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Elias Says: March 21, 2017

Harden’s third straight 35/10 performance

James Harden came up three rebounds short of a fifth straight triple-double, but he still scored 39 points and handed out 11 assists in the Rockets’ 125–124 home win over the Nuggets. In the process, Harden extended to three his streak of consecutive games with at least 35 points and 10 assists. Only three other players in the last 40 years have fashioned streaks like that: Michael Jordan in April 1989, Tim Hardaway in January 1991, and Russell Westbrook in February/March 2015.

Thompson leads Warriors in scoring despite Curry’s seven three-pointers

Klay Thompson led all players with 34 points, including seven three-pointers, in the Warriors’ 111–95 win at Oklahoma City. Stephen Curry also made seven threes, scoring 23 points for Golden State. It was the 52nd time that Curry made at least seven three-point field goals in a game. But it was only the second of those 52 games in which he didn’t lead or tie for the team lead in scoring. On March 11, 2016, Curry made seven three-pointers but was outscored by Thompson, 37–34.

Hayward loves to return home

Gordon Hayward’s career-high 38 points on 16-for-24 shooting weren’t enough for the Jazz in their 107–100 road loss to the Pacers. It was Hayward’s seventh NBA game in Indianapolis, the city in which he was born and played collegiately for Butler. His 56.8 field-goal percentage at Bankers Life Fieldhouse is his highest at any arena as an NBA player.

Shouldn’t this have happened three days earlier?

Kelly Olynyk came off the bench to lead the Celtics with 11 rebounds, and his teammates Jae Crowder, Al Horford, and Avery Bradley chipped in with nine boards each in Boston’s 110–102 home win over Washington. The last two times that four Celtics players grabbed at least nine rebounds in a game were, perhaps appropriately, on St. Patrick’s Day - in 1996 (Eric Montross, Pervis Ellison, David Wesley, and Eric Williams) and in 2014 (Kris Humphries, Kelly Olynyk, Jared Sullinger, Jeff Green.)

Griffin scores 20 before halftime

Blake Griffin scored 20 of his 30 points in the first half of the Clippers’ 114–105 home win over the Knicks. In his last game against New York, on Feb. 8 at Madison Square Garden, Griffin put up 21 points before halftime. Over the last 10 years, the only other players to score at least 20 first-half points in two straight games against the Knicks are LeBron James (in 2009–10), Kevin Love (2010–11 and 2011–12), and Goran Dragic (2013–14).

Williams continues rebounding surge

Marvin Williams led the Hornets with eight rebounds in Charlotte’s 105–90 home win over Atlanta. In 10 games this month, Williams has grabbed 101 boards. Before 2017, the second overall pick in the 2005 draft had never collected more than 83 rebounds over any 10-game span.

Fournier comes up big in overtime

Evan Fournier led all players with seven overtime points and also grabbed two rebounds in the extra five minutes of the Magic’s 112–109 win over the visiting 76ers. Only two other Orlando players in the last 10 years have put up as many points and rebounds in an overtime period: Victor Oladipo (8 pts, 2 reb) in the second overtime against the Knicks on Feb. 21, 2014, and Nikola Vucevic (7 pts, 2 reb) at Atlanta on Feb. 8, 2016.

Eichel reaches 50 points again

Jack Eichel reached the 50-point mark for the second time in his two seasons in the NHL when he scored the first goal in the Sabres’ 2–1 win over the Red Wings. The Massachusetts native, who tallied 56 points for Buffalo in 2015–16, is the 13th active NHL player who recorded at least 50 points in each his first two seasons in the league. The only other U.S.-born player in that group is Patrick Kane, who has produced at least 50 points in all 10 seasons he’s played in the NHL. Eichel is the second U.S.-born player to score 50 points in each of his first two NHL seasons while playing for the Sabres. Minnesota-born Phil Housley scored 50-plus points (actually, 60-plus) in each of his first 11 NHL seasons, the first eight of which were with Buffalo.

Leafs sweep Bruins

The Maple Leafs completed a sweep of their four-game season series against the Bruins with a 4–2 win in Toronto on Monday. This is the first time that the Leafs have won four consecutive games versus the Bruins (within one season or spanning seasons) since they won their last five games against them in 1966–67, which was Bobby Orr’s rookie season! The only other time that Toronto swept a season series of more than two games versus the Bruins was in 1924–25, Boston’s first season in the NHL, when the St. Patricks (who were renamed the Maple Leafs in 1927) won all six games played between the two teams.

Frederik Andersen, who was in goal for Toronto in all four of its games versus Boston this season, is the first Maple Leafs goaltender to beat the Bruins four times in one season since 1967–68, when Bruce Gamble posted a 4–1–0 mark against them.

Ellis scores two goals for Nashville

Defenseman Ryan Ellis scored two goals for the Predators in their 3–1 win versus the Coyotes. It was Ellis’ second multiple-goal game this season, which ties him with teammate Roman Josi and five other players for the second-most multi-goal games by an NHL defenseman this season, behind Brent Burns with three. This is the first of the Predators’ 18 seasons in the NHL in which they’ve had more than one defenseman produce multiple multi-goal games.

Stars end home shutout drought

Kari Lehtonen posted his and the Stars’ second shutout of the season with a 1–0 win over the Sharks in Dallas. (The Stars’ only other shutout this season was Lehtonen’s 3–0 victory at Colorado on December 3.) Monday’s win by the Stars was their first shutout on home ice in a year and a day, since Lehtonen beat the Islanders, 3–0, on March 19, 2016. The Stars’ just-ended run of 40 consecutive regular-season home games without a shutout was the second-longest such streak for the team since it moved to Dallas in 1993. They played 53 consecutive regular-season home games without holding their opponent goalless from March 2012 to January 2014.

Draisaitl extends multiple-assists streak

Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl assisted on both goals in the Oilers’ 2–0 win versus the Kings. Draisaitl has tallied two assists in each of Edmonton’s last four games. Since 1990–91, the only other time an Oilers player recorded at least two assists in each of four consecutive team games in one season was when defenseman Tom Gilbert did so in April 2010. The only NHL player besides Draisaitl to produce a streak of four straight multiple-assist games in any of the last six seasons is Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson, who’s done so twice (February 2012 and February 2015.)

Puerto Rico advances in walkoff fashion

Eddie Rosario’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 11th inning delivered the winning run for Puerto Rico in its 4–3 win over the Netherlands in the semi-final round of the World Baseball Classic. Puerto Rico is the first team to win a semi-final or championship WBC game in walkoff fashion. One team won such a game in extra innings: Japan, as the “visiting" team, over South Korea in the 2009 final (5–3 in 10 innings.)