Elias Says: November 5, 2017

Davis and Cousins go together like a horse and carriage

Anthony Davis (27 points, 16 rebounds) and DeMarcus Cousins (25 points, 11 rebounds) were again the prime movers in a Pelicans victory, this time by a 96-90 score in Chicago in a game that required an extra period. It was the fourth time in this young season that Davis and Cousins had each reached 25 points and 10 rebounds in the same game. All last season, no NBA teammates did that together in more than two games. In fact, Davis and Cousins have already matched the highest total of 25-point, 10-rebound games by a pair of teammates in any of the past 16 seasons.

Warriors’ three-fest buries Nuggets

The Warriors canned 18 three-point shots, including six in a 43-point third quarter, rolling to a 127-108 victory at Denver. Golden State has connected on at least 10 three-pointers in each of its 10 games this season. The only other NBA team that has started the season in that manner was last year’s Cavaliers, who hit at least 10 threes in each of their first 16 games. Golden State’s 43-point third quarter matched the NBA season high; Denver itself had the only previous period of that sort, in the third quarter against the Raptors on Wednesday.

Towns does Dallas

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 31 points and collected 12 rebounds, game-highs in both categories, as the Timberwolves rolled to a 112-99 victory over the Mavericks—a game that Minnesota led by 24 points entering the fourth quarter. Towns, for all we know, may have had “November 4” circled on his calendar since the day that the NBA schedule was released. It was the first time this season that Towns got to play the Mavericks, a team against which he produced big numbers last season.

Towns, in three games against Dallas last season, averaged 26 points and 12.7 rebounds per game while hitting 64.8 percent of his shots (35 of 54) from the floor. No other NBA player who appeared in at least three games against an opponent produced across-the-board numbers that high—not only last season, but in any of the past five seasons. The last players to do that were Dwight Howard against Toronto (26 points, 12.7 rebounds, 68.9-percent shooting) and Kevin Love against Houston (31.5 points, 13.3 rebounds, 65.2-percent shooting) in the 2011-12 season.

Pistons roll to 7-3 as Drummond takes NBA lead in rebounding

Avery Bradley popped in 24 points and Andre Drummond contributed 19 rebounds in the Pistons’ 108-99 home win over the Kings, one that lifted Detroit’s won-lost record to 7-3. It’s the first time in the last nine seasons that the Pistons have reached the 10-game mark with the winning record.

Drummond boosted his season average to 14.7 rebounds per game, and vaulted past Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan into the NBA lead in that department. Drummond has been out-rebounded by another player, either teammate or opponent, only once in 10 games this season. (Howard grabbed 15 rebounds to Drummond’s 13 in the season opener.) And Drummond is just the second NBA player over the past 35 years to collect at least a dozen rebounds in each of his first 10 games in a season; Kevin Love had a 12-game streak to start the 2011-12 season.

Watch out, NBA… Memphis is hitting its threes

Mike Conley led the visiting Grizzlies with 22 points, with more than half of them coming on his four three-point field goals, leading his team to a 113-104 victory over the Clippers. Memphis made 13 three-pointers in the game, lifting its total to 92 threes over its first nine games this season.

It took a while for the three-point culture to reach Memphis. The Grizzlies finished among the bottom six teams in three-pointers made in each of the eight seasons from 2008-09 to 2015-16, including four of those eight seasons in which they finished dead last in the NBA in threes. But the Grizzlies averaged 9.4 threes per game last season, good for a middle-of-the-pack 15th-place finish in the league, and have crept above the 10-per-game mark early this season.

Golden Knights make goalie history

The fourth try was the charm for Vegas goaltender Maxime Lagace, who lost his first three NHL games but finally earned his first NHL win, a 5-4 victory in Ottawa. Lagace is the third different goaltender to produce his first NHL win for the Golden Knights, a first-year expansion team, after Malcolm Subban (Oct. 15 vs. Boston) and Oscar Dansk (Oct. 21 vs. St. Louis). The 2017-18 Golden Knights are the first NHL team on which three goaltenders earned their first NFL win since the Islanders in 2010-11 (Kevin Poulin, Mikko Koskinen, Nathan Lawson), and they’re the first NHL team to do so in their first season in the league since the Oilers in 1979-80 (Eddie Mio, Jim Corsi, Don Cutts).

In addition, Subban, Dansk and Lagace are the only goaltenders in the league who have produced their initial NHL victories so far in this young season.

Boeser: youngest Canucks player with 1st hat trick since Linden

Brock Boeser’s first goal of Saturday night, some seven minutes into the game, drew the Canucks into a 1-1 tie with the visiting Penguins; his second goal, in the second period, gave his team a 2-1 lead; and his third goal, nearly six minutes into the third period, put his team ahead to stay in a 4-2 victory. Boeser, who turned 20 back on February 25, is the youngest player to produce his first NHL hat trick while playing for the Canucks since Trevor Linden did so back on Nov. 17, 1988, in a 7-6 loss to the Minnesota North Stars, at the age of 18.

Wilson’s a scorer, not a fighter

Tom Wilson scored his first two goals of the season in the Capitals’ 3-2 victory in Boston. It was the first multiple-goal game in the regular season for Wilson in the NHL, though he did score two goals for Washington in Game Four of its 2017 first-round playoff series against the Maple Leafs. Wilson is more noted as a fighter than as a goal-scorer. In fact, he has racked up nearly twice as many fighting majors (44) as goals (23) in regular-season games during his five-season NHL career. The only other players with at least as many fighting majors as Wilson over the last five seasons are Cody McLeod (65), Matt Martin (45) and Jared Boll (44).

2 shutouts in a row for Crawford

Corey Crawford, who blanked the Flyers in Chicago on Wednesday, became the first NHL goaltender to record two straight shutouts this season when he delivered a 2-0 win at Minnesota on Saturday. It’s the fourth time that Crawford has blanked an opponent in each of two consecutive games in one season in an NHL career spent exclusively with the Blackhawks. He had his first pair of back-to-back shutouts in January 2011, and two more in the 2015-16 season. The last Blackhawks goaltender other than Crawford to produce consecutive shutouts was Cristobal Huet in December 2009.

Pacioretty ties a record, Uncle Sam Division

Max Pacioretty’s power play goal in overtime gave the Canadiens a 5-4 victory in Winnipeg. It was the ninth regular-season overtime goal of the Connecticut native’s NHL career, tying the all-time record among U.S.-born players. Pacioretty shares that mark with Mike Modano, Bill Guerin and David Legwand, all retired. Zach Parise and Dustin Byfuglien are tied for second among active U.S.-born players with eight overtime goals.

Pietrangelo’s 2nd 2-goal game this season

Alex Pietrangelo scored two goals for the Blues, who triumphed, 6-4, over the Maple Leafs. It was the second two-goal game this season for Pietrangelo, who also scored twice in the Blues’ opening-night overtime win at Pittsburgh. Remarkably, Pietrangelo has more multiple-goal performances in 15 games this season (two) than in the 539 games he played over his previous nine seasons in the NHL (one). Pietrangelo is the second defenseman in Blues history to produce two multi-goal games in the team’s first 15 games of a season, joining Hall of Famer Phil Housley who did that in 1993-94 (his only season with St. Louis).

Shattenkirk wins it in OT

Kevin Shattenkirk’s second goal of the game was the overtime winner for the Rangers in their 5-4 victory over the Panthers. Shattenkirk became the fourth defenseman in Rangers history to produce a multiple-goal game, including a winning goal in overtime, in regular-season play. The other Rangers defenseman to do that were Reijo Ruotsalainen (Jan. 1984 vs. New Jersey), Brian Leetch (March 2002 at Minnesota) and Michal Rozsival (Dec. 2008 at Los Angeles). This season, the only NHL defenseman besides Shattenkirk with a multi-goal game that included an OT goal is his former teammate with the Blues, Alex Pietrangelo (Oct. 4 at Pittsburgh).

Keller: 10 goals in just 18 NHL games

Rookie Clayton Keller scored the 10th goal of his NHL career and the Coyotes went on to a 2-1 shootout win over the Hurricanes. Keller was goalless in the three NHL games he played last season, but he has scored 10 goals in 15 games this season. Only six other active players reached double-figures in goals within their first 18 games in the NHL: Alex Ovechkin (14 games), Patrik Laine (14), Evgeni Malkin (16), Alex Chiasson (16), Tomas Hertl (17) and Alexander Radulov (18).

MacKinnon keys Avs’ 3-game streak

Nathan MacKinnon assisted on two goals as the Avalanche extended its winning streak to three games with a 5-4 shootout victory in Philadelphia. MacKinnon has generated seven points in the Avs’ last three games (two goals, five assists), with at least two points in each game. It’s the first time that MacKinnon has produced a streak of three consecutive multiple-point games since Colorado made him the first overall pick in the 2013 Entry Draft. Over the last two seasons, the only other player who scored at least two points for the Avalanche in each of three consecutive team games was Sven Andrighetto, who did that last month (Oct. 9-13).

Kucherov reaches 300-mark in style

Nikita Kucherov, playing in the 300th game of his NHL career, scored one goal and assisted on another for the Lightning in its shootout win over the Blue Jackets. Kucherov has earned 257 points in his five seasons in the NHL (122 goals, 135 assists), all with Tampa Bay. The only other players who racked up as many points as Kucherov in their first 300 games with the Lightning were Steven Stamkos (298) and Brian Bradley (284).

Stars decide this one early

The Stars jumped the visiting Sabres with a four-goal blitz in the first period and went on to take a 5-1 decision. Remi Elie, Radek Faksa, Stephen Johns and Tyler Seguin delivered the goals, all within the game’s first 12 minutes, 51 seconds. It marked only the second time since the franchise relocated from Minnesota to Dallas in 1993 that the Stars have scored four goals within a game’s first 13 minutes. On Oct. 14, 2009, Dallas scored four times in the first 8 minutes, 48 seconds.