Elias Says: November 23, 2017

A first-of-its-kind first quarter for Westbrook

Russell Westbrook produced 11 points, five rebounds, and five assists in the first quarter, after which the Thunder never trailed in their 108–91 win over the visiting Warriors. While that might sound like the sort of thing that Westbrook does all the time, he had never put up at least 10 points, five rebounds, and five assists in the first quarter of any game, regular season or playoffs. The only active player with more than one such first quarter in his career is James Harden, who has four.

King James closes out Brooklyn

LeBron James scored 23 points on 7-for-8 shooting (87.5%) in the fourth quarter of the Cavaliers’ 119–109 home win over the Nets. James matched his second-highest fourth-quarter scoring output in any game, regular-season or playoffs. He scored 24 at Toronto on Jan. 6, 2008, and 23 at New Orleans on Dec. 4, 2015.

Only one other player in the last seven seasons has scored as many points with as high a field-goal percentage in the fourth quarter of a game. The Pistons’ Reggie Jackson scored 26 points on 10-for-11 shooting (90.9%) on Nov. 8, 2015 at Portland.

Knicks score 28 consecutive points, win third quarter 41–10

Tim Hardaway Jr. scored a career-high 38 points and the Knicks scored 28 straight points in the third quarter to turn a 10-point deficit into an 18-point lead and beat the Raptors, 108–100 in New York. No team had scored as many as 28 consecutive points in one game since the Cavaliers went on a 29–0 run at Milwaukee on Dec. 6, 2009.

New York outscored Toronto, 41–10 in the third quarter. It was the second time in five days that an NBA team outscored another by 30+ points in a period – The Warriors did that at Philadelphia on Saturday. Before that, no team had been plus-30 in a quarter since the Pistons at Portland on Nov. 8, 2015. And the Knicks hadn’t outscored an opponent by 30+ points in a quarter since Jan. 3, 1980 against the San Diego Clippers.

Dragic, Waiters stop Boston’s winning streak

Goran Dragic scored 27 points and Dion Waiters added 26 as the Heat ended the Celtics’ 16-game winning streak with a 104–98 win at Miami. Over the last 20 years, the only other pairs of teammates to each score 25+ points in a win that snapped an opponent’s winning streak of 15+ games were the Wizards’ Gilbert Arenas (54) and Caron Butler (34) at Phoenix (which had won 15 games in a row) on Dec. 22, 2006, and the Thunder’s Kevin Durant (28) and Russell Westbrook (27) against the Spurs (19) on April 3, 2014.

Sixers hold Portland scoreless for first eighth

The 76ers scored the first game’s first 16 points before the Trail Blazers finally got on the scoreboard with 5:01 remaining in the first quarter of Philadelphia’s 101–81 home win over Portland. The last team to pitch a shutout over the first half of the first quarter was the Heat against the Lakers on Jan. 13, 2015 (first score allowed with 4:23 remaining in period.)

Rockets strong in each of first two quarters

The Rockets, led by James Harden’s 19 first-half points, outscored the visiting Nuggets 36–17 in the first quarter and 39–23 in the second period and cruised to a 125–94 victory. It was the second time in franchise history that Houston won each of the first two quarters of a game by at least 15 points. The first was also at home against Denver, on April 2, 1992 (35–17 in the first, 40–21 in the second.)

Jordan collects 16 rebounds, doesn’t miss a shot

DeAndre Jordan scored 14 points and collected 16 rebounds, making all six of his field-goal attempts and both of his free throws in the Clippers’ 116–103 win at Atlanta. The last NBA player to be perfect from the floor and from the foul line in a 10-point/15-rebound game was the Nuggets’ Kenneth Faried (18 pts, 16 reb, 5/5 FG, 8/8 FT) against the Celtics on March 17, 2012. Jordan is the first player in Clippers franchise history to have such a game.

Pelicans overcome early deficit to rout Spurs

Anthony Davis (29 points, 11 rebounds) and DeMarcus Cousins (24 pts, 15 reb) helped the Pelicans climb out of a 29–19 deficit at the end of the first quarter to defeat the Spurs, 107–90. That 17-point margin of defeat was the second-largest by San Antonio in an NBA game in which it led by double digits at the end of the first period. On Dec. 19, 1986, the Spurs led the Pistons, 33–19 after 12 minutes at the Pontiac Silverdome but went on to lose, 114–84. Gregg Popovich’s previous worst such loss was 12 points, against Portland in April 2009 and versus Golden State in March 2017.

Minnesota’s starters come up big

All five starters – Jimmy Butler (26), Taj Gibson (24), Jeff Teague (22), Andrew Wiggins (20), and Karl-Anthony Towns (18) – scored at least 18 points in the Timberwolves’ 124–118 win over the visiting Magic. Over the last four seasons, the only other team to get 18+ points from each of its starters in a non-overtime game was the Pistons, who did so twice, on March 12, 2016 at Philadelphia and on Nov. 30, 2016 at Boston. And Minnesota had never had a game like this, overtime or no.

Bledsoe must have wanted to be in Phoenix Wednesday

Eric Bledsoe, who was traded by the Suns to the Bucks earlier this month, scored 30 points in his return to Phoenix as Milwaukee escaped with a 113–107 overtime win. Two other former Suns players scored 30+ points in their first game against Phoenix: Cedric Ceballos (37) for the Lakers in 1994 and Stephon Marbury (35) for the Knicks in 2004.

Jazz win big despite Mitchell’s struggles

Donovan Mitchell made one of 10 field-goal attempts but the Jazz still routed the Bulls, 110–80 Wednesday night. Mitchell is the second NBA player this season to take at least 10 shots from the floor and make no more than 10% of them in a game his team won by 30+ points. The first was his teammate, Alex Burks, who also shot 1-for-10 in a 125–85 win five days earlier in Orlando. Before Saturday, no Jazz player had done that in their 44 seasons in the NBA.

Barnes sinks game-winning three-pointer

Harrison Barnes hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Mavericks a 95–94 win at Memphis. Only one other Dallas player in the last 10 seasons has hit a game-winning three-point field goal with no time left on the clock: Deron Williams, in a double-overtime win against Sacramento on Jan. 5, 2016.

Lamb comes off the bench to fill up the boxscore

Jeremy Lamb didn’t start but scored 24 points and contributed seven rebounds, five assists, and three blocks in the Hornets’ 129–124 overtime home win over the Wizards. Only one other Charlotte bench player has ever put up at least 20 points, five rebounds, five assists, and three blocks in one game. Sean May had 21 points, 17 rebounds, five assists, and three blocks at Atlanta on Nov. 29, 2006.

Kreider scored quickly in first and second periods

Chris Kreider scored a pair of goals in the Rangers’ 6–1 win against the Hurricanes in Raleigh. Kreider gave the Rangers a quick 1–0 lead with a goal at the 52-second mark of the first period, and his second goal, which made the score 4–1, came only 20 seconds after the puck was dropped to begin the third period. Kreider is the first Rangers player to score a goal in the first minute of two regulation periods in one game since March 24, 1982, when Eddie Johnstone scored in the opening minute in each of the first two periods of a 7–2 Rangers win at Pittsburgh.

Luongo and Andersen stage goaltenders’ duel

The Panthers beat the Maple Leafs in a shootout after the teams played to a 1–1 deadlock through 60 minutes of regulation time and five minutes of overtime, with Roberto Luongo stopping 43 of 44 shots for Florida and Toronto’s Frederik Andersen turning away 42 of 43 shots. This was the first regular-season NHL game in which each team’s goaltender made at least 40 saves and allowed no more than one goal since Jan. 12, 2010, when the Devils beat the Rangers in a shootout after the teams played to a goalless draw at Madison Square Garden. Brodeur made 51 saves in that game and Lundqvist stopped 45 shots.

Boeser scores two goals in second straight game

Rookie Brock Boeser scored two goals for the Canucks in their 5–2 victory at Pittsburgh on Wednesday, after doing the same in Vancouver’s win at Philadelphia the night before. Boeser is the fourth rookie in Canucks history to score at least two goals in each of two consecutive team games in one season. The other rookies with back-to-back multiple-goal games for the Canucks were Dennis Ververgaert (March 1974), Thomas Gradin (October 1978, in the first two games of his NHL career!) and Peter Schaefer (October 1999.)

MacKinnon helps on all three goals

Nathan MacKinnon assisted on all of the goals in the Avalanche’s 3–0 victory over the Stars on Wednesday. He’s the second player in Quebec/Colorado franchise history to register three or more assists in one game while assisting on every goal in a shutout win; Brent Ashton did that for the Nordiques in a 3–0 win at Boston on Nov. 28, 1985. MacKinnon is the first player on any NHL team to pull off that feat since defenseman Dougie Hamilton did so in the Flames’ 3–0 victory at Winnipeg last season.

Vrana produces rare multi-goal game by Caps rookie

Rookie Jakub Vrana scored two goals in a game for the first time in his brief NHL career to help lead the Capitals to a 5–2 win over the Senators. This was only the second time in the last seven seasons that a Washington rookie scored more than one goal in a game. The other multiple-goal game by a Caps rookie since 2011–12 was on Feb. 15, 2015, when Andre Burakovsky scored twice in a 5–3 win at Anaheim.

Bailey tallies three points again

Josh Bailey tallied two assists in regulation time and then scored a goal in the first minute of overtime which earned the Islanders a 4–3 win against the Flyers. This was Bailey’s fourth three-point game this season, all of which have come since October 26. That ties him with the Blues’ Brayden Schenn for the most games with three points or more in the NHL since that date.

Anderson scores the only goal, in overtime

Josh Anderson’s second overtime goal of the season gave the Blue Jackets a 1–0 victory against the Flames on Wednesday. Anderson, who also scored in extra time versus Winnipeg on October 27, is the second player in Blue Jackets history to score an overtime goal which snapped a 0–0 tie. The only previous 1–0 overtime win for Columbus came on a Fredrik Modin goal against the Red Wings on Dec. 28, 2009.

Khudobin still hasn’t lost in regulation

Anton Khudobin made 40 saves in the real hockey portion of Wednesday’s game in Newark and then prevailed in the 11-round shootout which earned him and the Bruins a 3–2 win over the Devils. Khudobin’s win improved his record to 6–0–2 in his eight starts for Boston this season. He’s just the third Bruins goaltender since 1979–80 not to get tagged with a loss in his first eight decisions as a starter in one season. The others were Andy Moog in 1992–93 (6–0–2) and Tim Thomas in 2010–11 (8–0–0).

Niederreiter extends two goal-scoring streaks

Nino Niederreiter scored two goals for the Minnesota Wild in their 5–4 win at Buffalo. Niederreiter’s first goal was a power play tally which extended two of his streaks. He’s scored a goal in each of the Wild’s last five games, matching a five-game streak by teammate Jason Zucker (Nov. 8–16) which came to an end recently. They’re the only Minnesota players to score goals in five straight team games in one season since Marian Gaborik had a five-game streak for the Wild in March/April 2009. Niederreiter has also scored a power play goal in four consecutive games, setting a franchise record. The old club mark was three games in a row with a PPG, done most recently by Zach Parise in the Wild’s first three games of the 2015–16 season.

Forsberg scored two power-play goals

Filip Forsberg scored both goals for the Predators in their game against the Canadiens, which Nashville won via a shootout. Forsberg scored each of his goals on Predators power plays. It’s the first time that Forsberg has scored two power play goals in one game in his NHL career and only the second time in the last two seasons that a Nashville skater has done so. James Neal (who now plays for the Golden Knights) scored a pair of PPGs for the Predators in their 7–2 win versus the Sharks on March 25 this year.

Jones is hot after slow start

Sharks goaltender Martin Jones took first-star honors by making 26 saves in his 3–1 win at Arizona. Jones lost his first two starts this season, giving up four goals in each game, but he’s 9–3–1 with a 1.65 GAA in his 13 starts since then while allowing two or fewer goals in 12 of those 13 games.