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Elias Says: Dec. 14

Warriors are 15-0 when Green gets a triple-double

Draymond Green did a little bit of everything on Tuesday night, scoring 12 points, grabbing 12 boards, dishing out 10 assists, and recording four steals (including one with just seconds remaining to preserve a Warriors’ lead) in Golden State’s victory over the Pelicans. Green has 15 regular-season triple-doubles in the NBA, and the Warriors have won every single one of those games. That’s the longest personal winning streak in triple-double games to start an NBA career. Only four others had a 15-game winning streak of this variety at any point in their careers: Magic Johnson (24, 1984 to 1987), Wilt Chamberlain (21, 1967 to 1968), Russell Westbrook (20, 2015 to 2016), and Jason Kidd (16, 1996 to 1999).

Love leads the way for the Cavs

Kevin Love had 25 points and 12 rebounds through three quarters in the Cavaliers’ 103-86 victory over the Grizzlies (and he finished with 29 points and 13 boards). It’s the fifth game this season that Love has had at least 25 points and 10 rebounds through the first three quarters, the second-highest number of games of this type for any player (Anthony Davis has seven). Over his first two seasons with Cleveland, he did not accomplish this feat in any of his 152 regular-season games played, although he did have such a game in the 2016 playoffs (Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Hawks).

Payton creates some magic in Orlando win

Elfrid Payton came off the bench to score 26 points and hand out 14 assists to lead the Magic to a 131-120 win against the Hawks on Tuesday night. He also sported a plus/minus of +30, meaning Orlando outscored Atlanta by 30 points when he was on the court. Payton is the first player with at least 25 points and 10 assists with a plus/minus of +30 or better in a game since Russell Westbrook on March 28 last season at Toronto (26 points, 12 assists, +35). The last reserve with such a game was the Mavs’ Jason Terry on November 25, 2009 at Houston (27 points, 10 assists, +35).

T’Wolves come back from 21 down

Zach LaVine led all Timberwolves players with 24 points as Minnesota came back from a 21-point deficit to defeat the Bulls, 99-94, in Chicago. Entering Tuesday’s game, the T’Wolves had lost each of their last 68 games in which they trailed by at least 20 points (dating back to January 2, 2013), the fourth-longest active streak in the NBA (Nets with a 101-game streak, Kings 97, Jazz 96) and their longest losing streak of this type since a 76-game stretch from February 1998 to December 2006.

Another 30-point game for Bledsoe

Eric Bledsoe scored 31 points, including 12-for-12 from the free-throw line, in the Suns’ overtime win over the Knicks on Tuesday. Bledsoe has scored at least 30 points in each of his last three games, the longest such streak for a Suns player since Amar'e Stoudemire had a three-game run in March 2010. The Suns record is five consecutive games, done twice (Charlie Scott in December 1973 and Charles Barkley in March 1993).

Blazers coast against the Thunder

After a one-point loss to the Clippers on Monday, Mason Plumlee and the Trail Blazers bounced back to defeat the Thunder, 114-95, at home on Tuesday night. Entering that win, Portland was 0-5 in the second game of back-to-backs this season; those five losses all came on the road. The Blazers were 6-13 (.316) in the second game of back-to-backs last season, the lowest winning percentage among the teams that qualified for the playoffs in 2015-16.

Rinne wins #250

Pekka Rinne recorded the 250th win of his NHL career with a 6–3 victory against the Blues on Tuesday, though a win seemed unlikely when Rinne and the Predators trailed, 3–0, early in the second period. Rinne won his NHL debut 11 years ago (Dec. 15, 2005 vs. Chicago), but he played only two more games in the NHL over the next two-and-a-half seasons and he didn’t notch win #2 until October 2008. Rinne ranks third in career wins in the NHL among goaltenders born in Finland, behind Miikka Kiprusoff (319) and Kari Lehtonen (279), and he stands third in wins among active goaltenders born outside North America, behind Sweden’s Henrik Lundqvist (386) and Lehtonen.

Canes storm their way back to victory

The Hurricanes trailed the Canucks, 5–2, through two periods but Carolina outscored Vancouver 6–1 in the third period and skated off the ice with an 8–6 victory. This was only the second time in the last 25 seasons that the Hurricanes (or Whalers) won a game in regulation time after trailing by three goals in the third period. The club’s other comeback win of that kind since 1991–92 was a 6–4 home-ice victory against the Panthers on Jan. 11, 2007. Florida had a 3–0 lead heading into the third period of that game.

The 14 goals in Tuesday’s game in Raleigh were the most in any NHL game, regular-season or playoffs, since the Winnipeg Jets edged the Flyers by a 9-8 score in Philadelphia on Oct. 27, 2011.

Darling puts together another strong start

Scott Darling, making his sixth consecutive start in goal for the Blackhawks, made 33 saves in leading Chicago to a 2–1 win over the Rangers in New York. Darling lost the first two of those starts, but he’s 3–0–1 since then while allowing no more than one goal in each game (one shutout and three one-goal games). Since 1979, only one other Blackhawks goaltender started and gave up no more than one goal in each of at least four consecutive team games in one season. That was Jeff Hackett, who had a five-start streak of that kind for Chicago in December 1997 (three shutouts and two one-goal games).

Niskanen scores a pair in the third in Caps’ win

Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen scored his first goal of the season to snap a 2–2 tie early in the third period of the Capitals’ game in Brooklyn, and he followed that with a late insurance goal which wrapped up the scoring in Washington’s 4–2 victory over the Islanders. This was only the second time in the last four seasons that a Capitals defenseman scored two goals in one period, with John Carlson having done that in the second period of a loss to the Canucks on Dec. 2, 2014. Before Niskanen the last Washington d-man to produce a two-goal third period was Mike Green in a Caps win versus Boston on April 27, 2013.

Eichel nets two

Jack Eichel tallied two goals and an assist for the Sabres in their 6–3 win against the Kings. It was Eichel’s second two-goal game this season and his sixth multiple-goal game in the two seasons since Buffalo made him the second overall pick in the 2015 Entry Draft. The only other member of the 2015 draft class with more than one multi-goal game in the NHL is the top pick that year, Connor McDavid, with five.

Rookies produce points, but not a win

Rookies Auston Matthews (one goal, one assist) and William Nylander (two assists) each tallied two points for the Maple Leafs in their 3–2 shootout loss to the Sharks. It’s the fifth multiple-point game this season for each player, and the fourth time they’ve done it in the same game, yet Toronto hasn’t won any of the games in which Matthews or Nylander (or both) produced at least two points. The leader in multi-point games this season among Maple Leafs rookies is Mitch Marner with six, and all of them have been Toronto victories!

McGinn with a multi-goal game for three different teams in 2016

Jamie McGinn, who signed with the Coyotes as a free agent last summer, notched his first two-goal game this season in Arizona’s 4–1 win over the Red Wings in Detroit. It was the third two-goal game of the calendar year for McGinn and each one was for a different team. He scored two goals for the Sabres in Columbus on February 19, but ten days later he was traded to Anaheim. McGinn then scored two goals for the Ducks in a game at Toronto on March 24. He’s the only player with multiple-goal games in regular-season action for three different NHL teams since January 1, 2016.

Niemi dominates the Ducks

Stars goaltender Antti Niemi extended his home-ice winning streak to three games with a 6–2 victory over the Ducks in Dallas. Niemi has a 17–10–1 record in his 28 career games against the Ducks and he’s 10–3–1 in 14 games against them over the last four seasons. The only other goaltender who has beaten Anaheim more than five times since the start of the 2013–14 season is Corey Crawford with seven wins.