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CELTICS TIE NBA RECORD
The Celtics have now played 12 playoff games in 2008 and the home team has won them all (seven in Boston and five on the road). That ties an NBA record for consecutive playoff games played by one team within one playoff year all won by the home team. Three other teams did that: Boston in 1987, Portland in 1990 and Miami in 2004.
Of the previous three teams, only Miami did it in its first 12 games of the playoffs.
RONDO'S 13 ASSISTS
Rajon Rondo had 13 assists in Boston's Game Five win over Cleveland. Rondo, who had 12 assists in Game Four against Atlanta, is the first Celtics player with 12-or-more assists twice in one playoff year since Danny Ainge did it in 1988.
Kobe Bryant played in Game Five Wednesday night despite his back injury. It is interesting to note that no player has ever missed an NBA playoff game while leading the league in playoff scoring (i.e. points-per-game) at the time of the game.
FIVE STARTERS WITH AT LEAST 14 POINTS FOR THE LAKERS
All five Lakers starters scored at least 14 points in their win over the Jazz Wednesday night. It's only the second time in the last 16 years - spanning 163 playoff games - that all five starters for the Lakers reached that level in a playoff game. It also happened on April 23, 2006 at Phoenix: Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom, Luke Walton, Smush Parker and Kwame Brown.
STARS AVOID SWEEP
Dallas avoided a sweep with a 3-1 win over the Red Wings Wednesday night. The Stars have been swept in only two of the 48 best-of-seven playoff series in team history: one when the team was located in Minnesota (1984 vs. Edmonton) and once since the move to Dallas (2001 vs. St. Louis). The Stars' percentage of best-of-sevens in which they were swept (4.2%) is the fourth-lowest in NHL history (minimum: 10 series). The lower percentages belong to the Devils (never in 37 series), Islanders (2.7%, 1of 37) and Canadiens (3.8%, 4 of 106).
ZETTERBERG'S POINT STREAK REACHES NINE GAMES
Henrik Zetterberg scored a goal Wednesday night in Detroit's loss to Dallas. Zetterberg has now recorded at least one point in nine straight games. The only other player in Red Wings history to have a point streak that long in one playoff year was Gordie Howe, who did it twice: 12 games in 1964 and 11 games in 1961.
RED SOX CAN'T HOLD A THREE-RUN LEAD AGAIN
The Red Sox blew a 3-0 lead in their loss to the Orioles Wednesday afternoon. It was the third consecutive game the Sox lost in which they held a lead of at least three runs. Only one other time in franchise history did Boston lose three consecutive games in that fashion: May 19-21, 1995 (all three games were against the Indians, blew leads of 5-1, 4-1 and 8-4 in the three games).
CHIPPER STAYS HOT
Chipper Jones had two hits and a home run in the Braves' 8-6 win over the Phillies. Jones now has 61 hits and 11 home runs this season and the Braves have played only 39 games. Chipper is the fourth National League player since 1960 with 60-or-more hits and at least 10 home runs fewer than 40 team games into a season. Billy Williams (1964 Cubs), Lou Brock (1967 Cardinals) and Larry Walker (1997 Rockies) had a 60/10 before their team played 40 games. The last Braves player to do that was Hank Aaron in 1959.
MARLINS SCORE SIX IN NINTH INNING, STILL LOSE
The Marlins, who scored six runs in the ninth inning to tie their game against the Reds Wednesday night, lost 7-6 in 10 innings. It has been over 60 years since a National League team scored at least six runs in the ninth inning to tie a game they eventually lost. On September 17, 1947, in game two of a doubleheader, the New York Giants trailed the Cubs, 10-4, entering the ninth inning. The Giants scored six runs in the ninth inning to tie the game, only to lose when the Cubs scored two in the bottom of the ninth on a two-run home run by Bill Nicholson.
JANISH WALKOFF RBI IN MAJOR LEAGUE DEBUT
Paul Janish, making his major league debut, had the game-winning hit for the Reds in the 10th inning Wednesday night. Janish is the first player in five years to get a walkoff RBI in his MLB debut. Miguel Cabrera did it for the Marlins on June 20, 2003. The last Cincinnati player to do this was Eric Owens on June 6, 1995.
CABRERA HANDLES BIG PAPI AND MANNY
Daniel Cabrera was the winning pitcher for the Orioles against the Red Sox. Cabrera has not had much success against the Red Sox in his major league career (he's now 2-9 with a 7.35 earned run average in 12 career starts against them), but he has had great success against Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz. Those two sluggers are now a combined 7-for-33 (.212) against Cabrera, all seven hits were singles.
CLEVELAND STARTING PITCHER'S SCORELESS STREAK EXTENDED
C.C. Sabathia threw a shutout for the Indians Wednesday. Cleveland starting pitchers have not allowed a run in 43.1 innings. That's the longest scoreless streak by Cleveland starters since 1948, when Bob Lemon, Gene Bearden, Sam Zoldak, and Satchel Paige all threw complete-game shutouts during a 47-inning scoreless streak.
The last major league team to have a scoreless streak that long by its starting pitchers was the Orioles in 1974. Baltimore starting pitchers - Jim Palmer, Mike Cuellar, Dave McNally and Ross Grimsley - threw 54 scoreless innings in September of that season.
FOUR SHUTOUTS IN FIVE GAMES FOR INDIANS
The Indians have now had four shutouts in their last five games, the first major league team to do that since the Orioles in 1995. It is the fifth time in Indians' history they've had four shutouts in a five-game span. They also did it in 1903 (four in a row), 1913, 1948 (four in a row) and 1965.
SHIELDS NOW 0-6 AGAINST THE YANKEES
James Shields was the losing pitcher for the Rays against the Yankees Wednesday night. Shields is now 0-6 with a 6.86 ERA against the Yankees in his career (22-13, 3.72 ERA vs. all other teams). That's the worst record against the Yankees for any active pitcher.
SORIANO HAS A HOME RUN IN THREE STRAIGHT GAMES
Alfonso Soriano has hit a home run in three straight games, all from the leadoff spot in the batting order. Soriano is the second player this season to hit a home run in three consecutive games from the first spot in the batting order. Nate McLouth did it from April 26-29 for the Pirates.
ROYALS WIN DESPITE FEW RUNS
The Royals beat the Tigers, 2-0, Wednesday night. It's the third time this season that the Royals won a game in which they scored two runs or less. The Royals won only four such games all of last season.
VERLANDER JOINS CICOTTE, KAAT, AND TIANT
Justin Verlander, who was 18-6 last season, is now 1-7 this season. Only three pitchers in modern major league history (since 1900) started a season 1-7 (or worse) following a season in which they were at least 12 games over .500: Eddie Cicotte in 1918 (28-12 in 1917), Jim Kaat in 1967 (25-13 in 1966) and Luis Tiant in 1969 (21-9 in 1968).
HALLADAY WINS DESPITE ALLOWING THREE RUNS IN FIRST INNING
Roy Halladay allowed three first-inning runs in Toronto's win over Minnesota Wednesday night. It was the 11th time in his major league career that Halladay allowed three-or-more first inning runs. This was the first of those 11 games that Halladay was the winning pitcher. Entering Wednesday night, Halladay was 0-9 with one no decision in games in which he allowed at least three runs in the opening frame.
THE FIRST MEMBER OF A NEW 40/40 CLUB
We missed this one last night: With a double in Tuesday night's victory over the Dodgers, Ryan Braun became the first player in major-league history to record at least 40 doubles and 40 home runs within a year of his major-league debut. Since his debut last May 25, Braun has batted .314 with 40 doubles, 43 homers, and 126 RBIs (151 games).