Elias Says: March 22, 2018

Howard all over the stat sheet with 32 points and 30 rebounds

Dwight Howard scored 32 points and dominated on the boards, with a career-high 30 rebounds in the Hornets’ 111-105 victory over the Nets on Wednesday. Howard is just the second player over the last 25 years with at least 30 points and 30 rebounds in a game, joining Kevin Love, who had 31 points and 31 rebounds on November 12, 2010 against the Knicks.

Howard turned 32 years old this past December. The only player with at least 30 points and 30 rebounds in a game at an age as old as Howard’s is Wilt Chamberlain, who had one such game at 32 years old and two such games at 35 years old.

Howard was the star in the second half, scoring 28 points and grabbing 20 rebounds to fuel a Hornets’ comeback after they trailed by 19 points at the half. The last player with at least 25 points and 20 rebounds in a half was Kevin Love in that November 2010 game versus New York (25 points and 22 rebounds in the second half).

Howard had 21 more rebounds than any other player for the Hornets or Nets in Wednesday’s game. The next closest was the Nets’ Jarrett Allen, with nine rebounds. It has been just over five years since the last time a player had 21 more rebounds than any other player in a game. The Knicks’ Tyson Chandler grabbed 28 rebounds on February 27, 2013 versus the Warriors (Stephen Curry and Festus Ezeli were the closest, with six rebounds apiece).

Spurs in an elite group with 21st consecutive winning season

LaMarcus Aldridge led all players with 27 points as the Spurs defeated the Wizards to earn their 42nd win of the season. That victory ensured that San Antonio would have its 21st consecutive winning season. Only four other teams in Major League Baseball, the NBA, NFL or NHL have had a streak of 21 consecutive winning seasons at any point in their history. The Yankees had a 39-season streak (1926–1964) and a 25-year streak (1993-present); and the Canadiens (32, 1951–52 to 1982–83), Bruins (29, 1967–68 to 1995–96) and Red Wings (24, 1991–92 to 2015–16) did it in the NHL. The longest such streak in the NFL was 20 seasons by the Cowboys (1966–1985).

James cannot be stopped

LeBron James scored 35 points, racked up 17 assists, and did not have a turnover in the Cavs’ 132-129 victory over the Raptors on Wednesday. Since individual turnovers were first tracked in the 1977-78 season, James is the first player with at least 35 points, 15 assists, and 0 turnovers in a game, regular season or playoffs.

James scored 40 points and 10 assists in his last game, a Cleveland win over the Bucks on Monday, giving him 75 points and 27 assists over his last two games. The only other player this season with at least 75 points and 25 assists over a two game span was James Harden in early November (91 points, including a 56-point performance on November 5 and 26 assists). LeBron James had done that just once before in his career, in February 2010 (75 points, 28 assists).

76ers end long losing streak to Grizzlies, move 10 games over .500

All of the 76ers starters scored 10 or more points, led by 15 from Robert Covington, JJ Redick, and Dario Saric, as they ended their 10 game losing streak against the Grizzlies, coming out on top, 119-105. Entering Wednesday, that was tied for Philadelphia’s second longest current losing streak versus one team; the 76ers have lost each of their last 18 games against the Thunder and their last 10 versus the Warriors.

With the win, the 76ers improved to 40-30 on the season, the first time they were at least 10 games over .500 since they sported a 20-10 record in February 2012. The only current NBA teams who have not been 10 games over .500 at any point in a season since February 2012 are the Kings (last time was at the end of the 2004-05 season, with a 50-32 record), Bucks (finished 2009-10 season 46-36), and Pistons (22-12 in January 2009).

Third game with 25 points, 10 rebounds, and five blocks for Davis since March 1

Anthony Davis had 28 points, 13 rebounds, and five blocks in the Pelicans’ triumph over the Pacers, marking the third time he has had at least 25 points, 10 rebounds, and five blocks in a game since the calendar turned to March (also doing so on March 11 and 13). It has been 14 years since the last time a player had at least three games of this type in a calendar month; Yao Ming had three such games in March 2004.

Jokic and company dominate Bulls

Nikola Jokic made each of his first seven field goal attempts on Wednesday night and helped the Nuggets jump out to a 31-point lead at the half and a 43-point lead after three quarters against the Bulls in an eventual 135-102 win. Only three other teams held a lead of at least 43 points after three quarters in a game this season: Trail Blazers over Suns on October 18 (43 points), Warriors over Bulls on November 24 (44 points), and Spurs over Suns on February 7 (47 points). The last time Denver held a lead that large after three quarters was on November 6, 1987 against the Clippers; the Nuggets led by 45 points (110-65).

Jokic has twice previously made each of his first seven attempts from the floor in a game, doing so on December 12, 2016 and March 24, 2017.

Jordan matches Bucks in rebounds in the first half

DeAndre Jordan had 16 first-half rebounds, matching the total for the entire Bucks team in the opening half of a Clippers’ win. Jordan is one of four players this season with as many rebounds as the opposing team in a half, joining Andre Drummond (10 rebounds to the Wizards’ 10 in the first half on October 20), DeMarcus Cousins (14-to-13 against the Kings in the second half on October 26), and Dwight Howard (who also did this on Wednesday night, 20-to-20 against the Nets in the second half).

Heat offense is hot

The Heat made 55.6 percent of their field goal attempts in their 119-98 rout of the Knicks, directly following a double-overtime victory over the Nuggets on Monday in which they sank 54.9 percent of their shots. The last time Miami made at least 54 percent of their field goal attempts in back to back games was on December 5 and 7, 2015. The team made 54.4 percent on December 5 versus the Cavaliers and 59.4 percent on December 7 against the Wizards.

Crosby reaches 700 assists

Sidney Crosby recorded the 700th assist of his NHL career when he assisted on the final goal in the Penguins’ 5–3 win over the Canadiens. Crosby reached that mark in his 856th NHL game, eighth-fastest by any player and the quickest since December 1996, when Adam Oates posted his 700th assist in his 781st career game.

Guentzel leads the way for the Pens

Jake Guentzel tallied one goal and two assists for the Penguins in their 5–3 win against the Canadiens. Guentzel has been a “feast or famine” player since the All-Star break. He has produced seven multiple-point games since the break, totaling 17 points in those seven games, but in Guentzel’s 16 other games over that span (Jan. 30 to date), he has been held pointless 14 times.

Keller continues strong rookie season

Rookie Clayton Keller extended his point streak to six games when he notched the first of his two assists in the Coyotes’ 4–1 win against the Sabres in Buffalo. Keller’s second assist was his 55th point this season, setting a new high for points in one season by a Coyotes rookie since the team moved to Arizona in 1996, breaking the old mark of 54 set by Peter Mueller in 2007–08. This is the first time that a rookie has racked up at least 55 points in one season for the Jets/Coyotes franchise since 1992–93, when Winnipeg’s Teemu Selanne set the NHL rookie record with 132 points and fellow rookie Alex Zhamnov tallied 72 points for the original Jets.

Two games, two goals for Donato

Ryan Donato scored a goal when he made his NHL debut with the Bruins versus the Blue Jackets on Monday, and Donato made it two goals in two games when he scored Boston’s only goal in its overtime loss at St. Louis on Wednesday. Donato is the third player to make his NHL debut this season and score a goal in each of his first two games. The other players to do that are the Devils’ Jesper Bratt (Oct. 7–9) and Maple Leafs defenseman Justin Holl (Jan. 31–Feb. 1, the only two games he has played in the NHL).

Schwartz does it all

Jaden Schwartz scored the tying goal in the third period and the winning goal in overtime as the Blues beat the Bruins, 2–1. Schwartz is the seventh player to produce a multiple-goal game for St. Louis while scoring all of the team’s goals in a regular-season overtime win. The other Blues to pull off that feat are Mark Hunter (1986), Brett Hull (1997), Keith Tkachuk (2002), Pavol Demitra (2004), Vladimir Tarasenko (2016) and Patrik Berglund (2017). Hull is the only one to score three goals while doing that.