Another triple-double for Westbrook
Russell Westbrook recorded another triple-double (16 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists) in the Thunder’s win over the Clippers on Friday night, his fourth consecutive triple-double. Westbrook has recorded four or more consecutive triple-doubles six times in his NBA career, second most by any player, behind Oscar Robertson, who had seven such streaks.
Happy Birthday Joel
Joel Embiid celebrated his 24th birthday by scoring 24 points and grabbing 19 rebounds in the 76ers’ win over the Nets. Only one other player in 76ers franchise history scored at least 20 points and grabbed 15 or more rebounds on his birthday: Moses Malone scored 31 points with 17 rebounds in a 76ers win over the Cavaliers on his 29th birthday in 1984.
Two other players had a 20/15 game (points/rebounds) on their birthday this season: Karl-Anthony Towns (26/16 on his 22nd birthday) and Dwight Howard (25/20 on his 32nd birthday).
Simmons swishes and dishes
Ben Simmons scored 21 points and handed out 12 assists in the 76ers’ win over the Nets on Friday night. It was the fifth 20/10 game (points/assists) for Simmons this season, four more than all other rookies have fashioned this season combined. Dennis Smith, Jr. has the only other 20/10 game by a rookie this season.
Only two other rookies in 76ers franchise history had five 20/10 games in one season: Allen Iverson had 11 such games in 1996-97 and Michael Carter-Williams had six in 2013-14.
Raptors feasting on the bad teams
DeMar DeRozan scored 29 points as the Raptors outlasted the Mavericks in a 122-115 overtime win. Toronto improved its record to 31-2 this season in games against NBA teams that currently have a losing record, the best such record, by far, for any team. The Raptors have won their last 18 games against teams that currently have a losing record. Their last loss to one of those teams was against the Mavericks on the day after Christmas.
Randle four straight 20/10/.500 games
Julius Randle scored 25 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and made nine of his 17 field goal attempts in the Lakers’ loss to the Heat. Randle has had four straight 20/10/.500 (points, rebounds, field goal percentage) games, the longest such streak by a Lakers player since Andrew Bynum had a four-game streak like that in March 2012.
Back-to-back 30-point games for Dragic
Goran Dragic scored 30 points, including the go-ahead basket with 14.3 seconds left, in Miami’s win over the Lakers. Dragic scored 33 points in Miami’s overtime loss to the Kings on Wednesday. It’s 24th and 25th time in his NBA career that Dragic scored at least 30 points in a game, but the first time he has done it in back-to-back games.
Hield leads Kings off the bench
Buddy Hield came off the Kings bench to score 22 points, grab seven rebounds and hand out seven assists in the Kings’ win over the Warriors. Hield is the first Kings player with a 20/5/5 (points, rebounds, assists) game as a substitute since Spencer Hawes on November 2, 2009. Hawes scored 21 points with 11 rebounds and seven assists in an overtime win over the Grizzlies.
Rozier leads both teams in points and assists
Terry Rozier led all players in points (17, tied with Greg Monroe) and assists (five) in the Celtics’ win over the Magic on Friday night. It was the first time in his 182-game NBA career that Rozier led both teams in points and assists in a game.
Kane scores four
Evander Kane produced the first hat trick of his nine-season NHL career when he scored four goals for the San Jose Sharks in their 7-4 win over the Flames in Calgary. Entering play on Friday, Kane’s career total of 178 goals was the fourth-highest among active players without an NHL hat trick, behind Claude Giroux (206 goals), Mikko Koivu (192) and Jason Chimera (186).
Kane’s four-goal game was the fourth ever by a Sharks player. The others were by Owen Nolan (Dec. 19, 1995 at Anaheim), Tomas Hertl (Oct. 8, 2013 vs. N.Y. Rangers) and Patrick Marleau (Jan. 23, 2017 at Colorado).
Caps sweep Isles in convincing fashion
The Capitals completed a sweep of their home-and-home set against the Islanders with a 6–3 victory in Washington on Friday, after winning 7–3 in Brooklyn on Thursday. Over the last 30 seasons, the only other time the Capitals scored at least six goals in each end of a home-and-home pair of games with the same opponent was against the Senators in 2007–08. The Caps won 8–6 in Ottawa on December 29 and 6–3 in D.C. on January 1.
Three Senators on multi-point streaks
Mike Hoffman’s third overtime goal of the season earned the Ottawa Senators a 3–2 home-ice win against the Dallas Stars. Hoffman (who had one goal and one assist on Friday), Matt Duchene (one goal, one assist) and Erik Karlsson (two assists) have all tallied two points in each of the Senators’ last three games. Over the last three seasons the only other streaks of three consecutive multi-point games by an Ottawa player were all produced by Mark Stone, with each of those streaks coming this season (Nov. 2–10, Jan. 5–9 and Feb. 21–24).
Another 20-goal season for Forsberg
Filip Forsberg and Colton Sissons each scored two goals for the Nashville Predators in their 4–2 win at Colorado. Forsberg, who was born in Sweden, scored 26 goals as a rookie for the Predators in 2014–15, and he’s tallied 33, 31 and 20 goals in the three seasons since then. The only other current NHL players born outside North America who produced a streak of four or more consecutive 20-goal seasons beginning with their rookie season are Alex Ovechkin (13 seasons), Thomas Vanek (10), Anze Kopitar (six) and Evgeni Malkin (four).