You didn’t think the W’s would lose three in a row, did you?
Coming off consecutive losses for the first time since April 2015, the Warriors got back on track with a 112–105 victory at Madison Square Garden. That extended Golden State’s NBA record to 294 regular-season games without losing three in a row. That’s more than a half-season’s worth of games longer than the previous mark of 249 games, which was set by the Bulls from 1990 to 1993. The Warriors last lost three straight regular-season games in November 2013. (Of course, Golden State squandered a three-games-to-one lead to Cleveland in last year’s NBA Finals.)
A big day for the Curry brothers
Seth Curry shot 10-for-16 from the field, scoring 22 points in the Mavericks’ 104–89 win over the Thunder. Curry’s brother, Stephen, scored 31 points, shooting 11-for-24 from the field, in the Warriors’ win over the Knicks. Over the last 20 years, the only other brothers to score at least 10 field goals each on the same day were Marc and Pau Gasol (in 2010 and 2016) and Brook and Robin Lopez earlier this season.
Bogdanovich hits the big shots in Wizards’ win
The Wizards rallied from a 61–45 halftime deficit for a last-minute 115–114 victory over the Magic. Bradley Beal was the game’s high scorer (32 points); but it was Bojan Bogdanovich who came off the bench to score 27 points, shooting 8-for-10 from three-point range, including a go-ahead basket with 1:06 to play and the game-winner 20 seconds later. Over the last four seasons, only three other players scored two go-ahead three-pointers, including a game-winner, in the final 70 seconds of the fourth quarter: LeBron James, Klay Thompson, and Stephen Curry.
Washington’s win marked only the fourth time in the last quarter-century that it won a game in which it trailed by more than 15 points at the halftime intermission.
A dagger for Atlanta by the son of a former Hawks star
Glenn Robinson III’s three-point field goal with 0.6 seconds to play flipped a looming defeat to a 97–96 Pacers victory at Atlanta. Robinson, a third-year player with prior stops in Minnesota and Philadelphia (140 NBA games), had never before taken a shot from the field in the final 5 minutes of the fourth quarter with his team trailing by three or fewer points.
Atlanta’s fans are familiar with Robinson’s father, Glenn (“Big Dog”) Robinson, who led the Hawks with an average of 20.8 points per game in his only season with the team (2002–03). Only one other player in NBA history had a scoring average that high in his only season with a team (minimum: 60 games): Clyde Lovellette, 23.4 points per game with the Cincinnati Royals in 1957–58.
Rookie for the win … yes!
Tyler Ulis recovered a Celtics turnover and drained a 25-footer at the buzzer to give the Suns a 109–106 victory over Boston. Ulis is the first rookie to hit a game-winning buzzer-beater this season. Only one rookie did so in each of the two previous seasons: Marcus Smart (Boston in 2014-15) and Emmanuel Mudiay (Denver in 2015-16), respectively.
Gobert pounds the boards, then tips in the game-winner
Rudy Gobert tipped in the winning field goal at the buzzer, giving Utah a 110–109 overtime victory at Sacramento. Gobert also grabbed 24 rebounds in Utah’s win, marking the fifth time he has recorded at least 20 boards in one game. That’s the highest such total by any Jazz player since Karl Malone left Salt Lake City in 2003 with 12 games of 20 or more rebounds.
Late-bloomer Ryan scores game-winner for Canes
Derek Ryan’s tiebreaking goal with just under four minutes left to play in the third period was the game-winning goal in the Hurricanes’ 2–1 win against the Coyotes. Ryan, a journeyman forward, made his NHL debut at age 29 with Carolina last season and scored two goals in six games for the Hurricanes. He turned 30 years old in late December and his goal in Sunday’s game was his 10th of the season. The only other active NHL forward who notched his first 10-goal season in the NHL at age 30 or older is Shawn Thornton, who was 33 years old in 2010–11 when he tallied his 10th goal of the season for the Bruins. That’s still the only 10-goal season for Thornton in his 14-year NHL career.
Schultz fuels rare comeback
Justin Schultz tallied one goal and two assists for the Penguins as they overcame a 3–0 deficit to beat the Sabres, 4–3. This was only the third time in the last eight seasons that Pittsburgh won a game in regulation time after trailing by three goals. The Penguins’ other such wins since 2009–10 were at Philadelphia in March 2013 and at Ottawa in April 2016.
Schultz’s three-point game was his third this season. The only other NHL defensemen with at least three three-point games this season are Dougie Hamilton (4), Victor Hedman (4), Erik Karlsson (4), Kevin Shattenkirk (4), and Brent Burns (3).
The formula is simple: Staal scores, Minnesota wins
Eric Staal scored a pair of goals in the Wild’s 3–1 victory over the Sharks. Staal, who signed with Minnesota as a free agent last summer, has scored 19 goals this season and the Wild has won all 15 games in which he has scored. Staal has scored the most goals in the NHL this season among players who have scored all of their goals in games their team won. Kevin Hayes of the Rangers ranks second with 15 goals.
Dougie Hamilton assisted on two goals in the Flames’ 5–2 win over the Islanders. Hamilton racked up a career-high 32 assists for the Bruins in 2014–15, and he has assisted on 31 goals in each of the two seasons since the Bruins traded him to Calgary. Hamilton is the fourth defenseman in Flames history to produce at least 30 assists in each of his first two seasons with the team. The others are Gary Suter (first eight seasons), Phil Housley (all five seasons), and Paul Reinhart (first four seasons).
Bob does it again
Sergei Bobrovsky recorded his second straight shutout with a 3–0 win against the Devils at Newark. This is the first time that Bobrovsky has posted consecutive shutouts in his NHL career and it’s the first time that a Columbus goaltender has done so since Mathieu Garon notched back-to-back shutouts on Nov. 2¬–4, 2010. Bobrovsky has a 7–2–0 record versus New Jersey during his five seasons with the Blue Jackets. The only other teams he has beaten at least seven times for Columbus are the Red Wings (9 wins) and Stars (7).
A great season debut for Bachman
Richard Bachman, playing his first game in goal for the Canucks this season, made 43 saves as he recorded a 2–1 win over the Ducks in Anaheim. Excluding games decided by a shootout, Bachman is the first Canucks goaltender to win a game in which he made at least 43 saves and gave up no more than one goal since March 28, 2012, when Cory Schneider made 43 saves in a 1–0 victory against the Avalanche in Vancouver. Schneider is also the only other Canucks goaltender in the last 25 years to win a game in that manner on the road, having made 44 saves in a 4–1 victory at Dallas on Dec. 31, 2010.