Elias Says: March 23, 2017

Westbrook’s perfect night

Russell Westbrook had a triple-double on Wednesday in which he went 6-for-6 on both field goals and free throws. It was the first triple-double in NBA history, in the regular-season or postseason, in which the player did not miss a field goal or free throw.

Two other players have gone 6-for-6 or better on field goals (while missing at least one free throw) in a triple double. Wilt Chamberlain did that three times, including an 18-for-18 game in 1967, and Draymond Green did so last year.

Thomas having a legendary season

Isaiah Thomas scored 25 points in the Celtics’ win over the Pacers on Wednesday, for his 47th game of 25-plus points this season. That’s the highest such total for a Boston player since Larry Bird had 57 games of 25-plus points in the 1987–88 season.

Wall does all of his scoring after intermission

John Wall did not score a point in the first half but totaled 22 points in the second half to help the Wizards to a win over the Hawks on Wednesday. Wall tied the highest point total in a game this season by a player who didn’t score before halftime. The others with 22 were Troy Daniels (Dec. 29) and Bradley Beal (Feb. 26).

Gobert misses only once

Rudy Gobert scored 35 points on 13-for-14 shooting in Utah’s win over the Knicks on Wednesday. That’s the most field goals made in a game by a player with zero or one miss in either of the last two seasons. Before Gobert, the last NBA player to go 13-for-14 or better from the floor in one game was Jonas Valanciunas, who had a 14-for-15 game on January 12, 2015.

Team effort leads Denver to win over Cleveland

The Nuggets had six players score at least 15 points in their win over the Cavaliers on Wednesday, tying the highest total by any team this season (done three other times). Denver hadn’t had six players score 15 or more points in nearly five years, since April 26, 2012 against Minnesota.

Bulls find target against Detroit

The Bulls’ starters made 68.8 percent of their field goals in Chicago’s win over Detroit, with Nikola Mirotic leading the way with 28 points. That’s the fourth-highest field-goal percentage by a team’s starters in an NBA game this season. The top mark was also by Chicago against Detroit, on December 19, when Bulls starters made 73.8 percent (31 for 42).

Antetokounmpo dominates in Bucks’ win

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 32 points and collected 13 rebounds in the Bucks’ win in Sacramento on Wednesday. It was Antetokounmpo’s seventh game this season with at least 30 points and 10 rebounds, the highest total for a Bucks player since Marques Johnson had 11 in 1978–79, when he was named to the All-NBA First Team.

Hornets sting Magic again

The Hornets defeated the Magic on Wednesday to complete a season sweep, which Charlotte won by an aggregate of 87 points. That’s the largest point differential in any season sweep in Hornets history. Their previous best was a plus-84 mark in a five-game sweep of the Pistons in the 1994–95 season, with Larry Johnson and Alonzo Mourning starring for Charlotte.

Rookies power Toronto to a big win

Rookies Auston Matthews and William Nylander each scored a goal for the Maple Leafs in their win over the Blue Jackets in Columbus. Matthews’ goal was his 33rd, tying the Jets’ Patrik Laine for the league lead among rookies, and Nylander’s goal was his 20th of the season. Matthews and Nylander are the first pair of rookies to each score 20 or more goals for the Maple Leafs in one season since Wendel Clark (34) and Steve Thomas (20) did so in 1985–86.

Nylander has scored a goal or assisted on one in each of Toronto’s last eight games (3 goals, 7 assists), tying the record for consecutive team games with a point by a rookie, established by Gus Bodnar (1943–44), and previously duplicated by Bob Nevin (1960–61) and Dan Daoust (1982–83).

This is the fourth consecutive season in which an NHL team had two rookie 20-goal scorers. The last three duos were Tyler Johnson (24) and Ondrej Palat (23) for Tampa Bay in 2013–14, Mike Hoffman (27) and Mark Stone (26) for Ottawa in 2014–15, and Jack Eichel (24) and Sam Reinhart (23) for Buffalo in 2015–16.

A rare Manhattan comeback win for Islanders

Nikolay Kulemin and Andrew Ladd scored the goals which enabled the Islanders to overcome a 2–1 deficit in the third period and post a 3–2 win over the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. It’s only the fourth time in the 45-year rivalry between these teams that the Islanders won a regular-season road game against the Rangers in which they trailed during the third period, and it’s only the second such win for the Islanders at MSG in the last 33 seasons.

Their other third-period comeback victory at the Garden since 1983–84 was by a 3–1 score on Nov. 23, 2002. Mark Parrish scored the tying goal for the Islanders in that game and Brad Isbister scored both the go-ahead and insurance goals.

McDavid and Draisaitl score in Oilers’ loss

Connor McDavid scored his 26th goal of the season and Leon Draisaitl scored his 25th in the Oilers’ loss to the Ducks on Wednesday. They’re the first pair of teammates to score 25 goals in a season before turning 22 years old since Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall did that, also for Edmonton, in the 2011–12 season.

And how about this: in the 1981–82 season, Edmonton had five players score 25-plus goals at age 21 or younger: Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Glenn Anderson, Jari Kurri and Paul Coffey.

Stroman throws a gem

Marcus Stroman did not allow a hit on Wednesday until Angel Pagan’s double to lead off the seventh inning in the USA’s WBC Championship Game win over Puerto Rico. Stroman has gone six innings before allowing a hit once in the regular season, against the Red Sox in 2014, his rookie season.