DeRozan’s torrid start to the season continues
• DeMar DeRozan scored 34 points to lead the Raptors to a 113-111 win over the Hornets on Friday night. DeRozan has scored 30 or more points seven times in eight games this season. Over the last 50 seasons, the only other players with at least seven 30-point games in their first eight games of a season are Nate Archibald (1972-73), Marques Johnson (1978-79), World B. Free (1979-80) and Michael Jordan (1986-87). DeRozan recorded his seventh 30-point game in the 42nd game he played (January 20) in 2015-16.
Sixers, Pacers play consecutive overtime games
• The 76ers registered their first win of the season with a 109-105 overtime victory over the Pacers. The Sixers’ win came two days after the Pacers topped them in overtime in Indiana. It’s the seventh time in NBA history that two teams opposed each other in consecutive games with each contest decided in overtime. The last time that happened was on December 2002, when Detroit and Cleveland played consecutive overtime games against one another.
LeBron produces 27 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists….but doesn’t lead in any category
• LeBron James scored 27 points, hauled down 10 rebounds and handed out five assists in the Cavaliers’ 105-94 win over the Wizards on Friday night. It’s the 130th time that James has registered at least 25 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in a game in his career, but it’s the first time he did that without leading his team in any of those categories (Kyrie Irving led Cleveland with 29 points and six assists and Kevin Love led the team with 16 rebounds).
Since the start of the 2014-15 season, there have been 146 instances of a player recording at least 25 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in a game and the only player other than James to do that without leading his team (or tying for the lead) in any of those categories is Pau Gasol, who did it on January 5, 2016.
Knicks fail to show up in Boston
• The Knicks committed 25 turnovers and made only 35.1 percent of their field-goal attempts in their 115-87 loss to the Celtics in Boston on Friday night. It marked the first time in nearly 40 years that New York turned the ball over at least 25 times and made less than 36 percent of its shots from the field in the same game, since December 7, 1976, against the Trail Blazers (27 turnovers, .358 field-goal percentage).
Westbrook fails in the clutch
• Russell Westbrook missed a three-point attempt with two seconds remaining in the fourth quarter with Oklahoma City trailing by two points in the Thunder’s 110-108 loss to the Clippers on Friday night. Westbrook has made only three of 19 field-goal attempts in which he had a chance to give his team the lead in the final five seconds of the fourth quarter or overtime in his career.
Portland rides dynamic backcourt to overtime win
• Damian Lillard scored 36 points and backcourt mate CJ McCollum chipped in with 31 in Portland’s overtime win over Sacramento on Friday. It’s the fifth time that Lillard and McCollum have each scored 30 or more points in the same game since they became teammates. The only current pairs of teammates to do that more times than Lillard and McCollum are Golden State’s Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson (nine) and Cleveland’s LeBron James and Kyrie Irving (seven).
Utah dominates Orlando in the fourth quarter
• The Jazz outscored the Magic, 27-10, in the fourth quarter en route to a victory in Orlando on Friday night. That marked the first time in nearly six years that Utah outscored its opponent by at least 17 points in the fourth quarter of a game on the road. The last time that happened was on December 22, 2010, when Utah scored 41 fourth-quarter points and allowed 24 to the Timberwolves in a victory in Minnesota.
Gasol’s big first quarter lifts Spurs
• Pau Gasol scored 13 of his team-high 21 points in the first quarter in the Spurs’ 96-86 win over the Pistons on Friday night. Gasol has now scored 44.3 percent of his total points in the first quarter this season (39 of 88). That’s the third-highest such percentage among players with 80 or more points, behind Gerald Henderson (44.7%) and Karl Anthony-Towns (44.4%).
Rielly registers four points in Maple Leafs’ win
• Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly tallied four points in a game for the first time in his four seasons in the NHL by scoring one goal and assisting on three in Toronto’s 6–3 win over the Flyers at Air Canada Centre. At age 22, Rielly is the second-youngest defenseman ever to score four points in one game for the Maple Leafs. Al Iafrate was 21 years old when he notched two goals and two assists in a 5–2 win over the Devils at Maple Leaf Gardens on Oct. 10, 1987. Before Friday, the only four-point game by an NHL defenseman age 22 or younger over the last four seasons was recorded by the Stars’ John Klingberg with two goals and two assists on Jan. 31, 2015 at Winnipeg (when he was a slightly “younger 22” than Rielly).
Greene beats Sabres with penalty-shot goal in overtime
• Andy Greene scored a penalty-shot goal 29 seconds into overtime to earn the New Jersey Devils a 2–1 win over the Sabres in Buffalo. Greene is only the second NHL defenseman to score a goal on a overtime penalty-shot in regular-season play since the league introduced the five-minute extra period in 1983. The first was Carolina’s Frantisek Kaberle against Nashville on Jan. 13, 2006. Greene is only the second player in Devils history, forward or defenseman, to attempt an overtime penalty shot in a regular-season game. Patrik Elias tried twice (in December 2000 and December 2003) but failed to score both times.
Stone’s late goal gives Senators a win
• Mark Stone jammed home the go-ahead goal with 6.5 seconds left to play in regulation time and that goal gave the Senators a 2–1 victory over the Kings in Ottawa. This was the fourth time in Senators history that they had a player score a tiebreaking goal in the final ten seconds of the third period in a regular-season game. Two of the three previous instances happened within a six-day span (Oct. 22 and Oct. 27, 2011), with goals by Milan Michalek against Columbus (19:55) and Nick Foligno versus Florida (19:56). The first such goal by a Senators player was scored by Daniel Alfredsson against Tampa Bay (19:53) on March 14, 2006.
A rare two-goal game for Beagle
• Jay Beagle scored the first two goals for the Capitals in their 3–2 overtime win at Chicago. It was only the third two-goal game for Beagle in his nine-season NHL career (all with Washington) but it was his second two-goal game against the Blackhawks. (He scored twice in the Capitals’ 4–0 victory over the Hawks in D.C. on April 11, 2014.) It’s interesting to note that while Beagle has scored nearly 500 fewer goals in the NHL than his longtime Capitals teammate, Alex Ovechkin, he’s had more multiple-goal games against the Blackhawks than Ovechkin (2 to 1)! Ovechkin’s only multi-goal game versus Chicago was in October 2008, four months before Beagle made his NHL debut.
Bourque wins it for Avalanche in OT
• Rene Bourque was credited with the game-winning goal in the Avalanche’s 3–2 overtime victory against the Jets. Bourque has scored four regular-season overtime goals in his NHL career, each for a different team: Calgary (in 2010), Montreal (2013), Columbus (2015) and now, Colorado. Only three other active NHL players have scored regular-season overtime goals for at least four clubs: Jaromir Jagr (6), Marian Hossa (4) and Dennis Wideman (4).
Lehtonen turns back Oilers in Edmonton
• Kari Lehtonen stopped 40 of the 42 shots on goal by the Oilers in his 3–2 win at Edmonton. This was the seventh time that Lehtonen made 40 or more saves in a road win since he was traded to the Stars by the Atlanta Thrashers in February 2010. The only other goaltenders in Minnesota/Dallas franchise history with even half as many 40-save road wins as Lehtonen are Don Beaupre and Marty Turco with four each.