Elias Says: November 12, 2017

Ball, youngest to get triple-double, produces first-of-its-kind boxscore line

Lonzo Ball became the youngest player in NBA history to produce a triple-double, but it wasn’t enough to offset Giannis Antetokounmpo and Friends as the Bucks downed the Lakers, 98-90, in Milwaukee. Bell, just 15 days after his 20th birthday, finished with 19 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists, breaking by five days the record previously held by LeBron James. James put up 27 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists on Jan. 19, 2005, at the age of 20 years, 20 days, as the Cavaliers won at Portland, 107-101.

Prior to Ball, the youngest Lakers player ever to earn a triple-double had been Magic Johnson. The first of Magic’s 138 triple-doubles came against the Warriors on Oct. 28, 1979, at the age of 20 years, 75 days.

And if you’re a fan of notes based on multiple statistical categories (and we know you’re out there), we’ll offer this. Besides his triple-double, Ball also collected three steals and four blocked shots. Since the NBA began recording steals and blocks in 1973, no other player has produced a boxscore line matching or surpassing Ball’s performance in each of the five categories (points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks).

Giannis paces Bucks with scoring and rebounding

Giannis Antetokounmpo, the NBA’s leading scorer, added 33 points to his season’s tally in the Bucks’ victory over the Lakers, lifting his average to 31.7 points per game. But Giannis also contributed a season-high total of 15 rebounds to Milwaukee’s victory, boosting his season average to 10.4 per game, now 12th-best in the league. DeMarcus Cousins (fourth in scoring, third in rebounding) and Anthony Davis (sixth in scoring, fifth in rebounding) are the only other players currently ranking among the NBA’s top dozen in both categories.

Cousins and Davis, again

It’s becoming “Elias Says” boilerplate: Yet another night on which DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis put up huge numbers for the Pelicans, who defeated the visiting Clippers, 111-103, on Saturday. This time, Davis finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds; Cousins had 35 and 15.

It was the ninth 25/10 game for Davis this season, and the eighth for Cousins, the two top totals in the NBA this season. (Giannis Antetokounmpo has produced six such games, and no one else has more than three.) As for 20/10 games, Cousins now has 11 and Davis 10, also the two best totals in the NBA this season. The Pelicans have played 13 games this season. You have to go back to the fall of 1959—when the NBA contained eight teams, Wilt was a rookie, The Big O was still in college, Ike was in the White House and Hawaii had just become the 50th state—to find the last NBA team on which a pair of players had produced a double-digit total of 20/10 games over its first 13 games of a season. Bob Pettit had 11 such games and Cliff Hagan 10 over the first 13 games for their team, the St. Louis Hawks, to start the 1959-60 season.

The 35/15 totals that Cousins achieved had been reached in only two other NBA games this season. And the two players who had previously achieved those totals? Who else. Davis went 35/15 against the Warriors on October 20, and Cousins rung up 41/23 at Sacramento on October 26.

Porzingis evokes Ewing, Knicks shooting stays hot

Kristaps Porzingis scored a game-high 34 points while playing only 26 minutes, 37 seconds, as the Knicks rolled to an easy 118-91 victory over the Kings in the conclusion of a day/night, NHL/NBA doubleheader sweep at Madison Square Garden. Earlier, the Rangers had defeated the Oilers, 4-2.

Porzingis generated the highest points total for a Knicks player in game in which he didn’t play as many as 30 minutes in nearly 30 years—since Patrick Ewing poured in 41 points while playing only 26 minutes in a victory over the Pacers back on April 13, 1988.

New York hit 47 of its 90 field-goal attempts on Saturday night, marking the fifth consecutive game in which it had connected on at least half of its shots from the floor. It’s the longest such streak for the Knicks in just over 20 years—since they hit at least 50 percent from the floor in March 1997 under Jeff Van Gundy, then in the process of concluding his first full season as an NBA head coach.

Harden’s 3-game points total is a career high

James Harden scored 38 points to move into second place in the NBA scoring race as the Rockets topped the visiting Grizzlies, 111-96. Harden has scored 129 points over his last three games, the highest three-game total of his NBA career. It’s the highest three-game points total for a Houston player since Moses Malone piled up 130 points over a three-game span during the 1981-82 season.

Harden lifted his season average to 30.5 points per game, sliding past Kristaps Porzingis (30.4) and now looking up at only Giannis Antetokounmpo (31.7).

Warriors tie NBA record

Kevin Durant (29 points), Klay Thompson (23) and Stephen Curry (22) led the way as the Warriors’ one-point halftime lead mushroomed to a 135-114 victory over the 76ers. Golden State has now won six consecutive games, with each victory coming by a margin of 17-or-more points. Only one other team in NBA history won six straight games, each by a margin of 17-or-more points: The Suns won six successive games in that manner in January of 1990. That Phoenix team, coached by Cotton Fitzsimmons, featured a starting five of Kevin Johnson, Jeff Hornacek, Tom Chambers, Kurt Rambis and Mark West.

Love takes lead role and Cavs prosper

Kevin Love produced game-high totals of 29 points and 15 rebounds as the Cavaliers earned a tough win, 111-104, in Dallas. During a night on which 11 NBA games were played, Cleveland was the only visiting team that was able to capture a victory. The Cavaliers are now 18-4 (.818) since the start of the 2015-16 season in games in which Love led the team (or tied for the team lead) in scoring. The Cavs have also won 14 of the last 15 games (dating back to January of 2015) in which Love was the outright scoring leader for both teams.

Spurs’ 60-percent shooting crushes Bulls

The Spurs had no trouble with the visiting Bulls on Saturday night, jumping off to a 37-15 lead over the first 12 minutes and moving on to a 133-94 victory. The Spurs tied the fifth-highest single-game points total during Gregg Popovich’s 1669-game NBA career as a head coach. San Antonio shot 60 percent from the floor and 67 percent on three-point attempts on Saturday night. Since the start of last season, only one other NBA team hit 60 percent of its floor shots and 60 percent of its three-pointers in the same game; the Warriors did that (63 percent overall, 67 percent from beyond the arc) against the Suns last December 3.

Wizards display hot hand at the end

The Wizards scored 37 points in the fourth quarter to pull away from the visiting Hawks and take a 113-94 decision. Washington made 14 of 21 field-goal attempts during the final 12 minutes, a 66.7-percent shooting percentage, their highest in a fourth quarter over their last 59 games, since a 70-percent fourth-quarter effort against the Timberwolves on January 6. It was just the second time in 12 games this season that the Wizards had hit half of their shots in the fourth quarter.

Two Suns players, not one, combine for 70 points

Devin Booker and T. J. Warren combined for 70 points in the Suns’ 118-110 home win over the Timberwolves. Booker scored 70 points by himself in a game at Boston last March, but this time, he and Warren divided the 70 points equally. That marked the first instance in nearly 10 years in which two Suns players scored 35-or-more points in the same game. On March 31, 2008, Amar’e Stoudemire scored 41 points and Steve Nash 36 in a victory over the Nuggets.

Nuggets lift mark to 8-5

Jamal Murray set a career-high of 32 points, and aided by Will Barton’s season-high 26 points and Denver’s three other starters going for 16, 13 and 12, led the Nuggets to take down the Magic, 125-107. The Nuggets boosted their won-lost record to 8-5, their best at the 13-game mark of a season since they stood at 8-5 on Jan. 15, 2012, during the early stages of a season that started late due to labor issues.

Wild’s last 3 games: Zucker 6, teammates 0

Jason Zucker continues to be a one-man gang for the Wild, scoring the only goal in his team’s 1-0 win at Philadelphia on Saturday. Zucker scored all of the goals in the Wild’s 3–0 win at Montreal on Thursday, after scoring both goals for Minnesota in its 4–2 loss at Toronto on Wednesday. He’s the first NHL player to score six consecutive goals by his team since Glen Murray scored six in a row for the Bruins in 2004 (Jan. 29-Feb. 1). Zucker is one short of the NHL record set by Cy Denneny, who scored seven straight goals for the original Ottawa Senators in 1921, and tied by Brian Noonan, who scored seven consecutive goals for the Blackhawks in December 1991.

Drought over: Nash scores twice

Rick Nash scored two goals for the Rangers in their 4-2 victory over the Oilers, a victory that extended the Blueshirts’ winning streak to six games, the longest in the NHL this season. It was the 63rd multiple-goal game of Nash’s NHL career but first in nearly 24 months, since his hat trick against the Panthers in Florida on Nov. 21, 2015. Nash’s just-ended streak of 126 games without a multi-goal game was the longest stretch of his NHL career, by far. Nash was a teenager the only other time that he went 50 or more games without a multiple-goal game: a 70-game dry spell between his first two multi-goal games in the NHL, for the Blue Jackets in November 2002, and October 2003.

Drought over: Hoffman scores 2 PPGs for Avalanche

Mike Hoffman scored two power play goals for the Senators as they completed a two-game sweep of their two-game series against the Avalanche in Stockkholm, Sweden with a 4-3 win on Saturday. Remarkably, it’s the first time in more than seven years that an Ottawa player scored more than one power play goal in a game. The last time it happened was on Oct. 22, 2010, when Daniel Alfredsson scored a pair of power play goals for the Senators in a 4-2 win at Buffalo. No Senators player produced a multiple-PPG game in the team’s 548 regular-season games in the interim. Every other NHL team (with the exception of the league’s newest club, the Golden Knights) has had at least one multiple-PPG game by an individual player in the last three seasons. The team with the longest current drought is now the Panthers, whose last multiple-PPG game was just over two years ago, by Vincent Trocheck on Oct. 27, 2015.

Pacioretty sets NHL record, USA Division

Max Pacioretty’s second overtime goal of the season enabled the Canadiens to nip the Sabres, 2-1, in Montreal. It was the 10th regular-season overtime goal of Pacioretty’s NHL career, which makes the Connecticut native the all-time leader in that category among U.S.-born players. Entering play on Saturday, Pacioretty was tied for that distinction with three players no longer active: Mike Modano, Bill Guerin and David Legwand.

Van Riemsdyk burns Bruins again

The Maple Leafs completed a sweep of their home-and-home set against the Bruins with a 4-1 victory in Boston on Saturday, after winning 3-2 in overtime in Toronto on Friday. James van Riemsdyk scored the winning goal in Saturday’s game, after scoring twice on Friday night. Van Riemsdyk has scored 14 goals (in 30 games) against Boston in his NHL career, his highest total versus any team, including a league-high 12 goals (in 16 games) against them over the last five seasons. No other player has scored more than eight goals versus Boston over the same span.

Saad’s specialty: another game-winning goal

Brandon Saad’s goal at the 1:44 mark of overtime lifted the Blackhawks to a 4-3 victory against the Hurricanes in Raleigh. Saad has scored the winning goal in five of Chicago’s eight wins this season, becoming the first player in Blackhawks history to do that in any season in the team’s history. The previous best was five game-winners in the first nine Blackhawks wins by Hall of Famers Bill Mosienko in 1944-45 and Roy Conacher in 1947-48. Saad is the first player on any NHL team to score five game-winning goals in his club’s first eight victories since Sergei Fedorov (yes, another Hall of Famer) did so for the Red Wings in 2002-03.

Bobrovsky did what Bobrovsky does, beating Red Wings

Sergei Bobrovsky made 32 saves during the first three periods and overtime, and seven more in the nine-round shootout that gave him and the Blue Jackets a 2-1 victory in Detroit. Bobrovsky is 10-3-1 with a 1.70 goals-against average against the Red Wings during his six seasons with Columbus, which puts him second among NHL goaltenders in wins over Detroit since 2012-13, behind Ben Bishop, who has 12.

Greiss at his best when he’s busy in net

Thomas Greiss garnered first-star honors by making 35 saves in the Islanders’ 5-2 win in St. Louis. This season, Greiss is 3-0-1 in the four games in which he faced at least 35 shots on goal, while he’s 1-2-1 in his four other appearances. Greiss has a 24-8-9 career mark in NHL games in which he faced 35-plus shots, including a 14-4-7 record in his three seasons with the Islanders.

Turris pays immediate dividend

Kyle Turris, playing his first game since the trade that sent him from Ottawa to Nashville, scored one goal and assisted on another for the Predators in their shootout win over the Penguins. Turris is the fifth player to produce at least two points in his debut with the Predators; the others were Jukka Hentunen, Steve Sullivan (who tallied three goals and an assist in his first game for Nashville), Denis Grebeshkov and Ryan Johansen.

Sharks win, 5-0; Dell stops 41 shots

The Sharks blanked the visiting Canucks, 5-0, in a game in which the winning goaltender, Aaron Dell, faced 41 shots on goal. It was the most shots on goal stopped by an NHL goaltender in a shutout won by a margin of at least five goals in just over four years. On Nov. 8, 2013, Ondrej Pavelec of the Jets blanked the Predators, 5-0, in a game in which Nashville peppered him with 41 shots on goal.