Date: March 15, 2008

Elias Says...

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

NFL

CHRIS BROWN CHANGES TEAMS

Chris Brown, who signed with the Texans, ran for 175 yards in the Titans' first game last season but he did not run for even 50 yards in any game afterwards. Only one other player in NFL history ran for that many yards in the first game of a season and did not even run for 50 yards in any subsequent game that season. In 1962 the Bears' Willie Galimore had 181 yards on opening day but injured his knee in the second game and played sparingly the rest of the season.

Houston Texans

NBA

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Howard

ANOTHER 15/15 FOR HOWARD

Dwight Howard had 18 points and 16 rebounds on Friday, his NBA-leading 29th game this season with at least 15 points and 15 rebounds. The player with the next-most 15/15 games this season is Al Jefferson (15).15

Orlando Magic

LITTLE OFFENSIVE CONTRIBUTION FROM STARTING CENTERS

The starting centers in the Rockets-Bobcats game on Friday--Dikembe Mutombo and Nazr Mohammed--combined for one point (by Mutombo) and one field goal attempt (by Mohammed). It was the first game this season in which the starting centers did not have more than one point or more than one field goal attempt.

Charlotte Bobcats, Houston Rockets

HAWKS BIGGEST MARGIN OF VICTORY IN YEARS

The Hawks 117-93 win over the Clippers on Friday was their largest margin of victory since a 25-point win over the Raptors on Nov. 18, 2002. Every other NBA team besides the Bobcats, who entered the league for the 2004-05 season, has won at least five games by 24 or more points since the Hawks last did so.

Atlanta Hawks

LARGEST FOURTH-QUARTER ROAD DEFICIT OVERCOME IN WIN THIS SEASON

The 76ers overcame an 18-point deficit in the fourth quarter to win in Chicago on Friday. It's the largest fourth-quarter deficit overcome to win a road game this season.

Philadelphia 76ers

79 FIRST-HALF POINTS FOR NUGGETS

The Nuggets scored 79 first-half points against the Raptors en route to a 137-105 victory. Over the last 10 years the only team to score that many first-half points in a game was the Suns, who did it earlier this season, when they scored 80 first-half points against the Kings on Nov. 21.

Denver Nuggets

CELTICS FORMALLY CLINCH DIVISION

Despite their loss, the Celtics clinched the Atlantic Division title with the Raptors' loss in Denver. Only one team has won its division the year after posting a record as poor as Boston's 24-58 mark last season: the Spurs went 21-61, .256 in 1988-89 but won their division title the following season, which was David Robinson's rookie year.

Boston Celtics

CELTICS BLOWN OUT AT HOME

How rare was the Celtics' 110-92 loss at home to Utah on Friday? There have been only two other games in NBA history in which a team with a winning percentage of .800 or higher at least 50 games into a season (the Celtics were 51-12, .810 entering the game) lost at home by that many points. On April 13, 1983, the 76ers, 64-15, .810 entering the game, lost by 19 points to the Bullets. And on April 8, 2000 the Lakers, 64-12, .842 entering the game, lost by 18 at home to the Spurs.

Boston Celtics

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Paul

CHRIS PAUL: IN A LEAGUE OF HIS OWN

Chris Paul had 27 points and 17 assists against the Lakers on Friday, giving him five straight games with at least 20 points and at least 10 assists, with 138 points and 79 assists over those five games. And he's had at least 25 points and at least 15 assists in each of his last two games and in three of his last four games. Related notes:

Only two other players in NBA history have had that many points and assists in a five-game span: Magic Johnson in November/December 1988 (143 points, 83 assists) and Nate "Tiny" Archibald in November 1972 (169 points, 81 assists).

The last player with consecutive 25/15 games was Tim Hardaway on March 30-31, 1992.

Paul has four 25/15 games this season. The only other NBA players who have done it this year are Chauncey Billups, Baron Davis and Deron Williams (once each). The last player with four such games in one season was Hardaway (five times in 1992-93).

Over the last 15 years only two players have had five straight 20/10 games: Gary Payton (6, March 10-21, 2000) and Rod Strickland (5, Feb. 10-18, 1998).

New Orleans Hornets

NHL

PANTHERS DEFENSIVE STREAK

The Panthers won their sixth consecutive game, beating the Rangers 3-2 on Friday night. Florida has not allowed more than two goals in any of its last six games. That's the second-longest single-season streak in Panthers history; Florida held its opponent to two-or-fewer goals in each of eight straight games in November 1995.

Florida Panthers

ANOTHER HIGH SCORING GAME FOR SABRES

The Sabres routed the Hurricanes, 7-1, in Buffalo on Friday night. It was the sixth time that the Sabres have scored seven-or-more goals in a game this season, twice as many times as any other team has done that. The Flames, Hurricanes, Canadiens and Capitals have each scored seven-plus goals in a game three times this season.

Buffalo Sabres

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Kane

CITIZEN KANE LEADS ROOKIES

Rookie Patrick Kane had one goal and one assist for the Blackhawks in their 6-3 win at Columbus. Kane's two points moved him two ahead of Washington's Nicklas Backstrom for the scoring lead among rookies this season (61-59). The two points also made Kane the first Blackhawks rookie to reach the 60-point plateau in one season since 1989-90, when Jeremy Roenick finished with 66 points.

Chicago Blackhawks

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Ovechkin

OVECHKIN 155TH CAREER GOAL

Alex Ovechkin scored his 155th career goal on Friday, giving him the third-most goals over a player's first three seasons in the NHL, behind Wayne Gretzky (198) and Mike Bossy (173). Entering the game Ovechkin had been tied for third place with Pavel Bure.

Washington Capitals

NCAA Men's Basketball

AMERICAN GOES TO THE TOURNAMENT FOR THE FIRST TIME

American University is going to the NCAA Tournament for the first time, after defeating Colgate in the Patriot League Tournament Final. Since joining the Patriot League for the 2001-02 season, American had reached, and lost, in the Patriot Finals three times prior to this season. Only four other teams have gone 0-3 or worse since 2002 in a Conference Tournament Final: Northern Arizona, Big Sky (0-4, including this year); USC, Pac-10 (0-3); North Carolina State, ACC (0-3) and Texas, Big 12 (0-3). Despite the losses in the Finals however, USC, N.C. State and Texas all made the NCAA Tournament with an at-large bid in at least one of those seasons.

American Eagles

WOLVERINES SCORE ONLY 34 POINTS

Michigan lost to Wisconsin in the Big Ten Tournament Friday, 51-34. Over the last 10 years only two teams have scored that few points in a Division 1 conference tournament game: Lafayette lost to Bucknell, 70-34, in the 2005 Patriot League Tournament; and UNC Wilmington lost to George Mason in the 2001 Colonial Athletic Association Tournament, 35-33.

Michigan Wolverines


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