Clippers score most first-half points vs. Spurs in nearly 26 years
Blake Griffin scored 26 of his team’s 73 first-half points in the Clippers’ 116–92 win at San Antonio. The Spurs hadn’t allowed as many as 73 points before halftime since November 7, 1990, when head coach Larry Brown’s team allowed 90 in a 161–153 win over the Nuggets at HemisFair Arena.
The Sixers need a closer
The 76ers led the Cavaliers until Channing Frye’s three-pointer with just over a minute remaining provided the winning points in Cleveland’s 102–101 victory. Over the last two seasons, Philadelphia is an astonishing 10–24 (.294) in games in which it led during the fourth quarter. Every other NBA team has a winning percentage of at least .575 in such games since 2015–16.
Hawks frontcourt enjoys big game
Starting forwards Paul Millsap and Kent Bazemore scored 23 and 20 points respectively and center Dwight Howard added 20 of his own in the Hawks’ 112–97 home win over the Rockets. It was the third time in the last 14 seasons that all three members of Atlanta’s starting frontcourt scored at least 20 points. The previous two games also came against Houston, on January 15, 2011 (Joe Johnson 30, Al Horford 24, Josh Smith 21) and December 29, 2015 (Horford 30, Bazemore 26, Millsap 22).
20/10 in under 25 is a Kanter specialty
Enes Kanter came off the bench to score 20 points and grab 10 rebounds in 20 minutes, 39 seconds of the Thunder’s 112–92 win over the visiting Timberwolves. It was the third time this calendar year that Kanter had at least 20 points and 10 rebounds while playing less than 25 minutes; he also did that on January 27 at Minnesota and March 26 versus San Antonio. Before 2016, no Sonics/Thunder player had done that since Shawn Kemp, on February 15, 1994 against the 76ers in Seattle.
Not much support for Towns in starting lineup
Karl-Anthony Towns led all scorers with 33 points, but none of the Timberwolves other four starters reached double digits in Minnesota’s loss at Oklahoma City. It was the fourth game in team history in which one T-Wolves starter scored at least 30 points while none of the rest scored as many as 10. The others were February 12, 1991 at Golden State (Tyrone Corbin 31 pts), November 17, 1995 at Toronto (Isaiah Rider 30), and January 25, 2009 versus Chicago (Al Jefferson 39).
Drummond has 30th 20-rebound game
Andre Drummond scored 19 points and grabbed 20 rebounds in the Pistons’ 103–86 win over the visiting Nuggets. It was the 30th time in his five NBA seasons that Drummond has pulled down at least 20 boards in a game. The only other NBA player with even half as many 20-rebound games since 2012–13 is DeAndre Jordan (29).
Teletovic’s threes spark win
Mirza Teletovic made seven of nine field-goal attempts, all from three-point range, but did not grab a rebound in the Bucks’ 117–91 home win over the Kings. Only one other NBA player has ever made at least seven threes in a game without a two-point attempt or a rebound. That was the Knicks’ Steve Novak, who made eight of 10 shots from behind the arc against the Celtics on April 17, 2012.
Ellis contributes while hardly shooting at all
Monta Ellis made one of two shots from the floor, scoring just two points but contributing seven rebounds and eight assists in the Pacers’ 111–94 home win over the Bulls. Ellis is the second player this season to register at least seven rebounds and seven assists in a game in which he attempted two or fewer field goals; The Knicks’ Joakim Noah also did that on October 29. No NBA player had a game like that all of last season, and no other Indiana player has done it since the Pacers joined the NBA in 1976–77.
Biyombo’s rebounding ahead of scoring early in Orlando career
Bismack Biyombo came off the bench to score nine points and grab 12 rebounds in the Magic’s 88–86 home win over the Wizards. Biyombo, who signed as a free agent over the summer, has 20 points and 41 rebounds in five games this season. Over the last 14 seasons, three other players have registered at least 40 rebounds while scoring 20 or fewer points over their first five games with a team: Marcus Camby with the Trail Blazers (2009–10), Samuel Dalembert with the Kings (2010–11), and Andrew Bogut with the Mavericks (2016–17).
Bishop exorcises Devils
Ben Bishop made 37 saves as he recorded a 4–1 victory for the Lightning over the Devils in Tampa on Saturday. Bishop has an 8–2–0 record in his 10 career games versus New Jersey, and he’s won his last six games against the Devils dating back to March 2014 while allowing only seven goals in the process. Bishop’s 1.28 career goals-against average against the Devils is the lowest GAA versus that franchise by any goaltender, active or retired, with at least 10 games played versus the team wherever it’s been located (Kansas City, Colorado or New Jersey).
Young Marner scores game-winner in second straight game
Mitch Marner scored the game-winning goal for the Maple Leafs in their 6–3 victory over the Canucks on Saturday, after scoring both goals for Toronto in its 2–1 win at Buffalo on Thursday. The 19-year-old Marner is the first teenager to score the winning goal for the Maple Leafs in each of two consecutive team games since 1951, when Danny Lewicki did that at age 19 in Toronto victories at Chicago (Jan. 28) and Montreal (Feb. 1).
Another 7–0–0 start for Price
The Canadiens bounced back from their 10–0 loss in Columbus on Friday with a 5–4 victory over the Flyers in Montreal on Saturday. Carey Price, who did not play on Friday, was back in goal for the Canadiens and he made 34 saves while notching his seventh win in seven games this season. Price also won his first seven games last season. He’s the first goaltender in NHL history to win his first seven games in each of two consecutive seasons. The only other NHL netminder to win his first seven or more decisions (as opposed to games) in each of two straight seasons was Bob Froese for the Flyers in 1984–85 (first nine) and 1985–86 (first seven).
Rangers score five in fourth straight game
Derek Stepan and Kevin Hayes tallied the first two shorthanded goals of the season for the Rangers as they extended their winning streak to four games with a 5–2 victory at Boston. The Rangers, who won their previous three games by scorelines of 6–1, 5–0 and 5–3, have scored at least five goals in each of four consecutive games for only the third time since 1993. They also did that in October/November 2000 and February 2015.
Stepan’s shorthanded goal gave the Rangers a 2–1 lead late in the first period and Hayes’ shorty made it 3–1 early in the second period, while also breaking Stepan’s streak of having scored the last five regular-season shorthanded goals by the Blueshirts. (He scored their final shorthanded goal in 2014–15 and all three of the team’s SHGs last season.) Stepan was the first player to register five consecutive shorthanded goals scored by the Rangers since Theo Fleury scored five in a row in October/November 2000, all within a three-week span.
Kane scores his first PPG of the season
Patrick Kane’s first power play goal this season was the game-winning goal for the Blackhawks in their 3–2 win at Dallas. Kane scored a career-high 17 power play goals last season, which tied him with the Stars’ Jamie Benn for second-most in the NHL, behind Alex Ovechkin who scored 19 PPGs. Kane’s career total of 80 power play goals ranks him third among active NHL players born in the United States, behind Joe Pavelski (97) and Zach Parise (90).
Pickard improves to 3–0
The Avalanche’s backup goaltender, Calvin Pickard, recorded the second shutout of his NHL career and his third win in three games this season with a 1–0 victory against the Wild on Saturday afternoon. Pickard is only the fourth Avs goaltender to win his first three (or more) games of a season since the Quebec Nordiques relocated to Denver in 1995. The others were David Aebischer in 2000–01 (who won his first four games), and both Semyon Varlamov (first five games) and Jean-Sebastien Giguere (first five games) in 2013–14.
Tarasenko scores OT winner
Vladimir Tarasenko’s goal in the last minute of overtime earned the Blues a 2–1 win against Columbus. It was Tarasenko’s first overtime goal this season and the fifth regular-season OT goal of his NHL career, with all of them coming in the last three seasons. The only NHL players who’ve scored more overtime goals over the last three seasons than Tarasenko are Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Jonathan Toews with six each.
Oshie scores first career goals against Florida
T.J. Oshie scored a pair of goals for the Capitals in their 4–2 win over the Panthers. Before Saturday, Oshie had not scored a goal in any of the 12 games he’d played against Florida in his NHL career. With the Panthers now crossed off his goal-scoring bucket list, Oshie has scored at least one goal against every NHL team except his original NHL club, the St. Louis Blues, where he spent the first seven seasons of his NHL career until he was traded to Washington in July 2015. Oshie has played only one game against the Blues.
Seidenberg close to longest career point-scoring streak
Defenseman Dennis Seidenberg extended his point streak to four games when he recorded the first of his two assists for the Islanders in their shootout loss to the Oilers. This is only the third time that Seidenberg has produced points in each of four or more consecutive games in his 14 seasons in the NHL. He had a four-game point streak for the Bruins in March 2010 and a career-best five-game streak for Boston in the middle of the 2011–12 season.
Sabres on a defensive roll
Former Ottawa goaltender Robin Lehner stopped 32 shots in his 2–1 win for the Sabres against the Senators on Saturday. The Sabres won only one of their first six games this season but they’re 4–1–0 since then, having outscored their opponents 11–5 in those five games. This is the first time that Buffalo has allowed as few as five goals over a five-game span within one season since the Sabres gave up five goals in five games from February 21 through March 1, 2012.
Defenseman Irwin scores a goal in third straight game
Matt Irwin extended his goal-scoring streak to three games when he scored the final goal for the Predators in their shootout loss to the Hurricanes. That ties tie Nashville team record for the longest single-season goal-scoring streak by a defenseman, a mark set by Shea Weber in February 2013. Irwin is the first NHL defenseman to score at least one goal in each of three consecutive team games this season. The first NHL defenseman to do that last season was Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson (Nov. 10–14).