Special to ESPN.com
Love's Skill Set Is Unique
From Elias: Kevin Love sat out the final eight minutes of the Timberwolves' one-sided victory against the Pelicans, finishing the game with 21 points to snap his streak of 11 consecutive games with 25 or more points. Over Love's last dozen games, he's had per-game averages of 30.4 points, 13.2 rebounds and three three-point field goals. Love is the only player in NBA history to post per-game averages that high in each of those statistical categories over any period of 12 games, and he did so twice previously, during overlapping 12-games spans in March 2012.
Timberwolves Run Away From Pelicans
From Elias: Ricky Rubio, Kevin Martin, Kevin Love, Corey Brewer and Nikola Pekovic all scored during a 15-0 run in the third quarter that gave the Timberwolves a 27-point lead in their blowout victory over the Pelicans. It was the fourth time this season that Minnesota scored 15 or more consecutive points in a game. Only the Clippers (five times) have done that more often than the Timberwolves, who are tied with the Spurs and Pistons (four each) for the second-most streaks of that kind in the NBA.
Griffin On Target
From Elias: Blake Griffin scored 31 points on the strength of 14-20 shooting from the field and he pulled down a dozen rebounds to help the Clippers beat the Bobcats in Los Angeles. It was only the third game of Griffin's NBA career, and his first since March 23, 2011, in which he made 14 or more field goals while shooting at least 70 percent from the field and grabbing 12 or more rebounds.
Pacers' Achilles' Heel Is 2nd Of Back-To-Back Games
From Elias: The Raptors topped the Pacers in Toronto on Wednesday night after both teams won on Tuesday (Toronto beat the Bulls, and Indiana topped the Cavaliers). The Raptors are a .500 team this season (15-15), but they have a 5-2 mark in the second of games played on consecutive days. And while the Pacers' overall record stands 19 games over .500 (25-6), the majority of their losses this season have come in the second of "back-to-back" games (5-4).
Wizards Break Their 1st New Year's Resolution
From Elias: The Wizards began the calendar year with a home loss to the Mavericks. Since 1980, Washington has lost each of the seven games that it's played on January 1. The only other NBA teams to fashion New Year's losing streaks as long as Washington's are the Warriors (11 in a row from 1949 through 1965, spanning their days in Philadelphia and San Francisco) and the Royals/Kings (eight straight losses from 1966 through 2011, a streak that shadowed the franchise from Cincinnati to Kansas City and to Sacramento).
Nuggets' Losing Streak Reaches 8 Games
From Elias: The 76ers handed the free-falling Nuggets their eighth consecutive defeat after Denver fashioned a seven-game winning streak earlier this season (Nov. 21-Dec. 3). The Nuggets, who were 14-9 before their eight straight losses, never before had such a long losing streak that began when the team was five or more games above the .500 mark. No NBA team had done that since the 2008-09 Pistons were 27-21 before they dropped eight in a row.
Lupul Perfect In Shootouts This Season
From Elias: Joffrey Lupul and Tyler Bozak scored the Toronto goals in the shootout that gave the Maple Leafs a 3-2 victory over the Red Wings in the 2014 Winter Classic. Lupul has scored on all five of his shootout attempts this season, after converting only five of his 18 career shootout chances before this season. Bozak has scored on nine of his 16 career shootout attempts (56.3%), which ties him with Matt Hendricks (also 9 of 16) for the second-highest success rate among active players with at least 15 career attempts, just behind Matt Moulson (12 of 21, 57.1%).
Bernier Is A Busy Winner
From Elias: Maple Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier stopped 41 of the Red Wings' 43 shots on goal in the real hockey portion of Toronto's Winter Classic shootout victory. It was Bernier's fourth win in a game in which he faced 40 or more shots on goal this season, which ties him with Buffalo's Ryan Miller for the high among NHL netminders.