Special to ESPN.com
Nene returned to the lineup for the first time since January 12, playing 1:17 in the Nuggets' 118-105 win over the Mavericks. Due to injuries and illness, Nene has played just 133 games over the last four seasons. The only NBA players who have been with their current team since 2004-05 and have played fewer games over that span are Robert Swift of the Sonics (71 games), Chris Andersen of the Hornets (101) and the Blazers' Darius Miles (103).103
ANTHONY & IVERSON: BEST 1-2 SCORING PUNCH IN NBA
Carmelo Anthony scored 32 points and teammate Allen Iverson had 31 in Denver's 118-105 win over Dallas. Anthony and Iverson have scored 30+ points in the same game 9 times since Iverson's Nuggets debut on December 22, 2006. No other duo has had more than three such games over that span.
PISTONS, HEAT LED BY UNLIKELY HIGH SCORERS
Arron Afflalo, who entered Thursday with a career scoring average of 3.2, led the Pistons with 15 points (tying Jason Maxiell) in their 85-69 win over the Heat. Miami was led by Blake Ahearn, who also scored 15 despite a career average of 1.8 entering the game. This was only the fourth game in NBA history in which both teams' leading scorers had a career average of less than four entering the game (excluding players making their NBA debut). The others: Indiana (Shawne Williams) and New Jersey (Josh Boone) on March 28, 2007; Atlanta (Royal Ivey) and Washington (Donnell Taylor) on January 11, 2006; San Antonio (Malik Rose) and Golden State (Tony Farmer) on November 9, 1999.
RAPTORS WAIVE MARTIN
The Raptors waived Darrick Martin Thursday. Martin hasn't played much in recent years, but he's struggled with his shooting. Since 2001-2002, Martin is 113-for-361 (31.3%) from the field. The only player with at worse field goal percentage over the last seven seasons (minimum 300 FGA) is Nikoloz Tskitishvili (190-for-626, 30.3%).
ARROYO DOMINATES IN GRAPEFRUIT LEAGUE
Bronson Arroyo pitched seven scoreless innings in the Reds' 5-1 win over the Twins in Sarasota. It's the second time in three seasons with Cincinnati that Arroyo has tossed seven innings without allowing a run in a spring training game. He also did it on March 30, 2006 against the Red Sox (from whom he had been traded ten days earlier). All other major league pitchers combined have only four games with 7+ innings and zero runs over the last three springs. Jarrod Washburn, Chris Carpenter, Taylor Buchholz and Josh Towers have each done it once.
MILLER RETURNS TO WINNING WAYS IN SHOOTOUT
Buffalo's Ryan Miller recorded a 4-3 shootout win over the Ottawa Senators. Miller had won 13 of his 19 shootouts over the previous two seasons but Thursday's victory was only his third win in 10 shootouts in 2007-2008.
LEHTONEN FACES 40 SHOTS AGAIN
Atlanta's Kari Lehtonen stopped 43 of 45 shots on goal in his 3-2 win over the Panthers. Lehtonen has faced 40 or more shots on goal in a game 10 times this season, second-most among NHL goaltenders, behind Florida's Tomas Vokoun (15 times), who lost to Lehtonen on Thursday night.
HOLIK SCORES TWO GOALS
Bobby Holik scored two goals for the Thrashers in their 3-2 road win over the Panthers. It was the 34th multiple-goal game of Holik's NHL career but his first in his last 134 games. Before Thursday, Holik had not scored two goals in one game since Nov. 28, 2006 against the Rangers in New York.
ERSBERG HAS ANOTHER TOUGH SHUTOUT
Erik Ersberg earned his second career shutout, stopping all 38 shots in the Kings 4-0 win over the Coyotes. Ersberg's first shutout was March 5, when he turned away 40 Thrashers shots. Only one other Kings goaltender has more than one shutout of 38+ shots in his career. Rogie Vachon had two: one in 1975-76 and another in 1977-78.
THORNTON TIES, WINS GAME FOR SHARKS
Joe Thornton scored in overtime, giving the Sharks a 3-2 win over the Stars, after having tied the game at 2 with a third-period goal. Thornton is the second Sharks player ever to score the last goal of the third period and an overtime winner in the same game. Marco Sturm pulled this trick at Chicago on November 8, 2000.
BRODEUR MATCHES CAREER LONG LOSING STREAK
Martin Brodeur lost his fourth consecutive game when the Devils dropped a 3-2 decision to the Rangers on Thursday night. That matches Brodeur's longest losing streak in his 15-season NHL career. He's done that three times before, all in the 2001-02 season.
A RARE WINLESS STREAK FOR THE DEVILS
The Devils lost 3-2 to the Rangers, extending their winless streak to five games. It's New Jersey's longest winless streak since they had a seven-game skid in November 2001 (0-5-2). Before Thursday night, the Devils were the only NHL team that had not gone winless in five (or more) consecutive games over the last five seasons. In fact, every other team has had at least three such winless streaks over that span.
NCAA Men's Basketball
FRESHMAN LOVE HAS 68 POINTS IN 3 GAMES
Kevin Love scored 29 points in UCLA's 88-78 win over Western Kentucky. Love now has 68 points in three NCAA Tournament games. The last freshman with that many points in his first three NCAA Tournament games was Khalid El-Amin, who scored 69 points for Connecticut in 1998.
PITINO DOMINATES ROUND OF 16
Rick Pitino's Louisville Cardinals beat Tennessee 79-60. Pitino has now reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament eight times without ever losing in the Round of 16. That's the best such record in tournament history. Rounding out the top five: John Cheney, Hank Iba, Rollie Massimino and Fred Taylor, all 50. The only coach to win more than eight consecutive Sweet 16 games is John Wooden, who won 11 in a row from 1964 to 1975. Mike Krzyzewski and John Thompson, like Pitino, had eight-game winning streaks in the Round of 16.
MUSKETEERS HOT FROM DOWNTOWN
Xavier shot 11-for-19 (57.9%) from three-point range in their 79-75 overtime win over West Virginia. The last team to shoot that well from downtown in a round-of-16 game (minimum 15 attempts) was Miami (FL), which was 10-for-17 (58.8%) against Tulsa in 2000.
UNC ROLLS ON
North Carolina beat Washington State, 68-47, the Tar Heels' third straight win by at least 20 points. The last team to win its first three NCAA Tournament games by 20 or more points was Kentucky in 1996, on their way to the National Championship.
ROUND OF 16 SWEET FOR TAR HEELS
North Carolina won its 8th straight Sweet 16 game (dating back to 1993) to reach the Elite 8. Only one other team has ever won more consecutive games in the round of 16. UCLA won 12 straight from 1964 to 1976. Duke also won 8 straight from 1988 to 1999.
The Tar Heels' last Sweet 16 loss was 16 years ago when they fell to Ohio State, 80-73, despite 21 points each from Eric Montross and Hubert Davis.