Harden joins Robertson with four 40-point triple-doubles
James Harden scored 40 points to go along with 12 rebounds and 10 assists on Tuesday night. It was Harden’s fourth triple-double this season in which he scored at least 40 points. The only other player in NBA history to do that at least four times in one season is Oscar Robertson, who did so in four different seasons for the Cincinnati Royals during the 1960s, including a record five times in 1963–64.
Leonard’s 30/60 sets franchise record
Kawhi Leonard scored a game-high 34 points in the Spurs’ win over the Timberwolves. Leonard has scored at least 30 points and made at least 60 percent of his shots from the field in each of his last four games. Only one other active NBA player scored 30 or more points and shot 60 percent or higher from the field in four consecutive games: LeBron James had a six-game streak like that in February 2013. Leonard is the first player in the Spurs’ NBA history to do that in four consecutive games.
DeRozan and Joseph take down the Nets
DeMar DeRozan scored 36 points and Cory Joseph added a career-high 33 in Toronto’s win at Brooklyn. It was the third time in franchise history that Raptors teammates each scored at least 33 points in a game, but Toronto lost the two other such contests––against Phoenix in March 2006 (Morris Peterson, 38; Mike James, 36) and at Indiana in February 2010 (Chris Bosh, 35; Andrea Bargnani, 34).
Mavericks’ starters each reach double figures in one-point win
Each of the Mavericks’ starters––Harrison Barnes (20), Seth Curry (18), Wesley Matthews (11), Deron Williams (11), and Dirk Nowitzki (10)––scored in double figures in Dallas’s 99–98 win at Chicago. It’s the only time in the last two seasons that an NBA team won a game by one point with each of its five starters scoring at least 10 points.
Lundqvist pulled after allowing 7 goals
The Stars beat the Rangers in New York, 7–6, in the highest-scoring NHL game in the last 24 hours and six players on each team produced at least two points. This was the first NHL game in which there were at least 12 multiple-point scorers since Winnipeg’s 9–8 win at Philadelphia on Oct. 27, 2011 (eight Jets and four Flyers). The Stars-Rangers game was the first NHL contest with at least six multi-point men on each side since Atlanta’s 7–6 shootout victory at Los Angeles on Feb. 16, 2009 (six for both the Thrashers and the Kings).
Dallas scored all seven of its goals against Henrik Lundqvist, who was pulled from the game at the end of the second period. It’s the first time that Lundqvist has ever allowed as many as seven goals in a game at Madison Square Garden (regular-season or playoffs), and the first time any Rangers netminder has done so since Jason LaBarbera suffered a 7–4 loss to the Penguins on March 7, 2004.
Benn finally scores against the Rangers
Jamie Benn scored one goal and assisted on two more for the Stars in their 7–6 win over the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Benn entered play on Tuesday having scored 202 goals in his NHL career (all spent with Dallas) and at least one versus every Stars opponent but the Rangers, against whom he was goalless (and pointless) in 10 games. Benn had been the active NHL player with the most career goals who had never scored a goal against the Rangers. That distinction now belongs to Derek Stepan, who, of course, has played his entire NHL career with the Broadway Blueshirts. Stepan has scored 123 goals, including the two he scored for the Rangers in the wild and wacky game at MSG on Tuesday.
Backlund lights lamp twice in 13 seconds
The Flames’ Mikael Backlund scored twice in a 13-second span during the second period of Calgary’s 5–2 win over the Panthers. That’s the quickest pair of goals scored by one player in an NHL game this season, easily topping the two goals in 23 seconds scored by Florida’s Colton Sceviour at Detroit on October 30. Backlund’s two goals were the fastest by a Flames player since Johnny Gaudreau scored two goals in 10 seconds versus Nashville on March 9 last season.
Rookie scores tying goal and go-ahead goal
Rookie Vinnie Hinostroza scored two goals in an NHL game for the first time to help lead the Blackhawks to a 6–4 win against the Avalanche in Denver. Hinostroza’s first goal tied the score at 4–4 at the 5:10 mark of the third period, and his second goal put the Blackhawks ahead to stay just over three minutes later. Only one other rookie has scored both a tying goal and a go-ahead goal in the third period of an NHL game this season. That was Winnipeg’s Brandon Tanev, who did it in the Jets’ 5–3 victory over the Red Wings on November 4.
Maple Leafs: 9 wins over last 11 games
Auston Matthews and James van Riemsdyk scored the last two goals for the Maple Leafs in their 4–3 win over the Sabres. Toronto’s 9–1–1 record since December 22 marks only the fourth time in the last 12 seasons that the Maple Leafs have recorded as many as nine wins over an 11-game span. They had one such 11-game stretch 2013–14, and two nine-win-in-11-game spans, which overlapped by one game in 2014–15. Matthews and Van Riemsdyk are the co-leaders in points for Toronto over the team’s last 11 games (14 each).
Dubinsky ends drought with two more goals against Ward
Brandon Dubinsky ended his 17-game goal drought by scoring not once, but twice in the Blue Jackets’ 4 –1 win against the Hurricanes. Dubinsky’s goalless streak was his longest since his career-worst 23-game dry spell with the Rangers in the 2008–09 season. Dubinsky scored both of his goals against Cam Ward, giving him a career total of nine goals (in 25 games) versus the veteran Carolina netminder. That’s the most goals Dubinsky has scored against any goaltender during his 11 seasons in the NHL.
Hoffman and Stone spark Senators
Mike Hoffman and Mark Stone each scored two goals for the Senators in their 6–4 win at St. Louis. The only other game over the last three seasons in which Ottawa had a pair of multiple-goal scorers was its 7–4 victory at Dallas on Nov. 24, 2015, in which Hoffman and Jean-Gabriel Pageau each tallied twice for the Senators. Hoffman’s multi-goal game was the 11th of his NHL career and 10th in a game in which Ottawa was facing a Western Conference team.