Elias Says: October 29, 2017

Bellinger’s ninth-inning heroics lift Dodgers to win

Cody Bellinger had the go-ahead RBI in the ninth inning and the Dodgers tacked on four runs to even the World Series at two games apiece. Since 1920, only four other players age 22 or younger have had a go-ahead RBI in the ninth inning or later of a World Series game: Tony Lazzeri in 1926, Jimmie Foxx in 1930, Tim McCarver in 1964 and Edgar Renteria, who had a walkoff single to win the 1997 World Series for the Marlins.

Springer’s homer sends Wood to showers

George Springer’s sixth-inning home run broke up Alex Wood’s no-hit bid. Springer is the first player in World Series history to break up a no hitter with a home run in the sixth inning or later.

Wood is the third starting pitcher in World Series history to allow only one hit, but have it be a home run, joining Johnny Podres (1953 Dodgers) and Orlando Hernandez (1999 Yankees).

Alex Bregman added a ninth-inning home run for Houston’s only other hit of the night. No other team in postseason history has hit two home runs in a game, but had no other hits.

Simmons’s amazing start

Ben Simmons scored 23 points in the 76ers’ win over the Mavericks on Saturday and after six games in the NBA he’s scored 105 points with 57 rebounds and 45 assists. The only other player in NBA history to score at least 100 points with 50 or more rebounds and 40 or more assists in his first six games in the league was Oscar Robertson in 1960 (168 points, 70 rebounds, 60 assists).

Westbrook and Thunder breeze to win in Chicago

Russell Westbrook scored 12 points with 13 assists and 13 rebounds in the Thunder’s 32-point win in Chicago on Saturday. It was Westbrook’s 22nd “triple-dozen” game in his 10 seasons in the NBA. No other player had had even 10 such games over the last 10 seasons. And Westbrook’s first such game didn’t come until his third season in the league.

Westbrook is the first player to have three triple-doubles in his first six games of a season since Magic Johnson in 1982–83.

Cousins dominates in Pelicans’ win over Cavaliers

The Pelicans defeated the Cavaliers on Saturday, 123–101. Cleveland, which lost by 21 points to Orlando one week ago, is the fourth team coming off an NBA Finals appearance to lose two of its first six games by more than 20 points, joining the 1971 Baltimore Bullets (three such, 2004 Lakers and 2006 Heat.

DeMarcus Cousins scored 29 points in a triple-double in the Pelicans’ win, which is the most points he’s scored in any of his seven TDs in his professional career. Cousins has scored 194 points and collected 83 rebounds this season. He’s the first player to average at least 30 points and 13 rebounds over his first six games of a season since Shaquille O’Neal in 1994–95, and before that, Bob McAdoo in 1975–76.

Irving helps Celtics beat the Heat

Kyrie Irving scored 24 points in the Celtics’ win over the Heat on Saturday and after six games with Boston he’s scored 128 points. The only players in Celtics history with more points than Irving in their first six games for the team were Kevin Garnett (131 in 2007) and Ray Allen (130, also in 2007).

Lillard with six straight 25-point games against the Suns

Damian Lillard led the Trail Blazers with 25 points in their win over the Suns on Saturday. It was Lillard’s sixth straight 25-point game against Phoenix, the longest such streak for a Blazers player against one team since Rasheed Wallace scored 25 or more points in six straight games against the Kings from 2002 to 2004.

Grizzlies win big without many points from starters

The Grizzlies defeated the Rockets on Saturday, 103–89, despite no Memphis starter scoring more than 10 points. Over the last seven seasons, only one other NBA team has had such a large margin of victory without a starter scoring more than 10 points. The Bucks defeated the Pistons on November 28, 2014, 104–88, without a starter scoring more than eight points.

Jazz more like blues for Lakers

The Jazz defeated the Lakers on Saturday, 96–81, and Utah is now 9–1 in its last 10 games against the Lakers. That’s the Jazz’s most wins against the Lakers over any 10-game span in the history of the rivalry.

Drummond with 90th 15-point/15-rebound game

Andre Drummond scored 15 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in the Pistons’ win over the Clippers on Saturday night. That is Drummond’s 90th regular-season game with at least 15 points and 15 rebounds. Only two other Pistons had that many games of this type in franchise history: Bob Lanier (180) and Bill Laimbeer (115).

Hometown star

Phillip Danault set a career high for points in one game when he tallied two goals and two assists to lead the Canadiens to a 5–4 win over the Rangers in Montreal. Danault, whose previous high for points was also in a game against the Rangers in Montreal (three, all assists, on Jan. 14, 2017), is the first Quebec-born player to score four points or more in a regular-season game for the Canadiens since March 24, 2009, when Alex Tanguay registered five points with two goals and three assists in a 6–3 win over the Atlanta Thrashers in Montreal.

Tavares with two hat tricks in last three games

John Tavares notched his second hat trick of the season with three goals for the Islanders in their 6–2 win at Nashville. Tavares, who also scored three goals in the Isles’ victory over the Coyotes in Brooklyn on Tuesday, is the second player in Islanders history to produce more than one October hat trick in one season, joining Mike Bossy who had two in October 1983.

Tavares scored his three goals in Saturday’s game in a 7:14 span during the third period, turning a 3–1 Islanders lead into a 6–1 advantage. It was the second “natural” hat trick of Tavares’ NHL career (the first was against Buffalo in January 2011) and just the third in the last eight seasons by an Islanders player. Kyle Okposo scored three consecutive goals for the Islanders in their 6–3 win over the Penguins on Jan. 16, 2015.

Toffoli does all the work

Tyler Toffoli scored both goals for the Kings in their 2–1 overtime win against the Bruins in Boston. Toffoli is the first player in Kings history to register a multiple-goal game while scoring every one of the team’s goals in an overtime victory, regular-season or playoffs. Toffoli is the second player on any NHL team to pull off that feat this season. Rookie Sonny Milano did that in the Blue Jackets’ 2–1 overtime win at Carolina on October 10.

Multi-goal games for Colorado teammates

Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon each scored two goals for the Avalanche in its 6–3 win over the Blackhawks. It’s only the second time in the last four seasons that the Avs had a pair of multiple-goal scorers in the same game. The only other instance since 2014–15 was Colorado’s 6–3 win versus the Flames on Nov. 3, 2015, when Matt Duchene and Jarome Iginla each tallied twice.

Couture likes life on the road

Logan Couture’s goal with just under four minutes remaining in the third period snapped a 2–2 tie and earned the Sharks a 3–2 win in Buffalo on Saturday afternoon. Couture, who leads San Jose with eight goals this season – no other Sharks player has scored more than three goals – has always been more productive on the road than at home in his NHL career. He’s scored 37 game-winning goals during his nine-season NHL career (all with San Jose) and more than two-thirds of them (25) have come in road games. Couture’s percentage of game-winning goals scored on the road (68 percent) is the highest among active players who’ve scored at least 30 game-winners. The other active players at 60 percent or higher are Ryan Getzlaf (65%), Claude Giroux (64%) and Dustin Brown (61%).

2-for Voracek

Jakub Voracek tallied a goal and an assist for the Flyers in their 4–2 win against the Maple Leafs in Toronto. It was Voracek’s sixth multiple-point game this season and his third consecutive two-point game. Over the last three seasons, there have been only two other instances of a Flyers player producing three straight multi-point games. Voracek had a three-game skein in 2016 (Jan. 27–Feb. 4), and defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere had a three-game streak earlier this season (Oct. 10–17).

Getzlaf lends a helping hand

Ryan Getzlaf assisted on three of the Ducks’ four goals in their win over the Lightning on Saturday. It was Getzlaf’s first three-assist game this season and 29th game with three or more during his 13-season NHL career. Getzlaf ranks fifth among NHL players in three-assist games since 2005–06, his debut season, behind Joe Thornton (48), Sidney Crosby (45), Nicklas Backstrom (37) and Henrik Sedin (34).

Howard snaps Detroit’s skid

Jimmy Howard ended the Red Wings’ six-game winless streak with a 44-save 3–2 shootout victory against the Panthers in Florida. It was the first time that a Detroit goaltender made at least 44 saves in a win since Petr Mrazek stopped 44 shots in a 4–3 victory at Carolina on Oct. 10, 2015. It was the seventh such regular-season win for Howard in his NHL career and first since he notched two a week apart in 2014 (5–1 at Dallas on Jan. 4, 3–1 at Los Angeles on Jan. 11, 44 saves in each game).

Devils rookies are taking over

Rookie Jesper Bratt tallied three points in the Devils’ 4–3 win over the Coyotes. He assisted on both of Taylor Hall’s goals in Saturday’s game and then scored a power play goal which snapped a 3–3 with 4:13 remaining in the third period. Bratt’s three-point game was his second (he had two goals and an assist in New Jersey’s 6–2 win at Buffalo on October 9) and the fourth by a Devils rookie this season. Will Butcher (Oct. 7. vs. Colorado) and Nico Hischier (Oct. 19 at Ottawa) have the others. Before this season there had been only seven three-point games by New Jersey rookies in the month of October and none since Scott Gomez notched one goal and two assists in a game against the Islanders on Oct. 16, 1999.

Big game for Upshall

Scottie Upshall scored one goal and assisted on two in the Blues’ 4–1 win over Columbus. It was the 10th game with three points or more for Upshall in his NHL career and first since he recorded two goals and an assist for the Panthers in a game against the Flames on Nov. 8, 2014. The 34-year-old Upshall is the oldest player to score three points in a game for the Blues since March 4, 2010, when Paul Kariya (age 35) notched two goals and an assist in a 6–1 St. Louis win at Dallas.