Cavs hot then not
The Cavaliers scored 43 points in the first quarter on Tuesday, but netted only 55 points after that and lost in Orlando, 116–98. No other team in NBA history has scored 40 points in the first quarter and then fewer than 10 points in any subsequent period in that game, excluding overtime.
Simmons nets 22 in third quarter
Jonathan Simmons scored as many points as did the Cavaliers, 22, in the third quarter on Tuesday. It was the most points in one quarter by an Orlando player in nearly 14 years, since Tracy McGrady totaled 24 points in the third quarter of his 62-point game against Washington on March 10, 2004.
James held in check in second half
LeBron James played 14:19 minutes in the second half on Tuesday without collecting a rebound or passing for an assist. That’s James’s most time on the court without having an assist or rebound in the second half of any regular season or postseason game as a professional.
Bucks big three each score 20
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Eric Bledsoe and Khris Middleton each scored at least 20 points in the Bucks’ win over the Knicks on Tuesday. It’s the seventh time this season that those three have scored 20 or more points in the same game, which is the fourth-highest total for any trio of teammates. The top three: Curry, Durant and Thompson (13 times); Anthony, Westbrook and George (10 times); Cousins, Davis and Holliday (8 times).
Miles makes the most of the time he has
C.J. Miles scored 20 points in only 15:23 of playing time in the Raptors win over the Celtics on Tuesday. That’s the least amount of time on the floor in a 20-point game since Miami’s Goran Dragic scored 21 points in 14:48 of PT on March 2, 2015.
15K for Harden
James Harden scored his 15,000 point in the NBA in Houston’s win in Brooklyn on Tuesday, ending the game with a career total of 15,025 points. Harden, at 28 years and 164 days old, is the fifth-youngest to reach 15,000 points among active players, behind LeBron James (25y, 79d), Kevin Durant (26y, 78 d), Carmelo Anthony (27y, 234d) and Russell Westbrook (28y, 141d).
Embiid channeling Charles
Joel Embiid scored 27 points and collected 12 rebounds in the 76ers’ win over the Wizards on Tuesday, for his 13th game of at least 25 points and 10 rebounds this season. The only other 76ers player with as many 25/10 games as Embiid in either his rookie or sophomore season was Charles Barkley, who had 24 of them in 1985–86, his second season with Philadelphia.
Warriors fall behind, stay behind versus Thunder
The Thunder stunned the Warriors at Oracle Arena, pulling away early in a 20-point victory over the defending champions. Golden State trailed by 12 points after the first quarter and never got as close as 10 points the rest of the way. Tuesday’s game marked the first time in the last six seasons that the Warriors failed to lead at any point of a game on their home court; Golden State has played 275 games over that span in Oakland including the postseason.
The last time the Warriors failed to hold a lead at any point of a home game was on April 18, 2012 – Golden State tied the score six times in the first quarter but never went ahead of the Lakers, who won by 12.
Ingram emulating two young Laker greats
Brandon Ingram had a hot-shooting night on Tuesday for the Lakers, who defeated the Suns in Los Angeles. Ingram scored a game-high 26 points while shooting 9-of-12 from the floor, good for a field-goal percentage of 75 percent. Tuesday’s game marked the 10th time this season that the 20-year-old Ingram produced at least 20 points in a game while hitting at least half of his field-goal attempts. The only other player this season age 20 or younger with more games of that kind this season is the Nuggets’ Jamal Murray, who has achieved that feat 14 times (his 21st birthday is later this month).
Only two Lakers players besides Ingram had at least 10 games in a season with 20 or more points and a field-goal percentage of 50 percent or better at age 20 or younger. Magic Johnson had 25 games of that type as a 20-year-old rookie in the 1979-80 season. Kobe Bryant had 13 games of that kind at age 19 in the 1997-98 campaign, and he did that 15 more times at age 20 the following season.
Malkin’s sixth 30-goal season
Evgeni Malkin reached the 30-goal mark for the sixth time in his 12 seasons with the Penguins when he scored in the third period of Pittsburgh’s 5–4 win over the Golden Knights. Only three other active NHL players have racked up at least six seasons with 30 or more goals for their current team: Alex Ovechkin (Capitals, 13), Sidney Crosby (Penguins, 8) and Corey Perry (Ducks 6).
Malkin’s current five-game goal streak (home and road) matches the season high for a Penguins player set by Crosby (Nov. 24–Dec. 2). It’s Malkin’s longest goal-scoring streak since he scored in five consecutive games in March 2012.
Backstrom’s 200th goal for Caps is a winner
Nicklas Backstrom’s goal with 42.9 seconds remaining in the third period snapped a 2–2 tie and gave the Capitals a 3–2 win over the Blue Jackets. It’s the second time this season that a Washington player scored a tiebreaking goal in the final minute of the third period, with Jay Beagle having done so at Carolina on January 12. The Capitals are the only NHL team that has scored two go-ahead goals in the final minute of regulation time this season.
Backstrom’s goal was the 200th of his 11-season Capitals and NHL career. He’s the fifth player to score 200 or more goals for Washington, after Alex Ovechkin (590), Peter Bondra (472), Mike Gartner (397) and Mike Ridley (218).
The Weal deal
Jordan Weal’s goal at the 4:56 mark in overtime earned the Flyers a 2–1 win against the Hurricanes in Raleigh. It’s the third-latest regular-season overtime goal in Flyers history, behind a last-second winner (4:59) by Scott Hartnell against Pittsburgh on March 18, 2012 and one with three seconds left in OT (4:57) by Mike Richards at Boston on Dec. 11, 2010.
Only three other players have scored a goal in the last four seconds of overtime in an NHL game this season: the Kings’ Tyler Toffoli (4:59, Oct. 28 at Boston), the Hurricanes’ Noah Hanifin (4:58, Dec. 2 vs. Florida) and the Maple Leafs’ William Nylander (4:57, Nov. 16 vs. New Jersey).
8 in a row at home for Bernier
Jonathan Bernier extended his home-ice winning streak to eight games with a 38-save 3–1 victory against the Sharks in Denver. This is the longest home winning streak within one season by an Avalanche goaltender since the Nordiques relocated to Colorado in 1995. The only Nordiques goaltender to win eight or more consecutive decisions in home games in one season was Dan Bouchard, who won nine consecutive decisions in Quebec in 1983–84.
Henrique trade paying off for Ducks
Adam Henrique’s overtime goal enabled the Ducks to leave Buffalo with a 4–3 victory after the Sabres tied the score in the final 15 seconds of the third period. Henrique has scored five game-winning goals since December 1, when he made his debut for the Ducks after the trade which sent him from New Jersey to Anaheim. That ties him with the Flyers’ Sean Couturier and Tampa Bay rookie Yanni Gourde for the NHL high in game-winning goals since that date.
Heinen two-point night
Rookie Danton Heinen assisted on the Bruins’ first goal and the scored the game-winning goal in Boston’s 3–2 victory at Detroit. This was Heinen’s second consecutive two-point game and his ninth multiple-point game this season. The only rookies with more multi-point games this season than Heinen are the Islanders’ Mathew Barzal (11), the Canucks’ Brock Boeser (10) and the Avs’ Alexander Kerfoot (10).
Duchene picking up steam
Matt Duchene tallied one goal and two assists for the Senators in their 5–3 win against the Devils on Tuesday. Duchene produced only six points (three goals, three assists) in the first 24 games he played after being traded to Ottawa by the Avalanche on November 5, but he’s averaged a point per game since then (6–8–14 in 14 games). He’s the team leader in goals, assists (tied with Erik Karlsson) and points over that span (Jan. 5 to date).
Wild score six goals on 20 shots
Six different players scored a goal for the Wild in their 6–2 win at St. Louis, a game in which Minnesota was outshot by the Blues, 37–20. This was only the third time in franchise history that the Wild scored at least six goals in a game despite having no more than 20 shots on goal. The previous instances were a 6–0 win versus the Panthers on Nov. 29, 2001 (20 shots on goal) and a 7–4 victory against the Blackhawks on Jan. 7, 2004 (19 shots on goal).
A milestone for Byfuglien
Jets defenseman Dustin Byfgulien, playing in the 800th game of his NHL career, scored one goal and assisted on one in Winnipeg’s 4–3 victory against the Coyotes. Byfuglien, a Minneapolis native, ranks fourth in career games among active NHL players born in Minnesota, behind Matt Cullen (1417), Zach Parise (844) and David Backes (835).
Smith 3–0 vs. Chicago this season
Calgary’s Mike Smith beat the Blackhawks for the third time in three games against them this season with a 34-save 3–2 win in Chicago on Tuesday. Smith has tied the record for most wins by a Flames goaltender versus the Blackhawks in one season, a mark set by Reggie Lemelin in 1986–87 and previously equaled by Roman Turek in 2002–03. This isn’t the first time that Smith has beaten the Blackhawks three times in one season. He also did that with the Coyotes in 2011–12.