Raptors share the scoring load in another home win
The Raptors handled the Suns, 126-113, to earn their ninth win in 10 games at home this season. This is only the second time in team history that Toronto won at least nine of its first 10 home games of a season, having also started 9-1 at home in 2014-15.
This was the third straight game that the Raptors scored at least 120 points, previously beating Charlotte (126-113) and Indiana (120-115). This is the first time in team history that Toronto won three straight games, scoring at least 120 points in each game.
Seven players scored at least 13 points for the Raptors on Tuesday. This was just the second game in team history in which that many players scored 13 or more points. In a March 2005 win over the Magic at Air Canada Centre, seven Raptors players scored between 13 and 16 points (Morris Peterson-16, Rafer Alston-16, Chris Bosh-15, Donyell Marshall-14, Matt Bonner-14, Jalen Rose-13, and Rafael Araujo-13).
Thunder strikes late versus Jazz, thanks to Westbrook
The Thunder trailed the Jazz, 80-68, entering the fourth quarter, but they stormed back to outscore Utah 32-14 in the final frame to clinch a 100-94 victory. It was the first time since moving to Oklahoma City from Seattle that the Thunder won a home game in which they trailed by at least a dozen points entering the fourth quarter. The last time the franchise won such a game at home was back in November 2004; the SuperSonics trailed the Grizzlies by 16 entering the fourth quarter and won the game by five.
Russell Westbrook totaled 34 points, 13 rebounds and 14 assists in Tuesday’s win. Amazingly, that’s the first time Westbrook posted those levels in all three of those categories in any of his triple-doubles in his career. In fact, the only other player over the last 30 years to reach 34 points, 13 rebounds, and 14 assists in a regulation-time win was James Harden last year against the Knicks (53 points, 16 rebounds, 17 assists).
Rookie Donovan Mitchell scored 31 points and had five steals in the loss for the Jazz. Mitchell is the first rookie in team history with 30 or more points and at least five steals in a game. The last rookie in the NBA to do that was Al Thornton for the Clippers in March 2008.
Beal’s big night helps Wizards shake off big loss quickly
The Wizards beat the Trail Blazers in Portland tonight, 106-92, just one night after losing by 47 points to the Jazz in Utah. Washington became the fourth team in NBA history to lose a road game by 45 points and win the very next day, also on the road. The other teams to do that were the Warriors in March 1969 (lost by 49, won by 17), Trail Blazers in February 1976 (lost by 56, won by 19), and Grizzlies in November 2015 (lost by 50, won by 14).
Bradley Beal led the Wizards with a career-high 51 points, the third-most points in a game by any player this season (LeBron James-57, James Harden-56). Beal’s 51 points also broke the mark for the most points in a non-overtime road game in franchise history. The old record was 50, done by Moses Malone at New Jersey in April 1987 and Tracy Murray at Golden State in February 1998.
Schneider reaches century mark in wins for New Jersey
Cory Schneider recorded his 100th career win for the Devils by making 41 saves in a 4–1 victory against the Blue Jackets in Columbus. Schneider, who is in his fifth season with New Jersey, is only the third goaltender to reach the century mark in wins for the Scouts-Rockies-Devils franchise. Martin Brodeur racked up 688 victories for the Devils (by far the most wins for one team by any goaltender in NHL history) and Chris Terreri won 118 games for New Jersey. During his first four seasons with the Devils, Schneider won only three of the ten games in which he faced 40 or more shots on goal, but he’s 3–1–0 in four such games this season.
Hats off for Schenn
Brayden Schenn completed his first hat trick for the Blues (and the third hat trick of his NHL career) when he scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period which earned St. Louis a 4–3 win at Montreal. In the Blues’ last game against the Canadiens, on February 11 last season, Patrik Berglund scored three goals in a 4–2 St. Louis win at Montreal. The Blues now have as many hat tricks in their last two games versus the Canadiens (two) as they had in all 129 of their regular-season games against the Habs before that (two, both by Brett Hull).
Weber reaches milestone
Shea Weber notched the 500th point of his NHL career when he scored the first of his two goals for the Canadiens in their loss to the Blues. Weber reached the 500-point plateau in his 863rd career game. The only other defenseman to make his NHL debut since 2000 and get to the 500-point mark as quickly as Weber is former Canadiens backliner Andrei Markov (now playing in Russia), who tallied his 500th point in his 854th game (on Oct. 23, 2015).
Islanders sunk again by Lightning rookie
Rookie Yanni Gourde scored two goals for the Lightning in its 6–2 win over the Islanders in Tampa. Gourde’s only other two-goal game this season came in the Islanders’ last visit to Tampa, on November 18. He’s the fifth rookie ever to produce two multiple-goal games against the Islanders in one season. The others were Dennis Ververgaert (1973–74 Canucks), Ron Flockhart (1981–82 Flyers), Darren Turcotte (1989–90 Rangers) and Jan Hlavac (1999–2000 Rangers).
Pavelec saves the day for Rangers
Ondrej Pavelec, starting in goal for the Rangers in place of an ill Henrik Lundqvist, made 41 saves as he backstopped the Rangers to a 4–3 win at Pittsburgh. Lundqvist was the goaltender of record for the Rangers in all 29 of their regular-season wins versus the Penguins from December 2005 through the end of the 2015–16 season, but the Blueshirts’ three wins against Pittsburgh over the last two seasons have been by Antti Raanta, Magnus Hellberg and Pavelec. Lundqvist is winless in his three games versus the Penguins over the same span (0–1–2).
Nyquist helps Red Wings snap winless skid
Gustav Nyquist scored two goals as the Red Wings ended their seven-game winless streak with a 5–1 victory over Winnipeg. Entering play on Tuesday, the Jets were one of three opponents that Nyquist had not scored a goal against during his seven seasons in the NHL with Detroit (no goals in six previous games versus Winnipeg). The two teams he remains goalless against are the Rangers (in 13 games) and the Flyers (in 11 games).
Busy night for Saros in goal
Nashville rookie Juuse Saros stopped 43 of the 45 shots on goal against him in his 5–2 win at Dallas. Saros’ 43 saves are the most by a rookie in an NHL game this season and the third-most ever in one game by a Predators rookie goaltender, behind a 50-save win by Tomas Vokoun against the Red Wings on Dec. 23, 1998 and a 46-save loss to Detroit by Pekka Rinne on Feb. 10, 2009.
Block party for Buffalo
Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe tallied a goal and an assist while also blocking five shots in Buffalo’s 4–2 win at Colorado. McCabe is only the sixth NHL player to record at least one goal, one assist and five blocked shots in an NHL game this season. The other players who’ve done that are Nate Schmidt, Jaccob Slavin, Jordie Benn, Keith Yandle and Shea Theodore (once each). McCabe is the first Buffalo player to do so since Christian Ehrhoff in a 4–2 Sabres win against the Bruins on Feb. 15, 2013.