Warriors’ huge third quarter keys comeback win
Stephen Curry scored 20 of his 35 points in the third quarter of the Warriors’ 124–116 win at Philadelphia. During that period, Golden State outscored the 76ers, 47 to 15. No NBA team had outscored an opponent by at least 32 points in any quarter since the Hawks posted a 48–16 third period against the Hornets on Jan. 4, 1994. And no visiting team had won a quarter by such a large margin since the Warriors outscored the Braves, 42–10, also in the third, on Dec. 15, 1972 at Buffalo Memorial Auditorium.
The Warriors, who trailed 74–52 at the end of the second quarter, hadn’t overcome a halftime deficit of 20-or-more points to win a game since Feb. 15, 1988, when they came back from 22 down at the intermission at San Antonio.
Before the Warriors’ 47-point third quarter, the 76ers put up 47 points of their own in the first quarter on Saturday night. You have to go back 27 years to find the last NBA game in which each team scored at least 47 points in a quarter in the same game. On Nov. 7, 1990, Larry Brown’s Spurs downed Paul Westhead’s Nuggets, 161–153, in San Antonio; in that game, the visitors scored 48 points in the opening period and the home team responded with 47 points in the second.
Four 76ers players score 20 points in loss
Philadelphia fans have waited just over 20 years to see four Sixers starters score 20-or-more points in the same game, but while that’s what happened on Saturday night, it still wasn’t enough to produce a victory over the visiting Warriors. Ben Simmons scored 23 points, Joel Embiid finished with 21, and Robert Covington and JJ Redick each had 20 against Golden State. The last quartet of Sixers starters to score a score of points consisted of Jerry Stackhouse (34), Allen Iverson (27), Mark Davis (24) and Clarence Weatherspoon (21) in a 113-105 win over the Nets in New Jersey on April 16, 1997.
Utah stuns Orlando with huge road win
The Jazz, who entered Saturday with a record of 6–10, defeated the 8–7 Magic, 125–85 in Orlando. It was the largest margin of victory in NBA history by a road team with a losing record over a home team that was over .500. The previous largest such win was by a margin of 36 points, by Phoenix (18–23) at Atlanta (24–18) in January 1996 and then by Charlotte (5–6) at Toronto (5–4) in November 2000.
Hood delivers like the Mailman
Rodney Hood led all players with 31 points, a total that included a run of 19 consecutive points for his team spanning the third and fourth quarters, in the Jazz’s win at Orlando. Hood’s streak of 19 straight points for Utah was the longest by any NBA player this season, and the longest by a member of the Jazz since Karl Malone delivered 19 in a row at Golden State on April 7, 1998.
Harden extends 20-point scoring streak
It wasn’t one of his most spectacular performances, but James Harden scored 29 points to lead all players in the Rockets’ 105–83 win at Memphis. Harden has scored at least 20 points in all 17 games he’s played this season, representing the longest start-of-season streak in Houston franchise history. The last player on any team to begin a campaign with as long a streak was LeBron James for the Heat in 2012–13 (20+ points in first 33 games.)
Rockets continue dominant road stretch
The Rockets have won their last five road games by 22, 15, 23, 26, and 22 points. That ties the NBA record for consecutive road wins by 15-or-more points. Three previous teams had streaks like that, and all three went on to win the championship that season: The Knicks in October/November 1969, the Pistons in March 2004, and the Heat in February 2012.
An efficient scoring night for Boston’s guards
Kyrie Irving scored 30 points, shooting 10-for-12 from the floor, while backcourt mate Jaylen Brown added 27 points on 10-for-13 shooting in as the Celtics extended their winning streak to 15 games with a 110–99 victory at Atlanta. It was the first time that two Boston players scored at least 25 points and made at least 75% of their field-goal attempts since Jan. 27, 1989, when Robert Parish (26 pts, 8 of 10 FG) and Reggie Lewis (25, 11 of 14) each did so in a 128–116 win over the Kings.
We recognize that positions are more fluid in today’s NBA than they have been in the past. Having said that, the last pair of starting guards to have games like this (25+ points, 75% FG%) were Sacramento’s Reggie Theus (31 pts, 13 of 17 FG) and Derek Smith (27, 11 of 14) against Golden State on Jan. 20, 1987.
Two Kings are ice cold in loss
Garrett Temple missed all nine of his shots from the floor, and Skal Labissiere was 0-for-8 from the field in the Kings’ 102–90 loss at Portland. They were the first pair of teammates to each shoot 0-for-8 or worse in a game since the Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo (then a rookie) and Gary Neal both missed all eight shots in a loss to the Rockets on Feb. 8, 2014. The last time two players from the Kings’ franchise did this in the same game was on Jan. 10, 1954, the season before the NBA adopted the shot clock, when Rochester’s Bobby Wanzer and Arne Risen each shot 0-for-11 in a loss to the Knicks in New York City.
Mavs surprise Bucks with big win
Wesley Matthews scored 22 points to lead the Mavericks, who entered Saturday with a record of 2–14, to a 111–79 victory over the Bucks, who had been 8–6. Dallas is the second team in NBA history to have a sub-.200 winning percentage and then defeat a winning team at least 30 points (minimum 10 previous games played by each team.) On Dec. 12, 1986, the 3–17 Nets beat the 13–6 76ers by a score of 123–90 at Brendan Byrne Arena.
Hornets extend Clippers’ losing streak
Kemba Walker led all players with 26 points as the Hornets sent the Clippers to their eighth straight loss, 102–87 at Charlotte. The eight-game losing streak by Los Angeles matches the longest in the last 15 years by a team before the start of December after winning at least 50 games the previous season. The Knicks lost their last eight games in November 2013, and extended that streak to nine with a loss in their first December game.
Chicago sweeps season series from champs
The Blackhawks, who routed the Penguins, 10–1, in Chicago on opening night, made it a two-game sweep of their season series against the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion with a 2–1 win in Pittsburgh on Saturday. The Hawks also won both of their games against Pittsburgh last season, when the Penguins were defending their first of their now back-to-back Cups. Before 2016–17, the Blackhawks had not recorded two wins in one season against a Cup-holding team from the Eastern Conference since they beat the Devils, the 1995 Stanley Cup champion, twice in 1995–96.
Artem Anisimov. who scored the game-winning goal for Chicago on Saturday, has done that in four of the Blackhawks’ last five wins. Chicago has 10 wins this season yet only three players have scored a game-winning goal for the Hawks: Brandon Saad (five), Anisimov (four) and Lance Bouma. The Blackhawks are the only NHL team with two players who’ve scored at least four game-winning goals this season.
Monahan scores power-play hat trick in second period
Sean Monahan recorded the first hat trick of his NHL career by scoring three power play goals in the second period of the Flames’ 5–4 overtime win at Philadelphia. He’s the second player in Flames franchise history to score three power play goals in one period, with Claude St. Sauveur having done so for the Atlanta Flames in the second period of an 8–3 victory against the Rangers at The Omni on Dec. 19, 1975. Monahan is only the third NHL player with three PPGs in one period of a game in the last 21 seasons. The others to do that since 1996–97 are Taylor Hall for the Oilers versus Atlanta on Feb. 19, 2011 (third period) and Nikita Kucherov for the Lightning against Ottawa on Feb. 27, 2017 (second period.) Before Saturday, the last Calgary player to score at least three goals (of any kind) in one period was Sam Bennett in the first period of the Flames’ 6–0 win over the Panthers on Jan. 13, 2016.
Duclair scores all of Arizona’s goals
Anthony Duclair scored all of the goals for the Coyotes in their 3–2 overtime win at Ottawa on Saturday afternoon. Duclair is the fourth player in Jets/Coyotes franchise history to record a hat trick while scoring every one of the team’s goals in a game. Keith Tkachuk did that twice for the Coyotes, including a four-goal game (March 20, 1997 at Chicago) and a three-goal game (Dec. 1, 1997 in a 3–2 win at Florida), and Alex Zhamnov (Feb. 11, 1995 in Winnipeg’s 3–2 win at St. Louis) and Peter Mueller (Feb. 5, 2008 in a 4–3 Coyotes shootout loss at Calgary) each did so once. Duclair is the first NHL player to produce a hat trick while scoring every goal for his team in an overtime win since Jan. 7, 2012, when Daniel Briere of the Flyers single-handedly outscored the Senators, 3–2.
Andersen, Leafs blank Habs
Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen, who beat the Devils, 1–0 in overtime, in Toronto on Thursday, recorded his second straight shutout with a 6–0 victory against the Canadiens in Montreal. Saturday’s game matched the largest margin of victory ever for Toronto in a shutout win against the Canadiens in Montreal. The Leafs had two previous 6–0 road wins against the Canadiens: Jan. 13, 1966 with Johnny Bower in goal at the Montreal Forum and Feb. 9, 2013 with James Reimer in net at Bell Centre.
Niemi in net for third team this season
Antti Niemi, who was claimed on waivers by the Canadiens on Tuesday, made his debut in goal for Montreal when he relieved Charlie Lindgren in the middle of the third period of the Canadiens’ 6–0 loss to the Maple Leafs. Niemi began this season with the Penguins and he started three games for them before being claimed on waivers by Florida on October 24. Niemi made just two appearances for the Panthers, both in relief, before moving on to Montreal this week. He’s the fifth goaltender in NHL history to play for three different teams in one season but the first to do so before March! The other three-team goaltenders were Jim Rutherford in 1980–81 (Red Wings, Maple Leafs, Kings), Greg Millen in 1989–90 (Blues, Nordiques, Blackhawks), and Sean Burke (Hurricanes, Canucks, Flyers) and Kirk McLean (Canucks, Hurricanes, Panthers) in 1997–98.
A fast flurry of goals in Newark
The Jets and Devils combined to score five goals over a span of three minutes and fifty seconds during the second period of Winnipeg’s 5–2 victory over New Jersey on Saturday afternoon. (The Jets scored four of those five goals, the last three in a span of 95 seconds.) They were the fastest five goals scored in any NHL game this season. There was one NHL game last season in which both teams combined for five goals in less than four minutes. Pittsburgh and Washington scored five goals over a 3:32 span of an entertaining 8–7 Penguins home-ice win on Jan. 16, 2017.
Another two-goal game for Lee
Anders Lee scored a pair of goals for the Islanders in their 5–3 win over the Lightning in Tampa. It was Lee’s third multiple-goal game this season and NHL-high 11th multi-goal performance over the last two seasons. The Bruins’ Brad Marchand is second with 10 multiple-goal games since the start of the 2016–17 season. Lee had scored only one goal in 11 career regular-season games versus Tampa Bay before his two-goal game on Saturday.
Kuemper blanks former team
Darcy Kuemper, who signed with the Kings as a free agent last summer, recorded the eighth shutout of his NHL career and first for a team other than Minnesota with a 4–0 victory over the Panthers in Los Angeles. It may have been Kuemper’s first shutout for the Kings but it wasn’t his first clean sheet at Staples Center, as his last NHL shutout was a 3–0 win there for the Wild on Jan. 21, 2016. Kuemper is only the second goaltender to register a shutout both for and against the Kings at Staples Center, which opened in October 1999. The first was Peter Budaj, with one shutout there for Colorado (in March 2006) and two for the Kings (both last season.)
Benn scores against his favorite opponent
Jamie Benn scored one goal and assisted on another for the Stars when they beat the Oilers, 6–3, on Saturday afternoon. Benn has scored 17 career goals (in 27 games) versus Edmonton, his highest goal total against any team during his nine seasons in the NHL. He’s now tied with Joe Pavelski and Jonathan Toews for the most goals against the Oilers since the start of the 2009–10 season.
Braden Holtby made 30 saves in his 3–1 victory against the Wild in Washington on Saturday. Holtby has been in goal for all 11 of the Capitals’ wins this season. (His backup, Philipp Grubauer, is 0–5–1.) The only NHL goaltenders besides Holtby who’ve racked up all of their team’s wins this season are Pittsburgh’s Matt Murray and Edmonton’s Cam Talbot.
Nashville extends goal-scoring streak
Five different players scored a goal for the Predators in their 5–2 win against the Avalanche. Nashville scored only one or two goals in each of six consecutive games from October 19 through November 1, but the Predators have scored at least three goals in each of their seven games since then and they have a 6–1–0 record over that stretch. This is Nashville’s longest streak of games scoring three goals or more since a seven-game run in 2016 (Feb. 23–March 8.)
Aho scores a goal in third straight game
Sebastian Aho’s goal with 4:45 left to play in the third period snapped a 1–1 tie and proved to be the winner for the Hurricanes in a 3–1 victory against the Sabres in Buffalo. Aho did not score a goal in his first 15 games this season but he’s scored once in each of Carolina’s three games since then. He’s the second player to score a goal in three consecutive team games for the Hurricanes this season, with Brock McGinn doing so earlier this month (Nov. 7–11.) Aho scored 24 goals while playing in 82 games as a rookie for Carolina last season but he never scored a goal in more than two straight games.