Elias Says: March 20, 2018

James leads all players in the “big three” categories for the 51st time, passing Chamberlain

LeBron James led all players with 40 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists in the Cavaliers’ 124–117 home win over the Bucks. It was the 51st time in his career that James led or tied for the game high on both teams in points, rebounds, and assists, passing Wilt Chamberlain (50) for the most such games in NBA history.

At age 33, James is the second-oldest player in NBA history to produce a 40-point triple-double in a non-overtime game. Elgin Baylor was 34 at the time of his 40-point, 14-rebound, 12-assist performance against the Suns on Nov. 3, 1968. Who was the youngest player to score 40+ points in a triple-double? None other than LeBron James, who at age 20 on April 9, 2005 finished with 40 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists against Milwaukee.

Aldridge goes on 11–0 run in fourth quarter

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 11 straight points, turning a 65–61 deficit into a 72–65 lead in the fourth quarter of the Spurs’ 89–75 home win over the Warriors. The last San Antonio player to on a personal fourth-quarter run of 11–0 or better was Manu Ginobili at Chicago on Dec. 8, 2003 (also 11 straight).

Shorthanded Warriors score 75

The Warriors, playing without Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and Klay Thompson, lost 89–75 at San Antonio. Dating back to the start of the 2013–14 season, Golden State has failed to reach the 80-point plateau in three of its nine regular-season games at AT&T Center, having lost 76–74 on Nov. 8, 2013 and 87–79 on March 19, 2016. The Warriors have scored fewer than 80 points in just one of their other 390 games over that span – a 91–75 home loss to Charlotte on Feb. 4, 2014.

Drummond has the most 15-rebound games since the Worm

Andre Drummond grabbed 16 rebounds in the Pistons’ 106–90 win at Sacramento. It was the 45th time this season that Drummond collected at least 15 boards. That’s the highest total by any NBA player since the Spurs’ Dennis Rodman notched 54 15-rebound games in 1993–94.

Embiid collects 19 rebounds in two straight wins

Joel Embiid scored 25 points and grabbed 19 rebounds to lead the 76ers to a 108–94 win over the visiting Hornets Monday night. In Philadelphia’s last game, a win over the Nets on Friday, Embiid finished with one fewer point and the same number of boards. The last Sixers player to grab 19+ rebounds in two straight games, both wins, was Charles Barkley in November 1991.

Lakers lose despite strong performance by frontcourt starters

The Lakers lost 110–100 at Indiana, despite getting at least 20 points and eight rebounds from starting center Brook Lopez (23 pts, 8 reb) and forwards Kyle Kuzma (27 pts, 8 reb) and Julius Randle (21 pts, 9 reb). The last time all three members of the Lakers’ starting frontcourt had games like that was on Jan. 26, 1984 in a 131–102 home win against the Rockets. L.A.’s front line in that game consisted of three future Hall of Famers: center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (26 pts, 10 reb) and forwards James Worthy (23 pts, 12 reb) and Jamaal Wilkes (20 pts, 8 reb).

Miami’s offense comes alive very late

The Heat outscored the Nuggets 21–13 in the second overtime of their 149–141 home win on Monday. Miami’s 21 points over those five minutes tied the third most in NBA history by a team in a “multiple” overtime period (i.e. excluding the first OT). The Heat scored 22 in the second overtime against the Bucks on Dec. 21, 1994. The Bucks also scored 22 at Cleveland in OT number two on Dec. 9, 2002. And the Cavaliers put 21 on the board in the second extra period against Indiana on April 2, 2017.

Guards struggle from the floor in New York

None of the four starting guards in the Knicks’ 110–92 home win over the Bulls made as many as 30% of their field-goal attempts – Emmanuel Mudiay was 2-for-8 and Courtney Lee was 2-for-7 for New York; Justin Holiday was 0-for-6 and Cameron Payne was 2-for-12 for Chicago. The last NBA game in which the starting guards for both teams attempted at least five shots and shot worse than 30% was an 89–81 Philadelphia win over Charlotte on Feb. 7, 2015. The last time this happened in a game in which there were at least 200 combined points scored was in a 109–97 Knicks win at Miami on April 20, 1993.

Russell is cold from downtown, but his teammates aren’t

The Nets made 40% of their three-point shots (16-for 40), overcoming D’Angelo Russell’s 1-for-10 performance from downtown, in their 118–115 win over the visiting Grizzlies. Brooklyn is the sixth team to shoot 40% or better from three-point range in a game despite having a player shoot 10% or worse on 10+ long-range shots. The others were Atlanta in March 1996 (Mookie Blaylock 1-for-10), Miami in January 2005 (Damon Jones 1-for-11), Cleveland in November 2016 (J.R. Smith 1-for-10), Houston in November 2017 (Eric Gordon 1-for-10), and Golden State in February 2018 (Klay Thompson 1-for-11).

Cats blank Habs again

Roberto Luongo posted his second consecutive shutout versus the Canadiens and the Florida Panthers’ third straight shutout against them with a 2–0 win in Montreal on Monday. Luongo blanked the Habs 5–0 in Florida on March 8, after James Reimer beat the Canadiens 2–0 in Sunrise on December 30. The 2017–18 Panthers are only the second team ever to shut out the Canadiens in each of three consecutive games in one season. The other team to do that was the Rangers in 1939–40, with Dave Kerr in goal for New York for all three games.

Donato notches three points in debut

Former Harvard University and U.S. Olympic Team player Ryan Donato, making his NHL debut one day after signing a contract with the Bruins, tallied one goal and two assists in Boston’s 5–4 overtime loss to the Blue Jackets. The only other player who made his NHL debut with the Bruins and tallied at least three points in that game is Jarno Kultanen, who posted three assists in his first game (a 4–4 tie against Ottawa on Oct. 5, 2000). Six other active players produced at least three points in their first regular-season NHL game: Justin Williams (1 goal, 2 assists, 3 points), Dominic Moore (0–3–3), Derek Stepan (3–0–3), Jonathan Huberdeau (1–2–3), Auston Matthews (4–0–4), and Will Butcher (0–3–3).

Ryan’s father, Ted Donato, made his NHL debut with the Bruins in March 1992 and went on to play a total of 796 games over 13 seasons in the league, including 528 games for Boston. The only other current NHL player whose father also played in the league and debuted with the same franchise as his son is Paul Stastny. Paul debuted in the NHL with the Avalanche. His father, Peter, did so with the Quebec Nordiques, who moved to Colorado in 1995.

Rinne wins 40th in 53rd game

Nashville’s Pekka Rinne hit the 40-win mark for the third time in his NHL career with a 4–0 shutout against the Sabres in Buffalo. Rinne reached 40 wins this season in his 53rd game, the second fewest games needed by any goaltender to achieve that level in one season. Washington’s Braden Holtby set the standard when he got to 40 wins in his 52nd game in 2015–16. The Finnish-born Rinne’s shutout was his eighth this season, a new career high. The only other goaltenders born in Finland who recorded at least eight shutouts in an NHL season are Miikka Kiprusoff (10 for Calgary in 2005–06), Niklas Backstrom (8 for Minnesota in 2008–09) and Tuukka Rask (8 for Boston in 2016–17).

Carter scores in overtime

Jeff Carter’s second goal of the game was the overtime winner for the Kings in their 4–3 victory at Minnesota. It was the 13th regular-season overtime goal for Carter in his NHL career, third-most among active players, behind Alex Ovechkin (22) and Daniel Sedin (15). Carter’s goals in Monday’s game were the 150th and 151st in his seven seasons with the Kings. Carter began his NHL career with the Flyers, for whom he scored 181 goals in six seasons. The only other active player who has scored at least 150 goals for two different NHL teams is Joe Thornton (Bruins 169, Sharks 228).

Vanek reaches familiar 20-goal plateau

Thomas Vanek reached the 20-goal mark for the 11th time in his 13 NHL seasons when he scored for the Blue Jackets in the third period of their game in Boston on Monday. The only active players with more 20-goal seasons in the NHL than Vanek are Patrick Marleau (15), Rick Nash (13) and Alex Ovechkin (13). Vanek has scored 34 goals in his 64 career games against the Bruins. That’s his highest goal total versus any NHL team and the highest goal total against the Bruins by any current NHL player. The only other active players with 20 or more goals versus Boston are Ovechkin 21) and Jason Pominville (21).