Sunday, February 11, 2007
Updated: February 14, 3:57 PM 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 hadn't been defeated by more than nine points in any game this season prior to their 116-103 loss to the Bulls. Phoenix's streak of 50 straight games without a double-digit loss was the longest to begin a season for any team in NBA history. Only three other NBA teams have ever played as many as 50 consecutive games at any point of a season without a double-digit margin of defeat: the 2004-05 Spurs (63), 1985-86 Celtics (56) and 1996-97 SuperSonics (51).
The Suns have lost their last two games, both without Steve Nash, by a combined margin of 22 points. With Nash on the floor this season, Phoenix has outscored its opponents by 456 points. But with Nash on the bench, the Suns have allowed 54 more points than they've scored.
• We've seen this before. The Mavericks built an early lead and then cruised to a 106-89 win in Philadelphia. It was Dallas's 27th straight victory when leading at the end of the first quarter, matching the second-longest single-season streak of that kind in NBA history. Only the 1996-97 Bulls had a longer winning streak in games they led at the end of the first period (47 in a row before a loss in their regular-season finale).
• Dwyane Wade scored 26 points, 18 of them in the fourth quarter, to lead the Heat to a 100-85 triumph over the Spurs. It was the second time this season that an NBA player scored as many as 18 fourth-quarter points after scoring no more than eight through the game's first three periods. Manu Ginobili scored 18 of his 25 points during the fourth quarter against Portland on Nov. 20.
• But with the first of his 10 points against the Spurs on Sunday, Antoine Walker became the 101st player in NBA history to reach the 15,000-point milestone and the only member of that group who played for the University of Kentucky. Three other former Wildcats scored at least 10,000 points in the NBA: Cliff Hagen, Dan Issel and Jamal Mashburn.
• Ricky Davis' field goal with 0.2 seconds remaining gave the Timberwolves a 109-107 win and extended the Celtics' losing streak to 18 games, the longest for any NBA team since the Magic lost 19 in a row in 2003-04.
There have been 11 previous single-season losing streaks of at least 18 games by NBA teams, but Boston was only the second team to extend a streak of that length (or longer) with a one-possession loss (a margin three or fewer points). The 1981-82 Cavaliers put an exclamation point on a 19-game losing streak by dropping a 116-113 overtime decision to Detroit in their season finale.
• The Trail Blazers held Gilbert Arenas to only nine points in their 94-73 victory in Washington. It marked the third time in the last three weeks that the Wizards lost a home game by a margin of at least 20 points. Prior to those three defeats, Washington had a streak of 106 straight games at Verizon Center without suffering a 20-point defeat (since a 101-81 loss to Miami on March 21, 2004).
Arenas made only three of his 12 field-goal attempts and he was 0-for-8 from beyond the arc, tying Jerry Stackhouse's single-game franchise mark for most 3-point attempts without making any. The only other NBA player to try at least eight 3-pointers without sinking one in a regulation game this season was Mike Miller (0-for-8 on Feb. 6).
• Sasha Pavlovic led the Cavaliers with 21 points as they defeated the Lakers 99-90. Pavlovic has been Cleveland's high scorer in three of its last seven games, after averaging only 4.8 points per game prior to that. Povlovic's 15.0 points-per-game average over that span (since Jan. 30) is the second-highest on the club, behind LeBron James (19.0).
• The Lakers went 3-5 on their just-completed road trip, which was the club's longest since December 1989. San Antonio is the only other NBA team that's scheduled to play eight straight road games this season; the Spurs are 2-4 in the midst of their eight-game rodeo road trip. During the past five seasons (2001-02 through 2005-06), only seven NBA teams played at least eight straight games on the road; five of those teams posted a .500 or better record during their extended trip.
• Mike Dunleavy scored 20 points to help the Pacers defeat Mike Dunleavy Sr.'s Clippers 94-80. The younger Dunleavy fell two points shy of his career high in a game against his dad.
• Jermaine O'Neal blocked four shots on Sunday to overtake Rik Smits (1,111) as the Pacers' career leader in that category (O'Neal has 1,113). Four other active NBA players have at least 1,000 career blocks for their current team: Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Alonzo Mourning and Adonal Foyle.
• Colorado has lost its last two games by scores of 6-3 (Thursday vs. Atlanta) and 7-5 (Sunday at Dallas). It's only the third time that the Avs have allowed six or more goals in each of two consecutive games since the franchise relocated to Denver from Quebec in 1995. The previous instances were in November 1999 and November 2000.
• A dozen players accounted for one goal apiece in the Stars' 7-5 win over Colorado. In was only the third NHL game in the past 10 years in which there were at least 12 goals, all scored by different players (Oilers over Canucks 7-6 on Dec. 21, 2005; and Wild over Predators 7-6 on Nov. 16, 2006).
• Marty Turco started in goal for the Stars against the Avalanche but he was pulled from the game after allowing three goals in fewer than 30 minutes. Turco was removed from his previous start (Tuesday vs. Minnesota) after giving up two goals in just over eight minutes. It's only the second time in Turco's NHL career that he failed to go the distance in each of two straight starts. He was yanked in consecutive games in January 2006 (against Anaheim and Detroit).
• Vincent Lecavalier scored his 35th goal of the season to match his career high as the Lightning posted a 4-1 win at New Jersey. Lecavalier reached the 35-goal mark in the Lightning's 57th game, the quickest for any Tampa Bay player. Brian Bradley scored his 35th goal in the Lightning's 59th game in 1992-93, the club's inaugural season. Bradley's 42 goals that season still stand as the franchise record.
Lecavalier is the first player to score 35 or more goals in a season twice for the Lightning. Bradley, Dino Ciccarelli (1996-97) and Martin St. Louis (2003-04) each did it once, though St. Louis needs only three more goals this season to do it for a second time.
• Martin Havlat extended his goal-scoring streak to six games in the Blackhawks' 5-4 win in Columbus. Over the last six seasons the only other Chicago player with a goal streak that long was Mark Bell, who scored in six straight games in November 2005.
• The Red Wings' 7-4 triumph over Calgary was their 12th straight victory at Joe Louis Arena. It's the longest home winning streak for any NHL team since 1995-96, when the Wings had two such streaks of that length. The last time a team other than Detroit to win 12 consecutive home games was the Kings, who won 12 in a row in 1992-93.
• Phil Mickelson won the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am for the third time in his career. It's the fourth tournament event that he has won at least three times. Only seven other players have ever been three or more-time winners in as many as four different PGA Tour events. Among active players, only Tiger Woods has as least three titles at more events than Mickelson. Tiger is a three-time champion (or more) at nine different tournaments.