Date: March 4, 2008

Elias Says...

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

NFL

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Roethlisberger

BIG BEN AGREES TO NEW CONTRACT

Ben Roethlisberger has agreed to a new eight-year contract with the Steelers. Roethlisberger has compiled a 39-16 career record as a starting quarterback. Only two QBs won as many starts in their first four NFL seasons: Dan Marino, 41-16 (1983-1986) and Otto Graham 39-8 (1950-1953).

Pittsburgh Steelers

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Moss

MOSS RESIGNS WITH PATRIOTS

Randy Moss, who scored 23 touchdowns last season, resigned with the Patriots on Monday. Only three players in NFL history did not return to a team the season after scoring more than 15 touchdowns: Jim Brown retired after scoring 21 touchdowns for the 1965 Browns; Sterling Sharpe retired after scoring 18 touchdowns for the 1994 Packers; and Muhsin Muhammad signed with the Bears as a free agent after scoring 16 touchdowns for the 2004 Panthers.

New England Patriots

NBA

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James

LEBRON: SAME AGE AS WILT AT THE TIME OF CHAMBERLAIN'S FIRST NBA GAME

As of today, LeBron James is exactly the same age-23 years, 64 days-as Wilt Chamberlain was for his NBA debut on October 29, 1959. Speaking of Wilt's debut, he scored 43 points with 28 rebounds for the Philadelphia Warriors in a 118-109 win at the old Madison Square Garden. No other player in the league's history had even 40 points or 25 rebounds in his NBA debut.

As for James, he has already played 370 NBA games and he ranks 279th in NBA history with a total of 10,074 points.

Cleveland Cavaliers

76ERS LARGEST WIN IN CALIFORNIA IN A LOOOOOONG TIME

The 76ers defeated the Clippers in Los Angeles on Monday, 106-80. That 26-point win was Philadelphia's largest in a game in California since a 139-110 win in San Francisco over the Warriors on Mar. 14, 1967.

Philadelphia 76ers

ANOTHER LOSING SEASON FOR THE KNICKS

Monday's loss guaranteed the Knicks a seventh straight losing season which is the second-longest streak in franchise history. They had eight straight losing seasons from 1959-60 to 1966-67.

New York Knicks

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Williams

DERON WILLIAMS: 20 ASSISTS AGAINST THE MAVERICKS

Deron Williams had his second 20-assist game of the season on Monday; he also had 20 on Jan. 2 against the 76ers. Steve Nash had two 20-assist games last season, but before that no player had done it twice in a season since Avery Johnson in 1997-98.

When you factor in Williams's 17 points Monday and 15 points against the 76ers, it makes him the first player since Sherman Douglas with two games of 15 or more points and 20 or more assists in one season. Douglas did that twice for the Celtics in 1993-94.

Williams also had a 21-assist game last season. Since Williams entered the league in 200506 the only player with more 20-assist games is Nash (4).

Only one other player has had a 20-assist game playing against Jason Kidd: on Nov. 23, 1996, Robert Pack had 22 assists for the Nets in New Jersey's 114-91 win against Dallas.

Utah Jazz

NHL

MATCHUP OF LAST SEASON'S STANLEY CUP FINALISTS

The Ducks defeated the Senators Monday in the only game this season between the 2007 Stanley Cup Finalists. As Anaheim's season has steadily improved, so has Ottawa's deteriorated:


Anaheim Ducks W L OT
Sept. 29-Dec.16 15 15 5
Dec. 18-Feb. 1 12 6 2
Feb. 2-Mar. 3 11 2 0
Ottawa Senators W L OT
Oct. 3-Nov. 6 13 1 0
Nov. 8-Jan. 12 16 9 4
Jan. 13-Mar. 3 8 14 2
The Ducks' turning points correspond almost exactly to the season debuts for Anaheim of Scott Niedermayer and Doug Weight (Dec. 16) and Teemu Selanne (Feb. 5).

Anaheim Ducks, Ottawa Senators

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Thornton

JOE THORNTON: 2 GOALS, 2 ASSISTS

Joe Thornton scored two goals and set up two others in the Sharks' win on Monday. It was Thornton's fourth career game with at least two goals and two assists, and it was his first since Oct. 22, 2005, when he was with the Bruins.

San Jose Sharks

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Backstrom

BACKSTROM: 3 ASSISTS MONDAY

Nicklas Backstrom had three assists on Monday, giving him 23 in his last 21 games. In fact, Backstom leads the NHL in assists over that time (since Jan. 19).

Minnesota Wild

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Ovechkin

OVECHKIN REACHES 50 GOALS AND DOES OTHER GOOD STUFF TOO

Alexander Ovechkin reached and passed the 50-goal plateau on Monday night. Ovechkin, who scored 52 goals as a rookie in the 2005-06 season, is one of five players in NHL history to score at least 50 goals in two of his first three seasons in the league. Mike Bossy and Wayne Gretzky each scored 50 or more goals in each of their first three seasons; Joe Nieuwendyk and Pavel Bure also did it in two of their first three seasons.

Ovechkin is the third player born and trained in Russia to reach 50 goals at least twice in his career. Bure did it five times and Alexander Mogilny did it twice.

Ovechkin reached the 50-goal mark in the Capitals' 67th game, the fastest any NHL player has made it to that milestone since the 1995-96 season, when three players got there as quickly: Jaromir Jagr (the Penguins 59th game), Mario Lemieux (59th) and Mogilny (63rd).

By scoring three goals in the first period Monday, Ovechkin became the first player to score a first-period hat trick against the Bruins since another Capitals player, Mike Gartner, did it almost exactly 25 years ago (March 13, 1983).

Washington Capitals


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