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Elias Says: Jan. 26, 2017

Cavs suffer back-to-back defeats to struggling teams

After losing to the 17-27 Pelicans on Monday, the Cavaliers dropped an overtime decision to the 17-27 Kings on Wednesday. Cleveland is the first defending champion to lose consecutive games against opposing teams that were each at least 10 games under .500 entering the game since the Heat did it in April of 2007.

Westbrook shoots poorly but notches another triple-double

Russell Westbrook made only seven of his 22 field-goal attempts (31.8 percent) but still managed to produce another triple-double in the Thunder’s victory over the Pelicans on Wednesday night. Westbrook has now registered six triple-doubles while making less than 35 percent of his field-goal attempts this season, the most such games in a single season in NBA history. The previous mark was held by Maurice Stokes, who had five such games during the 1957-58 season.

Isaiah is on fire at home

Isaiah Thomas scored 38 points leading the Celtics to a 120-109 win over the Rockets in Boston on Wednesday night. Thomas has now scored 35 or more points in each of his last six home games. That’s the longest streak of that kind for any player in Celtics’ franchise history and the longest by an NBA player since Kobe Bryant scored at least 35 points in seven consecutive home games for the Lakers in February of 2003.

Gasol snaps Grizzlies’ streak

Marc Gasol scored 42 points in the Grizzlies’ 101-99 win over the Raptors on Wednesday. That marked the first time Memphis had a player score 40 or more points in a game since Rudy Gay notched 41 points against the Heat on December 13, 2009. Memphis’ streak of 581 consecutive games without a 40-point scorer was the third-longest current streak of that kind for any NBA team entering Wednesday’s action, behind Philadelphia (833) and Milwaukee (595).

Heat rally to stun Nets

The Heat overcame an 18-point fourth-quarter deficit and defeated the Nets at the Barclays Center on Wednesday night. Miami had lost each of its last 166 road games when trailing by 15 or more points in the fourth quarter with its last such victory coming on March 2, 2001 at Detroit. NBA teams were 1-205 in games when trailing by at least 15 points in the fourth quarter on the road this season entering Wednesday’s action with the only victory coming by Memphis at Golden State on January 6.

Six Hawks score more than 15 points

Each of the Hawks’ five starters scored at least 16 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 17 points off the bench in Atlanta’s win over the Bulls on Wednesday. It marked only the third time in the Hawk’s franchise history, and the first in over 47 years, that they had six players score more than 15 points in the same game. The only other such games for the Hawks occurred on March 10, 1965 against the Cincinnati Royals and on December 31, 1969 against the Baltimore Bullets.

Durant and Curry are too much for the Hornets

Kevin Durant scored 33 points and Stephen Curry chipped in with 28 points in the Warriors’ win over the Hornets on Wednesday night. That marked the 14th time Durant and Curry each scored 25 or more points in the same game this season, by far the most such games for any pair of teammates in the league (the second most is 10 by LeBron James and Kyrie Irving).

Three straight games with double-digit assists for McConnell

T.J. McConnell doled out a game-high 13 assists to lead the 76ers to a 114-109 win in Milwaukee on Wednesday night. It was the third consecutive game that McConnell has had a double-digit assist total, the longest such streak by a Philadelphia player since Michael Carter-Williams had 10 or more assists in three consecutive games in December 2013. McConnell has 99 assists in 11 games this month. Only two Philadelphia players averaged nine or most assists during one calendar month since 2000 (minimum: three games): Allen Iverson (February and April 2005) and Jrue Holiday (November 2013).

Barnes leads Mavs to win over the Knicks

Harrison Barnes scored a team high 23 points leading the Mavericks to a win over the Knicks on Wednesday night. Barnes has led Dallas (or tied for the lead) in scoring in 24 of the 45 games he has played this season after topping the Warriors in that category in only six of the 307 games he played in his four seasons in Golden State.

Matthews nets second game winner against the Red Wings

Auston Matthews scored the game-winning goal for the Maple Leafs in their 4–0 victory over the Red Wings in Detroit. Toronto also won its other game versus the Red Wings this season, when Matthews’ goal in overtime gave the Leafs a 5–4 outdoor victory in the NHL’s Centennial Classic on New Year’s Day. Matthews is only the second rookie to score two game-winning goals against the Red Wings since 1977–78. The other rookie to do that in the last 39 seasons was the Sharks’ Joe Pavelski in 2006–07. Matthews is the first Maple Leafs rookie to produce two game-winners versus Detroit in one season since Joe Klukay and Howie Meeker both did so in 1946–47. Meeker went on to win the Calder Trophy that season.

Two straight shutouts for Andersen

Frederik Andersen, who beat the Flames 4–0 in Toronto on Monday, notched his second consecutive shutout with a 4–0 win at Detroit on Wednesday. This is the first time that Andersen has recorded consecutive shutouts in his NHL career, and it’s only the fourth time in franchise history that Toronto has posted two consecutive shutouts with a four-goal (or larger) margin of victory. They also had back-to-back shutouts by four goals or more in March 1944, March 1966 and October 1999.

Mason blanks Rangers at MSG

Steve Mason notched his first shutout of the season by making 34 saves in a 2–0 victory for the Flyers against the Rangers in New York. That matches the highest save total ever recorded by a Flyers goaltender in a shutout win versus the Rangers, a mark set by former Ranger John Vanbiesbrouck in his 5–0 victory in Philadelphia on Oct. 20, 1999. (Rick St. Croix stopped 36 shots when the Flyers and Rangers played to a 0–0 tie on March 30, 1981.) This was Mason’s second shutout against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden; he was in goal for the Flyers in their 3–0 win there on Nov. 28, 2015. Only two other active NHL goaltenders have at least two regular-season shutouts as a visiting goaltender at MSG: Craig Anderson (3) and Ondrej Pavelec (2).

Baertschi notches a pair of goals in win over Colorado

Sven Baertschi scored two goals in Vancouver’s 3-2 win over Colorado Wednesday. Baertschi also scored a pair of goals in the Canuck’s 3-2 shootout win over Colorado on January 2. Five other players this season scored multiple goals in consecutive games versus one opponent: Jay Beagle against Chicago, Ryan Kesler against Calgary, Patrik Laine against Dallas, Anders Lee against Los Angeles and Mark Letestu against Winnipeg. Prior to this month Baertschi had two multiple-goal games in his NHL career.