Elias Says ... Carmelo swipes spotlight from A.I.

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


Carmelo Anthony scored 42 points in Denver's 119-114 loss to Boston and has passed Allen Iverson as the leading scorer in the NBA. Anthony is now averaging 31.5 points per game, while Iverson holds steady at 31.2.

'Melo scored 36 points in his last game in Boston (March 12, 2006). Only one other player over the last 12 seasons has had back-to-back games of 36 or more points in Boston: Allen Iverson did it April and November of 2005.

Paul Pierce scored 38 points and Tony Allen had 30 in the Celtics' win over Denver. It was only the second time in the last four seasons that the Celtics had two players score 30 or more points in a non-overtime game. Pierce (34) and Wally Szczerbiak (30) turned the trick in March 2006.

• Washington led Miami 40-17 at the end of the first quarter. It matched the second-largest lead at the end of the opening period in the NBA this season. New Orleans had a 25-point lead at the end of the first quarter at Portland on Nov. 10 (38-13) and Chicago led Philadelphia by 23 points (39-16) after one quarter on Dec. 6.

Ben Wallace had 27 rebounds in the Bulls' 117-111 victory over the Bucks. It was the third time in his career that Wallace had at least 27 rebounds (he had 28 rebounds in a game twice). Only two other active players have reached that level in an NBA game: Dikembe Mutombo has done it four times and Shaquille O'Neal once.

• Phoenix has won 13 straight games after starting the season with a record of 3-6. The Suns are only the third team in NBA history with a winning streak that long that started with the team three games (or more) under .500. The 1993-94 Hawks were 1-4 when they went on a 14-game winning streak and the 1978-79 Lakers were 1-4 when they started a 14-game winning streak.

Yao Ming had 35 points and 15 rebounds in the Rockets' double-overtime loss to the Lakers. Yao had 38 points and 18 rebounds in his previous game. The last NBA player to have back-to-back 35/15 games was Antonio McDyess in Nov./Dec. 2000.

Yao Ming has scored 137 points over his last four games. That's the most points Yao has scored over any four-game span of his NBA career.

• The Clippers lost 109-99 at Portland tonight despite shooting 58.8 percent from the field. That's the highest field-goal percentage for a losing team in an NBA game this season.

• Three long team-vs.-team winning streaks came to end on Friday night. Miami had a 12-game winning streak against Washington (Wizards won 106-95), Memphis had won six in a row against Atlanta (Hawks won 97-88) and the Clippers had won five straight games against Portland (Trail Blazers won 109-99).


• With 10 points in his last two games (six points against the Flyers on Wednesday night, four points against the Islanders on Friday night), 19-year-old Sidney Crosby has assumed the NHL lead with 51 points, seven more than the runner-up, Jaromir Jagr. The only other teenager to hold the league lead in points outright -- that is, with no one tied -- at any time in modern NHL history was Wayne Gretzky, briefly in 1980.

Crosby is only the third teenager in NHL history to record 10 or more points over two team games. Edmonton's Wayne Gretzky did it in Feb. 1980 and Los Angeles' Jimmy Carson in March 1988. Both Gretzky and Carson had 10 points in two games.

The Penguins have scored at least five goals in each of their last three games, the longest such streak for the team since Jan. 2002 (also a three-game streak).

Pittsburgh has scored at least two goals in six straight periods. The last NHL team to have a streak that long (excluding overtime periods of course) was the Red Wings in Nov. 2003. The Pens have not had a streak that long since Nov. 1995 (also six straight).

Ryan Malone scored three goals for the Penguins Friday night, the first hat trick of his career. Malone's father, Greg, recorded a hat trick for the Penguins in 1978-79. The Malones are the second father/son pair to record a hat trick for the same franchise. Ken Hodge Sr. and Ken Hodge Jr. did it for the Bruins.

Alexander Ovechkin recorded his second career hat trick in the Capitals' 3-2 overtime win over Atlanta. In both of his hat tricks, Ovechkin scored all his team's goals and scored his third goal in overtime. His other trick came in a 3-2 overtime win at Anaheim on Jan. 13, 2006.

Ovechkin's final goal came six seconds into overtime, matching the fastest overtime goal in NHL history. Toronto's Mats Sundin and Nashville's David Legwand also scored overtime goals that fast.