Holiday and Davis power Pelicans’ winning streak with eight straight 20-point games
Jrue Holiday scored 30 points and Anthony Davis added 23 in the Pelicans’ victory over the Mavericks, extending New Orleans’ winning streak to eight games. Davis and Holiday, who have each scored at least 20 points in each of those eight games, are the first pair of NBA teammates since Tom Chambers and Kevin Johnson to simultaneously score 20 or more points in eight consecutive games during a winning streak. Chambers and Johnson did that over eight straight victories by the Suns in March 1990.
Antetokounmpo scorches 76ers
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 31 points in the Bucks’ victory over the 76ers on January 29 and he contributed 35 points to Milwaukee’s triumph over Philadelphia on Sunday. Antetokounmpo is the first Bucks player since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in October/November 1973 to score more than 30 points in each of two straight games against the 76ers.
Booker off target
Devin Booker’s streak of four 30-point games was stopped by the Hawks, but more importantly he missed a field-goal attempt at the buzzer in the Suns’ 113–112 loss at Atlanta. Booker was 2-for-2 in his career on game-winning shots at the buzzer before Sunday, connecting with no time remaining on the clock to beat the Kings in February 2017 and the Mavericks in March 2017.
With Booker scoring only 20 points against Atlanta, Charlie Scott (December 1973) and Charles Barkley (March 1993) remain the only Suns players to score at least 30 points in each of five consecutive games.
Oladipo enjoying career season
Victor Oladipo scored 33 points in the Pacers’ win at Washington on Sunday. Oladipo is averaging 24.2 points per game this season after he scored 15.9 points per contest in 2016-17. That increase of 8.3 points per game is the largest among players who appeared in at least 50 games last season and 50 games this season.
Tough west-coast losses for the New York teams
The Knicks lost at Sacramento on Sunday night, 102–99, and moments later the Nets were defeated by the Clippers in Los Angeles, 123–120. Since the Nets moved to Brooklyn in 2012, this was only the second time that both of the NBA’s New York teams lost by three or fewer points on the same day. That also happened last month on the Friday night of Super-Bowl weekend, when the Knicks fell to the Bucks, 92–90, and the Nets were beaten by the Lakers, 102–99.
Hall’s first 30-goal season
Taylor Hall reached the 30-goal mark for the first time in his eight-season NHL career when he scored the final goal for the Devils in their 3–2 loss to the Golden Knights. Entering play on Sunday, Hall had scored the most goals in the NHL over the last eight seasons (181) among players who had not produced at least one 30-goal season over that span.
Hall has recorded at least one point in each of the last 25 games he has played. (He sat out New Jersey’s final three games before the All-Star break due to a thumb injury.) This is only the fourth time since 1993–94 that an NHL player has produced a personal-game point streak of 25 games or longer within one season. The other streaks were by Mario Lemieux (28 games in 1995–96), Sidney Crosby (25 games in 2010–11) and Patrick Kane (26 games in 2015–16).
Predators complete rare sweep
The Predators completed a sweep of their four-game road trip to Winnipeg, Edmonton, Vancouver and Colorado with a 4–3 overtime win against the Avalanche. Nashville overcame a two-goal deficit in each of the first three games of the road trip, and they trailed 3–2 on Sunday with less than two minutes remaining in the third period. The Predators tied the score on Ryan Ellis’ goal at 18:54 of the third period and won the game when Filip Forsberg scored in overtime. This was the 10th time in NHL history that a team won four or more consecutive games in one season, all on the road, despite trailing in each game. The last team to do that before the Predators was Calgary just over a year ago, with comeback wins at Nashville, Tampa Bay, Florida and Carolina (Feb. 21–26, 2017). The NHL record for such a streak is five games by the 1995–96 Hartford Whalers.
Staal: 16 goals in 30 games vs. Eastern Conference
Eric Staal scored the first goal for the Minnesota Wild in its 4–1 win against the Red Wings on Sunday. Staal has scored 16 goals (in 30 games) this season versus Eastern Conference teams, which ties him with Canucks rookie Brock Boeser for high among Western Conference players. Staal is one goal shy of the Wild single-season record for goals by one player against Eastern Conference clubs, which is by Jason Pominville (17 in 2013–14).
Fleury defeats Devils
Marc-Andre Fleury made 33 saves for the Golden Knights as they ended their three-game winless streak with a 3–2 win against the Devils in Newark. Fleury was 8–15–4 in the 27 games he played versus the Devils over his first six seasons in the NHL (through 2009–10) but he’s 16–9–0 in 25 games against them since then. He ranks second among NHL goaltenders in wins versus New Jersey since 2010–11, behind Henrik Lundqvist (18).
Silfverberg and Perry end slumps with multi-goal games
Jakob Silfverberg and Corey Perry each scored two goals for the Ducks in their 6–3 win against the Blackhawks, after both men entered play on Sunday mired in a goal-scoring slump (Silfverberg: two goals in his last 22 games, Perry: one goal in his last nine games). It’s only the second time in the last two seasons that Anaheim had a pair of multiple-goal scorers in the same game. Silfverberg and Ryan Kesler each tallied twice in the Ducks’ 4–2 victory at Carolina on Nov. 10, 2016.
Laine lighting it up
Patrik Laine scored two goals for the second consecutive game (and third time in his last four games) to help lead the Jets to a 3–2 victory over the Hurricanes in Raleigh. Laine, who scored twice versus the Red Wings on Friday, is the fourth player to produce two consecutive multiple-goal games in one season for the Jets since they set up shop in Winnipeg in 2011. The other players to do that for the current version of the Winnipeg Jets are Bryan Little (in Feb. 2012), Blake Wheeler (Dec. 2013) and Mark Scheifele (March 2016).
Four Panthers with 20 goals
Evgenii Dadonov (on the second of his two goals) and Jonathan Huberdeau each scored his 20th goal of the season for the Florida Panthers as they extended their winning streak to a season-high six games with a 4–1 victory over the Flyers. They’re the third and fourth players with 20 or more goals for Florida this season, joining Aleksandar Barkov (25 goals) and Vincent Trocheck (24). This is the fourth season in which the Panthers have had at least four players score 20-plus goals for them. The others were 1995–96 (four: Johan Garpenlov, Jody Hull, Scott Mellanby, Rob Niedermayer), 2006–07 (four: Nathan Horton, Jussi Jokinen, Jozef Stumpel, Stephen Weiss) and 2015–16 (five: Barkov, Huberdeau, Jaromir Jagr, Reilly Smith, Trocheck).