LeBron leads second-half surge for Cavs versus Raptors
LeBron James led the Cavaliers with 28 points and 14 assists in Cleveland’s 121–117 victory over the Raptors. James did most of his damage after halftime, producing 15 points and 10 assists in the final two quarters. Tuesday’s game marked the sixth time in his NBA career that James compiled at least 10 points and 10 assists in a half, but it’s the first time he did so in a second half. The last Cavaliers player prior to James with at least 10 points and 10 assists in the second half of a game was Andre Miller, who had two such double-doubles for Cleveland in the 2001–02 campaign.
Frye on fire off the bench
Channing Frye made five three-pointers off the bench for the Cavaliers, including a go-ahead three with 59 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Frye, who made six three-pointers in Cleveland’s previous game on Sunday, is the second player in franchise history to convert at least five three-point field goals off the bench in consecutive games. Dan Majerle had three such games in a row for Cleveland in April 1996.
Triple-double for Randle in L.A.
Julius Randle notched a triple-double on Tuesday night, helping the Lakers hold off the Nets at the Staples Center. The 21-year-old Randle scored 17 points and led the Lakers with 14 rebounds and 10 assists, marking the second triple-double of his young career (his first was in March against the Nuggets). The only other player in Lakers franchise history to record a triple-double before his 22nd birthday was Magic Johnson, who posted seven triple-doubles as a 20-year-old rookie in 1979–80 and six more triple-doubles at age 21 the following season.
Walker helps Hornets steal a win in Minnesota
Kemba Walker filled the boxscore for the Hornets in their 115–108 victory over the Timberwolves in Minneapolis. Walker led all scorers with 30 points while also contributing six assists, five rebounds, and five steals. Only three other players in Hornets history posted a 30–5–5–5 statline in a game, and all three – Kendall Gill (1992), Baron Davis (2002), Raymond Felton (2006) – did so in a losing effort.
Walker has made a habit of racking up steals against the Timberwolves – including Tuesday’s fiver, he now has 28 thefts in 10 games versus Minnesota. That average of 2.8 steals per game is Walker’s highest steals average versus any team. In fact, the only active player with a higher steals-per-game average versus a particular opponent with at least 10 games played against that team is Chris Paul. Paul has averaged 2.9 steals per game against both the 76ers and the Pelicans.
Butler leads the way
Jimmy Butler dominated in all aspects of the game in the Bulls’ blowout victory over the Trail Blazers in Portland. Butler led all players from both teams with 27 points and 12 rebounds while tying Dwyane Wade for the lead in assists with five. Butler had played in 333 games entering Tuesday, and in only one of those contests did he lead all players (or tie for the lead) in points, rebounds, and assists. On April 2, 2016, Butler compiled 28 points, 17 rebounds, and 12 assists against the Pistons in Chicago. Butler led both sides in all three of those categories, although his first triple-double was not enough to lead the Bulls to victory that day.
Whiteside handles half of Heat’s boards
Hassan Whiteside led the Heat with 25 rebounds in Miami’s loss to the Hawks on Tuesday. Whiteside, who tied his career-high in rebounds, secured two more boards than the rest of his teammates combined (23). It’s the second time that Whiteside outrebounded his teammates in a game, and the other occurrence also took place in Miami against the Hawks. On Feb. 28, 2005, Whiteside secured 24 boards versus Atlanta, one more than the rest of the Heat team. The only other Heat players to achieve that feat in a game are Rony Seikaly, who had three such performances for Miami, and Shawn Marion, who did so once.
Toronto throws hats for van Riemsdyk
James van Riemsdyk notched the second hat trick of his NHL career and his first three-goal game for the Maple Leafs in Toronto’s 6–2 win against Nashville. Van Riemsdyk, a New Jersey native, is the second player to post a hat trick for the Leafs this season, joining his fellow American, Auston Matthews, who scored four goals in his NHL debut on October 12 in Ottawa. This is only the second season in which two different U.S.-born players recorded hat tricks for Toronto. That also happened in 1988–89, when Eddie Olczyk and Tom Fergus each had a three-goal game for the Maple Leafs.
Calgary snaps skid with shutout win
Johnny Gaudreau’s first period power play goal was the only goal of the game in Calgary’s 1–0 win over the Wild on Tuesday night. It was only the sixth power play goal for the Flames in 2016–17, the fewest the team has ever produced through the first 17 games of a season.
Tuesday’s win also marked Chad Johnson’s first shutout for the Flames. Johnson now has five shutouts in the NHL, with at least one for four different teams (Coyotes 1, Bruins 2, Sabres 1, Flames 1). He’s one of five active goaltenders with shutouts for four NHL teams. The others are Craig Anderson, Jaroslav Halak, Anton Khudobin and Al Montoya.
Hayes and Miller help Rangers rout Canucks
The Rangers beat the Canucks, 7–2, on Tuesday night, marking the ninth time that the Blueshirts scored at least five goals in a game this season, more than twice as many as any other team. Next on the list is Winnipeg, with four games of five or more goals in 2016–17.
Kevin Hayes and J.T. Miller both scored two goals for the Rangers in Vancouver. Hayes, who is 24 years old, and Miller, who is 23, are the first Rangers duo age 24 or younger to score multiple goals in a single game since Derek Stepan and Brandon Dubinsky did so in New York’s 2010–11 season opener. Dubinsky was 24 years old on Oct. 9, 2010 when he netted a pair of goals that night in Buffalo, while the 20-year-old Stepan scored a hat trick.
Atkinson beats Capitals again
Cam Atkinson scored 37 seconds into overtime to earn the Blue Jackets a 2–1 victory against the Capitals. Atkinson has scored eight goals (including three game-winners) in the 14 games he’s played versus Washington over the last four seasons, which ties him with Jeff Skinner for the second-most goals that any player has scored against the Capitals during that span, behind Jakub Voracek with 10.
Quick work by Jets
The Jets beat the Blackhawks, 4–0, on Tuesday, and Winnipeg iced the game with a pair of goals 11 seconds apart in the third period by Patrik Laine and Nic Petan. It was the second-fastest pair of goals scored by an NHL team this season. The only faster two goals came eight seconds apart by the Maple Leafs in the second period of their game against the Jets in Winnipeg on October 19. Those two goals gave Toronto a 4–1 lead, but Winnipeg rallied to beat the Leafs in overtime, 5–4.
Ward tames Sharks
Carolina’s Cam Ward posted his first shutout this season with a 1–0 win against the Sharks in Raleigh. Ward is the career leader in shutouts for the Whalers/Hurricanes franchise with 24, but he ranks second in 1–0 shutout victories for Hartford and Carolina with five, one behind Arturs Irbe. The only other goaltender with more than one 1–0 clean sheet for the club is Kevin Weekes with two.
Ekblad nets his first OT winner
Aaron Ekblad scored his first overtime goal in his three seasons in the NHL to provide the Florida Panthers with the winning margin in their 4–3 victory at Montreal. Ekblad’s game-winning goal was his first this season and the ninth of his career. He’s tied with Dustin Byfuglien for second in game-winning goals by a defenseman over the last three seasons, though they are far behind the leader, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, with 16.
Three-pointer for Kucherov
Nikita Kucherov scored two goals, including the game-winner with 70 seconds left to play in the third period, and also recorded an assist in Tampa Bay’s 4–3 win over the Red Wings in Detroit. Kucherov has tallied three points or more in a game three times this season, which ties him for the league high, but he’s the only NHL player who has had three such games on the road this season. Kucherov is the NHL leader in road points this season with 15 (in eight games).
Anderson perfect in shootout
Craig Anderson made 33 saves in the “real hockey” portion of the Senators’ game in Philadelphia and then stopped all five shots he faced in the shootout which gave him a 3–2 win over the Flyers. The only other time that a Senators goaltender recorded a victory in a shootout which he faced at least five attempts and allowed no goals was when Anderson went “5 for 5” in Ottawa’s 2–1 win against the Rangers in New York on March 24, 2011. Anderson has a 20–12 career record in shootout for the Senators, including a perfect 5–0 mark in calendar year 2016.
Devils’ hot streak continues
The Devils extended their winning streak to five games thanks to Adam Henrique, whose goal 44 seconds into overtime gave New Jersey a 2–1 victory in Dallas. This is the Devils’ longest winning streak since they won five games in a row in February 2013. There’s been quite a bit of turnover in the playing ranks in New Jersey between the team’s last two five-game winning streaks. Henrique, Andy Greene, Jacob Josefson and Travis Zajac are the only men who played for the Devils during both of those streaks.
Allen on point at home
Blues goaltender Jake Allen stopped 23 shots in his 4–1 win against the Sabres in St. Louis. Allen is 4–0–2 with a 1.15 goals-against average and .954 save percentage in his six games on home ice this season, allowing two or fewer goals in each game. He hasn’t fared nearly as well away from home this season, with a 2–3–1 record, 3.85 GAA and .849 save percentage in seven road appearances. Allen has allowed four or five goals in each of his last four road games.
Roberts, Francona capture Manager of Year honors
Dave Roberts and Terry Francona were named Manager of the Year for the National League and American League, respectively. Roberts guided the Dodgers to the NL West title in his first year with Los Angeles, despite entering the All-Star break 6.5 games behind the Giants for first place. The last manager prior to Roberts to lead his team to a division title in his first year with the franchise after overcoming a deficit of more than six games at the All-Star break was Cito Gaston. The Blue Jays won the AL East crown in 1989 with Gaston at the helm despite entering the break seven games back of first place.
Francona led the Indians to 94 wins this season, which was his fourth straight winning season since taking over the club in 2013. Francona also had a winning record in each of the eight seasons he was the skipper of the Red Sox, becoming just the fifth manager to have 12 consecutive winning seasons in the expansion era (since 1961). The others: Sparky Anderson (17 straight), Earl Weaver (16 straight), Bobby Cox (15 straight), and Joe Torre (14 straight).