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Elias Says: Dec. 4, 2016

Familiar formula for Splash Bros.

The Splash Brothers were on point from behind the arc in the Warriors’ blowout victory over the Suns. Stephen Curry connected on five of seven three-point attempts, while Klay Thompson went 6-for-7 from downtown. Saturday’s game marked the 22nd time that both Curry and Thompson made at least five three-point field goals in the same game. No other pair of teammates has more than four games of that kind.

Wiggins comes through in the clutch for Timberwolves

Andrew Wiggins scored a team-high 29 points, including a game-tying three-pointer to force overtime, in the Timberwolves’ 125–120 victory over the Hornets in Charlotte. Wiggins was one of three Timberwolves players to hit a three-pointer in the final minute of the fourth quarter along with Zach LaVine and Ricky Rubio, helping Minnesota erase a seven-point deficit in the last 60 seconds of the period. The only other team this season to win a game after overcoming a deficit of seven or more points in the final minute of the fourth quarter was the Trail Blazers, who forged an eight-point comeback late in the fourth against the Nuggets on October 29 (Portland, like Minnesota, won in overtime).

Saturday’s game marked the first time that Wiggins hit a game-tying field goal in the final 10 seconds of the fourth quarter of a Timberwolves victory. Wiggins had made two equalizers with fewer than 10 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter prior to Saturday – in Orlando on Nov. 18, 2015 and in Phoenix on March 14, 2016 – but Minnesota went on to lose both of those contests.

Raptors maul Hawks for biggest win in franchise history

Eight Raptors players reached double-digits in points in Toronto’s 128–84 victory over the Hawks. The only game before Saturday in which the Raptors had as many as eight players score 10 or more points took place on March 13, 1998. Toronto lost, 152–120, to the Clippers at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena despite eight Raptors players reaching double-digits in points.

The Raptors’ 44-point blowout marked the largest margin of victory for any team this season, besting the previous mark by a single point (the Warriors defeated the Lakers by 43 points on Nov. 23). Saturday’s game also established a new franchise record for the Raptors’ largest margin of victory in a game. Toronto’s previous best was 42 points, done in 2008 versus the Heat and matched in 2014 against the Bucks.

Thomas is terrific versus 76ers

Isaiah Thomas matched his season-high with 37 points to lead the Celtics to victory over the 76ers. Thomas has averaged 22.8 points in 12 games versus Philadelphia, which stands as his highest career scoring average versus any opponent. He has upped that average since joining the Celtics, averaging 28.0 points in his last five games against the Sixers. Only one NBA player has played at least three games versus Philadelphia since the start of last season and compiled a higher scoring average than that of Thomas. James Harden scored 112 points in three games against the Sixers over that span, good for a 37.3 points-per-game average.

Hayward a hit at home

Gordon Hayward scored 32 points in the Jazz’ home victory over the Nuggets. Hayward, who entered the NBA in 2010, is one of only two players in the league – along with the Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan – who played at least 30 home games in each of the previous five seasons and increased his home scoring average from each season to the next. Hayward scored 4.9 points per game at home as a rookie in 2010–11, and then 10.9, 15.0, 16.4, 19.3 and 20.8 points per game on Utah’s home court in the respective succeeding seasons. And he has continued to climb that ladder this season. With his 32-point effort on Saturday night, Hayward is averaging 23.1 points per game at home this season.

Subs shine in Grizzlies-Lakers matchup

Troy Daniels exploded off the bench for a career-high 31 points to help the Grizzlies defeat the Lakers, 103–100. Daniels, who hadn’t scored 20 points in a game this season, eclipsed his season-high in points by halftime after pouring in 23 points in the first two quarters. The 23 points by Daniels are the most ever scored in either half of a game by a Grizzlies player who began the game on the bench. The previous high for a Grizzlies sub was 22 points, done most recently by Mike Miller in the first half on New Year’s Eve 2006 at Houston.

Daniels actually finished with the game’s second-highest point total despite the record-setting performance, as Lakers reserve Lou Williams poured in a season-high 40 points to lead all scorers. The last game in which multiple players scored at least 30 points off the bench was on April 13, 2009. J.R. Smith scored a career-high 45 points to lead the Nuggets to victory over the Kings, who were led by Ike Diogu’s 32 points.

Williams out-assists opponents in Mavericks’ win

Deron Williams scored nine points and distributed a season-high 15 assists to lead the Mavericks to a blowout victory over the Bulls. Williams finished the game with six more helpers than the Bulls’ entire roster, who compiled just nine assists for the game. The last time that a player finished a game with at least six more assists than the opposing team was on Jan. 30, 2011. Current Bulls point guard Rajon Rondo handed out 16 assists that day for the Celtics against the Lakers, which were six more than the entire Los Angeles squad. Prior to Williams, the only Mavericks player with such a game was Jason Kidd, who did so twice – once in 2008 versus the Warriors and once in 2009 against the Hornets.

Bucks handle Nets for second straight game

The Bucks extended their winning streak to a season-high four games after defeating the Nets, 112–103, in Milwaukee. It’s also the Bucks’ second straight win versus the Nets, having won in Brooklyn on Thursday night. Three other teams this season have won back-to-back games, both against the same opponent. The Rockets did so against the Mavericks (Oct. 28–30), as did the Warriors versus the Lakers (Nov. 23–25) and the Knicks against the Timberwolves (Nov. 30 – Dec. 2). The last time the Bucks had two consecutive regular season wins over the same opponent prior to this year was in March 2010, when Milwaukee won a “home-and-home” series against the Wizards.

Whiteside shines for Heat in loss

Hassan Whiteside led the Heat with 28 points, 16 rebounds, and five blocks in Miami’s loss in Portland on Saturday night. The only other player to total at least 25 points, 15 rebounds, and five blocks in a game for the Heat was Alonzo Mourning, who had six such games for Miami, all of them Heat wins.

Laine extends scoring streak in OT win

Rookie Patrik Laine scored one goal and assisted on another for the Winnipeg Jets in their 3–2 overtime victory at St. Louis. Laine’s goal extended his goal-scoring streak to three games, matching the three-game streak he recorded last month (Nov. 4–6). The only other NHL rookies who’ve scored goals in three or more consecutive team games this season are Pavel Buchnevich of the Rangers (four games) and Toronto’s Auston Matthews (three). Laine is only the second rookie in the last five seasons to have more than one three-game goal streak. Mike Hoffman had a pair of three-game streaks for Ottawa in 2014–15.

Like father, like son

Alexander Steen scored the 200th goal of his NHL career when he notched the Blues’ first goal in their game against the Jets. Alexander’s father, Thomas Steen, scored 264 goals in a 14-year NHL career spent entirely with the original Winnipeg Jets. The Steens are just the third father-son duo who each scored at least 200 goals in the NHL. The others are the Hulls, Bobby (610 goals) and Brett (741), and the Parises, J.P. (238) and Zach (303).

Devils stun Predators with three-goal comeback in third

Mike Cammalleri scored his second goal of the game with 17.8 seconds remaining in overtime to earn the Devils a 5–4 win at Nashville and complete New Jersey’s comeback from a 4–1 deficit at the end of the second period. This was the first time since the Colorado Rockies relocated to New Jersey in 1982 that the Devils won a road game in which they trailed by three goals in the third period, and it was only the second time in the 21st century that the Devils gained any points from a game, home or away, in which they were three goals down in the third period. Their only other such comeback since 2000 was a 7–6 shootout win against the Maple Leafs at the Meadowlands on Oct. 12, 2006. Toronto led, 6–3, heading into the third period of that game.

Provorov scores pair in a hurry

Rookie defenseman Ivan Provorov scored a pair of goals 31 seconds apart during the second period in the Flyers’ 3–1 win over the Blackhawks. The 19-year-old Provorov is the first rookie defenseman to score two goals in 60 seconds or less since Dec. 15, 1995, when Winnipeg’s Deron Quint tallied twice in four seconds against Edmonton. Provorov is only the second defenseman in Flyers history, rookie or veteran, to score twice within a minute. The first was Dick Cherry (Don Cherry’s younger brother) on Jan. 26, 1969, near the end of a game against the Penguins. Cherry’s first goal was a tie-breaking shorthanded tally with 1:07 remaining in the third period and his second goal was an empty-netter 53 seconds later. Provorov’s two goals in 31 seconds were the quickest by a defenseman on any NHL team since Brent Burns scored twice in 22 seconds for the Sharks versus the Capitals on Feb. 11, 2015.

Kessel leads comeback for Penguins

Phil Kessel scored two goals for the Penguins, including the game-winning goal, when Pittsburgh overcame a 3–1 deficit to beat the Red Wings, 5–3. It was the first two-goal game this season for the Wisconsin native and the 42nd multiple-goal game of his NHL career. Kessel ranks second in multi-goal games among current U.S.-born NHL players, behind Zach Parise (44). Kessel entered play on Saturday tied with Joe Pavelski at 41 multiple-goal games.

Rask on a roll versus Sabres

Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask made 35 saves in his 2–1 win at Buffalo on Saturday afternoon. Rask, who shut out the Sabres in Boston last month (Nov. 7), has won all seven games he’s played versus Buffalo over the last four seasons and allowed only nine goals while doing so. Rask did not win any of the six games he played against the Sabres over the three seasons before that (0–4–1 from 2010–11 through 2012–13).

Condon posts another goose egg for Senators

Mike Condon recorded his second shutout in five games for the Ottawa Senators with a 2–0 win versus the Panthers on Saturday. Condon, who shut out the Canucks on November 3 in his first game for the Senators after they acquired him in a trade with Pittsburgh, is the first goaltender to post two shutouts in his first five games for the current Ottawa NHL franchise. Condon broke the record for the fewest games needed by a Senators goaltender to register two shutouts for the club which Andrew Hammond set in February 2015 when he did it in his sixth game.

Kreider’s goals leads Rangers to victory

Chris Kreider scored a pair of goals for the Rangers in their 4–2 win over the Hurricanes. Kreider’s first goal snapped a 2–2 tie with 7:35 remaining in the third period and his second goal, a little less than five minutes later, closed out the scoring in the game. This is the fifth time that Kreider has produced a multiple-goal period in an NHL career spent entirely with the Rangers and all five instances have come in the last four seasons (with at least one in each season). His five multi-goal periods are the most by any player for the Rangers over that span; Rick Nash is second with four.

Smith earns point despite bombardment by Blue Jackets

Mike Smith of the Coyotes allowed only two goals while facing a 60-shot barrage by the Blue Jackets on Saturday night, though he suffered a shootout loss after allowing a goal on both of Columbus’ shots in the tiebreaker. Smith is the first goaltender in Jets/Coyotes franchise history to face 60 or more shots in one game, and he’s the first goaltender on any NHL team to do so since Dwayne Roloson faced 61 shots in a 4–3 overtime win for the Islanders at Toronto on Nov. 23, 2009. Smith is the first NHL goaltender to allow no more than two goals in a regular-season game in which he faced 60 or more shots on goal since Feb. 14, 1970, when the Kings’ Wayne Rutledge lost 2–1 at St. Louis when the Blues had 61 shots against him.

Miller recovering nicely

Ryan Miller made 38 saves in the first three periods plus overtime and two more during the shootout which gave him and the Canucks a 3–2 win over the Maple Leafs. Miller suffered through a career-worst seven-game losing streak earlier this season (Oct. 23–Nov. 10) but he’s 4–2–0 with a 2.64 goals-against average in six games since then.