Elias Says: March 29, 2018

Simmons is unselfish

Ben Simmons handed out 10 assists in the 76ers’ win over the Knicks. It’s the 20th consecutive game that Simmons led the 76ers in assists, outright or tied. Only four other rookies in NBA history led their squad in assists in 20 or more consecutive team games. Damon Stoudamire did it for the Raptors (40-game streak in 1995-96), Mark Jackson for the Knicks (37, 1987-88), Oscar Robertson for the Royals (21, 1960-61) and John Wall for the Wizards (20, 2010-11). Stoudamire, Jackson and Robertson all won the Rookie of the Year Award.

50/15 for Towns

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 56 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in the Timberwolves’ win over the Hawks. Towns, who was 22 years, 133 days old on Wednesday, is the third-youngest player in NBA history to have a game with at least 50 points and 15 rebounds. The only younger players to do that were Rick Barry (21 years, 261 days old) in 1965 and Shaquille O’Neal (22 years, 45 days old) in 1994.

It was the fifth 50/15 (points/rebounds) game in the NBA over the last two seasons. Anthony Davis had two such games over that span, while Towns, James Harden and Russell Westbrook did it once. There were only five 50/15 games over the previous 25 seasons combined (1991-92 to 2015-16). Shaquille O’Neal (twice), Chris Webber, Dirk Nowitzki and Anthony Davis accomplished that over that 25-season span.

For the record, Wilt Chamberlain had 114 games with at least 50 points and 15 rebounds.

40/10 for James

LeBron James scored 41 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the Cavaliers’ win over the Hornets on Wednesday night. It was the 22nd time in his NBA career in which James scored at least 40 points and grabbed at least 10 rebounds in a regular season game. That matches Anthony Davis for the most 40/10 games among active players.

Walker breaks franchise record

Kemba Walker scored 21 points for the Hornets in a losing effort, giving him 9841 points in his NBA career, all for the Hornets. That breaks the Hornets all-time record for points scored, a mark that was held by Dell Curry (9839 points for the Hornets). Six other players are the all-time leading scorer for their current team: Dirk Nowitzki, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, DeMar DeRozan, Marc Gasol and Anthony Davis.

Brooks makes good first impression

MarShon Brooks, who was playing in his first NBA game in almost four years, led the Grizzlies with 21 points in their win over the Trail Blazers on Wednesday night. It was the tenth time in his 165-game NBA career that Brooks led his team in scoring in a game, the first time April 3, 2013.

Another fast start for the Nets

The Nets outscored the Magic, 36-33, in the first quarter in their win on Tuesday night. It’s the eighth consecutive game in which the Nets outscored their opponent in the first quarter, the longest such streak for the franchise since the New Jersey Nets had a nine-game streak in February/March 1999.

Brown wins it late for Celtics

Jaylen Brown hit a game-winning three-pointer with less than one second left to give the Celtics a 97-94 win over the Jazz. It was the latest game-winning three-point field goal for a Celtics player since Avery Bradley sank a three-pointer at the buzzer in a 103-101 win over the Thunder on February 5, 2016.

Goal #30 for Matthews

Auston Matthews, who led NHL rookies with 40 goals last season, scored his 30th goal this season in the Maple Leafs’ 4-3 win over the Panthers. The 20-year-old Matthews is the fourth active NHL player to have scored 30 goals or more in each of two different seasons before his 21st birthday. The others are Sidney Crosby (2005–06 and 2006–07), Steven Stamkos (2009 –10 and 2010–11) and Patrik Laine (2016–17 and 2017–18). Crosby and Laine both did that before turning 20 years old.

The Maple Leafs have three players who’ve scored at least 30 goals for them this season: James van Riemsdyk (34 goals), Nazem Kadri (30) and Matthews. Since 2012–13, the only other NHL teams with as many as three 30-goal scorers in one season were the 2015–16 Bruins (Patrice Bergeron, Loui Eriksson, Brad Marchand) and 2015–16 Stars (Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, Jason Spezza). This is the first season in which Toronto had three 30-goal men since 1995–96 (Mike Gartner, Doug Gilmour, Mats Sundin).

Goal #200 for JVR

James van Riemsdyk scored the 200th goal of his NHL career in the Maple Leafs’ win against the Panthers on Wednesday. Van Riemsdyk was the second overall pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, selected by the Flyers after the Blackhawks chose Patrick Kane. JVR is the sixth player from the 2007 draft class to reach the 200-goal mark; the others are Kane (311), Jamie Benn (246), Max Pacioretty (226), Wayne Simmonds (225) and Logan Couture (210).

Another two-point game for Kuznetsov

The Capitals were just over a minute away from suffering a 2–1 loss to the Rangers, but Lars Eller got Washington even with a goal at 18:55 of the third period and Evgeny Kuznetsov earned the Caps a 3–2 victory when he scored 38 seconds into overtime. Kuznetsov, who assisted on Eller’s tying goal, has recorded at least two points in each of the last six games he’s played. (He missed three games from March 18–22 due to an “upper-body injury.”) Over the last eight years the only other NHL player to produce a streak of six consecutive multiple-point games in one season was Leon Draisaitl with a six-game skein for the Oilers just over a year ago (March 14–23, 2017).

Giroux Marches on

Claude Giroux scored the first goal in Philadelphia’s critical 2-1 victory in Colorado on Wednesday night. For Giroux, it was his fifth goal and 19th point of the month – the most points he’s garnered during one calendar month since gathering a career-best 21 points in March 2014.