Cavs are the first defending champs in 54 years to allow six triple-doubles
James Harden registered 38 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in Houston’s win over the Cavaliers on Sunday. Harden’s triple-double performance was the sixth allowed by Cleveland this season, joining Russell Westbrook (twice), Rajon Rondo, Draymond Green and Jimmy Butler. Those are the most triple-doubles allowed by a defending NBA champion in 54 years, since the Celtics allowed six such performances, four by Oscar Robertson and two by Elgin Baylor, during the 1962-63 season.
Carmelo reaches 10000-point milestone with the Knicks
Carmelo Anthony scored his 10000th point with the Knicks in New York’s loss to Brooklyn on Sunday. Anthony, who scored 13970 points with the Nuggets prior to joining the Knicks, is one of three players in NBA history to score 10000 points with two different franchises. The only other players to do that are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Bucks and Lakers) and Elvin Hayes (Rockets and Bullets).
Anthony became the seventh player in Knicks history to score 10000 points with the team. He reached that mark in his 403rd game with New York, the fewest games needed to reach that milestone in a Knicks uniform, besting the previous record of 426 games by Patrick Ewing. The other Knicks 10000-point scorers and the number of games it took them to get there: Willis Reed (499), Richie Guerin (500), Walt Frazier (521), Allan Houston (532) and Carl Braun (696).
Lopez beats Knicks from downtown
Brook Lopez made six of his nine three-point attempts in a 25-point performance in the Nets’ win over the Knicks on Sunday. That marked the third time Lopez made at least six three-pointers in a game this season, having also done that on January 25 against Miami (seven) and on February 15 against Milwaukee (six). The only other starting centers with at least three games with six or more three pointers in a season are Raef LaFrentz (four in 2001-02) and Channing Frye (five in 2009-10).
Celtics hold Bulls to nine points in the first quarter
The Celtics held the Bulls off the scoreboard until Dwyane Wade scored a basket with 6:05 remaining in the first quarter in Boston’s 100-80 win over Chicago on Sunday. That’s the latest into a game a team was held scoreless in over two years, since the Lakers did not score until 4:23 remained in the first quarter against Miami on January 13, 2015.
Boston held Chicago to just nine points in the first quarter in its victory. That tied the second-fewest points the Celtics allowed in the first quarter of a game in the shot-clock era. Boston allowed eight points to Orlando in the opening quarter on April 10, 1998 and gave up nine points in the first quarter on January 23, 1955 (vs. Philadelphia), October 26, 2010 (vs. Miami) and March 13, 2011 (vs. Milwaukee).
Whiteside’s 26-point/21-rebound effort goes for naught
Hassan Whiteside had 26 points and 21 rebounds in Miami’s loss to Indiana on Sunday. Whiteside has produced at least 25 points and 20 rebounds in four games this season. No other player has done that more than twice. Prior to Whiteside, the last player with at least four 25-point/20-rebound games in a season was Dwight Howard in 2011-12 (four).
Blazers ride Lillard’s big first half to victory
Damian Lillard scored 28 of his game-high 39 points in the first half in Portland’s win over Phoenix on Sunday. That ties the most first-half points scored by a player in a road game this season. The Lakers’ Lou Williams scored 28 points in the first half at Memphis on December 3. Lillard’s 28 points are the most he has scored in the first half in any of the 381 regular-season games he has played in his career. His previous high for points in the first half was 25 on April 10, 2013 against the Lakers.
Streaking Kane scores his 30th goal of the season
Patrick Kane reached the 30-goal mark for the third time in his 10 seasons in the NHL when he scored in the first minute of the Blackhawks’ 4–2 win over the Wild. Kane scored only 15 goals (in 52 games) this season through the end of January, which tied him for 52nd place in the NHL’s goal-scoring race at the time, but he leads the league with 15 goals (in 16 games) since February 1.
Crawford stifles Wild despite facing a barrage of shots
Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford made 42 saves in his 4–2 victory against the Wild on Sunday afternoon. It’s the most saves that Crawford has recorded in a regular-season game since March 23, 2015, when he stopped 43 shots in a 3–1 Chicago win at Carolina. Crawford doesn’t face 40 or more shots on goal in a game too often but he’s been quite successful when he does, with a 9–1–3 record in such games over the last six seasons.
McDonagh nets two in Rangers win
Ryan McDonagh scored two goals in a game for the second time in his NHL career when the Rangers beat the Red Wings, 4-1, in Detroit on Sunday. It’s the third multi-goal game by a Rangers defenseman this season, following two-goal performances by Nick Holden (Dec. 27) and Kevin Klein (Feb. 11). This is the first season in which the Rangers have had three multiple-goal games from defensemen since they had four in 1997–98: three by Brian Leetch and one by Bruce Driver. This is the first season in which three different Rangers d-men have produced multi-goal games since Leetch (3), David Shaw and James Patrick all did so in 1988–89.
Canadiens explode in third period to beat Oilers
The Canadiens trailed the Oilers, 1–0, at the second intermission, but Montreal scored four unanswered goals in the third period (two each by Paul Byron and Max Pacioretty) and beat Edmonton, 4–1. It’s the fifth time this season that the Canadiens won a game in which they trailed and were being shut out entering the third period (three wins in regulation time and two in overtime). The Kings (three) are the only other NHL team with more than two such wins this season.
Byron and Pacioretty are the first pair of Canadiens players to each score two third-period goals in the same game since Jan. 6, 1983, when Keith Acton and Guy Carbonneau each tallied twice in the final 20 minutes of an 11–3 win over the Kings at the Montreal Forum.