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Elias Says: March 9, 2017

Spurs win 50 games in 18th straight season

The Spurs, led by Manu Ginobili’s 19 points off the bench, earned their 50th win of the season in their 63rd game on Wednesday against the Kings. San Antonio has won at least 50 games in 18 consecutive seasons, dating back to the 1999-2000 season; that is the longest such streak in NBA history. Three others had streaks of at least 10 consecutive seasons: Lakers (12 straight, 1979-80 to 1990-91), Mavs (11, 2000-01 to 2010-11), and Celtics (10, 1958-59 to 1967-68).

San Antonio has won at least 50 games in 27 seasons in its NBA history. The team reached its 50th win in 63 or fewer games in only two other seasons: 2015-16 (59th game) and 2010-11 (61st game).

Warriors’ streak of 100-point home games ends at 56

The Warriors scored 86 points in their loss to the Celtics on Wednesday night at Oracle Arena. That’s their fewest points scored in a home game (regular season or playoffs) since an 89-84 loss to the Knicks on March 30, 2014.

Entering Wednesday, Golden State had scored at least 100 points in 56 consecutive regular-season home games, the longest such streak since the Sonics did so in 62 straight home games from November 1987 to February 1989. The Warriors’ 56-game run was the third longest in franchise history, behind a 60-game streak from October 1959 to October 1961 and a 62-game stretch from January 1966 to January 1968.

Towns’s seventh straight game with at least 20 points and 14 rebounds

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 29 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as the Timberwolves defeated the Clippers, ending their nine-game home losing streak versus Los Angeles. Towns has had at least 20 points and 14 rebounds in each of his last seven games. Over the last 45 seasons, only four other players had seven straight games with at least 20 points and 14 rebounds within one season: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1972–73 (two eight-game streaks) and 1975–76 (one 10-game streak and an eight-game streak); Bob McAdoo in 1973–74 (one eight-game streak and a seven-game streak); Moses Malone in 1978–79 (12-game streak), 1980–81 (eight-game streak and seven-game streak), and 1982–83 (13-game streak); Charles Barkley in 1985–86 (seven-game streak) and 1989–90 (seven-game streak).

Payton with a second straight triple-double game

Elfrid Payton had 22 points, 14 rebounds, and 14 assists in the Magic’s win over the Bulls on Wednesday, and that was directly following a triple-double performance on Monday against the Knicks. Payton, who turned 23 years old on February 22, had once previously had triple-doubles in consecutive games (March 18 and 20, 2015). No other Magic player ever did so in two straight games.

Over the last 30 years, only two other players had two separate streaks of games with a triple-double at 23 years old or younger: Jason Kidd (two streaks at 22 years old) and LeBron James (one streak at 22 years old and another at 23).

Harden and the Rockets struggle from three-point range

James Harden led all scorers with 35 points, but he was 0-for-8 from three-point range in the Rockets’ 115-108 loss to the Jazz. Since the introduction of the three-point line in the 1979-80 season, Harden is the third player to score at least 35 points but go 0-for-8 or worse from three-point range in a game. Kobe Bryant had three such games (in November 2002, January 2003, and December 2005) and LeBron James did so once (in April 2010).

Houston went 8-for-32 from three-point range on Wednesday, ending a streak of 18 consecutive games with at least 10 three-pointers made. That was the third-longest streak of this type all-time, nine games short of an NBA record 27 consecutive games by the Rockets from October 28 to December 17 earlier this season. The Celtics own the second-longest streak, with an active 23-game run.

Cousins performs Jekyll and Hyde act in loss to Raptors

DeMarcus Cousins had a solid first half against the Raptors on Wednesday, scoring 17 points and shooting 7-for-13 (.538) to help give the Pelicans a 46-45 halftime lead. But Cousins struggled mightily in the second half, making only one of 10 shots from the floor and totaling eight points as the Raptors came out on top with a seven-point win. Cousins has taken at least 10 field-goal attempts in a half 324 times in his NBA career. Among those halves, he’s made less than 10 percent of his field goal attempts only twice (0-for-11 in the second half on January 30, 2016, at Memphis and 0-for-10 in the first half on February 24, 2016, vs. San Antonio).

Antetokounmpo and Bucks overcome 12-point deficit in win over Knicks

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 32 points (including 22 in the second half) and had 13 rebounds and four steals as the Bucks overcame a 12-point deficit to defeat the Knicks, 104-93. That marks the third game this season in which Antetokounmpo had at least 30 points, 10 rebounds, and four steals. Over the last 20 years, only one other player had as many games of this type in a single season; DeMarcus Cousins had three such games last season.

Antetokounmpo, who turned 22 years old this past December, is the third player with three such games in a season at 22 or younger (steals were first officially compiled in the 1973-74 season). Bob McAdoo had three games of this type in 1973-74 and John Drew had three such games in 1975-76.

Wizards move to 15 games over .500

John Wall (30 points), Bradley Beal (23), and Otto Porter Jr. (22) combined for 75 of the Wizards’ 123 points in their victory over the Nuggets, as Washington improved to a season-high 15 games over .500 (39-24). Over the last 35 years, the franchise has been at least 15 games above .500 at any point in only one other season. In 2014-15, the Wizards first reached that mark with a 27-12 start and their most games over .500 was 16 (at 29-13 and 31-15).

Hornets have trouble winning when Walker racks up the points this season

Kemba Walker scored 33 points, but it was not enough as the Hornets fell to the Heat, 108-101. Charlotte has won just one of the nine games in which Walker scored more than 30 points this season. Walker’s personal .111 winning percentage (1-8) in those games is the lowest among players with at least five games of this type in the 2016-17 campaign.

Schroder leads the way

Dennis Schroder scored 31 points and went a perfect 10-for-10 from the free-throw line as the Hawks defeated the Nets, 110-105. That’s the second game this season in which a Hawks player scored at least 30 points and did not miss a free throw (minimum 10 attempts), and Schroder was responsible for the first such game. He scored 31 and went 10-for-10 from the line in a win over the Thunder on December 19. Since the start of the 2009-10 season, the only other player with such a game for Atlanta was Jeff Teague on March 18, 2014, against the Raptors (34 points, 11-for-11).

Pacers undefeated versus Pistons this season

Paul George led the Pacers with 21 points as they downed the Pistons, 115-98. Indiana finished up its season series with Detroit on Wednesday, going 4-0 with an average margin of victory of 14.5 points per game. The Pacers went undefeated against the Pistons in only two other seasons: 2009-10 (4-0 with 13.8 average margin of victory) and 2012-13 (4-0 with 20.0 average margin of victory).

Krejci and Marchand light the lamp

David Krejci and Brad Marchand each scored two goals for the Bruins in their 6–1 win over the Red Wings. Krejci’s multi-goal game was his first this season but Marchand’s was his eighth (and seventh since January 1), which gives him sole possession of the NHL lead in multiple-goal games, one ahead of the Kings’ Jeff Carter. Marchand is the first player to produce at least eight multi-goal games for the Bruins in one season since Glen Murray notched 11 in 2002–03. Krejci and Marchand are the first pair of Bruins to each score at least two goals against the Red Wings in the same game since Oct. 12, 1985, when Charlie Simmer scored three goals and Barry Pederson tallied twice to lead Boston to a 9–2 win at Joe Louis Arena.

Bonino nets three in Pens’ win

Nick Bonino recorded the second hat trick of his NHL career when he scored three goals for the Penguins in their 7–4 victory over the Jets in Winnipeg. Bonino, who entered play on Wednesday having scored only three goals in his last 30 games, is the first player to register a hat trick for Pittsburgh in a regular-season road game since James Neal scored three goals for the Penguins in a 5–3 win at Columbus on Dec. 29, 2013. The Penguins have had one road hat trick in a playoff game since then, by Evgeni Malkin in Pittsburgh’s series-clinching Game 6 victory at Columbus in a 2014 first-round matchup.

D-men provide the offense

Defensemen Dennis Wideman, Frederik Claesson and Cody Ceci each scored a goal for the Senators in their 5–2 win at Dallas. This the sixth game in franchise history in which three different defensemen scored a goal for Ottawa, and it was the Senators’ first such game since Feb. 20, 2012, when Erik Karlsson tallied twice and Chris Phillips and Brian Lee each scored once in a 6–0 victory against the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum.