Elias Says: January 23, 2018

What do Joe Prunty and Joe Mullaney have in common?

Khris Middleton scored 35 points and Malcolm Brogdon contributed 32 points as the Bucks beat the Suns in Joe Prunty’s debut as an NBA head coach. Prunty is only the second man in NBA history who had two players score 30 or more points for his team in his NBA coaching debut. Joe Mullaney got that kind of support from Jerry West (39 points) and Wilt Chamberlain (35) in his NBA coaching debut for the Lakers in a 131-126 loss to the 76ers on October 17, 1969.

Cousins joins Wilt, the Big “O’, Kareem and Elgin

DeMarcus Cousins scored 44 points, grabbed 24 rebounds and handed out 10 assists in the Pelicans’ double-overtime win over the Bulls. It was the tenth 40/20/10 game in NBA history. Wilt Chamberlain had six such games, while Elgin Baylor, Oscar Robertson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did it once each. The team with the 40/20/10 player has won nine of the ten games, the exception being a Pistons 134-132 overtime win over the Warriors and Wilt Chamberlain, who scored 51 points with 29 rebounds and 11 assists in the loss.

Hawks getting contributions from the bench

Seven different bench players scored at least five points for the Hawks in their win over the Jazz on Monday night. It was the second game in a row that the Hawks’ bench players accomplished that. It’s only the second time since the 1970-71 season, the first in which the NBA started recording the starters on boxscores, that an NBA team had seven or more substitutes each score five or more points in back-to-back games. The Spurs did it in consecutive games in January 2016.

Gasol leads Griz past Sixers again

Marc Gasol led the Grizzlies with 19 points in their win over the 76ers on Monday night. It was the Grizzlies’ tenth consecutive win over the 76ers. It’s the fourth time in franchise history that the Grizzlies won ten consecutive games against one opponent. Memphis won 11 consecutive games against the Timberwolves from 2010 to 2013 and the Warriors from 2010 to 2013. They also had a 10-game winning streak against the Pistons from 2010 to 2014.

Marc Gasol was the Grizzlies leading scorer in six of the ten games.

Rockets score 99 and win

James Harden scored 28 points in the Rockets’ 99-90 win over the Heat on Monday night for their first win this season in a game in which they scored fewer than 100 points. Houston (0-3) entered the game as one of three NBA teams who did not win a game this season in which they scored fewer than 100 points, along with the Magic (0-15) and Cavaliers (0-8).

Howard is dominating the glass

Dwight Howard scored 14 points, grabbed 16 rebounds and blocked six shots in the Hornets’ win over the Kings. It was the fifth consecutive game in which Howard scored at least ten points and hauled in at least 15 rebounds, the longest such streak in the NBA this season and the longest for Howard since he had a five-game streak for the Lakers in March 2013.

It’s also the longest streak of its kind in Hornets franchise history. Emeka Okafor scored at least ten points and grabbed 15 or more rebounds in four consecutive games twice for the Hornets, both in the 2006-07 season.

Two big games for Murray

Jamal Murray scored 38 points and made 14 of his 19 shots from the field in the Nuggets’ win over the Trail Blazers on Monday night. Murray also had a big game against the Suns in his last game on Friday, scoring 30 points on 10-for-17 shooting. Murray’s totals over those two games combined are 68 points and 24-for-36 (.667) from the field. The last Nuggets player to score that many points and shoot that well from the field over a two-game span was Carmelo Anthony in February 2011 (75 points, 25-for-37 from the field).

Barnes leads in points and rebounds

Harrison Barnes led all players with 20 points and was tied with Marcin Gortat with a game high ten rebounds in the Mavericks’ win over the Wizards on Monday night. It was only the third time in his 433-game NBA career that Barnes led both teams in points and rebounds, outright or tied, in a game. He did it once for the Warriors in 2012 and one other time for the Mavericks in 2017.

Wiggins shops at Staples

Andrew Wiggins scored 40 points in the Timberwolves’ win over the Clippers in Los Angeles. It was the second time Wiggins has scored 40 or more points in game at Staples Center; he scored 41 against the Lakers in April 2017. The only other active players who have scored 40 or more points in a game as a visiting player at the Staples Center more than once are Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry, who each did it three times.

An Avalanche of wins for Colorado

Former Maple Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier made 29 saves for the Avalanche as Colorado extended its winning streak to 10 games with a 4–2 victory at Toronto. This has been an amazing turnaround season for the Avs, who finished with the worst record in the NHL last season. The only other team in NHL history to post a double-digit winning streak in one season after posting the worst record in the league the previous season was the 1926–27 Canadiens, who had an 11-game winning streak.

The Avs also scored the first goal in each of their last 10 games, which means they’ve tied the NHL record for most consecutive wins while also scoring first in each game. That was done only once before, by the Blackhawks in January 2016.

Petr the great

Petr Mrazek posted his second straight shutout with a 37-save 3–0 win against the Devils in New Jersey. Mrazek, whose last game was a 4–0 whitewashing of the Blackhawks in Chicago on January 14, is the first Red Wings goaltender to record a shutout in each of two consecutive appearances since Hall of Famer Dominik Hasek notched back-to-back shutouts for Detroit in 2008 (Jan. 5 at Dallas, Jan. 8 vs. Colorado). Mrazek is the first Red Wings netminder to produce a shutout in each of two consecutive games, both on the road, since another Hall of Famer, Glenn Hall, did that in 1956–57 against the Rangers on New Year’s Eve in New York and at Toronto on January 2.

Barzal joins Trots and Bossy

Islanders rookie Mathew Barzal recorded his 50th point of the season with an assist on Anthony Beauvillier’s score-tying goal in the third period of the Isles’ game against the Coyotes. Barzal reached the 50-point mark in his 49th game this season. The only other rookies in Islanders history to require fewer than 50 games to hit the 50-point plateau in one season were Bryan Trottier in 1975–76 and Mike Bossy in 1977–78; each did so in their 40th game.

Since 1995–96, the only other rookies on any NHL team to reach the half-century mark in points fewer than 50 games into a season were Alex Ovechkin (41 games) and Sidney Crosby (45) in 2005–06, and Evgeni Malkin (42) in 2006–07.

Andrie is a giant on the road

Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy posted his league-leading seventh shutout of the season with a 2–0 win against the Blackhawks in Chicago. Six of Vasilevskiy’s shutouts this season have come on the road, matching the highest single-season total of road shutouts since 1998–99 by an NHL goaltender. The other goaltenders with six road shutouts in one season over that span were Martin Brodeur for the Devils in both 2003–04 and 2006–07, Ed Belfour with the Maple Leafs in 2003–04, and Marc-Andre Fleury for the Penguins in 2014–15.

Another two points for Granlund

Mikael Granlund scored one goal and assisted on another in the Wild’s 3–1 win against the Senators at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Granlund has recorded six multi-point games since the NHL’s Christmas break and all of them have come on home ice. That ties him with Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon for the most home games with multiple points since the holiday break by an NHL player.

Eichel scores in overtime

Jack Eichel’s first overtime goal this season earned the Buffalo Sabres a 2–1 win in Calgary on Monday. Eichel has now scored one overtime goal for the Sabres in each of his three seasons in the NHL. He has tied the Sabres team record for most consecutive seasons with an overtime goal (three), a mark set by Dixon Ward (1996 –97 through 1998 –99) and previously equaled by Stu Barnes (1999–2000 through 2001–02) and Daniel Briere (2003–04 through 2006–07).