Elias Says ...

A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:


Frank Thomas, who has hit 487 home runs, signed with Toronto on Friday. Thomas is in position to become only the second major leaguer to hit his 500th career home run in his first season playing for a team. The only man to do that is Eddie Mathews, who hit No. 500 for the Astros in 1967. Mathews played his first 15 seasons with the Braves, hitting 493 home runs, before being traded to Houston after the 1966 season.


• The Knicks beat the Heat 100-76 on Friday night. Miami has played eight games this season and lost three of them by at least 20 points. It's the first time in NBA history that the defending champion has lost three times by 20-or-more points within its first 10 games of the season. (The Heat had only three losses by 20-or-more points over the previous two seasons combined.)

Shaquille O'Neal will undergo knee surgery and is expected to be out of action for four to six weeks. In his NBA career, Shaq's team has won 70 percent of the games he's played, compared to 55 percent of the games that he's missed.

LeBron James led the Cavaliers in points (37), rebounds (9, tied with Drew Gooden) and assists (6) in Cleveland's win over Minnesota. It was the first time this season that King James led the team in all three categories. Last season, LeBron led his team in points, rebounds and assists in 16 games, the highest such total for any player in the league.

• Boston finished off Portland with 41 points in the fourth quarter, en route to a 118-90 victory. It was the Celtics' highest fourth-quarter point total since April 17, 1996, when they had a 41-point final period in a win over Washington.

Boston is the first NBA team to win consecutive games by at least 25 points this season. Only one team did that last season: the Pistons (two separate times).

Antawn Jamison made a 25-foot jump shot early in the first quarter at Detroit, ending the Wizards' streak of 22 consecutive missed three-point field-goal attempts. That was the longest streak for any NBA team in two years -- since Chicago misfired on 24 straight shots from downtown in November 2004.

• The Wizards lost 100-91 at Detroit, dropping their road record to 0-4 this season. It's the first time that Washington has lost its first four road games of a season since it began the lockout-shortened 1998-99 season (which began in February 1999) 0-4 away from home.

• The Bulls' Andres Nocioni missed his first nine shots and ended up 1-for-10 from the field in the loss at San Antonio. Prior to Friday night, only one NBA player began a game with a longer streak this season -- Andre Miller, who missed all 11 shots he attempted in the game against the Clippers on Nov. 2.


Maxim Afinogenov's first period goal gave Buffalo a 1-0 lead against Pittsburgh. It marked the 10th consecutive game in which the Penguins allowed the first goal, the longest such streak in the NHL since the Coyotes did that in 10 consecutive games in March/April 2004. It's the longest streak for Pittsburgh since the Penguins allowed the opening goal in a franchise-record 13 consecutive games in November/December 1987.

Rod Brind'Amour had two goals and two assists in the Hurricanes' 4-1 win in Washington. It was Brind'Amour's 34th and 35th career goals (in 81 games) against the Capitals, moving him past Guy Lafleur and Darryl Sittler (34 goals each vs. Washington) into fifth place on the all-list, behind Mike Bossy (55), Mario Lemieux (51), Marcel Dionne (45), and the active leader, Mark Recchi (45).

• Friday night, Alexander Ovechkin played his 100th NHL game when the Capitals lost to the Hurricanes. Though Ovechkin did not score against Carolina, his 64 career goals equals the sixth-highest total at the 100-game mark for any player in league history.

Most goals through 100 games: Teemu Selanne (84), Maurice Richard (80), Mike Bossy (76), Dino Ciccarelli (69), Eric Lindros (67), Pavel Bure (64), Joe Nieuwendyk (64), Alex Ovechkin (64).

• Ovechkin has 64 assists to match his 64 goals to date. The only other player to reach both those totals in his first 100 NHL games was Teemu Selanne (84 goals, 68 assists).

• Rookie Travis Zajac had three assists in the Devils' 3-2 win over Ottawa. Zajac's three points were the most in one game by a New Jersey rookie since April 13, 2002, when Brian Gionta had four points (1 goal, 3 assists) in a 4-3 Devils victory in Washington.

• The Lightning were not called for a single penalty in their 3-2 shootout win over the Islanders on Friday night. It was first time that an NHL team went penalty-free for an entire game since April 1, 2004, when the Blues were not penalized in a 3-2 loss to the Red Wings. It was the second such game for Tampa Bay in its 14-year history; the Lightning had no one sent to the penalty box in their 1-0 overtime loss to the Kings on Nov. 6, 2003.

• Atlanta goaltender Kari Lehtonen was pulled at the 16:46 mark of the first period of the Thrashers' 5-3 loss to the Stars, after allowing three goals on seven shots. Lehtonen, who was not charged with the loss on Friday night (Johan Hedberg got the L), is 2-4-2 with a 4.65 goals-against average and .847 save percentage over his last nine games (seven starts), after posting a 7-1-1 record, 1.96 GAA, .929 save percentage and two shutouts in his first nine games this season (through Oct. 23).

Daniel Cleary's power play goal at 19:19 of the third period spoiled Miikka Kiprusoff's shutout bid, though it was too little, too late for the Red Wings, as Calgary beat Detroit 4-1. But Cleary's goal extended the Red Wings' streak of consecutive regular-season games without being shut out to 138. It's the longest current streak in the NHL (Minnesota is second at 87 games) and the second-longest in Detroit franchise history. The Red Wings scored at least one goal in 143 straight games from November 1987 to October 1989.

Markus Naslund scored two goals in the Canucks' win over St. Louis on Friday night. It was the 48th multiple-goal game of Naslund's NHL career but his first since Dec. 23, 2005. Naslund, who played 65 games and scored 19 goals in the interim, had 32 multiple-goal games over the past five NHL seasons (2000-01 through 2005-06), fourth-most in the league over that span, behind Marian Hossa (34), Jaromir Jagr (34) and Jarome Iginla (33).