Scherzer wins N.L. Cy Young Award
Max Scherzer won the 2017 National league Cy Young Award, the third time he was won the Cy Young having won it in the A.L. for the Tigers in 2013 and in the N.L. for the Nationals in 2016. Scherzer, who has also thrown two no-hitters in his career, is the third player to win three or more Cy Young Awards and throw at least two no-hitters. The other two pitchers to accomplish this were Randy Johnson (five Cy Youngs, two no-hitters) and Sandy Koufax (three Cy Youngs, four no-hitters).
Max Scherzer won the Cy Young Award for the second consecutive season and for the second time in three seasons with the Nationals. Scherzer is the first pitcher since Tim Lincecum to win the Cy Young Award twice within his first three seasons with a team. Lincecum won the N.L. Cy Young Award with the Giants in 2008 and 2009, after breaking into the majors with the Giants in 2007.
Kluber wins A.L. Cy
Corey Kluber won the 2017 American League Cy Young Award. Kluber was the 15th pitcher to lead the American League in ERA (2.25) and in wins (18, tied with Carlos Carrasco and Jason Vargas) in a season since 1967, the first year in which the Cy Young Award was given out to a pitcher in each league. Of those 15 pitchers, 13 won the Cy Young Award that season. The exceptions were Steve McCatty (1981) and Mike Boddicker (1984).
Kluber went 18-4 with a 2.25 ERA during the regular season, but he went 0-1 with a 12.79 in his two postseason starts this year, both against the Yankees in the ALDS. Only two pitchers have produced postseason ERAs of 11.00 or higher in the year in which they won their league’s Cy Young Award. Brooklyn’s Don Newcombe did it in the 1956 World Series (21.21 in two starts), as did Minnesota’s Jim Perry in the 1970 ALCS (13.50 in two games, one start).
James versus Hornets equals win
LeBron James scored 31 points in the Cavaliers’ win over the Hornets. James has played 46 games against the Hornets and his team won 40 of them, a winning percentage of .870. That’s the highest personal winning percentage for any active player against any team (minimum: 40 games played), just ahead of Manu Ginobili against the Kings (36-6, .857). The all-time record for such a thing belongs to Magic Johnson against the Kings (50-4, .926).
Embiid speeding up the process
Joel Embiid scored 46 points, grabbed 15 rebounds, handed out seven assists and blocked seven shots in the Sixers’ win over the Lakers in Los Angeles. Only one other player, since the NBA first started recording blocked shots in 1973-74, has scored at least 40 points with at least 15 rebounds, seven assists and seven blocked shots in a game. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had such a game for the Lakers in a four-overtime loss in Cleveland on January 29, 1980 (42 points, 15 rebounds, 7 assists, 8 blocks).
Dedmon leads Hawks
DeWayne Dedmon scored 20 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and handed out five assists in just under 24 minutes of action in the Hawks’ rout of the Kings. Only two other players in the shot-clock era (since 1954-55) had that many points, rebounds and assists in fewer than 25 minutes on the court: Ray Scott did it for the Pistons against the Celtics on Oct. 29, 1965 (20 points, 18 rebounds, five assists) and Fat Lever for the Nuggets against the Magic on Jan. 11, 1990 (27 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists).
Cousins joins Moses and Shaq
DeMarcus Cousins scored 25 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the Pelicans’ loss to the Raptors. Cousins has scored 420 points and grabbed 205 rebounds in 15 games this season. Over the last 40 years, the only other NBA players who generated at least 400 points and 200 rebounds through their first 15 games of a season were Moses Malone (three consecutive seasons for the Rockets from 1979-80 to 1981-82) and, most recently, Shaquille O’Neal for the Lakers in 1999-2000.
Raptors rack up points and wins on the road
The Raptors beat the Pelicans in New Orleans, 125-116, one day after beating the Rockets in Houston, 129-113. It’s the first time in franchise history that the Raptors scored 125 or more points in consecutive games. The last NBA team to score at least 125 points and win road games on consecutive days was the Wizards last March. The Wizards won in Sacramento (130-122) and Portland (125-124) on back-to-backs days.
Wall and Beal lead Wizards
John Wall scored 27 points and Bradley Beal chipped in with 26 points in the Wizards’ win over the Heat on Wednesday night. It was the 19th time that both Wall and Beal scored at least 25 points in the same game. The Wizards won only 11 of those 19 games, though they are 3-0 this season in such games.
Happy Birthday to Towns
Karl-Anthony Towns, who was celebrating his 22nd birthday, scored 26 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in the Timberwolves’ win over the Spurs. Only two other players in NBA history as young as Towns scored at least 25 points and grabbed at least 15 rebounds on their birthday. Terry Cummings did it for the Clippers on his 22nd birthday in 1983 (31 points, 15 rebounds) and Chris Webber for the Warriors on his 21st birthday in 1994 (26 points, 18 rebounds).
Bucks have a block party
The Bucks blocked 16 shots in their win over the Pistons on Wednesday night, the most in a game for any NBA team since the Bucks blocked 17 Grizzlies shots on St. Patrick’s Day in 2016. Five different Bucks players blocked at least two shots; it’s the first time since Nov. 29, 1985 that they accomplished that. The five Bucks players with at least two blocks in that game, which was played in the Pontiac Silverdome, were Terry Cummings, Alton Lister, Paul Pressey, Sidney Moncrief and Randy Breuer.
Big game for Collison
Darren Collison played a near perfect game in the Pacers’ win over the Grizzlies on Wednesday night, scoring 30 points, making all 12 of his free-throw attempts, and handing out eight assists with only one turnover. Collison is the first player in Pacers history who had a game in which he scored at least 30 points, went 12-for-12 or better from the line, had eight or more assists with no more than one turnover. The last NBA player with a game like that was Russell Westbrook on Dec. 19, 2014 against the Lakers in Los Angeles (31 points, 13-for-13 free throws, 10 assists, one turnover).
Hardaway leads another Knicks comeback
Tim Hardaway, Jr. scored 26 points including a big three-pointer late in the game as the Knicks overcame a 12-point deficit in their win over the Jazz at Madison Square Garden. It was the fifth time this season that the Knicks overcame a double-digit deficit to win a game, tying the Pistons for the most wins of that kind in the NBA.
Mantha scores goals #9 and #10
Anthony Mantha became the first Red Wings player to score 10 goals this season when he put in the second of his two goals Detroit’s 8–2 win over the Flames. Mantha reached double-figures in the team’s 19th game this season. Last season no Red Wings player scored his 10th goal until Dylan Larkin did so on December 17, in the club’s 32nd game. Mantha has scored 29 goals in 89 games in his three seasons in the NHL, all with Detroit, and he’s done that majority of his scoring against teams from Canada. He’s scored 15 goals in 24 games against Canadian clubs (with at least one goal versus each of the seven teams from north of the border), but only 14 goals in 65 games against U.S.-based teams.
Anisimov tricks his old team
Artem Anisimov recorded the first hat trick of his NHL career when he scored three goals for the Blackhawks in their 6–3 win over the Rangers, the team Anisimov played for during his first four seasons in the NHL (2008–09 to 2011–12). Over the last 15 seasons, the only other former Rangers player to score three goals in a game against the Rangers was Lauri Korpikoski, who did so for the Oilers in Edmonton on Dec. 11, 2015. Anisimov is the second ex-Rangers player to produce a hat trick for the Blackhawks versus the Rangers. Tony Leswick scored three goals for Chicago in its 6–4 loss to the Rangers on March 8, 1956, in a game played at the St. Louis Arena.