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NELSON: LONGEST HEAD-COACHING CAREER WITHOUT GOING TO THE FINALS
The Warriors exercised their option for next season on Don Nelson's contract, paving the way for Nellie's 30th season as a head coach in the NBA. In his previous 28 seasons on the sidelines, Nelson has never guided a team to the NBA Finals, no less to a title. No manager or head coach in the history of the NBA, NHL, NFL or Major League Baseball has been in that position for as many seasons as Nelson without ever bringing a team to the "finals" of his sport.
Most seasons as head coach or manager without ever appearing in the NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Final, Super Bowl (NFL or AFL Championship Game prior to the Super Bowl era) or World Series: Don Nelson (28 seasons, not including 200708), Gene Mauch (MLB, 26), Chuck Knox (NFL, 22), Jimmy Dykes (MLB, 21), Marty Schottenheimer (NFL, 21) and Cotton Fitzsimmons (NBA, 21).
MAVERICKS NEVER LOOK BACK
The Mavericks never trailed in their victory over the Bobcats. It was the 15th such win of the season for Dallas, the most for any team in the league (next-most: Boston with 13).
ANTHONY AND IVERSON COMBINE FOR ONLY 22 POINTS IN DENVER WIN
The Nuggets rolled over Memphis despite only 14 points from Carmelo Anthony and only eight from Allen Iverson. It was only the second time since becoming teammates that Anthony and Iverson each scored fewer than 15 points in a game that they both played. The other was a 121-94 loss at Toronto on March 23, 2007 (Iverson 14 points, Anthony 10).
A TIMELY WIN FOR THE SIXERS
The 76ers held on for dear life, not scoring a point in the final 2:27 of their 83-82 win at Detroit. The last NBA team to post a one-point victory without scoring during the final 2:20 of the game was also the Sixers. Philadelphia was held scoreless during for the last 2:48 of overtime in a 90-89 win over the Timberwolves on Dec. 12, 2005.
HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH LEBRON?
LeBron James led the Cavaliers in points (42), rebounds (11) and assists (7) in their 104-99 loss at New Jersey. Here's an update of some information we provided earlier this week. James has posted Cleveland's game-high total in each of those three categories 47 times during his NBA career, but Cleveland is only three games above .500 (25-22) in those games.
NO SURPRISE: CELTICS BEAT SONICS IN BOSTON
The Celtics beat the Sonics in Boston for their tenth straight win overall and their 11th consecutive victory at home. Seattle (0-17) and New York (0-16) are the only teams in the league that haven't won a road game this season against a team that has a winning record.
CHRIS PAUL SWISHES AND DISHES
Chris Paul made 12 of the Hornets' 44 field goals and assisted on 17 others in a convincing win over the Spurs. Paul has either made or assisted 48.3 percent of his team's field goals this season. No NBA player has finished a season having a hand in such a high percentage of his team's field goals since John Stockton in 1990-91 (made or assisted 51.6 percent of Utah's field goals).
HOWARD COMES CLOSE TO A FIRST-QUARTER DOUBLE-DOUBLE
Dwight Howard had 22 points and 13 rebounds in Orlando's win against the Clippers. Those are modest totals when you consider that Howard had 14 points and nine rebounds by the end of the first quarter. Howard was only the second player in the last six seasons (since 2002-03) to post numbers like that in the first quarter of a game. On Feb. 10, 2004, Kevin Garnett had a 14-point, 9-rebound first period, also against the Clippers, and finished with 31 points and 16 boards.
ROCKETS' STREAK: IS THERE AN END IN SIGHT?
Houston is the fourth team in NBA history to win at least 20 straight games within a single season. Each of the previous three teams to do it had its streak snapped by a loss in a road game. The Rockets next three games are home at the Toyota Center (versus the Bobcats, Lakers and Celtics).
ROCKETS' WINNING STREAK REACHES 20 GAMES
The Rockets extended their winning streak to 20 games, but to do so they had to overcome their largest deficit during the streak. Atlanta scored the first seven points of the game and led by ten points (14-4) five minutes into the game. Houston hadn't trailed by more than eight points in any of its previous 19 games. Three teams led the Rockets by eight points over that span: Indiana (in the second game of the streak), Portland (7th game) and Cleveland (9th game).
When Houston dropped its sixth straight game back in November, who could have imagined what was to come? Only one other team in NBA history managed to fashion a winning streak of more than a dozen games after losing six (or more) consecutive games earlier that season. The team that did it was the 1992-93 edition of the Rockets; they lost seven in a row (Dec. 29-Jan. 8) before reeling off 15 straight wins (Feb. 13-Mar. 18).
BECKETT UNLIKELY TO PITCH IN SEASON-OPENING TRIP TO JAPAN
Josh Beckett, who led the majors with 20 wins last season, will likely miss the Red Sox' season opener in Japan. Sandy Koufax led the majors with 27 wins in 1966 but he retired following that year's World Series. Since then, only two pitchers who led the majors in wins, outright (not tied), failed to start one of their team's first two games the following season, and both pitched for Boston. Roger Clemens didn't make his 1987 season debut until the Red Sox' fifth game of the year; Curt Schilling missed Boston's first seven games in 2005.
OLAF KOLZIG JOINS THE 300-WIN CLUB
Olaf Kolzig, who has played his entire NHL career with the Capitals, notched the 300th regular-season win of his career as Washington downed the Flames. Kolzig is the 23rd goaltender in NHL history with 300-or-more wins but he's only the fifth to record his first 300 wins all for one team. The other goaltenders who've done that are Turk Broda (Maple Leafs), Jacques Plante (Canadiens), Martin Brodeur (Devils) and Mike Richter (Rangers).Rangers
CONKLIN SWEEPS SEASON SERIES FROM FORMER MATES
Pittsburgh's Ty Conklin, who played five games for Buffalo last season, made 29 saves to lead the Penguins to a 7-3 win over the Sabres. The Penguins won all four games of their season series against Buffalo, with Conklin getting the win in each game and allowing a total of only five goals. Conklin is the first former Buffalo goaltender to beat the Sabres four times in one season.
STAAL HAS HIS THIRD THREE-POINT GAME THIS MONTH
Erik Staal assisted on the first two Carolina goals and scored the third as the Hurricanes shut out the Blackhawks in Chicago, 3-0. It was Staal's third three-point game this month. He had one goal and two assists against Tampa Bay on March 1 and two goals and one assist in Atlanta on March 5. Staal has 12 points in March (four goals, eight assists in five gameS), second-most in the NHL, behind Alex Ovechkin (14 points).
HURRICANES POST A RARE SHUTOUT AGAINST CHICAGO
Cam Ward made 25 saves to record the shutout for the Hurricanes in Chicago. It was only the second shutout ever for the Hartford/Carolina franchise against the Blackhawks. Arturs Irbe blanked Chicago, 2-0, at the Hurricanes' old home arena, the Greensboro Coliseum, on Oct. 28, 1998.
VOKOUN HAS ISLANDERS NUMBER
Tomas Vokoun and the Panthers beat the Islanders, 4-2, on Wednesday night. Vokoun has won his last six games against the Islanders (the first four wins were with Nashville, the last two with Florida), posting a 1.15 goals-against average, .960 save percentage (seven goals allowed on 174 shots) and two shutouts over that span.
NCAA Men's Basketball
VILLANOVA WINS BY 19 DESPITE TRAILING AT HALFTIME
Despite trailing at the half, Villanova defeated Syracuse by 19 points, 82-63. It was the largest margin of victory in the Big East Tournament by a team that trailed at halftime since Boston College came from behind to defeat St. John's, 75-56, exactly 15 years earlier (March 12, 1993).