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Elias Says: Nov. 23, 2016

Westbrook off to historic start after 15 games

Russell Westbrook had 34 points, 13 assists, and eight rebounds in the Thunder’s 111-109 loss to the Lakers on Tuesday night. Westbrook has 477 points, 159 assists, and 143 rebounds in 15 games this season. Only one other player in NBA history had at least 450 points, 150 assists, and 100 rebounds over his first 15 games of a season: Oscar Robertson, who did so in the 1961-62 season (479 points, 187 assists, 194 rebounds) and in the 1966-67 season (472 points, 164 assists, 105 rebounds).

Porzingis nets 31 in New York win

Kristaps Porzingis led all scorers with 31 points in the Knicks’ 107-103 victory over the Trail Blazers. It was the 21-year-old Porzingis’s second game with at least 30 points in his NBA career, having also done so just three games ago (scoring 35 points on November 16 vs. Detroit). Porzingis is the fifth player in Knicks history with multiple 30-point games at 21 years old or younger, joining Carl Braun (two such games, 1947-48), Nate Robinson (two in 2006), Wilson Chandler (two in 2009), and Danilo Gallinari (two, 2009-10). But Porzingis is the first in that group to do so twice in a four-game span.

Murray’s picking up his game after sluggish start to NBA career

Rookie Nuggets reserve Jamal Murray went 9-for-13 from the floor (including 3-for-4 from the three-point line) and scored 24 points in the Nuggets’ 110-107 win over the Bulls on Tuesday. Murray started his NBA career missing his first 17 field-goal attempts (spanning games from October 26 to November 5). And over his first four games (October 26 to November 3), he was 0-for-16 from the floor, including 0-for-6 from beyond the arc. Since then, he’s 45-for-94 (.479) on field-goal attempts and 22-for-46 (.478) from the three-point line in 10 games played. Murray’s 22 three-point field goals made are the most for any rookie this season.

Murray’s three-point field goal percentage over his last 10 games (.478) is the second-highest ever for a Nuggets rookie over a 10-game span (minimum 30 attempts). James Posey went 26-for-53 (.491) in March/April 2000.

Pelicans dominate early in win over Hawks

The Pelicans outscored the Hawks, 34-14, in the first quarter (led by eight points apiece from Terrence Jones and E’Twaun Moore). Entering Tuesday’s game, New Orleans had outscored its opponent in the first quarter in just three of 14 games this season, the second-lowest total in the NBA (the Mavs have outscored their opponent in the first quarter twice).

Over the last eight seasons (since 2009-10), the Pelicans had a 20-point lead at the close of the first quarter in only one other game. On November 14, 2014, they led the Timberwolves, 43-19, after one quarter on their way to a 139-91 win (that’s their largest margin of victory in franchise history).

Karlsson reaches 400 points in 498 games

Erik Karlsson’s tiebreaking goal in the third period was the game-winning goal for the Ottawa Senators in their 4–3 victory at Montreal. Karlsson also assisted on the Senators’ first goal and that assist was the 400th point of his NHL career. Karlsson reached the 400-point mark in his 498th game. That’s at least 154 fewer games than any other active NHL defenseman needed to reach the 400-point plateau. (Mike Green is second at 652 games). The last NHL defenseman before Karlsson to rack up his first 400 points in fewer than 500 games was Brian Leetch, who achieved that milestone on Dec. 4, 1993, in his 380th game.

Simmonds hits the 10-goal mark

Wayne Simmonds scored one goal and assisted on another in the Flyers’ 3–1 victory against the Panthers. Simmonds is the Flyers’ team leader with 10 goals this season and he reached double-figures in his 20th game, quicker than in any of his eight other seasons in the NHL. (His previous best was 21 games in 2012–13). This is the third time that Simmonds has been the first Flyers player to score 10 goals in his six seasons with the club. He also had that distinction in 2012–13 and 2014–15.

Busy night for Allen in Blues’ win

Blues goaltender Jake Allen stopped 39 of the Bruins’ 41 shots on goal, including all 17 in the third period, in his 4–2 win at Boston. Allen has faced 40 or more shots on goal in a game four times in his four seasons in the NHL and he won all four games, with three of those wins coming on the road. Allen is the third goaltender in Blues history to record a win over the Bruins in Boston in a game in which he faced 40 or more shots on goal. The others were Mike Liut in January 1980 and Jim Hrivnak in October 1993.

Special teams lead Canes to a win

The Hurricanes extended their winning streak to five games with a 2–1 victory over the Maple Leafs in Toronto in which both of Carolina’s goals were scored by its special teams. Jeff Skinner’s power play goal late in the first period tied the score at 1–1 and Viktor Stalberg’s shorthanded goal in the second period gave the Hurricanes the 2–1 lead they protected for the remainder of the game. Over the last three seasons, the only other game in which Carolina scored both a power play goal and a shorthanded goal was also against the Maple Leafs. That was a 4–1 Hurricanes win on Dec. 18, 2014 in Raleigh, with a shorthanded goal from Justin Faulk and a power play marker by Andrej Sekera.