Sunday, April 1, 2007
Elias Says ...
By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to ESPN Insider
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• The Suns posted a 126-104 win over the Mavericks, who came into the game with a 61-11 record. It was the first win in NBA history by a margin of 20 or more points against a team with a record at least 50 games above the .500 mark. The previous record margin against a plus-50 team was 18 points in a 98-80 win by the Spurs over the Lakers (64-12) in 2000.
• Same theme, different angle: This was the third time in NBA history that four players scored 20 or more points in a game against a plus-50 team. The players were Leandro Barbosa (29), Amare Stoudemire (24), Steve Nash (23), and Shawn Marion (20). Previous teams to do so: March 9, 1971 -- Bulls vs. Bucks (65-11) in OT: Bob Love (23), Tom Boerwinkle (21), Jerry Sloan (21), Chet Walker (20); March 22, 1972 -- Cavaliers vs. Lakers (67-12): Rick Roberson (29), John Johnson (28), Bingo Smith (27), Butch Beard (24).
• The Suns' victory snapped the Mavs' streak of 41 consecutive wins in games in which they led at the end of the first quarter, tthe third-longest such streak in NBA history.
• The Pacers rallied from a seven-point deficit in the final four minutes to defeat the Spurs 100-99. San Antonio missed five of nine free throws in the fourth quarter, with Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Bruce Bowen and Manu Ginobili each missing one. It was only the second time that all four of those players missed free throws in the same period in their five seasons together with the Spurs, covering 315 games in which they all played.
• Luol Deng scored 30 points in the Bulls' 105-97 win at Atlanta. Deng has scored at least 30 points six times in 45 games since Dec. 30, compared to once in 169 NBA games prior to that.
• Calvin Booth came off the bench to score 11 points and grab 11 rebounds in 22 minutes in the Wizards' 121-107 win at Milwaukee. It was only the second double-double of Booth's seven-year NBA career (323 games) and the first this season by a Washington sub. The only teams without a double-double from a sub this season are the Mavericks and the Spurs.
• Mehmet Okur led the Jazz with 20 points in an 86-83 victory over the Rockets. Okur was only the third center to score at least 20 points when starting opposite Yao Ming this season. The others:
Amare Stoudemire (22 on Nov. 29) and Chris Kaman (20 on Dec. 17).
• Rick Nash scored his 25th goal of the season with 58 seconds to play in the Blue Jackets' 4-1 loss to the Red Wings. Nash's goal meant little except that it prevented Dominik Hasek from recording the 76th shutout of his career, which would have tied Ed Belfour and Tony Esposito for eighth most in NHL history.
• It was the 10th time that Hasek lost a shutout bid in the final two minutes of the third period, tying an all-time NHL record. The other goaltenders with 10 are Ed Belfour, Olaf Kolzig, Patrick Roy and John Vanbiesbrouck.
• Jonathan Cheechoo scored three goals in the Sharks' 6-2 win over the Kings. It was Cheechoo's third hat trick of the season and his eighth over the last two seasons. That equals the highest two-season totals since 1991. Others with eight hat tricks over two seasons since then: Pavel Bure (1999-2001), Mario Lemieux (1995-1997), Brett Hull (1991-1993) and Alexander Mogilny (1991-1993 and 1992-1994).
• Cheechoo has scored 12 goals in his last 10 games. The only other players with at least 12 goals over a 10-game span this season were Henrik Zetterberg, 13 (Jan. 30-Feb. 21) and Alexander Semin, 12 (Jan. 4-27).
• Petr Kalus scored the Bruins' only goal in Sunday's 3-1 loss to the Devils. It was Kalus's third goal in three shots on goal in six NHL games. Only two other players in the last 20 years scored on each of their first three shots on goal: Jan Caloun of the Sharks in 1996 and Rob Brown of the Penguins in 1987.
• Sean Avery scored two goals in the Rangers' 7-2 win over the Maple Leafs. Avery has as many two-goal games in his last six games (2) as he had in 313 career games prior to that.
• Twenty-four seconds after being whistled for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, Ed Belfour allowed an overtime goal to Ray Whitney, and the Hurricanes defeated the Panthers 4-3. It was the first time in 157 regular-season overtime games that Belfour took a penalty in the extra period.
• Four days after Ales Kotalik returned from a six-week absence to score a game-winning goal for the Sabres against the Devils, Brian Gionta pulled the same trick on New Jersey's behalf. Gionta, playing his first game since March 6, scored the game-winner in the Devils' 3-1 win over the Bruins.
• Paul Lo Duca went 2-for-5 with three RBIs in the Mets' 6-1 win over the Cardinals. It was the fourth consecutive season in which Lo Duca recorded a multiple-hit game on Opening Day -- the longest current streak in the majors, pending Pat Burrell's results on Monday. Burrell has at least two Opening Day hits in each of the last three seasons.
• The Mets infield turned four double plays on Cardinals ground balls, equaling the highest Opening Day total in last 75 years (although it was done nine other times during that period).