Elias Says: Dec. 17, 2016

Career game #800 for CP3

Chris Paul, playing in his 800th regular-season NBA game, helped the Clippers to a win over the Heat in Miami. Paul’s total of 7943 assists is the fourth-most for any player in NBA history through his first 800 career games, behind John Stockton (9199), Magic Johnson (9007) and Oscar Robertson (8131).

Paul has also scored 14,987 points and has 1855 steals in his NBA career. No other player in NBA history had that many points, assists and steals through their first 800 games in the league. Steals were first compiled in the NBA for the 1973-74 season.

Thomas, Bird and Havlicek

Isaiah Thomas, who missed the previous four games, picked up right where he left off by scoring 26 points in the Celtics’ win over the Hornets. Thomas, who leads the team in both points and assists this season, has scored 572 points and handed out 134 assists in 22 games this season. Only two other players in Celtics history reached such high minimums in both of those categories through their first 22 games of a season: Larry Bird (in both 1984–85 and 1986–87) and John Havlicek (1970–71).

Rockets make 24 treys

The Rockets made an NBA-record 24 three-point field goals on Friday night. Consider this, the 1980-81 Atlanta Hawks and the 1982-83 Los Angeles Lakers made only 10 three-point shots during the entire season.

Three Rockets clean the glass

Clint Capela, Patrick Beverley and James Harden all grabbed 11 rebounds in the Rockets’ win over the Pelicans on Friday night. It’s the first time since March 24, 2009 that the Rockets had three different players each grab at least 11 rebounds in the same game. In that game, a loss at Utah, Yao Ming (13 rebounds), Luis Scola (12) and Ron Artest (11) were the three Rockets to accomplish this.

Howard playing like Superman

Dwight Howard scored 27 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in the Hawks’ win over the Raptors, one game after scoring 20 points and grabbing 16 rebounds in a loss to the Magic. Howard is the first Hawks player with consecutive games with at least 20 points and 15 rebounds since Al Horford had back-to-back games like that in February 2013.

Magic win due to fourth quarter charity

The Magic, who entered the fourth quarter with a one-point lead over the Nets on Friday night, went 17-for-19 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter while the Nets did not attempt a shot from the charity stripe in the final quarter. It’s the first time one NBA team had at least 19 free-throw attempts in a quarter while their opponents had none in that same quarter since March 13, 2009. In that game, the Trail Blazers had 19 shots from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter while the Nets, who called New Jersey home at the time, had none.

Randle scores 25 points

Julius Randle led all players with 25 points in the Lakers’ win over the 76ers on Saturday night. It’s only the second time in his career that Randle led both teams in scoring in his 108-game NBA career. The only other time he was the leading scorer in a game was on March 4, 2016 in a Lakers loss to the Hawks. Randle scored 16 points in that game, tying him with Dennis Schroder for the game lead.

Wall and Beal lead Wizards

John Wall scored 29 points and Bradley Beal dropped in 25 in the Wizards’ win over the Pistons on Friday night. It’s the seventh time that both Wall and Beal scored 25 or more points in the same game. The Wizards are only 3-4 in those seven games.

Gortat pounds the boards

While Wall and Beal scored the points, Marcin Gortat was cleaning the glass for the Wizards with 14 rebounds. Gortat has grabbed 299 rebounds in 25 games this season, the most for any Washington player since Jeff Ruland had 321 rebounds in his first 25 games in 1983-84.

Ristolainen scores in OT again

Rasmus Ristolainen scored 42 seconds into overtime to earn the Sabres a 3–2 win against the Islanders on Friday. Ristolainen’s overtime goal was the second of his four-year NHL career, but it came only ten days after his first one. On December 6 his goal at the 57-second mark in overtime gave Buffalo a win versus the Oilers. Ristolainen is the second defenseman in Sabres history to score two overtime goals in one season, joining Tyler Myers who did that in 2010–11. He’s also the first Sabres player ever to score two first-minute OT goals within one season.

Meier GWG in NHL debut

Timo Meier scored a goal in his NHL debut and it was the game-winning goal for the Sharks in their 4–2 victory at Montreal on Friday. Meier, who was San Jose’s first pick in the 2015 Entry Draft, is the fourth player to make his NHL debut with the Sharks and score the winning goal in his first game. The others were Marco Sturm (1997 vs. Chicago), Devin Setoguchi (2007 at Dallas) and Bryan Lerg (2015 at Edmonton).

Budaj stops all 39 shots

Peter Budaj posted his third shutout of the season with a 1–0 overtime victory at Pittsburgh in which he made 39 saves. That tied Budaj’s career high for saves in a shutout, which he set in a 2–0 win for Colorado against the Ducks on Feb. 13, 2007. Budaj is the second goaltender in Kings history to produce a 1–0 shutout victory while stopping at least 39 shots. Jonathan Quick has done that twice, with 40 saves at Philadelphia in a regulation-time win on Feb. 13, 2011, and 43 in a shootout victory against St. Louis on Oct. 16, 2014.

Oshie is a star in the shootout

T.J. Oshie scored the final goal of the third period and the deciding goal in the shootout which earned the Capitals a 4–3 win at Carolina. Oshie has scored on 37 of his 67 shootout attempts in his nine seasons in the NHL. His 55-percent success rate in shootouts is the highest among all players with at least 50 attempts in the 12 seasons that the NHL has used that tiebreaking format. He’s tied for third in the NHL in shootout goals over the last nine seasons, behind co-leaders Frans Nielsen and Jonathan Toews with 41 each.

Blue Jackets extend winning streak

Boone Jenner, Brandon Saad, Sam Gagner and Matt Calvert scored the goals for Columbus in a 4–1 victory at Calgary which extended the Blue Jackets’ winning streak to eight games, one shy of the franchise record of nine set in March/ April 2015. The Blue Jackets have won by at least a two-goal margin in each of their last five games, matching the longest such streak in club history (five straight wins by two-plus goals in December 2006).

Reimer is 5-0-1 versus the Avs

Panthers goaltender James Reimer recorded his first win since November 20 with a 3–1 victory over the Avalanche in Denver. Reimer has spent most of his NHL career in the Eastern Conference so he hasn’t faced Colorado too often, but his win on Friday improved his career record versus the Avs to 5–0–1 in six games. Colorado is the only NHL team against which Reimer has played at least four games and never suffered a regulation loss. The five wins match his highest total victory total against any Western Conference team (he’s 5–1–0 vs. Edmonton).