Whiteside dominates in limited playing time
• Hassan Whiteside scored 30 points and collected 20 rebounds in just under 27 minutes of the Heat’s 125–102 home win over the 76ers. Since the NBA started recording minutes played in 1951–52, no other player has had at least 30 points and 20 rebounds as little playing time. Two did so in 28 minutes: Boston’s Tom Heinsohn on Feb. 15, 1963 (33 pts, 20 reb) and Charlotte’s Alonzo Mourning on April 16, 1993 (36 pts, 22 reb.)
Longtime teammates Parker & Ginobili combine for their best shooting performance
• Tony Parker made all eight of his field-goal attempts and Manu Ginobili shot 5-for-6 from the floor in the Spurs’ 121–97 win over the visiting Nuggets. It was the 867th game as teammates for Parker and Ginobili, the most by any active duo. Their .929 combined field-goal percentage Saturday was the highest in any of those 867 games.
In San Antonio’s last game, on Thursday against Philadelphia, Parker and Ginobili combined to go 0-for-8 from the floor. It was only the second time that these two teammates both played and failed to make a field goal. They were a combined 0-for-7 on March 12, 2016 against the Thunder.
Love rebounds, shoots threes like nobody else
• Kevin Love made four of seven three-point shots and grabbed 16 rebounds in the Cavaliers’ 111–104 win at New York. It was the 18th time that Love produced at least four three-pointers and 15 rebounds in a game. No other player has even half as many games. Troy Murphy is a distant second with eight.
Wizards starters and subs star in win
• John Wall led the Wizards with 24 points and 13 assists, and Washington’s other four starters all scored at least 12 points in its 105–91 home win over New Orleans. The Wizards’ bench contributed to the win as well, combining for 27 points on 10-for-15 shooting (67%.) The last time Washington got at least a dozen points from each of its starters, and had its bench shoot 65% or better in a game was on Dec. 23, 1992 in a 107–98 loss at Chicago. Starting forward Harvey Grant led the Bullets with 20 points in that game. But Michael Jordan scored 57 points and Grant’s twin brother Horace grabbed 16 rebounds for the Bulls.
Huge first quarter propels Bucks to road win
• Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 18 of the Bucks’ 45 first-quarter points in Milwaukee’s 137–112 win at Phoenix. It was the most points that the Bucks have ever scored in the first period of a road game. Their previous record was 42, at Atlanta on Jan. 24, 1971. Milwaukee won its only NBA title at the end of that season.
Grizzlies come back quickly from big early deficit
• The Grizzlies trailed 31–15 at the end of the first quarter, but then outscored the Timberwolves 33–17 in the second quarter and went on to win 107–99 at Minnesota. It was the 67th time in franchise history that Memphis trailed by at least 15 points after the first 12 minutes. Saturday night was the first of those 67 games in which the Grizzlies were tied or led at halftime.
Allen’s unlikely 18-point performance
• Lavoy Allen, starting his first game of the season, scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the Pacers’ 105–84 home win over the Pistons. Entering Saturday, Allen had scored as many as 15 points just three times in 364 NBA games (0.8%.) Only two active players with at least 250 games played had scored 15+ points in a lower percentage of their appearances: Joel Anthony (0 in 475 games) and Bismack Biyombo (3 out of 417, 0.7%.)
Hayward and Hill come through in fourth quarter
• Gordon Hayward and George Hill each scored 11 points in the fourth quarter as the Jazz rallied late for a 105–98 win over the visiting Hornets. The last time a pair of Utah players scored more than 10 points in the fourth quarter of a win was on March 1, 2013, when DeMarre Carroll and Jeremy Evans both scored 12 in another home win over Charlotte.
Schroder ends streak of subpar shooting
• Dennis Schroder made six of 11 field-goal attempts in the Hawks’ 113–86 win over the visiting Magic. Schroder had attempted at least 10 shots while making fewer than half of them in each of his previous seven games. That had been the longest such streak by any Atlanta player since Joe Johnson shot below 50% while taking 10+ shots in 11 straight games in February 2012.
Crosby is the first player this season to score 30th goal
• Sidney Crosby became the first NHL player to reach the 30-goal plateau in the NHL this season when he scored the second of his two goals in the Penguins’ 4–1 win at St. Louis. This is the second time that Crosby has earned the “first to 30” distinction during his 12-season NHL career, having previously done so in 2010–11 (when he scored his 30th goal on December 26.) Only two other active NHL players have won the first player to 30 goals race in more than one season: Jaromir Jagr and Alex Ovechkin (three times each.)
Carter is the overtime king
• Jeff Carter scored his fourth overtime goal of the season to earn the Kings a 1–0 victory in Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon. He has tied the Kings record for most overtime goals by a player in one season, a mark set by Anze Kopitar in 2015–16. Carter, who scored three OT goals for the Kings last season, is the first NHL player to score as many as seven overtime goals over a two-season span since the NHL introduced the five-minute sudden-death OT format in 1983. One player did that in the early years of the NHL when regular-season overtime utilized a ten-minute (or longer) non-sudden-death format: Frank Finnigan for the original Ottawa Senators spanning the 1928–29 (3 OT goals) and 1929–30 season (4 OT goals.)
Carter, who played his first six seasons in the NHL with the Flyers, is the third former Flyers player to score a regular-season overtime goal against them. The others are Dean McAmmond for Calgary in December 2003 and Joffrey Lupul for Toronto in March 2014.
Another rookie collects a hat trick for Toronto
• William Nylander notched his first NHL hat trick by scoring three goals for the Maple Leafs in their 6–5 win at Boston. Nylander is the second rookie to produce a hat trick for the Leafs this season, with Auston Matthews having scored four goals in his NHL debut on opening night (Oct. 12 at Ottawa.) The only other season in franchise history in which two different rookies registered hat tricks for the club was 1926–27, when Ace Bailey and Bill Carson each had a three-goal game for a team then known as the Toronto St. Patricks. Their nickname was changed to the Maple Leafs later that season, after the franchise was sold to a group led by Conn Smythe.
Iginla ends multi-point drought
• Jarome Iginla tallied one goal and one assist for the Avalanche as Colorado ended its nine-game winless streak with a 5–2 victory over the Jets. This was the 322nd multiple-point game for Iginla in his 20-season NHL career but it was the first time he recorded more than one point in a game in nearly a year, since he scored two goals for the Avs in their win against the Canadiens on Feb. 17, 2016. Iginla did not register a multi-point performance in any of his final 22 games last season or his first 48 games this season. The 70-game stretch without a multiple-point game which he brought to an end on Saturday was Iginla’s longest such drought, by far. He had only two previous spans of 20-or-more games without a multi-point game: 21 games for the Bruins in the 2013–14 season and 37 games for Colorado early last season.
Lehner shuts out former team
• Sabres goaltender Robin Lehner made 37 saves as he posted his first shutout of the season and the fourth shutout of his NHL career with a 4–0 win over the Senators. This was Lehner’s second shutout since Ottawa traded him to Buffalo in June 2015. He’s the first former Senators goaltender ever to record a shutout against Ottawa’s current NHL team. Lehner is 3–0–2 in the seven starts he’s made versus the Senators for the Sabres, allowing two or fewer goals in each game (though in two of those starts he had to be replaced before the game was half over due to an injury.)
Another wild win for Chicago
• The Blackhawks held a 2–1 lead at the end of the second period in their game at Dallas, but after falling behind, 3–2, in the third period they got goals from Patrick Kane, Trevor van Riemsdyk and Jonathan Toews and beat the Stars, 5–3. This was the third time in the last three seasons that Chicago rallied to win a road game in regulation time after taking a lead into the third period but then falling behind. (Their two other wins of that kind were at Buffalo on April 3, 2015 and against the Rangers in New York on Feb. 17, 2016.) That’s as many road wins of that description as the Blackhawks recorded in regular-season games over 87 seasons from their inception in 1926–27 through 2013–14.
Hainsey’s second goal wins it in OT
• Defenseman Ron Hainsey doubled his season goal output by scoring two goals, including the game-winner in overtime, as the Hurricanes beat the Islanders in Brooklyn, 5–4. Hainsey is the third defenseman in Hartford/Carolina franchise history to produce a multiple-goal game in which the second goal was scored in overtime. The others were Adam Burt for the Whalers against the North Stars in February 1992 and Sean Hill for the Hurricanes versus the Canadiens in December 2003.
Backstrom scores in third straight game against Habs
• Nicklas Backstrom’s third-period goal was the game-winner for the Capitals in their 3–2 victory at Montreal on Saturday afternoon. Backstrom scored one goal in each of Washington’s three games versus Montreal this season, after scoring only two goals in 20 games against the Canadiens over the past seven seasons.
Hall notches third multiple-goal game
• Taylor Hall scored a pair of goals for the Devils in their 5–1 win at Columbus. It was the third two-goal game this season for Hall, who was acquired by New Jersey in a trade with the Oilers last summer. This is the third consecutive season in which a Devils player has racked up at least three multiple-goal games in his first season with the team. Michael Cammalleri did that with five multi-goal games in 2014–15 and Kyle Palmieri produced three as a first-year Devil in 2015–16. Before them, no Devils newcomer had recorded at least three multiple-goal games since Steve Thomas (four) and rookie Petr Sykora (three) both did so in 1995–96.
Kucherov scores in another Tampa Bay win
• Nikita Kucherov assisted on both goals scored by the Lightning in their shootout win against the Ducks. Kucherov has played in 20 of Tampa Bay’s 23 wins this season and he’s recorded at least one point in 18 of those 20 victories (with totals of 13 goals and 18 assists.)