Colts buck Jets early thanks to Allen’s big first half
Dwayne Allen and Andrew Luck helped the Colts pull away early in their 41-10 blowout victory over the Jets on Monday Night. Luck found Allen with passes three times in the first half, and Allen crossed the goal line after each of those receptions. Only one other player prior to Allen totaled as many as three touchdown receptions in the first half on Monday Night Football. On Dec. 18, 1995, Jerry Rice caught three touchdowns from Steve Young in the first half of the 49ers’ Monday matchup with the Vikings. Rice also set a new Monday Night record that day with 289 receiving yards, and his 14 receptions for the game tied Herman Moore for the most in a Monday Night game.
Rough homestand for Jets
The Jets lost at MetLife Stadium on Monday after falling on their home turf to the Rams two weeks ago and to the Patriots last week. This is the first time since 1975 that the Jets played three straight games at home and lost them all. Joe Namath started all three of those losses in 1975 at Shea Stadium.
Thompson goes for 60 in Oakland
Klay Thompson needed just over 29 minutes on the court to score a career-high 60 points in the Warriors’ blowout victory over the Pacers. Thompson became the first player in the shot-clock era - that is, since 1954-55 - to score 60 points in a game with no more than 30 minutes of action. Kobe Bryant held the previous mark for fewest minutes played in a 60-point game in the shot-clock era, having scored 62 points in 32:53 on Dec. 20, 2005 against the Mavericks.
Thompson scored 40 of the Warriors’ 80 points in the first half, allowing Golden State to build a 30-point lead over Indiana by halftime. Thompson became the first NBA player since Kobe Bryant in 2003 to reach the 40-point mark in the first half of a game. Bryant totaled 42 points in the first two quarters on March 28, 2003 against the Wizards.
Thompson scored 23 points in the second quarter alone, matching the total of the entire Pacers roster. Monday’s game marked the ninth time in Thompson’s career that he scored as many or more points as the entire opposing team in a quarter. Thompson had already done so twice this season entering Monday, having outscored the Mavericks in the first quarter on November 9 (18 to 15) and equaled the Celtics in the third quarter on November 18 (nine points apiece).
Another triple-double for Westbrook
Russell Westbrook scored 32 points, pulled down 13 rebounds and distributed 12 assists to help the Thunder top the Hawks in Atlanta. Westbrook became the first player to generate triple-doubles in six consecutive games since Michael Jordan produced a seven-game streak of that kind in 1989 (March to April). But Westbrook became the first player in NBA history to tally minimums of 11 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in each of six straight games, topping the previous record of five consecutive “triple-elevens,” which was shared by Oscar Robertson (in January 1962) and Wilt Chamberlain (January to February 1968).
Cleveland’s “Big Three” gets it done
LeBron James scored 34 points, Kevin Love scored 28 and Kyrie Irving added 24 as the Cavaliers defeated the Raptors for the third time this season. It was the fifth game this season, and the 15th game during their three seasons as teammates, that James, Love and Irving each scored at least 20 points. The Cavaliers are 13-2 in those games (4-1 this season).
Spurs are road warriors
A goaltending call on Giannis Antetokounmpo with 21 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter gave the Spurs their winning margin in San Antonio’s 97-96 victory over the Bucks. The Spurs improved to 12-0 on the road this season, and in doing so they tied the 1969-70 Knicks for the second-longest season-opening road winning streak in NBA history. The Warriors hold the top spot, having won their first 14 games away from home last season.
Big night for Harden in Houston
The Rockets needed every one of James Harden’s 37 points to edge the Celtics, 107-106, in Houston. Harden racked up his lofty point total despite attempting just 14 shots from the floor on the night. The 37 points scored by Harden on Monday now stands as the highest point total in a game by a Rockets player who attempted fewer than 15 field goals. The previous high for such a game by a Rockets player was 35 points, done by Charles Barkley in 1998 and matched by Harden in 2014.
Harden was a perfect 18-for-18 on free throw attempts on Monday night, tying the Rockets’ franchise record for the most foul shots in a game without a miss. Kevin Martin also went 18-for-18 for Houston on March 20, 2011 versus the Jazz.
Batum boards out of his mind
Nicolas Batum grabbed 15 rebounds to go along with his 14 points and seven assists in the Hornets’ 109-101 win at Dallas. Batum is the second Charlotte starting guard in the last 10 days to corral at least 15 boards in a game, joining Jeremy Lamb, who had 17 rebounds in a win over the Knicks on November 26. Before then, the highest single-game rebound total in franchise history by a player who started in the backcourt was 14, by Hersey Hawkins (Feb. 1994), Lance Stephenson (Nov. 2014), and Gerald Henderson (March 2015).
Gasol notches triple-double in extra time
Marc Gasol’s jumper broke a 108-all tie in double overtime and gave the Grizzlies the lead for good against the Pelicans. Gasol finished his big night with a triple-double, totaling 28 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists, a feat all the more impressive considering he finished the fourth quarter with only six rebounds and seven assists to his name. The last player before Gasol to record a triple-double in a game despite finishing regulation with a “single-double” - that is, double-digits in only one category - was Isaiah Thomas, who compiled a 24 point, 11 rebound, 10 assist statline on March 18, 2014 for the Kings in an overtime win over the Wizards. Thomas needed overtime to reach double-digits in both rebounds and assists; he finished regulation with eight boards and nine helpers.
Lillard saved best for last in Chicago
Damian Lillard scored 11 of his team-high 30 points in the fourth quarter to help the Trail Blazers hold off the Bulls in Chicago. Including Monday, Lillard has reached double-digits in points eight times in the fourth quarter this season. The only player with as many 10-point fourth quarters this season is Russell Westbrook, who has 11 periods of that kind.
Third period sinks the Nets
The Wizards erased a 15-point halftime deficit with a 32-15 third-quarter advantage in their 118-113 victory at Brooklyn. The Nets have been outscored by 147 points during the third quarter of games this season, which is the largest deficit for any NBA team in any quarter.
Chandler gets hot in the fourth quarter
Wilson Chandler scored only ten points in Denver’s 106-98 victory at Philadelphia, but they were ten consecutive points for the Nuggets, all in the fourth quarter, as they built a double-digit lead. It was the second game this season in which Chandler scored ten straight Denver points, having done so against the Bulls on November 22. Chandler’s longest streak of consecutive points scored for his team in an NBA game is 11, which he did once for the Nuggets (in March 2013) and twice for the Knicks (in October 2010 and January 2011).
Lots of close finishes in the NBA
Many NBA games came down to the wire on Monday night. In fact, in seven of Monday’s 11 games, the opposing teams were within three points of each other in the final ten seconds of the fourth quarter. The last day with at least seven games of that kind was April 16, 2014, which was the final day of the 2013-14 regular season. There were also seven games on that day that were within three points in the final 10 seconds of the fourth quarter.
Johansson lifts the Capitals
The Capitals trailed 2-1 heading into the third period of their game against the Sabres, but Marcus Johansson scored a power play goal with 6:18 remaining in the third period and another goal at the 2:38 mark in overtime to earn Washington a 3-2 win over Buffalo. Johansson is the fourth NHL player to score an overtime goal this season after scoring the last goal of the third period in that game. The other players who’ve done that are Ottawa’s Kyle Turris (Oct. 12), Colorado’s Gabriel Landeskog (Oct. 17) and Winnipeg’s Patrik Laine (Oct. 19).
Rust scores three of the Penguins’ eight goals
Bryan Rust notched the first hat trick of his NHL career in the Penguins’ 8-5 win over the Senators, the highest-scoring game in the NHL this season. Rust gave Pittsburgh an early 1-0 lead with a goal at the 1:45 mark of the first period, and he closed out the scoring on the night by tallying the final two goals: a penalty-shot goal and an empty-net goal in the third period. Rust is the first NHL player to produce a hat trick that included both a penalty-shot goal and an empty-net goal since Mario Lemieux did that in his five-goal game for the Penguins against the Devils on New Year’s Eve 1988.
Four-point game for Gagner
Sam Gagner tallied two goals and two assists in the Columbus Blue Jackets’ 4-1 win over one of his former teams, the Arizona Coyotes. It was Gagner’s first four-point game since he produced two goals and two assists for Arizona in its 5-1 win at Edmonton on Dec. 23, 2014. He’s the first former Coyotes player to record four points in one game against them since Daymond Langkow did so with one goal and three assists for Calgary on Dec. 16, 2006. Gagner is the first Columbus player to score at least four points in one game while registering a point on every Blue Jackets goal since Ryan Johansen had four assists in a 4-3 win at Philadelphia on Nov. 14, 2014.
Pastrnak and Neely
David Pastrnak’s second goal of the game was the overtime winner for the Bruins in their 4-3 victory against the Panthers. Pastrnak leads the Bruins with 15 goals this season (more than twice as many goals as any of his teammates has scored), despite having played in only 21 of Boston’s 26 games. He’s the first Bruins player to reach the 15-goal mark no more than 21 games into a season since 1993-94, when Cam Neely did it in his 13th game. Neely finished that season with 50 goals in 49 games.