Elias Says: March 3, 2017

Warriors lose back-to-back games

The Warriors, who lost at Washington on Tuesday, fell to the Bulls, 94-87, on Thursday night. Entering Thursday, Golden State had played 146 consecutive regular-season games without suffering back-to-back losses, an NBA record. The last time the Warriors lost two consecutive regular-season games was April 5–7, 2015 (at San Antonio and at New Orleans). No other team in NBA history had a streak of 100-or-more games without consecutive losses.

Curry’s missing the mark

Stephen Curry continued his struggles as of late from three-point range, going 2-for-11 from beyond the arc in the Warriors’ loss to the Bulls on Thursday night. Over his last three games, Curry has gone 4-for-31 from three-point range (including 0-for-11 on February 27 and 2-for-9 the next day). Curry’s 27 missed three-point attempts in those contests are his most over a three-game span in his career; his previous high was 25 (done three times, including two overlapping spans, late in the 2015-16 season).

Curry’s four three-pointers made over his last three games are his fewest over a three-game span since he made four of 15 attempts from December 22 to 25, 2014.

Blazers score 16 consecutive points in comeback win over the Thunder

The Trail Blazers went on 16-0 run in the fourth quarter to turn a 101-94 deficit into a 110-101 lead that they never relinquished on Thursday night against the Thunder. That is the third time a team won a game this season in which that team scored at least 16 consecutive fourth-quarter points to turn a deficit into a lead. On November 5, the Magic scored 16 consecutive points in the final quarter to turn a 73-63 deficit into a 79-73 lead in an eventual win over the Wizards. And on November 21, the Celtics, trailing 81-68, scored 17 straight points and went on to prevail over the Timberwolves.

Westbrook puts up 45 in loss to Portland

Russell Westbrook scored 45 points in the Thunder’s loss to the Blazers on Thursday. Westbrook has scored at least 40 points in each of his last three games, tying the longest such streak among active players. Carmelo Anthony did so in April 2013, Westbrook did it two previous times (February/March 2015 and December 2016), and Stephen Curry also had a streak of this type (February 2016).

Westbrook scored 27 of his 45 points in the first half. That is the ninth time in which he scored that many points in a half this season, with the previous eight instances all coming in the second half. Westbrook’s 27 first-half points are tied for the third-most in the opening half in his career. He scored 27 first-half points against the Lakers on December 7, 2012, 29 in the opening half against the Pacers on April 12, 2015, and 34 just three days after that Pacers game, in a matchup with the Timberwolves.

Suns allow 12 fourth-quarter points in win over Hornets

The Suns, holding a three-point lead entering the fourth quarter, dominated the final period by outscoring the Hornets, 26-12, on their way to a 120-103 victory. Charlotte went just 4-for-19 (21%) from the floor in the fourth quarter, including 0-for-7 on three-point attempts. It had been nearly two years since the last time the Suns allowed 12-or-fewer fourth-quarter points; they allowed just nine points to the Cavaliers on March 7, 2015.

Holtby overpowers the Devils

Braden Holtby posted his league-leading eighth shutout of the season with a 1–0 win over the Devils that extended Holtby’s streak without a loss to 20 consecutive decisions (18–0–2). This is the second time that Holtby has had a streak of at least 20 straight decisions in one season without losing, having gone 20–0–2 over a 22-game stretch in 2015–16. The only other goaltender in NHL history with two single-season unbeaten streaks of 20 or more decisions is Pete Peeters, who had a 27-decision streak for the Flyers in 1979–80 (22–0–5) and a 31-decision skein for the Bruins in 1982–83 (26–0–5).

Eichel extends assist streak to eight games

Jack Eichel tallied one goal and two assists for the Sabres in their 6–3 win against the Coyotes. Eichel has recorded at least one assist in each of Buffalo’s last eight games, matching the longest assist streak in the NHL this season (eight games by Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh from Oct. 17–Nov. 1). He also equaled the longest assist streak in the last 10 seasons by a Sabres player. Jason Pominville had an eight-game assist streak for Buffalo in 2008–09 as did Tim Connolly in 2009–10.

They say it’s your birthday

Henrik Lundqvist, on his 35th birthday, earned first-star honors by making 32 saves in a 2–1 victory over the Bruins in Boston. Lundqvist has a 25–12–2 record in the 39 regular-season games he’s played versus the Bruins in his NHL career. He ranks fourth in wins by a goaltender against the Bruins during the NHL’s expansion era (i.e., 1967–68 to date), behind Patrick Roy (38), Ryan Miller (27) and Martin Brodeur (26). Lundqvist is the oldest NHL goaltender to win a regular-season game on his birthday since Oct. 26, 2011, when Miikka Kiprusoff posted a victory for Calgary on his 35th birthday.

Byron wins it late

Paul Byron’s goal with 8.3 seconds left to play in regulation time snapped a 1–1 tie and earned the Canadiens a 2–1 victory over the Predators. Over the last 20 years the only other player to score a go-ahead goal for the Canadiens in the last 10 seconds of the third period is Andrei Markov, whose goal at the 19:58 mark of the third period on Oct. 26, 2006, enabled the Canadiens to post 3–2 win against the Bruins in Boston.

Burrows buries two in Sens debut

Alex Burrows, who was traded to the Senators by the Canucks on Monday, made a big splash in his debut for Ottawa by scoring both goals for the Senators in their 2–1 win against the Avalanche. Burrows is the fourth player to score two goals in his first game with the Senators and he’s the first player to do so in nearly 23 years. The other players to score a pair of goals in their Senators debuts are Doug Smail (Oct. 8, 1992, in the first game in franchise history), Brian Glynn (Oct. 6, 1993) and Dan Quinn (March 17, 1994).

Isles come back with strong third period

Nick Leddy, Dennis Seidenberg and Nikolay Kulemin scored the goals for the Islanders that enabled them to overcome a 3–2 deficit entering the third period and post a 5–4 victory over the Stars in Dallas. This was the first time that the Islanders won a road game in regulation time after trailing during the third period since the 2013–14 season when they racked up four such wins. The last of those four comeback victories was a 7–4 win in Vancouver on March 10, 2014, in which the Islanders outscored the Canucks 7–1 in the third period.

Bobrovsky tames the Wild

Sergei Bobrovsky posted his fourth shutout of the season with a 1–0 victory over the Wild in Columbus in which he made 38 saves. Bobrovsky notched his first three shutouts this season over a six-start stretch from October 22 through November 4, but he had failed to produce a clean in 40 starts since then before blanking Minnesota on Thursday. That was the second-longest streak of consecutive NHL starts without a shutout for Bobrovsky, behind the 91-start streak to begin his NHL career. Bobrovsky has made 30 or more saves in 14 of his 16 career shutouts in the NHL and in each of his last nine shutouts.

Mason handles the pressure

Flyers goaltender Steve Mason stopped 39 of the 40 shots on goal against him in his 2–1 shootout win over the Panthers. Mason has won all three games this season in which he faced 40 or more shots on goal, and he’s 13–2–5 with a 2.07 GAA and .950 save percentage in 20 such games since he was traded to Philadelphia by Columbus in April 2013.

Sorensen’s first goal wins it

Marcus Sorensen’s first NHL goal proved to be the game-winner in the Sharks’ 3-1 victory over the Canucks. Sorensen is the second Sharks player this season whose first goal in the NHL was a game-winning goal; Timo Meier did so against the Canadiens in December 2016 in a 4-2 San Jose victory.