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Elias Says: Feb. 25, 2017

Westbrook reaches 15-15-15 in Thunder win

Russell Westbrook had 17 points, 18 rebounds, and 17 assists in the Thunder’s 110-93 win over the Lakers on Friday. Westbrook has had one other game in his career in which he had at least 15 points, 15 rebounds, and 15 assists, doing so on January 16, 2015 against Golden State (17 points, 15 rebounds, 16 assists). Over the last 40 years, four others had multiple games of this type: Magic Johnson (three such games), Micheal Ray Richardson (two), Larry Bird (two), and Jason Kidd (two).

Only two other active players have had even one game of this variety: Rajon Rondo (March 4, 2012 against the Knicks, with 18 points, 17 rebounds, and 20 assists) and James Harden (December 31, 2016, also versus New York, with 53 points, 16 rebounds, and 17 assists).

Wiggins continues to wow the crowd

Andrew Wiggins scored 27 points and made 11 of 21 field-goal attempts in the Timberwolves’ victory over the Mavericks on Friday night. Wiggins, who turned 22 years old on February 23, has scored at least 25 points and made at least 50 percent of his field-goal attempts in each of six straight games. He is the first Timberwolves player with six straight games of this type.

Over the last 20 years, only three other players did this in six straight games at 22 years old or younger: Tim Duncan in April 1998 (six straight games at 21 years old), LeBron James in February/March 2007 (six straight at 22 years old), and Anthony Davis in March 2014 (eight straight, with his streak ending at 21 years and 11 days old).

DeRozan puts up the points again versus the Celtics

DeMar DeRozan scored a career-high 43 points in the Raptors’ 107-97 triumph over the Celtics on Friday. DeRozan scored 41 points in his last game against Boston, a Toronto win on January 10 earlier this year. The last player with multiple 40-point games versus the Celtics within one season was Kobe Bryant, who had two such games in the 2005-06 season. Bryant is also the last player with at least 40 points in consecutive games against Boston, having done so in three straight from February 2006 to January 2007.

Heat and Hawks continue recent first-game-after-the-break trend

Heat reserve Tyler Johnson led all scorers with 23 points as the Heat cruised to a 108-90 win over the Hawks. Miami’s win extended streaks for both teams; the Heat have won their first game after the All-Star break in eight straight seasons (2009-10 to 2016-17) and the Hawks have lost their first game after the break in seven consecutive seasons (2010-11 to 2016-17). Each is the longest active streak of its kind in the NBA. The last team with an eight-game winning streak of this variety? That would be the Kings from February 2001 to February 2008. And the last with a seven-game losing streak? That is the Hawks from February 2003 to February 2009, meaning Atlanta has won its first game after the break just once in the last 15 seasons.

Nets are scoring but not winning

The Nets scored 109 points (with Brook Lopez leading the way with 17), but they still lost by 20 to the Nuggets. Brooklyn has lost each of its last 15 games despite averaging 103.5 points over that span. The last team to average that many points over a 15-game span and lose every game was the Timberwolves in March 1992 (Minnesota averaged 103.6 points per game).

Wade and the Bulls come out on top in overtime

The Bulls and Suns needed one overtime period to decide a victor, and it was a high-scoring five minutes. Chicago netted 20 points, led by 10 from Dwyane Wade, and Phoenix scored 13 points. Those 33 combined points tied the second-most among the 61 OT periods played this season. The Hornets and Timberwolves combined for 33 points on December 3, and the Cavs and Wizards scored 35 on February 6.

Wade became the fourth player with at least 10 points in an overtime period this season, joining Russell Westbrook (14 on November 30), James Harden (10 on December 17), and Kyrie Irving ( 11 on February 6).

Saric’s third straight game with a double-double

Dario Saric scored 20 points and grabbed 11 boards in the 76ers’ 120-112 victory over the Wizards. It was the third straight game in which the rookie forward had a double-double. Over the last 50 years, only three other 76ers rookies recorded a double-double in three consecutive games: Charles Barkley twice (three-game streaks in January and February 1985), Michael Carter-Williams (three-game streak in December 2013), and Nerlens Noel (three-game streak in March 2015). Saric is the first rookie with such a streak of this length in the 2016-17 campaign.

Pacers pull away in the second

After a close first quarter in which the Grizzlies outscored the Pacers by one point, Indiana took over in the second, scoring 36 points to Memphis’s 23 in what was ultimately a 102-92 Pacers' victory. The Pacers made 74 percent of their second-quarter field-goal attempts (14-for-19), led by a perfect 4-for-4 from reserve Monta Ellis. Indiana shot at least 70 percent from the floor in only one other quarter this season. On December 12, the team hit 14 of 17 shots (82%) in the fourth quarter of a win over the Hornets.

Antetokounmpo provides the offense, but Milwaukee falls short

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 33 points for the Bucks, but it was not enough in their 14-point loss to the Jazz. Antetokounmpo had 33 points in his last game, a 129-125 Milwaukee win over the Nets on February 15. It is the first time he has scored more than 30 points in back-to-back games; the last Bucks player to do so was Khris Middleton in late December of 2015.

Spurs end losing streak on the road against the Clippers

Kawhi Leonard (21 points) and the Spurs downed the Clippers, 105-97, at Staples Center on Friday night. Entering Friday’s game, San Antonio had lost each of its last three road games against the Clippers, which was tied for their longest active road losing streak versus a particular opponent. The Spurs have lost each of their last three road games at the United Center against the Bulls.

Caps get it done at home

The Capitals extended their home winning streak to 13 games with a 2–1 victory against the Oilers in Washington on Friday. That matches the longest winning streak in home games over the last four seasons by a NHL team, a 13-game run in Pittsburgh by the 2013–14 Penguins. The Capitals have taken care of business during regulation time in all but one of the 13 wins during this streak, the exception being an overtime victory against the Maple Leafs in the second game. This is the longest streak of consecutive home wins by an NHL team, none via shootouts, since Washington’s own 13-game streak in 2009–10.

A Wilson goal equals a Caps’ win

Tom Wilson scored the first goal for the Capitals in their win over the Oilers. Wilson is better known for the number of penalties he racks up than for his goal-scoring prowess, but when he does score a rare goal, it’s a good sign for the Caps. Washington has won all 12 games over the last two seasons in which Wilson produced a goal (seven in 2015–16 and five this season). All five of Wilson’s goals this season have been scored against Western Conference teams.

Rookie reaches 30-assist mark

Matthew Tkachuk produced a pair of assists for the Flames in their 4–2 win over the Panthers. The 19-year-old Tkachuk has tallied 30 assists this season, which ranks him second among NHL rookies, three behind Toronto’s Mitch Marner. He’s only the second player in Flames franchise history to record 30 or more assists as a teenager in one season. The first was Dan Quinn, who did so twice, notching 33 assists for Calgary as an 18-year-old rookie in 1983–84 and 38 assists at age 19 in 1984–85.

Benn’s home point streak reaches 10 games

Jamie Benn extended his home-ice point streak to 10 games with a goal and an assist for the Stars in their 5–2 victory against the Coyotes on Friday. Benn has the longest current home point streak by an NHL player and it ties his single-season career high, set in the Stars’ last 10 games in Dallas during the 2013–14 season. He’s the fifth NHL player to register a double-digit home-game point streak this season, after Evgeni Malkin (13 games), Cam Atkinson (10), Alex Galchenyuk (10) and Nicklas Backstrom (10).

Eddie is not Lack-ing in saves in shutout over the Senators

Eddie Lack posted his first shutout of the season and the ninth shutout of his NHL career with a 34-save 3–0 victory against the Senators in Raleigh. Lack’s 34 saves are a career high for a shutout and the second-most saves by a Hurricanes goaltender in a shutout over the last five seasons. He fell one short of the 35 saves made by Anton Khudobin in his 3–0 win for Carolina at Florida on March 27, 2014.