Date: March 14, 2009

Elias Says...

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

NFL

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Holt

RAMS CUT HOLT, LEAVING JUST ONE

The Rams released Torry Holt on Friday, three days after they waived Orlando Pace. That leaves Leonard Little as the only player on the St.Louis roster who appeared in the team's Super Bowl XXXIV victory over the Titans in January 2000.

St. Louis Rams

NBA

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James

LEBRON, MICHEAL, KAREEM, WILT

LeBron James had the eighth 50-point game of his NBA career - each of them on the road - in Cleveland's overtime win in Sacramento. James has had three of those games over the last six weeks; he scored 52 points at New York on February 4 and had 55 at Milwaukee on February 20.

Only three other players in NBA history have produced three 50-point games on the road within a span of less than 40 days: Michael Jordan in November 1988, Kareem Abdul Jabbar in February and March of 1972, and Wilt Chamberlain, who did it 28 different times from 1961 to 1965.

Cleveland Cavaliers

CAVALIERS HAD KINGS RIGHT WHERE THEY WANTED THEM...

The Cavaliers trailed the Kings, 98-84, entering the fourth quarter on Friday night but came away with a 126-123 overtime victory. This, just three nights after Cleveland trailed the Clippers, 69-52, through three quarters before roaring back to win, 87-83.

Only one other team in NBA history has won a pair of games in which they trailed by at least 14 points entering the fourth quarter over a period of five-or-fewer games. The Cincinnati Royals, under head coach Bob Cousy, did that on consecutive nights on Jan. 3-4, 1970, defeating the Hawks and the Baltimore Bullets.

Cleveland Cavaliers

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Hamilton

RIP STILL RIPPIN'

Richard Hamilton scored 24 points - his ninth straight game scoring 20-or-more points, including eight since he rejoined the starting lineup - in the Pistons' overtime win in Toronto. That's the second-longest 20-point streak by any Pistons player since the start of the year 2000; Hamilton himself has the only longer streak, 11 straight 20-point efforts in the 2006-07 season.

Hamilton also had 16 assists, marking the first time in his 731-game NBA career that he has scored 20-or-more points in the same game in which he had at least 15 assists. You have to go back more than 20 years to find the last NBA player who achieved his first "20/15" game that far into his pro career. That was Dennis Johnson, who finally did it on April 21, 1988, playing for the Celtics against the Bulls, in his 951st NBA game.

Detroit Pistons

WIN ONE FOR THE...DOCTOR?

In what is planned to be the last NBA game at the old Spectrum, Julius Erving exhorted the 76ers in a pre-game ceremony and they complied, beating the Bulls to push their season record above .500. "Doctor J" has some cred in that building: he scored 9,364 of his 18,364 regular-season NBA points in the Spectrum - that's right, he scored exactly 9,000 points elsewhere - by far the highest total for anyone in the history of the Sixers' erstwhile home. (Charles Barkley, with 7,256 points, ranks a distant second.)

Philadelphia 76ers

HAWKS' BAD FRIDAY-THE-13TH LUCK ENDS

The Hawks and Friday the 13th have not been a good mix in recent years. Atlanta had lost its last seven games on Friday the 13th, a streak dating back to March 1992, and that had tied the longest F/13 losing streak in NBA history.

So when the Hawks fell 13 points behind the Pacers, 35-22, three minutes into the second quarter, things looked bleak. But Indiana had already lost 13 games this season in which it held a double-digit lead, and all the numbers worked out for Atlanta, which ended its Friday the 13th streak with a 101-87 victory.

With their 14th loss after owning a double-digit lead, the Pacers tied the Raptors for the most losses of that type by any NBA team this season.

Atlanta Hawks

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Powe Jr.

POWE JOINS CELTS' 30-POINT CLUB (WITH HELP FROM COLE PORTER)

Bird's done it. Dee's done it (that's Dee Brown). Pierce and Allen shooting threes have done it. And on Friday night, Leon Powe became the 65th different player to score 30-or-more points in a game for the Celtics, as Boston downed Memphis, 102-92.

Larry Bird leads the list with 223 games scoring at least 30 points, but at the other end of the list, 24 Celtics players (including Powe) have had exactly one 30-point game for the Green, including Tony Allen, Kenny Anderson, Dave Bing, Dennis Johnson, Pete Maravich, Rajon Rondo, Satch Sanders and Paul Silas.

Boston Celtics

YAO - YES, YAO - HITS KEY THREE IN ROCKETS' WIN

Yao Ming's three-point field goal - you read that right - with a little over two minutes remaining doubled the Rockets' three-point lead and Houston went on to win, 91-86, in Charlotte. It was the second three-point field-goal of Yao's seven-season NBA career, ending a 399-game drought and coming nearly six years after the first one, on March 21, 2003.

The last player who went so long between his first and second NBA three-pointers was Ervin Johnson - no, not Magic, the other one, the big guy who played 13 seasons in the league, mostly for the Bucks. He went 634 games between three-point field goals from 1996 to 2004.

Houston Rockets

IF KNICKS MAKE PLAYOFFS, THEY'LL REMEMBER THIS NIGHT

Mike D'Antoni and Knicks fans will forever recall Friday as The Night That Everything Broke Right. Their five rivals for the final Eastern Conference playoff berth - the Bucks, the Bulls, the Bobcats, the Pacers and the Nets - all lost, while the Knicks won, 102-94, over the Timberwolves in Minneapolis. It was the Knicks' third straight victory, all on the road; New York had not won three straight games, all on the road, since December 2003.

New York Knicks

NHL

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Vermette

VERMETTE STAYS HOT FOR BLUE JACKETS

Antoine Vermette scored two goals for the Blue Jackets in their 5-3 win at Chicago. Vermette, who was acquired by Columbus from Ottawa on trading-deadline day last week, has scored points in all four games for the Blue Jackets and he leads the team with six points (three goals, three assists) since making his Columbus debut.

Columbus Blue Jackets

NCAA Men's Basketball

REST? WE DON'T NEED NO STINKIN' REST

Syracuse needed only 45 minutes of playing time - that is, a single overtime period, to conclude its 74-69 victory over West Virginia, one night after its 70-minutes-of-playing-time, six-overtime victory over Connecticut. But the fact that the Orange won by any means on Friday night might be the real headline: Coming into Friday night's game, Big East teams had a 2-17 record in conference tournament games following an overtime win.

Syracuse Orange

CAROLINA EKES ONE OUT

North Carolina narrowly beat eighth-seeded Virginia Tech, 79-76, in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament. The Tar Heels are now 21-0 all-time in the ACC Tourney against teams seeded eighth or lower, with 17 of those wins coming by a double-digit margin. The three other single-digit victories: vs. North Carolina State (56-53 in 1967); vs. Clemson (88-81 in 2005) and vs. North Carolina State (89-80 in 2007) .

North Carolina Tar Heels, Virginia Tech Hokies

TEXAS, LEADING AT HALF, BEATEN BY BAYLOR

The Longhorns took a six-point lead over upstart Baylor into the half but ended up losing, 76-70. That was the eighth Big 12 Tournament game that Texas lost when it held the lead at halftime, the most such losses of any team in that tournament. (Runner-up Oklahoma lost its seventh such game on Thursday against Oklahoma State.)

Baylor Bears, Texas Longhorns

PATRIOT LEAGUE CHAMPS? AMERICAN, OF COURSE

American University downed Holy Cross, 73-57, for the right to represent the Patriot League for the second year in a row. The Eagles joined the Patriot League in the 2001-2002 season and have compiled a 15-6 record in the conference tourney since. Only one Patriot League school has a better record than American over that span: Holy Cross (15-5) .

American Eagles, Holy Cross Crusaders


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