Wall and Beal are a dynamic duo
John Wall scored 30 points and handed out nine assists while his backcourt mate, Bradley Beal, scored 30 points and handed out seven assists in the Wizard’s win over the Magic. It’s the second time in Wizards’ franchise history in which they had two players score at least 30 points and hand out seven or more assists in the same game. Kevin Loughery (35 points, 8 assists) and Johnny Kerr (30, 10) did it for the Baltimore Bullets against the Pistons in a game played at Madison Square Garden on December 14, 1965.
One other pair of teammates scored at least 30 points and handed out seven or more assists in the same game this season. Austin Rivers (36, 7) and Lou Williams (32, 7) did it for the Clippers at Houston on December 22.
Cousins and Sir Charles
DeMarcus Cousins filled up the boxscore in the Pelicans’ victory over the Trail Blazers on Tuesday night, scoring 24 points, grabbing 19 rebounds and handing out eight assists. It was the fourth time in his career that Cousins reached those numbers in all three categories in the same game, doing it twice in 2014-15 and now twice this season. The last NBA player to have four or more games like that in his NBA career was Charles Barkley, who had eight. Consider this: Wilt Chamberlain had 55 games in his NBA career in which he scored at least 24 points, grabbed 19 or more rebounds and handed out at least eight assists.
Dinwiddie paces Nets
Spencer Dinwiddie led the Nets in points (20), rebounds (9) and assists (10) in their win over the Hawks on Tuesday night. Dinwiddie is the third Nets player over the last nine seasons to lead the team, outright, in points, rebounds and assists in the same game. Gerald Wallace did for the Nets in April 2012, when the team still resided in New Jersey; and Brook Lopez did it in a game in December 2016.
Only one other Nets player missed a triple-double by a single rebound over the last nine seasons. Deron Williams had two such games, one in 2012 and one in 2015.
35 for Mitchell
Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell scored 35 points in a loss to the Hornets on Friday night. It was his fourth 30-point game of the season. Only one other rookie in Utah’s history had four or more 30-point games in one season: Darrell Griffith had nine such games in 1980-81. All other rookies in Jazz history combined for only six 30-point games, none by John Stockton or Karl Malone.
Pacers are 3-0 versus Cavs
Darren Collison scored 22 points in the Pacers’ win over the Cavaliers, Indiana’s third win this season over the defending Eastern Conference champions. It’s the sixth time in the Pacers’ NBA history that they won three games in a season against a team that went to the NBA Finals the season before. The last time they did, it was in 2014-15 when they went 3-1 against the Heat.
James and the Cavs blow a big lead
The Pacers overcame a 22-point deficit in their win over LeBron James and the Cavaliers. It’s the fifth time in his career that James played in a game in which his team lost a game in which they had a lead of at least 20 points. It also happened in a double-overtime loss to the Grizzlies in 2003 in which Cleveland blew a 24-point lead, the Heat blew a 22-point lead in an overtime loss to the Jazz in 2010 and a 24-point lead in a loss to the Magic in 2011; and the Cavaliers blew a 26-point lead in an overtime loss to the Hawks in 2017.
Happy Birthday David
Blackhawks rookie David Kampf, who turned 23 years old on Friday, gave himself a memorable birthday present when he scored the first goal of his NHL career in Chicago’s 2–1 victory over the Jets. Kampf is the first player ever to score the first goal of his NHL career while playing for the Blackhawks in a game on his birthday. The only other active player whose first NHL goal was a birthday tally is the Red Wings’ Martin Frk, who notched his first goal in Detroit’s opening game this season (Oct. 5 vs. Minnesota).
Canucks “D” supplies “O”
Defensemen Erik Gudbrandson and Alexander Edler each scored a goal for the Canucks in their 5–2 win at Columbus. It was only the third game in the last three seasons in which the Canucks got more than one goal from defensemen. The other instances were on Feb. 25, 2016, when Matt Bartkowski scored two goals versus Ottawa, and Feb. 18, 2017 when Edler and Chris Tanev accounted for both Vancouver goals in a 2–1 overtime victory against Calgary. (Tanev’s goal was the OT winner.) The Canucks entered play on Friday with only eight goals by defensemen this season, second-fewest in the NHL (Buffalo has six), after finishing with the third-fewest goals by defensemen in each of the past two seasons.
Beagle works like a dog until the end
Jay Beagle’s goal at the 19:58 mark of the third period snapped a 3–3 tie and enabled the Capitals to beat the Hurricanes, 4–3, in Raleigh on Friday. It was the latest third-period tiebreaking goal in a regular-season game in Capitals history, breaking the mark set by Alexander Semin’s goal at 19:49 versus the Hurricanes in Washington on Nov. 6, 2008. The Caps have had one go-ahead goal scored that late in regulation time in a playoff game. That goal was scored by Joel Ward at 19:58 of the third period in Game 1 of Washington’s second-round playoff series against the Rangers in 2015. The Capitals won that game, 2–1, but lost the series in seven games.
Flames rookie burns Panthers
Flames rookie David Rittich made 41 saves in his 4–2 win against the Panthers on Friday. It’s only the fourth time in franchise history that a Flames rookie goaltender won a regular-season game in which he made more than 40 saves. The other Flames rookies with victories of that kind were Atlanta’s Dan Bouchard (Dec. 13, 1972 at: Detroit: 2–0, 46 saves), and Calgary’s Mike Vernon (Dec. 20, 1986 at Vancouver: 5–3, 41 saves) and Andrei Trefilov (Jan. 5, 1994 at N.Y. Rangers: 4–1, 52 saves).
Oilers Nurse-d back to health
Darnell Nurse scored two goals in a game for the first time in his NHL career to help lead the Oilers to a 4–2 win against the Coyotes in Arizona. This was only the third multiple-goal game in the last nine seasons by an Oilers defenseman. The other multi-goal games by Oilers defensemen since 2009–10 were by Corey Potter in April 2013 and Andrej Sekera in January 2017. To show how times have changed in Edmonton (and in the NHL), consider that Paul Coffey produced 13 multiple-goal games for the Oilers in the 1985–86 season, including one stretch with three in a row.