Jenkins picks two, one for six
Malcolm Jenkins intercepted Eli Manning twice, returning the first for a touchdown, in the Eagles’ 24–19 home win over the Giants. Jenkins is the first Philadelphia player to have two interceptions including a pick-six since Dimitri Patterson, at Washington in November 2010. The last Eagles player to do that against the Giants was Gil Steinke (3 INT, 1 TD) at the Polo Grounds in November 1946 in a game that New York still managed to win, 45–17.
Beckham reaches 4000-yard milestone
Odell Beckham gained 150 yards receiving in the Giants’ loss Thursday night, raising his career total to 4078 yards in three seasons. The only other player ever to accumulate at least 4000 receiving yards over his first three NFL seasons is Randy Moss, who gained 4163 for the Vikings from 1998 to 2000.
Warriors turn it around in the third quarter
Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson each scored 11 points in the third quarter of the Warriors’ 117–101 win at Brooklyn. Golden State erased a 16-point halftime deficit by outscoring the Nets 39–19 in that period. It was the eighth time since the start of last season that the Warriors outscored an opponent by at least 20 points in a quarter, most in the NBA (the Spurs are second with five). And it was the seventh time since 2015–16 that the Nets allowed at least 20 more points than they scored in one period, which ties the 76ers for the most by any team.
The last NBA road team to win by at least 15 points after trailing by 15-or-more at halftime was the Suns, against the Clippers on December 30, 1987. The last time the Warriors did that, home or away, was on January 28, 1964. San Francisco, led by Wilt Chamberlain’s 59 points, overcame a 74–59 deficit after 24 minutes to defeat the 76ers, 139–117 in Philadelphia.
Celtics roll after Thomas returns
Isaiah Thomas scored 28 points and handed out nine assists in the Celtics’ 109–102 win at Indiana. Since returning to the lineup on December 16 following a groin injury, Thomas has put up 121 points and 24 assists in four games, all wins. The last Boston player to average at least 30 points and six assists over a four-game span while winning all four was Larry Bird in March 1990.
Two bench players star for Knicks
Kyle O’Quinn came off the bench to grab 16 rebounds and Brandon Jennings, another substitute, handed out 12 assists in the Knicks’ 106–95 home win over the Magic. The last NBA team to have one bench player pull down at least 15 rebounds while a different non-starter assisted on at least 10 field goals was the Heat (Jamaal Magloire 19 reb, Mario Chalmers 13 ast) at Toronto on April 13, 2011. The last time two New York subs did that was on March 5, 1985 against the Celtics (Eddie Lee Wilkins 15 reb, Rory Sparrow 15 ast).
Whiteside and Winslow put up similar numbers for Miami
Hassan Whiteside and Justise Winslow put up identical totals of 23 points and 13 rebounds in the Heat’s 115–107 home win over the Lakers. Whiteside made nine of 12 field-goal attempts (75%) while Winslow shot 10-for-16 (63%). It was the second time in franchise history that two Miami players had at least 20 points and 12 rebounds while making at least 60% of their shots from the floor. The first was on November 22, 1995, when Alonzo Mourning and Billy Owens did so in a home win over the Warriors.
Big performance by bench leads Clippers to win
Marreese Speights (14 points, 7 rebounds) led a 58-point, 25-rebound performance by the Clippers bench in Los Angeles’s 106–101 home win over the Spurs. The Clippers have matched those totals from their bench players in only one other game in the last 15 years. On Christmas Day, 2012, they got 64 points and 25 rebounds in a win over the Nuggets at Staples Center.
Blue Jackets blow out Penguins
Scott Hartnell produced the ninth hat trick of his NHL career when he scored three goals in the Blue Jackets’ 7–1 win over the Penguins. The six-goal margin of victory tied a Columbus team record for a win against a defending Stanley Cup champion, a mark set in an 8–2 victory over the Red Wings in Detroit on March 7, 2009. Hartnell’s hat trick was the third by a Blue Jackets player versus a Cup-holding team. Rick Nash had the others, both in 2009 versus the Red Wings, the first in a 3–2 overtime win at Columbus on January 27 and the second in the aforementioned 8–2 victory at Joe Louis Arena.
Leafs blank Avs
Frederik Andersen earned his first shutout for the Maple Leafs by making 38 saves in a 6–0 win versus the Avalanche in Denver. Over the last ten seasons the only other time that the Maple Leafs recorded a shutout victory by a margin of six goals or more was when James Reimer blanked the Canadiens by a 6–0 score in Montreal on Feb. 9, 2013. Andersen’s 38 saves are the most by a Toronto goaltender in his first shutout for the team since Ken Wregget made 38 saves in his first clean sheet for the Leafs, which was also a 6–0 road win (Nov. 14, 1987 at Philadelphia).
Rask tames Panthers
The Bruins’ Tuukka Rask beat the Panthers for the third time in three games this season with a 3–1 win in Sunrise on Thursday. Rask has an 18–3–1 record in 22 games against Florida. His .841 career points percentage versus the Panthers is the highest of any goaltender, active or retired, who has played more than ten games against them. Rask ranks fifth in wins versus Florida, behind Martin Brodeur (41), Olaf Kolzig (23), Henrik Lundqvist (22) and Dominik Hasek (21).
Staal scores his 20th against Habs
Eric Staal tallied his fifth goal in his last five games when he scored a shorthanded goal that snapped a 2–2 tie in the third period of the Minnesota Wild’s 4–2 win at Montreal. It was Staal’s 20th goal in 43 regular-season games versus the Canadiens. He’s one of five active NHL players with 20 or more career goals versus Montreal; the others are Jaromir Jagr (43), Jason Spezza (31), Alex Ovechkin (22) and Patrice Bergeron (20).
Faulk scores game-winner for Carolina
Justin Faulk’s goal was the game-winning goal for the Carolina Hurricanes in their 3–1 victory at Buffalo. It was the first game-winning goal this season for Faulk, who notched four game-winners for the Hurricanes in each of the past two seasons. Faulk was one of the four NHL defenseman to produce at least four game-winning goals in both 2014–15 and 2015–16. The others were Aaron Ekblad, Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Kevin Klein.
Hedman helps on three
Defenseman Victor Hedman tied his career high for assists in a game when helped set up three goals in the Lightning’s 5–2 win versus the Blues. It was Hedman’s second three-assist game this season (the first was on Dec. 14 at Calgary) and the 10th of his NHL career. Hedman, who was selected by Tampa Bay with the second overall pick in the 2009 Entry Draft, has produced more than twice as many three-assist games for the Lightning as any other defenseman. Pavel Kubina is second with four such games for Tampa Bay.
Hoffman scores overtime winner on power play
Mike Hoffman scored the third overtime goal of his NHL career to give the Ottawa Senators a 2–1 win against the Ducks on Thursday. This was the first overtime power play goal by the Senators since Jan. 4, 2014, when Clarke MacArthur scored one against the Canadiens in Montreal. Hoffman’s overtime PPG was the fourth in the NHL this season. The others were scored by Alex Ovechkin, Brent Burns and Rasmus Ristolainen.
Budaj breaks personal record for shutouts in a season
Kings goaltender Peter Budaj set a career high for shutouts in one season with his 4–0 win at Nashville. Budaj, who has filled in admirably for the injured Jonathan Quick, has racked up four shutouts in his 27 starts for the Kings this season, breaking his previous high of three shutouts, set with Colorado in 2006–07. Budaj has recorded as many shutouts this season as he did in 99 starts over his last six NHL seasons combined.
Schneider finally pitches a shutout
It took him 25 games, but Devils goaltender Cory Schneider finally recorded his first shutout of the season with a 4–0 victory against the Flyers which ended New Jersey’s seven-game winless streak. This is the most games that it’s taken Schneider to post his first shutout in any of his seven full seasons in the NHL. The longest it took him before this was 19 games as a rookie with the Canucks in 2010–11.
Ehlers scores multiple goals for the second time in three games
Nikolaj Ehlers scored two goals and assisted on another in the Winnipeg Jets’ 4–1 win at Vancouver. Two games earlier, Ehlers scored two goals in a home win over Colorado. Ehlers is the first Danish-born player ever to score multiple goals twice within a span of three games.