Wall is 15th first overall pick with 50-point game
John Wall scored a career-high 52 points - his previous best was 47 - against the Magic on Tuesday night. Among the 51 players selected first overall in the modern (since 1966) NBA draft, Wall is the 15th to score at least 50 points in an NBA game. Among that group, Allen Iverson had the most 50-point games (11), one more than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and LeBron James (10 apiece).
Grizzlies winning the close ones
The Grizzlies have won four straight games, but each was close: 95-94 against Orlando, 103-100 versus the Lakers, 110-108 at New Orleans, and 96-91 over Philadelphia. Memphis is the first NBA team since the New Orleans Hornets in 2009-10 to win four consecutive games, each by five or fewer points. New Orleans had a six-game winning streak of that kind, spanning December and January of that season.
Leonard blanked in first quarter, finishes with 31 points
Kawhi Leonard did not record his first basket until there were a little more than 10 minutes remaining in the first half, but he went on to score a game-high 31 points in the Spurs’ victory over the Timberwolves. The only other NBA player to produce a 30-point game after not scoring in the first quarter this season was Sean Kilpatrick, with a 38-point performance in a double-overtime affair against the Clippers last week.
Anthony turns up the heat in Miami
Carmelo Anthony scored 35 points to help the Knicks defeat the Heat at American Airlines Arena. That boosted Anthony’s career average on the road against the Heat to 26.3 points per game. The only individuals who played at least 15 NBA games as a visitor at Miami and had a higher scoring average there than Anthony were three Hall of Famers - Michael Jordan (30.4), Karl Malone (28.1) and Allen Iverson (27.1) - along with LeBron James (29.5).
Butler extends road streak
Jimmy Butler scored 32 points at Detroit and he now has scored more than 25 points in each of his last five road games, the longest such streak of his career. (Butler exceeded 25 points in four consecutive games away from home in January 2016.) Butler’s streak is the longest of its kind by a Bulls player since Michael Jordan scored more than 25 points in five straight road games in March 1998.
Gobert’s career high helped by impressive night at line
Rudy Gobert scored a career-high 22 points to help the Jazz defeat the Suns. Gobert, who began the night with a career free-throw percentage of .594, made 10 of his 11 attempts from the foul line. Gobert had never before converted at least 80 percent of his foul shots in a game in which he went to the charity stripe at least eight times.
Halak stymies Rangers again
Jaroslav Halak turned away 36 of the 38 shots on goal against him in his 4-2 win over the Rangers in Brooklyn. Halak is 9-3-0 in the 12 games he’s played versus the Rangers over the last four seasons, with two wins in two games for the Blues in 2013-14 and a 7-3-0 record in 10 games during his three seasons with the Islanders. Halak has at least three more wins against the Rangers over the last four seasons that any other goaltender. Ben Bishop, Marc-Andre Fleury and Tuukka Rask are tied for second with six wins apiece against the Rangers since 2013-14.
Rare late comeback win for Sabres
Rasmus Ristolainen fired a slapshot past Edmonton goaltender Cam Talbot 57 seconds into overtime to earn the Buffalo Sabres a 4-3 victory against the Oilers. Buffalo seemed headed for a one-goal loss until Evander Kane scored for the Sabres with 28.3 seconds left to play in the third period to tie the game at 3-3. Excluding shootout victories, this is only the second time in the last 11 seasons that the Sabres won a game in which they trailed in the final minute of the third period. Buffalo’s only other such comeback win since 2006-07 was against the Bruins on Feb. 26, 2014. Matt Moulson scored the last-minute tying goal in that game and Matt D’Agostini won it for the Sabres at the 22-second mark of overtime.
Hall loves facing Canucks
Taylor Hall scored one goal and assisted on another to lead the Devils to a 3-2 win over the Canucks. Hall, who was traded to New Jersey by the Oilers last summer after playing the first six seasons of his NHL career with Edmonton, has tallied 28 points in 30 games versus Vancouver (8 goals, 20 assists). That’s Hall’s highest point total against any NHL team and the most points that any player has produced versus the Canucks since he entered the league in October 2010.
Simmonds scores two goals in consecutive games
Wayne Simmonds scored two goals in the Flyers’ overtime victory against the Panthers on Tuesday, after doing the same in Philadelphia’s win at Nashville on Sunday. He was the third NHL player to score at least two goals in each of two consecutive team games this season, after Marcus Johansson (Oct. 29-30) and Sidney Crosby (Nov. 3-5). Simmonds accounted for the only instance of a Flyers player recording back-to-back multiple-goal games in each of the past two seasons (Oct. 9-11, 2014 and Feb. 2-4, 2016).
Schwartz shines in OT win
Jaden Schwartz’s second goal of the game gave the St. Louis Blues a 3-2 overtime win against the Canadiens. The Blues trailed 2-0 at the end of the second period but they tied the score at 2-2 with goals less than three minutes apart in the middle of the third period by Paul Stastny and Schwartz. Schwartz has produced three multiple-goal games this season and they’ve all come since November 17. No other NHL player has recorded more than two multi-goal games over the same span.
Darling blanks Coyotes
Blackhawks goaltender Scott Darling posted the third shutout of his NHL career with a 4-0 win versus the Coyotes. Darling, an Illinois native, has produced one shutout in each of the three seasons he’s played for Chicago. He got his first clean sheet on March 18, 2015 against the Rangers in New York, and the second shutout exactly one year later, on March 18, 2016 at Winnipeg. Darling is only the second U.S.-born goaltender to record shutouts for the Blackhawks in at least three different seasons. Minnesota-born Mike Karakas, who is enshrined in the United States Hockey Hall of Fame, registered 28 shutouts for the Blackhawks with at least one in seven of the eight seasons he played for them during the 1930s and 1940s.
Gaudreau stars against Dallas
Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan each tallied one goal and one assist for the Flames in their 2-1 win over the Stars in Dallas. Gaudreau has played in only 19 of Calgary’s 29 games but his five multiple-point games this season tie him with Sam Bennett for the Flames’ team high. Two of Gaudreau’s multi-point games have been against the Stars.
Predators score four go-ahead goals
Roman Josi’s power play goal snapped a 3-3 tie and proved to be the game-winning goal for the Predators in their 4-3 victory against the Avalanche in Nashville. The Predators had taken a one-goal lead three times before, on goals by Viktor Arvidsson, James Neal and P.K. Subban, only to have Colorado tie the score each time. Over the last seven seasons the only other game in which the Predators scored as many as four go-ahead goals was also against the Avs, in a 6-4 Nashville win in Colorado on Nov. 6, 2013.