 1971 postseason -- a 3-2 victory over the Blackhawks in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Over the last 60 years, the only other goaltender to win the clinching game of the Stanley Cup Finals and do so in his first season in the NHL was Cam Ward of the Hurricanes last June.
• The Rangers defeated the Bruins at the TD Banknorth Garden on Monday 6-1. It was their largest margin of victory in Boston in over 40 years, since a 7-1 win at the Boston Garden on Nov. 3, 1966.
• With Monday's loss, the Bruins have been blown out at home by at least four goals in five different games this year. The last Bruins club to do that was the 1964-65 edition, who also had five home losses by a margin of at least four goals.
• Barry Bonds officially re-signed with the Giants on Monday. Bonds's next home run for the Giants will be his 559th for the club, and will tie him with Harmon Killebrew for the fourth-most by a player for one team. Hank Aaron had 733 for the Braves, Babe Ruth hit 659 for the Yankees, Willie Mays had 646 for the Giants and Killebrew had 559 for the Senators/Twins franchise.