Monday, February 26, 2007
Elias Says ...
By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to ESPN Insider
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• The Mavericks beat the Hawks on Monday night 110-87 and became the first team in NBA history to fashion three different winning streaks of at least 12 games in the same season. Eleven of the 30 current NBA franchises have never had a single 12-game winning streak in the history of their franchises: Charlotte, Cleveland, Golden State, Indiana (as an NBA franchise), L.A. Clippers, Minnesota, New Orleans/Oklahoma City, Orlando, Toronto, Memphis and Washington.
• The Mavericks' win over the Hawks was about as sure a bet as they come, considering Atlanta's 22-34 record entering the game. There has been only one game in NBA history in which a team at least 12 games below .500 won on the road against a team riding a winning streak of at least 11 games: on April 24, 1993, Dallas, with a 10-71 record, won in Houston to end the Rockets' 11-game winning streak.
• The Celtics upset the Rockets in Houston 77-72. Boston entered the game 1-21 this season against teams with winning records and 0-12 against those teams on the road. Prior to Monday night, the Celtics' only victory this season against a team that entered play on Monday night above .500 was a 114-88 home win against Indiana on Nov. 15.
• Houston led Boston 62-49 with less than nine minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. It's the first time since Nov. 22, 2002 (a 105-98 double-overtime victory over Atlanta) that the Celtics won a game after trailing by 13 or more points with nine or fewer minutes left in the fourth quarter.
• Dwight Howard had 21 points and 16 rebounds in Orlando's win against Chicago. But he also had 11 turnovers! In the past 20 years, the only other starting center with 11 or more turnovers in a regulation (non-OT) NBA game was the Cavaliers' Zydrunas Ilgauskas on Dec. 14, 2002. Ilgauskas, like Howard, had 11 turnovers in that game.
• The Knicks beat the Heat 99-93 and the difference was at the foul line. New York made 30 free throws and Miami made only five. That differential of 25 free throws made is the largest between any two teams in any NBA game this season.
• Stephon Marbury scored 18 points in the fourth quarter, the most he's scored in any quarter in nearly two years -- since he had 18 in the third quarter against the Lakers in March 2005.
• Eddy Curry had 28 points and 11 rebounds for New York. The last time that a Knicks starting center had 25 or more points and 10 or more rebounds in a game against Shaquille O'Neal was on Nov. 7, 1997, when Patrick Ewing had 29 and 14 in a loss to the Lakers.
• O'Neal reached 25,000 career points on Monday night, becoming the 14th player in NBA history to hit that milestone. He's the fourth player to score 25,000 points and win at least three NBA championships, joining John Havlicek (who played for the winning team in the NBA Finals eight times), Michael Jordan (six championships) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (six titles); Shaq has played for four NBA champions.
• Kobe Bryant had 35 points in the Lakers' win at Utah; he scored 21 of those points on free throws while shooting just 7-for-21 from the field. In the last 15 years, only one other NBA player made 21 or more free throws in a game while converting no more than one-third of his field-goal attempts. Charles Barkley was 2-for-16 from the field but sank 22 free throws for Phoenix in an overtime game against Washington on Dec. 20, 1995.
• Tim Duncan shot 11-for-15 (.733) from the field and pulled down 16 rebounds in San Antonio's win against Toronto. Over the last two seasons, no other NBA player had that high a field-goal percentage (min: 15 FGA) with that many rebounds in one game. The last to do it was Shaquille O'Neal on Nov. 30, 2004, also against Toronto; Shaq was 12-for-15 (.800) with 17 rebounds in that game.
• Carmelo Anthony scored 33 points, Nene chipped in 27 and Allen Iverson had 25 in the Nuggets win at Memphis. It's the second time this season that three Denver teammates each scored at least 25 points in one game; Earl Boykins, Andre Miller and Marcus Camby did that against Washington on Dec. 18.
The Nuggets are the first team since the 1994-95 Lakers to have two completely different sets of three teammates each score at least 25 points in one game in the same season. Cedric Ceballos, Elden Campbell and Nick Van Exel each scored 25 or more points for the Lakers on Jan. 20, 1995; then on Feb. 8, 1995, Anthony Peeler,
Eddie Jones and Vlade Divac each scored at least 25 points in the same game for the Lakers.
• Andre Iguodala had 22 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in the 76ers' win against the Kings. It's the fifth time in his last 25 games that Iguodala had at least 20 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Before that he had only one such performance in the first 196 games of his NBA career.
• Saku Koivu had a goal and an assist for the Canadiens in their 5-4 win over the Maple Leafs. The goal was Koivu's fourth in his last four games against Toronto, matching his total from his previous 37 career games against the Leafs.
• Marian Hossa broke a 2-2 tie with a goal at 7:28 of the third period to give the Thrashers a 3-2 victory in Boston. Hossa has scored 36 goals this season and 19 of them have come in the third period, the highest total of third-period goals for any NHL player.