Date: April 1, 2008

Elias Says...

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

NBA

SUNS COME FROM WAY DOWN TO WIN BIG

The Suns trailed the Nuggets by 22 points in the first half, but stormed back to win, 132-117. The last team to trail by as many as 22 points and go on to win by 15 or more was the Kings on March 18, 2000. Sacramento trailed the Clippers in Los Angeles by 23, but rallied to win, 104-83.

Phoenix Suns

RAPTORS MAKE 17 STRAIGHT FIELD GOALS

The Raptors made 17 consecutive field goals in the first half of their 104-100 win at Charlotte. The last NBA team to make that many shots in a row was the Trail Blazers, also against the Bobcats on February 22, 2006.

Toronto Raptors

HAWKS REACH TRIPLE FIGURES BEFORE THE FOURTH QUARTER

The Atlanta Hawks scored 103 points by the end of the third period tonight in their 116-99 win at Memphis. That's the most points scored by a Hawks team through three periods in a road game since they put up 103 at Golden State on November 9, 1995.

Atlanta Hawks

JAZZ SET TEAM RECORD FOR THREE-POINTERS IN A GAME

The Jazz connected on a team record 15 three-pointers in their 129-87 home victory over Washington. That broke the previous mark of 14 set last month. Only three NBA teams have never recorded 15-or-more three pointers in a game: the Bobcats, Clippers and 76ers.

Utah Jazz

MLB

CUBS & BREWERS DO SOMETHING THAT HASN┬┐T HAPPENED SINCE 1893

The Brewers and Cubs played eight scoreless innings at Wrigley Field Monday. Then each team put up a three-spot in the ninth inning, and Milwaukee went on to win, 4-3 in ten innings. The last time a game went to extra innings tied at three or more after neither team had scored before the ninth inning was nearly 115 years ago! On May 19, 1893, the Brooklyn Bridegrooms and Boston Beaneaters played eight scoreless innings at Boston's South End Grounds, then each team scored three in the ninth and once in the tenth, with Brooklyn going on to win, 5-4 in twelve innings.

Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers

FUKUDOME HITS GAME-TYING HOME RUN IN MLB DEBUT

Coming into 2008, the last player whose first career home run was on Opening Day and tied the game or took the lead in the 9th inning or later was Gino Cimoli, who hit a solo homer in the top of the 12th for the Brooklyn Dodgers in Philadelphia in 1957. But this has now already happened twice this season: by Brandon Moss of the Red Sox against the A's last week in Tokyo, and Monday by Kosuke Fukudome of the Cubs against the Brewers.

Chicago Cubs

AN UNLIKELY MULTI-HR GAME FOR THOME OFF SABATHIA

Jim Thome hit two home runs off C.C. Sabathia in the White Sox's 10-8 loss at Cleveland. Sabathia had previously allowed two home runs in a game to a left-handed batter only once in his seven-year career, and that was to an unlikely opponent. On July 30, 2005, Ichiro Suzuki went deep twice off Sabathia at Safeco Field. It was also only the second time Thome has hit two home runs off left-handed pitching in a game. On June 20, 2004 Thome connected twice off Dennys Reyes of the Royals in Philadelphia. Entering Monday, Thome had hit only 89 of his 507 career homers off southpaws, and with the White Sox he'd hit only 12 of 77 versus lefties.

Chicago White Sox

BLAKE IS THE HERO FOR CLEVELAND

Casey Blake's three-run double broke a 7-7 tie in the eighth inning of the Indians' 10-8 win over the White Sox. Blake was an unlikely hero for Cleveland, considering that he entered the game with a .219 career batting average with runners in scoring position, the lowest of any active player with 700 or more at-bats with runners on second and/or third.

Cleveland Indians

DODGERS ROOKIE GETS HIT IN FIRST AT-BAT

Blake DeWitt singled off Barry Zito in his first major league at-bat in the Dodgers' 5-0 home win over the Giants. The last Dodger to get a hit in his first MLB at-bat on Opening Day was Bill Russell, who doubled off Jim Merritt of the Reds in 1969.

Los Angeles Dodgers

ANOTHER OPENING DAY START & LOSS FOR ZITO

Starter Barry Zito was the losing pitcher for the Giants at Dodger Stadium. This is the fourth straight season that Zito has started and lost on Opening Day, tying a major league record held by Rick Reuschel (1978-81), Frank Killen (1892-95), Tim Keefe (1881-84) and Jim McCormick (1879-1882).

San Francisco Giants

PIERRE'S STREAK ENDS

Juan Pierre did not play in the Dodgers' 5-0 win over the Giants, ending what had been the longest active consecutive games played streak at 434. Grady Sizemore, who played his 359th straight game on Monday, is now the player closest to catching Cal Ripken.

Los Angeles Dodgers

HUNTER'S ANGELS DEBUT IS AT A FAMILIAR PLACE

Torii Hunter was 0-for-4 in his Angels debut at the Metrodome against the Twins, the team for which he'd played all 1234 of his previous major league games. The last player to play on Opening Day against the team with which he had previously spent his entire career of as many games as Hunter was Don Kessinger. Kessinger played 1648 games for the Cubs from 1964 to 1975, then joined the rival Cardinals, who opened the 1976 season at home against Chicago.

Anaheim Angels

NADY HITS TWO HOME RUNS IN TEAM'S FIRST GAME FOR SECOND TIME

Xavier Nady hit two home runs, including the 12th inning game-winner, in the Pirates' 12-11 win at Atlanta. Nady also hit two home runs for the Padres on Opening Day 2005 at Coors Field. Nady has tied the "record" for most multi-homer games in his team's first game of the season. The others to do it twice are Eddie Mathews, Joe Torre, Raul Mondesi, Juan Gonzalez and Adam Dunn.

Pittsburgh Pirates

LIVAN HERNANDEZ STARTS ON OPENING DAY FOR HIS FOURTH TEAM

Livan Hernandez allowed two runs in seven innings, earning a 3-2 win for the Twins over the Angels. Minnesota is the fourth different franchise for which Hernandez has started on Opening Day (Marlins, Giants, Expos/Nationals). Only three pitchers have started the first game of a season for more franchises: Bert Blyleven (5 Rangers, Pirates, Indians, Twins, Angels) and Hall-of-Famers Gaylord Perry (5 - Giants, Indians, Padres, Rangers, Mariners) and Tim Keefe (5 19th century franchises including the Giants and Phillies).

Minnesota Twins

HIGHEST SCORING OPENER EVER FOR PIRATES

The Pirates had the highest scoring season opener in their 122-year history. The previous record was 21 runs in a 14-7 loss at St. Louis in 1928.

Pittsburgh Pirates

PEAVY HAS GREAT PITCHING, HITTING GAME AGAINST HOUSTON

Jake Peavy pitched seven shutout innings and drove in two runs in the Padres' 4-0 home win over the Astros. The last Padres pitcher to throw seven or more shutout innings and get 2 or more RBIs in a game was Peavy on May 11, 2006 (also 7 innings, 2 RBIs) against the Brewers at PETCO Park. The last major league pitcher to do this on Opening Day was the Braves' Rick Mahler against the Phillies in 1987 (complete game shutout, 2 RBIs).

San Diego Padres

NHL

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Kovalchuk

KOVALCHUK SCORES BOTH GOALS IN 2-0 WIN

Ilya Kovalchuk scored both goals for the Thrashers in their 2-0 win at Tampa. Kovalchuk is the third player this season to score at least two goals while no teammate or opponent scored any. The Flyers' Mike Knuble had a hat trick in a 3-0 win against the Ducks on February 2 and the Rangers' Nigel Dawes had two goals in a 2-0 win over the Devils on October 25. Kovalchuk is also the first Thrashers player ever to do this.

Atlanta Thrashers

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Jagr

JAGR IS THIRD ALL-TIME IN OVERTIME SCORING

Jaromir Jagr assisted on Chris Drury's overtime goal in the Rangers' 2-1 home win over the Penguins. Jagr now has 27 career points in overtime (15 goals, 12 assists), third most all-time behind Sergei Fedorov (29) and Mats Sundin (28).28

New York Rangers


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