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Elias Says: Dec. 1, 2016

Westbrook breaks Payton’s monthly assists record

Russell Westbrook distributed 11 assists to go with his 35 points and 14 rebounds as the Thunder defeated the Wizards in overtime. Westbrook’s ninth triple-double of the season raised his November assist total to 190 (in 17 games), breaking the franchise record for a player in any month. Gary Payton had 180 assists (in 18 games) for Seattle in April 1999.

Westbrook once again channels the “Big O”

Russell Westbrook has scored 623 points, grabbed 210 rebounds and handed out 225 assists in 20 games this season. He’s the second player in NBA history with at least 500 points, 200 rebounds and 200 assists in his first 20 games of a season. The only player that reached 500/200/200 in a season in 20 or fewer games was Oscar Robertson in 1961-62. Robertson reached those numbers in his 17th game.

A big OT for OKC

The Thunder scored 21 points in the five-minute overtime period of its 126-115 victory. That broke the franchise record for scoring in any “extra” period. The team scored 20 points in an extra period twice as the SuperSonics (in 1972 and 1992) and once since moving to the Panhandle State (in 2012).

Lillard breaks Portland record for points in a month

Damian Lillard scored 28 points in the Trail Blazers’ 131-109 home win over the Pacers. Lillard scored 459 points in 17 November games, breaking Clyde Drexler’s team record for points in a month. “The Glide” scored 438 points (also in 17 games) in March 1989.

Five Detroit starters score at least 19 points

Ish Smith scored 19 points and contributed eight rebounds and eight assists in the Pistons’ 121-114 win at Boston. And believe it or not, Smith ranked last among Detroit’s starters in scoring behind Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (25), Tobias Harris (21), Marcus Morris (20), and Andre Drummond (20.) Only two other teams in the last 24 seasons have had all five starting players score at least 19 points in a regulation-length game: New Orleans at Phoenix on Jan. 5, 2008, and the Pistons at Philadelphia on March 12, 2016.

Whiteside owns boards

Hassan Whiteside scored 25 points and pulled down 16 rebounds in the Heat’s 106-98 win at Denver. Whiteside finished November averaging 15.2 rebounds per game. The only other Miami player ever to produce a rebounding average over 15.0 in one month (minimum: 10 games) was Rony Seikaly, who collected 16.1 boards per game in March 1993.

Randle celebrates his birthday a day late

One day after his 22nd birthday, Julius Randle scored 13 points and grabbed 20 rebounds in the Lakers’ 96-90 win at Chicago. Randle is the youngest player in franchise history to have at least 10 points and 20 rebounds in a game. Rudy LaRusso was 13 days older for his 15-point, 20-rebound performance for the Minneapolis Lakers against the Cincinnati Royals on Thanksgiving Day 1959.

Anthony’s late-game magic has returned

Carmelo Anthony’s field goal with just over two seconds remaining provided the final points in the Knicks’ 106-104 win at Minnesota. It was the second time in a span of six days that Anthony hit a game-winning field goal in the game’s final 10 seconds; he also did that in overtime against the Hornets on Nov. 25. Before last Friday, Anthony hadn’t hit a game-winning of that type since April 8, 2012 against Chicago.

Knight hot off the bench

Brandon Knight didn’t play the first seven minutes of the game, but still managed to score 14 first-quarter points in the Suns’ 109-107 win over the visiting Hawks. That was the highest first-quarter point total by a Phoenix bench player since Leandro Barbosa scored 14 against New Orleans in January 2008. The only other NBA substitute to score 14 points in the opening period of a game this season was on the court for the same four minutes and 59 seconds of the first quarter as Knight was on Wednesday. Atlanta’s Tim Hardaway, Jr. scored 14 in the first quarter against the Lakers on November 2.

A fine second half for Raptors trio

DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry each scored 15 points while teammate DeMarre Carroll added 12 of his own in the second half of the Raptors’ 120-105 home win over the Grizzlies. DeRozan, Lowry, and Carroll all made exactly four of six second-half field-goal attempts. They were the second NBA trio to score at least a dozen points and make at least two-thirds of their shots from the floor in one half this season; the Warriors’ Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and Klay Thompson did that against the Lakers on November 23. The last time that three Raptors players had a half like this was on April 10, 2011, when DeRozan, James Johnson, and Ed Davis did so in a win over the Nets.

Toronto made 16 of 32 shots from three-point range in Wednesday’s game. It was the third time in team history that the Raptors attempted at least 30 three-pointers and made at least half of them. They also did that on March 13, 2005 against the 76ers (21-for-34) and on Jan. 28, 2015 against the Kings (17-for-34.)

Mills leads Spurs to comeback win

Patty Mills scored 15 points in the fourth quarter on six of seven shots from the floor as the Spurs erased a late deficit to win 94-87 in Dallas. The last Spurs player to score at least 15 points and shoot at least 80% from the field in the fourth quarter of a game in which the team won after trailing in the final period was also Mills, on Feb. 8, 2014 at Charlotte (18 points, 5-for-5 FG.)

Crosby racks up points against his favorite opponent

Sidney Crosby produced a pair of assists in the Penguins’ 5-3 loss to the Islanders in Brooklyn. Crosby’s second assist was the 100th point that he has earned in 57 career games versus the Islanders (31 goals, 69 assists.) That’s at least 17 points more than he’s scored against any other NHL team; his second-highest total is 83 points against the Flyers. The only active player other than Crosby who has racked up 100 or more points against one NHL team is Jaromir Jagr, who has done so against five different clubs: the Islanders (154 points), Flyers (120), Whalers/Hurricanes (118), Sabres (104) and Bruins (100.) Jagr and Crosby are two of the four players who have scored at least 100 points versus the Islanders. The two other players, both retired, are also former Penguins greats: Mario Lemieux (131 points) and Mark Recchi (120.)

Lee’s late goal gives Isles the win

The Islanders squandered a 3-0 third-period lead in their game against the Penguins in Brooklyn, but Anders Lee salvaged the night for the home side by scoring a tiebreaking goal with 26.6 seconds remaining in regulation time and Nikolay Kulemin added an empty-net goal to wrap up a 5-3 win for the Isles. Lee is the first player to score a go-ahead goal for the Islanders in the final minute of the third period since April 5, 2012, when Michael Grabner’s tiebreaking goal at the 19:13 mark lifted the Islanders to a 5-4 win over the Jets at Nassau Coliseum.

Flames burn Leafs twice early

The fans in Calgary who got to their seats only a minute late missed a lot, as Freddie Hamilton scored only 19 seconds after the opening faceoff and Kris Versteeg gave the Flames a 2-0 lead over the Maple Leafs just 30 seconds later. The Flames’ two goals in the first 49 seconds were the fastest pair of goals by one team to begin an NHL game since April 9, 2011, when the Flyers scored twice in the first 47 seconds against the Islanders. (Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell were the Philadelphia goal scorers.) The scores by Hamilton and Versteeg were the second-quickest two goals to begin a game for the Flames, behind the goals scored by Doug Risebrough and Colin Patterson in the first 32 seconds at Hartford on March 11, 1987.

Johnson gets his third shutout for Flames

Chad Johnson, who signed with Calgary as a free agent last summer, earned his third shutout in 13 games for the Flames with a 3-0 win against the Maple Leafs on Wednesday. No other goaltender in Flames franchise history needed so few games to produce his first three shutouts for the team. In fact, the only other Flames netminder to do it in 30 or fewer games was Roman Turek, who got his third shutout in his 15th game with Calgary (Nov. 20, 2001.)