Once again, Warriors quickly get to 50 wins
The Warriors improved their record to 50–14 with a 114–101 win over the visiting Nets. It’s the fourth consecutive season that Golden State will have won at least 50 of its first 65 games. The only other NBA team ever to do that more than two years in a row was the Celtics, who did so in Larry Bird’s first three seasons – 1979–80, 1980–81, and 1981–82.
Harden, Westbrook combine for 19 turnovers
James Harden committed 10 turnovers to go along with his 23 points and 11 assists in the Rockets’ 122–112 win at Oklahoma City. Russell Westbrook was charged with nine turnovers of his own for the Thunder. The last NBA game in which a player on each team turned the ball over at least nine times was on Halloween 1979, when the Clippers’ World B. Free was charged with 10 TOs and the Spurs’ James Silas nine in a 130–123 San Antonio win at San Diego.
Anthony knocks Jerry West out of the NBA’s top-20 scoring list
Carmelo Anthony scored 23 points in the Thunder’s 122–112 home loss to the Rockets. Anthony (25,210 career points) passed Jerry West (25,192) to move into 20th place on the all-time scoring list. When West retired following the 1973–74 season, he had scored the third-most points in NBA history behind Wilt Chamberlain (31,419) and Oscar Robertson (26,710).
Few rookies have swished and dished like Simmons
Ben Simmons scored 16 points, making eight of nine shots from the floor (88.9%) and handed out 13 assists in the 76ers’ 128–114 win at Charlotte. Only three other rookies have ever finished with at least 12 points and 12 assists while making at least 80% of their field-goal attempts: Atlanta’s Spud Webb (22 pts, 15 ast, 88.9%) against Cleveland on Feb. 26, 1986, Seattle’s Nate McMillan (14 pts, 12 ast, 100%) against Denver on Jan. 16, 1987, and Cleveland’s Brevin Knight (16 pts, 12 ast, 85.7%) against Phoenix on Dec. 16, 1997.
Holiday finishes with 17 assists in homecoming
Former UCLA star Jrue Holiday handed out 17 assists as the Pelicans defeated the Clippers 121–116 at Staples Center. Holiday’s assist total was the highest ever by an ex-Bruins player in a road game against the Clippers or Lakers. The previous record was 15 by the Timberwolves’ Pooh Richardson against the Lakers at Great Western Forum on March 20, 1992.
Big fourth quarter gives Raptors an easy win
C.J. Miles scored eight of his 14 points in the fourth quarter and the Raptors overcame a one-point deficit at the end of the third period to rout the visiting Hawks, 106–90. Toronto’s 16-point margin of victory was the second-largest by any team this season that trailed entering the fourth quarter. On Dec. 18, the Rockets climbed out of a five-point hole after three quarters to beat the Jazz, 120–99.
Nowitzki turns back the clock in March
Dirk Nowitzki scored 17 points in the Mavericks’ 118–107 home win over the Nuggets. Nowitzki, who will turn 40 in June, has scored 58 points over his team’s first three games in March. That three-team-game total is the most by any player who had already celebrated his 39th birthday since Reggie Miller scored 75 points over three Pacers games in April 2005.
Nuggets extend streak of scoring, allowing triple digits
The Nuggets, who lost 118–107 at Dallas on Tuesday, have both scored and allowed at least 100 points in each of their last 15 games. That’s the longest such streak by any NBA team since the Warriors, featuring Chris Mullin, Chris Webber, and Latrell Sprewell, did so 16 games in a row late in the 1993–94 season.
Beal is hot from all over the court
Bradley Beal made 12 of 16 shots from the floor (75.0%), including six of seven from behind the three-point line (85.7%), in the Wizards’ 117–113 overtime victory over the visiting Heat. Beal is the first Washington player ever to make at least 12 field goals and six three-pointers in a game while shooting at least 75% on both.
Two Portland subs reach double digits in rebounds
Ed Davis came off the bench to grab 14 rebounds, and fellow substitute Zach Collins pulled down 10 boards in the Trail Blazers’ 111–87 home win over the Knicks. The last pair of non-starters to finish with double-digit rebounds in a Portland victory were Joel Przybilla and Travis Outlaw, who each grabbed 10 boards against the Mavericks on Nov. 10, 2007.
Patrik Laine scored all of the goals in the Winnipeg Jets’ 3–0 win against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. He’s the fourth NHL player to record a hat trick this season while scoring all of the goals in a shutout win by his team. The other players to do that are Connor McDavid (Oilers 3, Flames 0 on Oct. 4), Jason Zucker (Wild 3, Canadiens 0 on Nov. 9) and Radek Faksa (Stars 3, Golden Knights 0 on Nov. 28). Before this season, no NHL player had pulled off that feat since Corey Perry for the Ducks in February 2011.
Laine’s goals were his 36th, 37th and 38th this season, topping the 36 goals he scored last season, his first in the NHL. The only other active players who scored at least 36 goals in each of their first two seasons in the NHL are Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby (both in 2005–06 and 2006–07). The 19-year-old Laine is the fourth player in NHL history to score 36 goals or more in a season twice before turning 20 years old. The others are Dale Hawerchuk, Jimmy Carson and Crosby.
Laine has scored two goals in each of the Jets’ last three games, tying the franchise record for most consecutive multiple-goal games by one player, a mark set by Ilya Kovalchuk with the Atlanta Thrashers in January 2006.
Bruins score two quick goals
The Bruins jumped out to a 2–0 lead in the first 52 seconds of their game against the Red Wings on goals by Torey Krug and Jake DeBrusk. They were the quickest two goals from the start of a game by the Bruins since Valentine’s Day in 2003, when Mike Knuble scored twice in the first 27 seconds of a game against the Panthers in Florida. (The Bruins won that game in overtime, 6–5, and they beat Detroit in OT by the same score on Tuesday.) The Bruins’ two early scores in Tuesday’s game at Boston are only the second-fastest pair of goals by one team to begin an NHL game this season. Alex Ovechkin and T.J. Oshie scored for the Capitals in the first 46 seconds of their 6–1 win against the Canadiens on October 7.
Marchand’s overtime goal gives him a hat trick
Brad Marchand completed the third hat trick of his NHL career when he scored the overtime goal which gave the Bruins a 6–5 win against the Red Wings. The only other players in Bruins history to record a regular-season hat trick which included an overtime goal are Ken Hodge Jr. (Feb. 5, 1991 vs. Edmonton) and David Krejci (March 1, 2012 vs. New Jersey). Marchand is the fourth NHL player with a hat trick of that kind this season; the others are Anthony Duclair (Nov. 18 for Arizona), Hampus Lindholm (Dec. 21 for Anaheim) and Brock Nelson (Feb. 9 for the Islanders).
Toews ends overtime quickly
The Chicago Blackhawks beat the Avalanche, 2–1, on a goal by Jonathan Toews goal nine seconds into overtime. It was the second-quickest overtime goal in Blackhawks history, regular-season or playoffs, behind Steve Larmer’s goal after eight seconds of overtime against the Capitals at Chicago Stadium on Oct. 25, 1990. This was Toews’s 10th career regular-season overtime goal for the Blackhawks, extending his own team record.
Rinne earns 50th shutout
Pekka Rinne notched the 50th shutout of his NHL career with a 2–0 win against the Stars in Nashville on Tuesday. Rinne is the first goaltender born in Finland to record 50 or more shutouts in the NHL and only the fifth goaltender born outside North America to do so. The others are Dominik Hasek (81), Henrik Lundqvist (63), Evgeni Nabokov (59) and Tomas Vokoun (51).
Point earns another game-winner in OT
Brayden Point’s overtime goal earned the Tampa Bay Lightning a 5–4 victory against the Panthers on Tuesday. It was Point’s 10th game-winning goal this season, with four of them coming in overtime. He’s the second player ever to score 10 or more game-winning goals in one season for the Lightning, joining Steven Stamkos, who had 12 game-winners in 2011–12, including five in overtime. That’s the only other time a player scored more than two OT goals in one season for Tampa Bay.
Bjugstad’s hat trick isn’t enough for Panthers
Nick Bjugstad scored three goals for the Florida Panthers in their overtime loss to the Lightning in Tampa. It was the first hat trick for Bjugstad in his NHL career and the first hat trick by a Florida player in a game the Panthers did not win since April 11, 2006, when Joe Nieuwendyk scored three goals for the Cats in an overtime loss at Toronto. Bjugstad’s hat trick was Florida’s fourth this season; the others were by Radim Vrbata, Vincent Trocheck and Evgenii Dadonov. That ties the Panthers record for most players with a hat trick in one season, a mark set in 2005–06 and previously equaled in 2009–10.
Staal notches ninth multi-goal game
Eric Staal scored a pair of goals for the Minnesota Wild in their 6–2 win against the Hurricanes. Staal leads the NHL with nine multiple-goal games this season (no one else has more than seven), which ties his career high set with Carolina in 2005–06. It’s the second-highest single-season total of multi-goal games by one player in Wild team history, behind the 10 multiple-goal games racked up by Marian Gaborik in 2007–08.
A three-point game for youngster Dubois
Rookie Pierre-Luc Dubois scored three points in an NHL game for the first time when he tallied one goal and two assists in the Blue Jackets’ 4–1 win against the Golden Knights. The 19-year-old Dubois is the sixth teenager to score three points (or more) for the Blue Jackets in one game. The others were Rick Nash (twice: age 18 in Jan. 2003 and age 19 in Feb. 2004), Nikolay Zherdev (age 19 in March 2004), Nikita Filatov (age 18 in Jan. 2009), Jakub Voracek (age 19, in the same game as Filatov) and Zach Werenski (age 19 in Feb. 2017).
Zajac scores his goals in pairs
Travis Zajac scored two goals for the Devils in their 6–4 win against the Canadiens. Zajac has scored only 10 goals in the 50 games he’s played this season and his three two-goal games (Jan. 7 at Islanders, Feb. 3 vs. Pittsburgh and Tuesday vs. Montreal) account for 60 percent of his goal total. The only other NHL player with at least three multi-goal games this season but no more than 10 goals scored overall is the Canucks’ Loui Eriksson (10 total goals, three multiple-goal games).