Date: May 12, 2008

Elias Says...

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

NBA

HOME TEAMS DOMINATE NBA PLAYOFFS

Home teams have a .746 winning percentage (44-15) during this year's NBA postseason. Should that form hold through the rest of the playoffs, it would be the first year in which home teams had such a high winning percentage since 1990, when home teams went 54-18 (.750).

San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz

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Bryant

BRYANT'S POINTS, REBOUNDS AND ASSISTS

Kobe Bryant had 33 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds in the Lakers' overtime loss at Utah. Bryant has posted at least 30 points, six assists and six rebounds in each of his last five games, the longest such streak for any player in NBA postseason history. Michael Jordan (1993 to 1995) and Oscar Robertson (1963 to 1964) had four-game streaks which spanned playoff years.

Los Angeles Lakers

SPURS SLOW PAUL TO EVEN SERIES

The Spurs pulled even in their series against New Orleans while limiting Chris Paul to 23 points and five assists. Paul has either made or assisted on 53.3 percent of his team's field goals during this year's playoffs, the highest percentage for any player in NBA history through the first nine postseason games of his career. The next-highest percentages through their first nine playoff games belong to LeBron James (49.2% in 2006) and Bob Cousy (48.8% from 1951 to 1953).

San Antonio Spurs

MLB

MARLINS WIN AGAIN AT NATIONALS PARK

The Marlins are 6-0 at Nationals Park after sweeping a pair of three-game series in Washington this season (April 7-10 and May 9-11). It's the first time that Florida has won its first six games at any ballpark. The Marlins won their first five games at Rogers Centre (1997-1999) and their first four at Qualcomm Stadium (1993).

Florida Marlins

RAYS ARE FIVE GAMES OVER .500 FOR THE FIRST TIME

The Rays extended their winning streak to four games on Sunday to improve their season mark to 21-16. Tampa Bay is five games over .500 for the first time in franchise history, after playing 1,654 games since entering the majors in 1998. That's the longest that it took any of the major league's 14 expansion franchises to reach that level for the first time. The previous mark was by the Senators, who entered the majors in 1961 but did not go five games above .500 in a season for the first time until 1969, in their 1,317th game.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays

SUB CATCHER'S FIRST MAJOR-LEAGUE HOMER IS A GAME-WINNER

Steve Holm began the day on the Giants' bench before replacing Bengie Molina behind the plate in the seventh inning. What followed was Holm's first major-league homer, a two-run shot that lifted San Francisco to a 4-3 win over the Phillies. It was the second time this season that a player gave his team a lead with his first home run in the majors after entering the game as a defensive replacement behind the plate. Wil Nieves did it for the Nationals on April 25. But don't get the impression that it's a common occurrence. Before this year, it hadn't happened since August 7, 1996, when Mike Hubbard did it for the Cubs.

San Francisco Giants

ROYALS BEAT ORIOLES FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 2006

Brian Bannister and Joakim Soria combined on a two-hitter in the Royals' 4-0 win over the Orioles. Kansas City had lost its previous 12 games against Baltimore, its longest losing streak against any team since dropping 12 straight to the Yankees from 1997 to 1998. It was the Orioles' longest winning streak against one team since they won 12 in a row against the Twins from 1980 to 1981. Here's an interesting sidebar: The Orioles won 23 straight games against the Royals from 1969 to 1970, beginning with the second-ever game between the two franchises.

Kansas City Royals

UGGLA AND UTLEY PROVIDE POWER AT SECOND BASE

Dan Uggla hit two homers as the Marlins completed a series sweep at Washington. Uggla has 11 home runs through Florida's first 37 games this season. Earlier this year, Chase Utley hit his 11th homer in the Phillies' 28th game (April 30). In National League history, only three other second basemen hit 11 or more homers within their team's first 37 games of a season: Rogers Hornsby (twice, 1922 and 1925 Cardinals), Jeff Kent (2000 Giants) and Jay Bell (1999 Diamondbacks).

Florida Marlins, Philadelphia Phillies

LATE WAKEUP CALL FOR HOUSTON BATS

The Astros beat the Dodgers, 8-5, after getting their first hit with two outs in the seventh inning. It was the second time this season that a team scored eight (or more) runs in a game in which it didn't register its first hit until the seventh inning (or later). The Cardinals did that on April 12, in a 10-inning, 8-7 win at San Francisco. There was only one such game in the majors over the previous eight seasons (2000-2007): Colorado's 8-2 win at Arizona on July 23, 2004.

Houston Astros

REVENGE FOR LAST YEAR'S PLAYOFF SWEEPS

The Cubs enjoyed some revenge for last year's Division Series loss to Arizona by completing a three-game sweep of the Diamondbacks. Remarkably, Chicago is the third team to sweep its first series of this season against the team that had swept it in last year's playoffs! The Diamondbacks won three games at Colorado (April 46) after being swept by the Rockies in the 2007 NLCS, and the Phillies won a two-game set at Colorado (April 21-22) after the Rockies swept them out of last year's Division Series.

Over the past 24 seasons (1984-2007), only two teams swept their first series of a season against a team that had swept it in the previous year's playoffs. The Giants did it to the Marlins in May 1998, as did the Dodgers to the Mets in June 2007.

Chicago Cubs

METS HIT BACK-TO-BACK HOMERS AGAIN

Carlos Beltran and Ryan Church hit back-to-back homers for the Mets in New York on Sunday, after Carlos Delgado and Brian Schneider hit consecutive home runs in the first game of Saturday's split doubleheader. It marked the first time that the Mets hit back-to-back home runs at Shea Stadium on each of two consecutive days since Sept. 4-5, 2002 against the Marlins (Edgardo Alfonzo and Jeromy Burnitz; then Burnitz and Ty Wigginton).

New York Mets

BRAUN IS QUICKEST TO SURPASS 40 HOMERS

Ryan Braun hit a pair of homers to help the Brewers beat St. Louis, 5-3. They were the 40th and 41st home runs of Braun's brief career, as he surpassed the 40-HR mark only 352 days after making his big-league debut (May 25, 2007), the quickest of any player in major-league history. Only two other players hit their 41st home run within a year of their debut: Mark McGwire in 1987 (354 days after his first game) and Chuck Klein in 1929 (360 days).

Milwaukee Brewers

ANOTHER PITCHER FROM THE 2006 DRAFT

Greg Reynolds was tagged with a loss in his major-league debut as the Padres beat the Rockies on Sunday. Reynolds, the second overall pick in the 2006 draft, was the ninth player selected in the first round of that draft to make it to the majors. The only position players among them are Evan Longoria and Emmanuel Burriss; the other pitchers are Luke Hochevar, Brandon Morrow, Andrew Miller, Tim Lincecum, Max Scherzer and Ian Kennedy.

Colorado Rockies

A's SCORE LATE AND OFTEN TO BEAT TEXAS

The Athletics scored eight runs from the sixth through the ninth innings, with at least one run in each inning, in their 12-6 comeback win at Texas. It was only the second time in the last nine seasons that Oakland scored runs in each of the last four innings of a game. The only other time the A's did it over that span (since 2000) was in an 8-3 victory at Tampa Bay on June 1, 2002 (scoring in each of the last five innings).

Oakland Athletics

NHL

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Gonchar

GONCHAR SETS UP THREE GOALS

Defenseman Sergei Gonchar had three assists for the Penguins in their 4-2 home win over the Flyers in Game 2 of their series. Gonchar's three points matched his career high for a playoff game. He did that once before, also in Pittsburgh, just over 13 years ago, with two goals and one assist for the Capitals against the Penguins on May 6, 1995.

Pittsburgh Penguins


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