Date: February 23, 2008

Elias Says...

By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to ESPN.com

NFL

FALCONS WILL PICK THIRD IN THE NFL DRAFT

The Falcons won a coin toss Friday morning, awarding them the third pick in the 2008 NFL draft. The Raiders and Chiefs, who along with the Falcons finished at 4-12 last season, will select fourth and fifth, respectively.

How much will this ultimately matter? Since the 1970 draft, there have been more Pro Bowl selections for players chosen fourth in the draft (91, with three Hall of Famers) than by players chosen third (79, two Hall of Famers). Players chosen fifth have accounted for 56 Pro Bowl selections (one Hall of Famer).

The Hall of Famers: #3s-Anthony Munoz (1980) and Barry Sanders (1989); #4s-John Hannah (1973), Walter Payton (1975), and Dan Hampton (1979); #5-Mike Haynes (1976).

Atlanta Falcons

NBA

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James

WOW: LEBRON JOINS WILT AND OSCAR

LeBron James had 33 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists in Cleveland's win over Washington Friday night. It was the third straight game in which LeBron had at least 25 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists. Only two other players in NBA history have reached those levels in all three categories in each of three consecutive games: Wilt Chamberlain and Oscar Robertson, who both did it several times.

Cleveland Cavaliers

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Smith

SMITH JOINS THE 40-POINT CLUB

J.R. Smith had 43 points in Denver's loss in Chicago. Smith is the fourth Nuggets player to score 40 points in a game this season, joining Allen Iverson (twice), Carmelo Anthony and Linas Kleiza. Denver is only the third team in NBA history to have four different players score 40-or-more points in a game in the same season. The other two: Baltimore in 1969-70 (Kevin Loughery, Jack Marin, Earl Monroe and Mike Davis) and Phoenix in 1988-89 (Eddie Johnson, Tom Chambers, Kevin Johnson and Armen Gilliam).

Denver Nuggets

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Gordon

GORDON: ANOTHER STRONG GAME OFF THE BENCH

Ben Gordon had 37 points off the bench for the Bulls in their win over the Nuggets, the sixth time in his career that Gordon scored 35-or-more points in a game off the bench. Only one other active player, Manu Ginobili, has more than one such game; he has two.

Chicago Bulls

SUNS WIN DESPITE SCORING ONLY 85 POINTS

The Suns beat the Celtics 85-77. It was the first time since Dec. 9. 2005 that the Suns won a game in which they scored no more than 85 points, an 85-81 win over the Knicks. The Suns were 1-27 in their last 28 games in which they scored 85 points or less.

Phoenix Suns

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Allen

CELTICS "BIG THREE" COME UP SMALL VS. SUNS

Kevin Garnett (8-for-17), Ray Allen (3-for-12) and Paul Pierce (2-for-13) combined to shoot 13-for-42 from the field (31%) in the Celtics' loss in Phoenix. It's the lowest field goal percentage for the "big three" in a game this season. The previous low was 31.6% (12-for-38) in an 87-86 win over Minnesota on Jan. 25, 2008.

Boston Celtics

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Howard

HOWARD GETS BIG NUMBERS; SURPRISE: MAGIC WIN

Dwight Howard had 24 points and 18 rebounds in Orlando's win over Philadelphia. The Magic are only 11-9 (.550) in the 20 games in which Howard had at least 20 points and 15 rebounds, while it's 24-13 (.649) in its 37 other games.

Orlando Magic

DALLAS WINS IN MEMPHIS AGAIN

The Mavericks have now won eight straight regular-season games in Memphis, the longest current road winning streak by one NBA team against another.

Dallas Mavericks

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Granger

GRANGER'S FREE THROWS MADE STREAK ENDS AT 65

Danny Granger's streak of consecutive free throws made ended at 65 in Indiana's win over the Nets. It was the second-longest such streak in the NBA this season; Washington's Caron Butler made 73 consecutive free throws from December 28 to February 3.

Indiana Pacers

WARRIORS LOSE FOR 15TH TIME IN GAME IN WHICH THEY SCORE 100 POINTS

Golden State lost to Atlanta 117-110 Friday night. It was the 15th time this season that the Warriors lost a game in which they scored at least 100 points, tying them with Indiana for the NBA lead in that category.

Golden State Warriors

ROCKETS, ON 10-GAME WIN STREAK, FACE FIRST-PLACE HORNETS

The Rockets-Hornets game Friday night was the first in four years in which a team on a double-digit winning streak - the Rockets had won 10 in a row entering the game - faced the team that was in first place in the same division. In the last such matchup, the Central Division-leading Pacers snapped the Pistons' 13-game winning streak on Jan. 20, 2004.

Houston Rockets


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