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Elias Says: October 24, 2017

Wentz takes NFL lead in TD passes

Carson Wentz threw four touchdown passes in the Eagles’ win over the Redskins on Monday, giving him the league lead with 17 TD passes this season, with 11 in his last three games. No Eagles player has led the NFL in touchdown passes since Roman Gabriel tied Roger Staubauch for the lead in 1973; the last one to lead this far into a season was Donovan McNabb, through 10 weeks in 2006, after which he was lost for the season with a knee injury.

It was an under-40 league this week

NFL teams combined to score 39.6 points per game in week seven, the lowest average in the league since NFL teams averaged 36.4 points per game in week 15 of the 2014 season (Dec. 11–15).

The future is now for Philadelphia

Ben Simmons, playing his fourth NBA game, scored 21 points with 12 rebounds and 10 assists in the 76ers’ win in Detroit on Monday. The only other players in NBA history who had a triple-double within their first four games in the league were Oscar Robertson, in his debut, for the Cincinnati Royals in 1960; and Hambone Williams, in his fourth game, for the San Diego Rockets in 1967 (their first season). Robertson still holds the NBA record for triple doubles; Williams had only four others in his seven NBA seasons.

Joel Embiid, playing his 34th NBA game, scored 30 points in Philadelphia’s win. It’s the first time in NBA history that teammates who had each played fewer than 90 games in the league had a triple-double and a 30-point performance in the same game.

Antetokounmpo off to a start that no one has seen

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 32 points in the Bucks’ victory over the Hornets on Monday, and after four games this season he’s scored 147 points with 43 rebounds and 21 assists. No other player in NBA history had that many points, rebounds and assists in his first four games of a season.

Warriors get back on track in Dallas

Stephen Curry scored 29 points, Kevin Durant had 25 and Klay Thompson added 21 in the Warriors’ blowout win in Dallas on Monday. It’s the 19th time that those three have scored 20 points in the same game since the start of last season, the highest total in the NBA. In June, Curry, Durant and Thompson became the first trio of teammates with two “all-score-20” games in a single NBA Finals since 1990 (Detroit’s Joe Dumars, Vinnie Johnson and Isiah Thomas).

Spurs off to another 3–0 start for Popovich¬¨

Gregg Popovich has the Spurs off to a 3–0 start after San Antonio squeaked past the Raptors on Monday, 101–97. It’s the sixth time that the Spurs have won their first three games of a season for Popovich, tying the second-highest total by a head coach for one team. The Celtics started 3–0 seven times for Red Auerbach; and the Jazz did so six times with Jerry Sloan.

Grizzlies knock off another of last season’s best

After Memphis’s surprising win over the Warriors on Saturday, the Grizzlies improved to 3–0 with a win over the Rockets on Monday. They’re the seventh team in NBA history to start a season 3–0 with two of those wins coming against teams that won 55 or more games the previous season. The only other team to do that this century was the Heat, in 2011–12.

Team effort gives Washington a W

All five of the Wizards’ starters scored at least 10 points in Washington’s win in Denver on Monday. The Wizards had 27 games last season in which all five starters reached double digits in points; no other NBA team had more than 17 games like that last season.

Ellington goes wild in second quarter

Wayne Ellington sank six three-pointers in the second quarter of Miami’s win over Atlanta on Monday. He’s the first NBA player to make six or more threes in one period this season; only four did so last season: Kevin Love (8), Troy Daniels (6), Isaiah Thomas (6) and Stephen Curry (6).

Couture on display in Manhattan

Logan Couture scored one goal and assisted on another in the Sharks’ 4–1 win over the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Couture leads San Jose with seven goals in the team’s eight games this season (including six goals in the last four games). The only other players in Sharks history to score at least seven goals in the team’s first eight games of a season were Owen Nolan (eight in 1999–2000), Patrick Marleau (nine in 2012–13, seven in 2013–14) and Tomas Hertl (seven in 2013–14).

Marleau’s first game-winner for Toronto

Patrick Marleau’s third-period goal was the game-winning goal for the Maple Leafs in their 3–2 victory against the Kings. It was the 99th game-winning goal in Marleau’s 20-season NHL career and his first game-winner for a team other than the San Jose Sharks. Marleau’s 98 game-winning goals for the Sharks tie him with Bobby Hull (98 for the Blackhawks) for the second-most by a player for one NHL team, behind Gordie Howe (121 for the Red Wings). Marleau, who turned 38 years old last month, was an 18-year-old rookie when he scored his first game-winning goal in the NHL, in a 3–0 San Jose victory at Edmonton on Feb. 4, 1998.

Callaway will be youngest pitcher-turned-manager in a long time

The Mets named their new manager on Monday: Mickey Callaway, who pitched in 40 major-league games over parts of five seasons from 1999 to 2004 and was most recently the Indians’ pitching coach. Callaway, who doesn’t turn 43 years old until May, will be the youngest former major-league pitcher at the time of his debut as a big-league manager since 1952, when 32-year old Fred Hutchinson, then a pitcher for Detroit, was named manager of the Tigers. Hutchinson spent 12 seasons as a major-league manager, and led the Reds to a National League pennant in 1961, before his death at age 45 in 1964.