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HORNETS CONTINUE DOMINATION OF QUALITY OPPONENTS
From Elias: The Hornets won 96-72 at home over the Spurs. Friday night, New Orleans won 100-59 at Atlanta. The 65-point two-game margin of victory is the third-largest ever by an NBA team over two opponents at least 10 games over .500. The Lakers beat the Bucks and Warriors by a combined 79 points from March 17-19, 1972, and the Bucks beat the Pistons and Bullets by a total of 70 points on January 9 and 10, 1971.
HAWKS FOLLOW HUGE HOME LOSS WITH BIG ROAD WIN
From Elias: One night after losing by 41 points to the Hornets in Atlanta, the Hawks routed the Bobcats in Charlotte 103-87. Only one other team in NBA history has immediately followed up a 40-point home loss with a double-digit road win. The Grizzlies lost by 47 to the Pacers in Vancouver on December 4, 1996, but rebounded with a 16-point win at San Antonio two days later.
WIZARDS COMPLETE IMPROBABLE COMEBACK
From Elias: We'd understand if you didn't stick around to see the 12-29 Wizards beat the 33-9 Celtics after falling behind 35-20 at the end of the first quarter. In the last 40 years, teams at least 15 games under .500 that fell behind by 15+ points after one period against a team 15-or-more games over .500 are now 7-175. But it's the second such win for the Wizards in less than a year. Washington won such a game at Orlando last February 5.
JAZZ SCORE ONLY 85 BUT DON'T BLAME DERON WILLIAMS
From Elias: Deron Williams scored 20 points and handed out 14 assists in the Jazz's 96-85 loss at Philadelphia. Only one other player in the last five years has recorded that many points and assists while his team failed to score 90 points. Chris Paul had an identical 20/14 point/assist line in a 94-82 Hornets loss at Boston on December 12, 2008.
BIG GAMES FOR JAMISON, HICKSON NOT ENOUGH FOR CAVS
From Elias: The Cavaliers lost 92-79 at Chicago despite 31 points and 11 rebounds by Antawn Jamison, and a 13-point, 20 rebound performance by J.J. Hickson. The last team to have a player with 30+ points and 10+ rebounds and another with 10/20 points/rebounds and still lose by more than ten points was the Rockets on April 6, 1982. In an 11-point loss to the Lakers, Moses Malone went 37/21 and Elvin Hayes was 14/20.
STOUDEMIRE'S NEW STREAK
From Elias: Amar'e Stoudemire, who had a streak of 26 straight 20-point games snapped when he scored 18 on Friday night, scored 18 again in the Knicks' 101-98 loss at Oklahoma City. Only one other player in the last ten years has scored under 20 points in each of the two games immediately following a streak of 25 or more consecutive 20-point games. Kobe Bryant was held below 20 on November 5 and 7, 2006 after reaching that milestone in 63 straight games dating back to December 9, 2005.
GRIFFIN CONTINUES HIS GREAT ROOKIE SEASON
From Elias: Blake Griffin scored 30 points and grabbed 18 rebounds in the Clippers' 113-109 win over the Warriors. The last NBA rookie to reach both of those figures in one game was Elton Brand for the Bulls on January 28, 2000 against the Kings.
From Elias: Zach Randolph scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the Grizzlies' 94-81 win at Milwaukee. It was Randolph's 10th straight game with at least 15 points and 10 rebounds. That's the second-longest such streak in the NBA this season. Blake Griffin had 18 straight 15/10 games from December 8 to January 17. The only other active players who have produced such a streak are Kevin Garnett (13 times), Shaquille O'Neal (9), Tim Duncan (5), Dwight Howard (2) and Antonio McDyess (1).1
MAVS OVERCOME POOR SHOOTING
From Elias: The Mavericks won 87-86 in New Jersey despite shooting just 34.7% from the field. Entering Saturday, NBA teams shooting under 35% were 2-30 this season. The only such teams to win were the Bucks, who shot 33.7% against the Warriors on November 13, and the Hornets, who posted a 32.2% field-goal percentage against the Kings on November 21.
SUNS STARTERS HAVE ROUGH SHOOTING NIGHT
From Elias: In the Suns' 75-74 loss at Detroit, three starters (Channing Frye 3-for-14, Grant Hill 4-for-14, and Vince Carter 3-for-11) shot under 30% from the field. It was the first time in more than 14 years that three players in Phoenix' starting lineup shot less than 30% (minimum 10 attempts). On November 24, 1996, Rex Chapman (4/16), Kevin Johnson (3/12), and Michael Finley (2/10) did it in a loss to Miami that dropped the Suns' record to 0-12.
Entering Saturday, the Suns were 27-0 all-time when allowing 75 points or fewer.
From Elias: Mario Chalmers, filling-in for the injured Dwyane Wade, was a perfect 3-for-3 from the field and 1-for-1 from the free-throw line while playing 35 minutes in the Heat's 120-103 home win over the Raptors. Only two other starting guards have played at least 35 minutes without missing a field-goal or free-throw attempt this season: Thabo Sefolasha on December 10 and Steve Nash on January 2.
L.A. CONTRIBUTES ONE WAY OR ANOTHER
From Elias: LaMarcus Aldridge scored 25 points and pulled down 12 rebounds in the Trail Blazers' 97-92 home win over the Pacers. In each of his last 15 games, Aldridge has scored at least 23 points or grabbed 10+ rebounds. That matches the longest streak by a Portland player in the last 25 years. Brandon Roy also did it last season.
MAGIC SCORE 100 THROUGH THREE QUARTERS
From Elias: The Magic led 100-76 at the end of the third quarter and cruised to a 118-104 win at Houston. Orlando also reached triple-figures before the fourth quarter in a win over the Timberwolves on November 3. The only other team that's scored 100 points through three quarters more than once this season is the Nuggets, who have done it three times.
EX-WING KOPECKY HAUNTS DETROIT AGAIN
From Elias: Ex-Red Wing Tomas Kopecky scored two goals to lead the Blackhawks to a 4-1 win in Detroit on Saturday. It was Kopecky's second two-goal game against his former team this season; he scored twice in the Hawks' 4-1 victory over the Red Wings in Chicago on December 17. The last former Detroit player with more than one multiple-goal game against the Wings in a season was Marcel Dionne, who recorded three for the Kings in 1978-79. Since 1993-94, the only other Blackhawks player with two multiple-goal games against Detroit in one season was Eric Daze in 2000-01.
PAUL STASTNY JOINS HIS FATHER IN 100-GOAL CLUB
From Elias: Paul Stastny gave the Avalanche a 1-0 lead in their game against the Bruins on Saturday with the 100th goal of his NHL career. Paul's father, Hall of Famer Peter Stastny, scored 450 goals in the NHL. The Stastnys are the ninth father/son pair in NHL history in which each player scored at least 100 goals. The other active 100-goal sons on that list are Zach Parise (son of J.P.) and Ryan Malone (son of Greg).
OVECHKIN ENDS MULTIPLE-GOAL DROUGHT
From Elias: Alex Ovechkin completed his first three-goal game of the season with an empty-net goal that wrapped up a 4-1 win for the Capitals in Toronto. It was Ovechkin's first multiple-goal game since October 30, when he scored twice in Calgary. The 37 games Ovechkin played between his two-goal night against the Flames and his hat trick on Saturday was the longest stretch without a multi-goal game in his NHL career.
BIG GAME FOR BRUINS ROOKIE
From Elias: Rookie Brad Marchand tallied two goals and two assists in the Bruins' 6-2 win over the Avalanche. Marchand's four points were the most in one game by a Bruins rookie since Jan. 30, 1993, when Joe Juneau recorded one goal and three assists for Boston in a 6-5 win against the Islanders.
KOIVU RETURNS TO MONTREAL
From Elias: The Ducks' 4-3 shootout win at Bell Centre was Saku Koivu's first game in Montreal since he left the Canadiens and signed with Anaheim as a free agent in July 2009. Koivu spent 13 seasons with the Canadiens and the 792 games he played for them rank him 19th in team history. But Koivu is the only man in the top 25 on Montreal's all-time games played list who did not play on at least one Stanley Cup-winning Canadiens team.
THROW OUT THE RECORDS WHEN THE DEVILS AND FLYERS FACE OFF
From Elias: Worst beat first on Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia when the Devils posted a 3-1 victory over the Flyers. New Jersey entered play on Saturday with only 31 points, the fewest in the NHL, and Philadelphia started the day with a league-high 67 points. It's the second time this season that the Devils have won a game when they had the fewest points in the NHL and their opponent had the most points; they beat the Capitals 5-0 in that scenario on November 22. Before 2010-11, excluding games played in the first week of a season, the only other such win in Kansas City/Colorado/New Jersey franchise history was the Rockies' 8-6 win over the Flyers in Denver on Feb. 19, 1980.
NASH GIVES ST. LOUIS THE BLUES
From Elias: Rick Nash was one of five goal-scorers for the Blue Jackets in their 5-2 win at St. Louis. Nash has scored 19 goals (in 31 games) against the Blues over the last six seasons, the most by any NHL player.
QUICK WINS 20 FOR THIRD STRAIGHT SEASON
From Elias: The Kings' Jonathan Quick reached the 20-win mark for the third straight season with a 4-3 victory against Phoenix on Saturday. Quick, who won 21 games for L.A. as a rookie in 2008-09 and had 39 wins last season, is only the third goaltender to record 20-plus wins for the Kings in each of three or more consecutive seasons. The others were Rogie Vachon, who had a six-year streak from 1972-73 through 1977-78, and Kelly Hrudey, with a three-season streak from 1989-90 through 1991-92.
ROOKIE WINS SHOOTOUT FOR RANGERS
From Elias: Rookie Mats Zuccarello was the only player to score in the shootout that gave the Rangers a 3-2 victory in Atlanta. Zuccarello, who made his NHL debut on December 23, is a perfect 3 for 3 on shootout attempts in the NHL. The three shootout goals tie him with Jordan Eberle, Tyler Seguin and Jeff Skinner for the league lead among rookies this season.