Elias Says: December 9, 2017

Durant does it all in Warriors’ win over the Pistons

Kevin Durant registered 36 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and five blocked shots in the Warriors win over the Pistons on Friday night. Durant became the first Warriors player to record at least 35 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and five blocks in a game.

Durant is the third player with a 35-point/10-rebound/5-assist/5-block game this season, joining Marc Gasol and Joel Embiid who both did it on November 15. Prior to 2017-18, there had been only three such performances in the previous 14 seasons combined, one each by Dirk Nowitzki (2009), Dwyane Wade (2011) and Anthony Davis (2015); and this is the first season in which three different players have had a performance of that type since the NBA began tracking blocked shots in 1973-74.

Pacers snap Cavs’ 13-game winning streak

The Pacers ended the Cavaliers 13-game winning streak with a 106-102 victory over the defending Eastern Conference champs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Friday. That marked the sixth time Indiana won a game against a team that entered the contest with a winning streak of 13 or more games since the franchise joined the NBA in 1976. Only one other franchise has ended a single-season winning streak of at least 13 games as many times as the Pacers: the 76ers (six times). The other such victories by Indiana came in 1993 against Atlanta (14-game streak), 1995 against Chicago (13-game streak), 2000 against the Lakers (16-game streak), 2002 against Dallas (14-game streak) and 2004 against Detroit (13-game streak).

Spurs top Celtics behind Ginobili’s game-winning three

Manu Ginobili’s three-point field-goal with five seconds remaining in the fourth quarter snapped a 102-102 tie and gave the Spurs a win over the Celtics on Friday. Prior to Friday, Ginobili had attempted six three-pointers with less than 10 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter or overtime with a chance to give his team the lead and missed all six shots. Ginobili did make one such shot in the playoffs, on May 6, 2013 in the second overtime against the Warriors, when he nailed a three-pointer with 1.2 seconds remaining turning a one-point deficit into a Spurs win

Bulls end losing streak with OT win in Charlotte

The Bulls snapped their 10-game losing streak with a 119-111 overtime win in Charlotte on Friday night. Chicago is just the sixth team in NBA history to end a single-season double-digit losing streak with an overtime win on the road. The other teams to do that were the 1971-72 Cincinnati Royals (14-game streak), 1991-92 Timberwolves (16-game streak), 1996-97 76ers (13-game streak), 2001-02 Heat (12-game streak) and 2004-05 Hawks (13-game streak).

Z-Bo turns back the clock

Zach Randolph scored 35 points and hauled down 13 rebounds lifting the Kings to an overtime win over the Pelicans on Friday. Randolph became the first player to produce a 35-point/10-rebound game at the age of 36 or older since Shaquille O’Neal had 45 points and 11 rebounds just seven days shy of his 37th birthday against the Raptors in 2009.

Howard knows how to celebrate his birthday

Dwight Howard, who was celebrating his 32nd birthday, produced 25 points and 20 rebounds in Charlotte’s loss to Chicago on Friday. That marked the third time Howard registered a 20-point/20-rebound game on his birthday, having also done that in 2008 and 2013. Only one other player has had more than one 20/20 game on his birthday: Bob Pettit (two).

DeRozan is perfect from the line

DeMar DeRozan converted each of his 14 free-throw attempts in a 26-point performance in Toronto’s win over Memphis on Friday. It marked the sixth time DeRozan was 14-for-14 or better from the free-throw line over the last six seasons (since 2012-13). The only other players who have done that at least six times over that time frame are James Harden (10) and Russell Westbrook (6).

Giannis and Middleton are becoming a dynamic duo

Khris Middleton scored 31 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo chipped in with 27 leading the Bucks to a win over the Mavericks on Friday. It’s the ninth time Middleton and Antetokounmpo each scored 25 or more points in the same game as teammates and the Bucks have posted an 8-1 record in those games, including eight straight wins.

Panarin registers five assists in Blue Jackets’ win

Artemi Panarin recorded the primary assist on all of the Blue Jackets’ goals in their 5–3 win against the Devils in Newark. Panarin is the first NHL player to register five primary assists in one game since Rangers defenseman Brian Leetch got one on all of the Blueshirts’ goals in a 6–5 loss at Pittsburgh on April 18, 1995. Many players before that racked up five or more primary assists in one game, but Leetch and Panarin are the only players in NHL history to do so while assisting on every goal their team scored in the game.

Niskanen is the master of the game-winning goal

Defenseman Matt Niskanen’s first goal of the season snapped a 2–2 tie with 3:32 left to play in the third period and proved decisive for the Capitals in their 4–2 win over the Rangers. Niskanen’s goal was the 50th of his 11-season NHL career. Only two of the 21 goals he scored during his first five seasons in the league were game-winning goals, but 14 of the 29 goals that Niskanen has scored over the last six seasons (48 percent) have been game-winners! Niskanen’s percentage of goals since 2012–13 that were game-winners is the highest in the NHL among players with 25 or more goals over that span. No other player in that group has game-winning-goals on even one-third of his goals over the last six seasons.

Another clutch goal for Haula

The Golden Knights beat the Predators in a shootout, 4–3, in Nashville, after Erik Haula tied the score for Vegas with 39.9 seconds remaining in the third period. It was a similar script for the Knights in their last game, when they won a shootout on home ice versus the Ducks after Haula’s goal with 4:22 left in regulation time leveled the score at 3–3. Haula is the first NHL player to score a tying goal in the last five minutes of the third period in each of two consecutive team games since Teemu Selanne did so for Anaheim on March 20 and 23, 2011, in games against the Flames and Stars.

Forsling leads Blackhawks to victory

Gustav Forsling scored the overtime goal which gave the Blackhawks a 3–2 win over the Sabres, after assisting on both of Chicago’s goals in regulation time. Forsling is the first defenseman in Blackhawks history to score three points or more in one game, including a winning goal in overtime. He’s the first defenseman on any NHL team to pull off that feat since Erik Karlsson did so for Ottawa in a game at Arizona on March 9 last season.