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BRONCOS' QUICK STRIKE IS AN NFL RECORD
From Elias: Tim Tebow threw an 80-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas on the first play from scrimmage in overtime to give the Broncos a 29-23 win over the Steelers. Thomas crossed the goal line just 11 seconds into OT, producing the fastest end to overtime in NFL history, whether in the regular season or the postseason.
It was also the longest TD ever scored in overtime of an NFL postseason game. The previous long was a 69-yard pass from Jake Delhomme to Steve Smith in the Panthers' win over the Rams eight years ago.
TEBOW'S SECOND QUARTER IS ONE FOR THE BOOKS
From Elias: Tim Tebow completed 10 passes for 316 yards in Denver's victory, becoming the first player to average at least 30 yards per completion in a postseason game (minimum: 5 completions). The previous high was 27.9 yards by Charlie Conerly of the Giants in a 47-7 win over the Bears in the 1956 championship game (7 for 195).
Tebow completed four passes for at least 30 yards each in the second quarter alone. No other player had four completions for 30 yards or longer in the same period of a playoff game during the NFL's expansion era (that is, since 1960). In fact, no one has done it in a regular-season game since Warren Moon of the Houston Oilers in 1990.
DENVER POUNDS PITT IN SECOND STANZA
From Elias: The Broncos scored 20 points in the second quarter of Sunday's win. In 53 previous postseason games, the Steelers allowed 20 or more points in one period only once. The Raiders scored 21 points in the third period of a 38-10 win over Pittsburgh in a divisional playoff game on New Year's Day 1984.
GIANTS STIFLE HIGH-SCORING ATLANTA
From Elias: The Falcons scored 402 points during the regular season, but the Giants shut them down on Sunday, posting a 24-2 victory in their wild-card contest. Only two other teams in NFL history failed to score at least a field goal in a postseason game coming off a season of 400-plus points: the Giants themselves, in a 23-0 wild-card loss to Carolina (Jan. 8, 2006); and the Baltimore Colts in a 27-0 loss to the Browns in the 1964 NFL championship game.
JACOBS & BRADSHAW STAR IN GIANTS' VICTORY
From Elias: Brandon Jacobs gained 92 rushing yards and Ahmad Bradshaw gained 63 in the Giants' win, and both players had a run for 30 yards or longer. Over the last 10 years, only one other pair of running backs recorded a 30-yard run for the same team in the same playoff game: James Stewart and Fred Taylor for the Jaguars in the AFC conference championship game in January 2000 (a 33-14 loss to the Titans).
FALCONS DOOMED BY FOURTH-DOWN FAILS
From Elias: The Falcons failed to convert on fourth-and-1 plays inside the Giants' 30-yard-line not once but twice in Sunday's loss. During the NFL's expansion era, only one other team lost a playoff game in which it failed on two fourth-and-1's in its opponent's territory: the Lions in a wild-card loss to the Bucs in 1997.
RUBIO TIES NBA MARK IN 8TH GAME
From Elias: Ricky Rubio recorded 14 assists in the Timberwolves' 93-72 victory at Washington. It was Rubio's eighth NBA game, and his assist total tied the all-time single-game high that early in a player's career. Three other players posted 14 assists in one of their first eight games, but not the players you're probably expecting. They were Ernie DiGregorio of the Buffalo Braves in his NBA debut in 1973, Bryan Warrick of the Washington Bullets in 1982, and Greg Grant of the Suns in 1989.
Oscar Robertson first posted as many as 14 assists in the 20th game of his NBA career. Neither Magic Johnson nor John Stockton tallied 14 assists in one game until early in their second season in the NBA (Magic in his 80th game, Stockton in his 86th).
Do you think Steve Nash told Rubio, "I'll see your 14 assists, kid, and raise you three?" Nash posted 17 helpers in the Suns' 109-93 win over the Bucks. It was the 40th time that he recorded as many as 17 assists in a game, and only one player in NBA history did so at a more advanced age than Nash, who will turn 38 next month. John Stockton had a 17-assist game at age 39 in 2001.
IT'S WIN-WIN-WIN FOR THE THUNDER
From Elias: The Thunder posted its third win in as many days, defeating the Spurs, 108-96. The last time an NBA team won three games in three days was 1999 -- not coincidentally, the last time the league played a tightened schedule following a lockout. There were eight such instances of 3-for-3 in the shortened 1999 season.
For the record, it was done somewhat regularly over the NBA's first 40 years of operation. But with the exception of last night and the 1999 season, the last team to win three games in three days was the Lakers in February 1985.
ORLANDO WINS DESPITE HOWARD'S OFF NIGHT
From Elias: Plagued by early foul trouble, Dwight Howard was limited to five points and four rebounds playing just 20 minutes in the Magic's 104-97 win at Sacramento. It was the first time in more than five years that Howard was held to five or fewer points and five or fewer rebounds in the same game. His last such contest was a loss to the Suns on December 11, 2006. Howard fouled out of that game in 19 minutes (4 points, 3 rebounds).
FILPPULA & DATSYUK SCORE, RED WINGS WIN
From Elias: Valtteri Filppula and Pavel Datsyuk each scored a goal for the Red Wings in their game at Chicago, with Datsyuk's goal at 3:08 of overtime earning Detroit a 3-2 win. The Red Wings have won all 12 games in which Filppula has scored goals this season and likewise all 12 games in which Datsyuk has scored. Filppula and Datsyuk, both 12-0-0, share the best "perfect record" among NHL players in games in which they scored goals this season.
SENS RALLY IN THIRD PERIOD FOR WIN OVER FLYERS
From Elias: The Senators outscored the Flyers 4-0 in the third period to turn a 4-2 deficit into a 6-4 victory. It was the fourth time this season that Ottawa won a game in which it trailed by two or more goals in the third period. No other NHL team has more than two such wins this season.
The Senators' victory on Sunday was only their second regulation-time win over the last four seasons in a game in which they were down by at least two goals in the third period. Ottawa's only other win of that type since the start of the 2008-2009 season was against the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum on February 14, 2010.
FLYERS FRESHMEN EXCEL IN OTTAWA
From Elias: Marc-Andre Bourdon, Sean Couturier, and Matt Read each scored a goal for the Flyers in their game at Ottawa. If that story line seems familiar to Flyers and Senators fans, here's why: The only previous instance of three rookie teammates scoring goals in one NHL game this season came in Philadelphia's first visit to the Canadian capital. Read, Couturier, and fellow freshman Harry Zolnierczyk all scored in the Flyers' 7-2 victory at Scotiabank Place on October 18.
PERRY & SELANNE FUEL DUCKS' BIG WIN
From Elias: Corey Perry scored three goals and Teemu Selanne tallied twice in the Ducks' 7-4 win over the Blue Jackets. It was the first time that Anaheim had two multiple-goal scorers in the same game since March 24 last season, when Perry and Selanne each scored two goals in a 5-4 Ducks loss at Nashville.