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PAUL SWISHES AND DISHES
From Elias: Chris Paul made 12 of 17 shots from the floor and assisted on 13 Clippers buckets as they defeated the Warriors, 112-104. Paul is the only NBA player to record 12 or more field goals in a game this season while posting a field-goal percentage of 70 percent or higher and handing out at least a dozen assists, and he's done it twice. Paul made 12 of 16 field-goal attempts with 14 assists against Oklahoma City on January 30.
DURANT & WESTBROOK HANDLE THE SCORING, THEIR BUDDIES REBOUND
From Elias: The Thunder's formula was pretty simple in Saturday's 115-110 win at Minnesota: Kevin Durant (43) and Russell Westbrook (35) did the scoring, Serge Ibaka (12 rebounds) and Kendrick Perkins (10) pounded the boards. It was the first time in four years that NBA teammates scored at least 35 points each in the same game, while two other teammates reached double-figures in rebounds. The last team to do so was the Suns in March 2008. Amar'e Stoudemire and Steve Nash were the scorers, Shaquille O'Neal and Raja Bell were the rebounders.
CELTICS OUTSHOOT ANOTHER OPPONENT
From Elias: The Celtics shot 46 percent from the floor, compared to 37 percent for the Nets, in a 94-82 victory at Newark. It was Boston's 17th straight game in which it posted a higher field-goal percentage than the opposing team. That's the longest streak of its kind in the NBA this season, surpassing a 16-game streak by Miami (Jan. 30-March 2), and it's Boston's longest streak in any season since 1990-91 (18 consecutive games).
The Nets were an easy mark for Boston. New Jersey has posted a lower field-goal percentage than its opponent in a league-high 45 games this season.
YOU THOUGHT MAYBE RUBIO, FARIED AND THOMPSON? GUESS AGAIN.
From Elias: Here's a trifecta that would have paid off your mortgage and sent the kids to college if you'd played it in Vegas four months ago. Three players recorded a double-double in their first NBA start this season: Josh Harrellson of the Knicks in December, Bismack Biyombo of the Bobcats in February, and Luke Harangody of the Cavaliers, with 14 points and 12 rebounds in Saturday's 114-92 win at Washington.
WILSON SIGNING PAYS EARLY DIVIDENDS
From Elias: C.J. Wilson defeated the Yankees to earn his second win in as many starts this season after signing with the Angels as a free agent. Wilson joined Cleveland's Derek Lowe as the only pitchers to win their first two appearances for a new club this year after switching teams during the off season.
FIVE RED SOX HOME RUNS AT FENWAY
From Elias: Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Mike Aviles, and Cody Ross all homered at Fenway Park in the Red Sox' 13-5 romp over the Rays. It was only the third time that a team managed by Bobby Valentine hit five home runs in a home game. It happened previously at Arlington Stadium (Sept. 20, 1985 against the Mariners) and Shea Stadium (June 26, 2000 versus the Marlins).
THE ONE AND ONLY DONTRELLE
From Elias: Jeremy Hellickson, who beat the Yankees in his season debut, didn't get a decision in the Rays' loss at Boston, despite being staked to a 4-0 lead. Hellickson is the 25th pitcher to start at least two games the season after winning the Rookie of the Year Award. The only one of them to win his first two starts as a sophomore was Dontrelle Willis, who won his first three starts for the Marlins in 2004.
NIESE TOSSES ANOTHER GEM FOR METS
From Elias: Jonathon Niese allowed five hits over six-and-two-thirds innings in the Mets' 5-0 win at Philadelphia six days after taking a no-hit bid to the seventh inning in a victory over the Braves. Over the last 30 seasons, only one other Mets pitcher started and won each of his first two appearances in a season, shutting out the opposition through six innings in both: Frank Viola in 1990.
ASTROS RALLY AGAINST BELL FOR WIN OVER MARLINS
From Elias: The Astros rallied for four runs against Heath Bell in the top of the ninth for a stunning 5-4 victory at Miami. It was only the second time in the last 29 years that Houston won a road game in which it trailed by three or more runs in the ninth inning, having last done so at Pittsburgh in 2006.
Bell, the high-priced free agent signed to provide the Marlins with a lock-down closer, has been anything but that. This was his second blown save in as many opportunities this season. Bell has blown six of 23 potential saves since the 2011 All-Star break, after going 60-for-61 immediately prior to that, dating back to May 2010.
RAMBLIN' MAN JACKSON WINS FOR HIS SEVENTH TEAM
From Elias: Edwin Jackson won his first game for the Nationals on Saturday. Jackson, who is 28 years old, has now posted a victory as a starting pitcher for seven different teams. No other pitcher since 1900 has recorded wins as a starter for seven teams before turning 29 years old. Three 19th-century pitchers did so: Jersey Bakely, Egyptian Healy, and Silver King. Two post-1900 pitchers had wins as a starter for six teams by age 29: Dave LaPoint, Ken Brett.
WHAT'S A GUY GOTTA DO TO WIN A GAME AROUND HERE?
From Elias: For the second time this season, Henderson Alvarez gave the Blue Jays a quality start and turned a one-run lead over to the Jays' bullpen. And for the second time, Toronto's relievers squandered the lead, costing Alvarez and their team a victory. On Monday it was the Red Sox who rallied for a win over the Blue Jays; on Saturday, it was the Orioles. Alvarez was the first starter to be victimized by his bullpen in that way in each of his first two appearances of a season since Brian Bannister and Dave Bush were deprived of victories in each of their first two starts in 2010. Only one other Toronto pitcher suffered that fate in the last 20 years. Go to the head of the class if you knew it was Huck Flener in July 1996.
FLOYD PLUNKS THREE TIGERS EN ROUTE TO WIN
From Elias: Here's one you don't see every day: Gavin Floyd threw three pitches that hit opposing batters in his victory over the Tigers on Saturday. Only three other White Sox pitchers won a game despite hitting three or more batters during the live-ball era: Ed Walsh in 1928 (not "Big Ed" Walsh, the Sox' Hall of Famer from the dead-ball era), Tommy John in 1968, and El Duque (a.k.a. Orlando Hernandez) in 2005.
MOLINA STARS IN CARDINALS' WIN OVER CUBS
From Elias: Yadier Molina went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a stolen base in the Cardinals' 5-1 victory over the Cubs. The only other St. Louis catcher who had at least two hits, two or more runs batted in, and a stolen base in a win against the Cubs was Walker Cooper, on September 16, 1943 at Sportsman's Park. Cooper, who batted cleanup directly behind Stan Musial that day, was 4-for-4.
NEIL COMES OUT FIGHTING, FINISHES THE JOB IN OT
From Elias: Chris Neil scored the first overtime playoff goal of his NHL career to give the Senators a 3-2 win in Game 2 of their series against the Rangers. Neil scored his game-winning goal after taking part in a first-period fight against the Rangers' Brian Boyle. He's the first player to score an overtime goal and record a fighting major in an NHL playoff game since 1989, when Phil Bourque did that for the Penguins in Game 3 of a second-round series against the Flyers.
RANGERS FAIL AGAIN IN OVERTIME
From Elias: The Rangers' 3-2 loss to the Senators was their sixth consecutive defeat in playoff overtime games, dating back to May 2007. It's the longest losing streak of its kind in Rangers history (they lost five straight playoff OT games from 1986 to 1991), and the longest current playoff overtime losing streak by any NHL team.
BACKSTROM TIED CAPS OVERTIME RECORD
From Elias: Nicklas Backstrom scored 2:56 into the second overtime period to earn the Capitals a 2-1 victory at Boston and even their series with the Bruins at one win apiece. It was the second playoff overtime goal of Backstrom's NHL career; he scored an OT winner at Montreal in Game 2 of Washington's first-round series against the Canadiens in 2010. Backstrom's two playoff overtime goals tie a Capitals team record he now shares with Dino Ciccarelli and Joe Juneau.
BLUES' TAG TEAM BLANKS THE SHARKS
From Elias: Brian Elliott and Jaroslav Halak combined for a shutout in the Blues' 3-0 victory over the Sharks. It was only the third time in NHL history that a postseason shutout was posted by teammates. Jacques Plante and Charlie Hodge did it for the Canadiens in 1955, as did Brian Boucher and Michael Leighton for the Flyers in 2010 (both against the Bruins).