Top Things to Know for Thursday

Stats & Info insights into this morning's top sports stories

David Freese

Freese1. FREESE PICKS UP WHERE HE LEFT OFF: The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Miami Marlins 4-1 in the first regular-season game at Marlins Park. FROM ELIAS: David Freese had three hits with two RBI. The only other reigning World Series MVP to have at least three hits and two RBI in his team's season opener was Pete Rose, who had three hits and two RBI for the Reds in their 1976 opener.

2. LeBRON ON FIRE: In a potential NBA Finals preview, the Miami Heat defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder, 98-93. LeBron James scored 34 points. NEXT LEVEL: James accounted for 59.2 percent of the Heat’s points (58 of 98), his highest percentage in any game this season.

3. DYNAMIC DUO: The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Los Angeles Clippers, 113-108. Andrew Bynum scored a game-high 36 points, and Kobe Bryant added 31. FROM ELIAS: Since 1990, the only other pair of Lakers teammates to each score 30 or more points and make at least 65 percent of their shots in one game was Bryant (35 points, 11-16) and Shaquille O'Neal (31 points, 15-23) against Golden State on Feb. 18, 2004.

4. SPURS SPREAD THE WEALTH: FROM ELIAS: The San Antonio Spurs defeated the Boston Celtics despite no San Antonio player scoring 15 points. (Danny Green led the team with 14 points.) It was the fifth win in the Spurs' NBA history in which they didn't have a player score 15 points, and their first since March 27, 2004 against Phoenix.

5. MASTERS TEES OFF: The Masters Tournament begins on Thursday, and since the Augusta National Golf Club added length in 2006, the Elias Sports Bureau says that no champion has finished the first round outside of the top seven on the leaderboard.