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CAVALIERS SET FRANCHISE RECORD WITH 12 STRAIGHT WINS
Cleveland stormed back from a 15-point deficit to defeat the Mavericks, 102-74, and establish a franchise record with its 12th consecutive win. It was the second-largest margin of victory for any NBA team this season in a game in which it trailed by as many as 15 points. The Lakers erased a 16-point deficit in a 111-82 win over the Rockets on November 11.
The Cavaliers notched their first 12-game winning streak since entering the NBA in 1970-71, but three franchises that have been in the league as long (or longer) than Cleveland have still never won a dozen straight games: the Warriors, Wizards and Clippers.
IVERSON RETURNS OFF THE BENCH
Allen Iverson returned to active duty with eight points in 21 minutes off the bench as the Pistons beat the Sixers. It was only the seventh time in Iverson's career that he played in a game that he didn't start (four times with the Sixers, once with the Nuggets and twice for the Pistons). Iverson has started 99.2 percent of his games in the NBA (877 of 884). Only four active players have started a higher percentage of their games than Iverson (minimum: 500 games): Tim Duncan (99.9%), Paul Pierce (99.6%), Ray Allen (99.6%) and Mike Bibby (99.5%).
HORNETS MAKE 31 STRAIGHT FREE THROWS
The Hornets made 32 of 33 free throws in their four-point win over the Spurs, including 31 in a row to finish the game. It was the second-longest streak of consecutive free throws made in a game for any NBA team this season. The Kings made their last 34 foul shots in a triple-overtime win at Golden State on January 14.
PARKER REACHES MILESTONE
Tony Parker surpassed 10,000 points for his career in the Spurs' loss at New Orleans. Parker (age 26 years, 316 days) was two weeks younger than Tim Duncan was when he reached the 10,000-point milestone on March 21, 2003. Parker and Duncan joined LeBron James and Zydrunas Ilgauskas as the only active NBA teammates to each score at least 10,000 career points for their current club.
CELTICS' .600 WINNING PERCENTAGE IN MARCH IS LOWEST IN ANY MONTH
The Celtics completed the March portion of their schedule with a predictable victory over the Thunder in Boston. Despite playing .600 or better ball in every calendar month this season, the Celtics are the only team in the league whose winning percentage has decreased in each successive month. Boston was 2-0 in October (1.000), 14-2 in November (.875), 12-3 in December (.800), 11-4 in January (.733), 8-4 in February (.667) and 9-6 in March (.600).
RUSH SCORES 29 WITHOUT A FREE-THROW ATTEMPT
Brandon Rush had 29 points in the Pacers' win over the Wizards, and he scored all of his points without taking a single free throw in 33 minutes of playing time. Rush was the sixth NBA player to score at least 29 points in a game this season without going to the free-throw line, but he was the first to do so while playing as few as 33 minutes since Toronto's Donyell Marshall on March 13, 2005.
JAMISON IS SILVER LINING IN WIZARDS' CLOUDY MONTH
The Wizards had a 3-13 record during March despite Antawn Jamison's 25.6 PPG scoring average in those 16 games. Washington hadn't posted a record of 10 or more games under .500 in any calendar month since December 2000 (2-13). Jamison's scoring average was his highest in any month of more than one game since April 2001 (25.6 in ten games).
GASOL CAN'T CARRY THE LAKERS ON THIS NIGHT
The Hawks topped the Lakers in Atlanta with Mike Bibby and Pau Gasol each scoring a game-high 21 points while Kobe Bryant was limited to 17 points in 37 minutes on the court. It marked only the second time that the Lakers lost a game in which Gasol was their leading scorer (either outright or tied). The Lakers were 4-0 in such games last season, 1-0 in the playoffs, and they had won nine of the ten previous games this season in which Gasol led the team in points.
BULLS DROP SEVENTH STRAIGHT OVERTIME DECISION ON THE ROAD
The Raptors needed an extra period to beat the Bulls at Toronto on Sunday. It was Chicago's seventh straight loss in overtime games on the road (dating back to a Halloween loss in 2007), tying Memphis for the longest current losing streak of its kind for any NBA team. The last NBA team with a longer road losing streak in overtime games was none other than Chicago, losers of nine in a row from November 2002 through March 2004.
TIMBERWOLVES OWN THE NETS AT HOME
The Timberwolves defeated the Nets at Target Center for the sixth straight time on Sunday. It's Minnesota's longest current home winning streak against any opponent. New Jersey has a longer current road losing streak against only two teams, both from Texas (nine consecutive losses at Dallas and seven straight losses at San Antonio).
KINGS' WIN CAPS A PERFECT DAY AT HOME
The Kings held on to defeat the Suns in Sacramento and cap a perfect day for the home teams, who won each of the nine NBA games on Sunday's slate. It had been more than three years since the last time NBA home teams went 9-0 (or better) on the same day (March 22, 2006). In case you're wondering, there have been four days on which home teams have gone 10-0, which is the NBA record.
RED WINGS BLOW THIRD-PERIOD LEAD IN HOME LOSS
The Red Wings had a 2-1 lead at the end of the second period against Nashville at Joe Louis Arena but the Predators rallied to beat Detroit, 4-3. It was only the fifth time in the last eight seasons that the Red Wings lost a home game in regulation time in which they led entering the third period. Detroit's last such home loss was on Feb. 7, 2008 against the Kings.
SHUTOUT FOR SENATORS' ROOKIE
Ottawa's Brian Elliott posted the first shutout of his NHL career with a 3-0 win over the Lightning in Tampa. The only other rookie goaltenders to record shutouts for the Senators were Jani Hurme, who had two in 2000-01, and Ray Emery, with three in 2005-06. Both of Hurme's shutouts were against Tampa Bay, as was one of Emery's three shutouts.
LUONGO TURNS ASIDE PENALTY SHOT IN SHUTOUT
Roberto Luongo posted a 4-0 shutout over the Blackhawks in Chicago, which he preserved by stopping a Patrick Sharp penalty shot in the third period. It was the second time this season that a goaltender recorded a shutout in a game in which he faced a penalty shot. The previous instance was also a 4-0 victory by Luongo, on October 30 at Los Angeles. He stopped Alexander Frolov on a first-period penalty shot in that game.
THOMAS MATCHES CAREER HIGH
Tim Thomas stopped 45 of 48 shots on goal in his 4-3 win in Philadelphia. Thomas's 45 saves matched his career high in a victory, which he did three times before, most recently against the Hurricanes in Carolina on Feb. 19, 2008.
ANOTHER MULTI-POINT GAME FOR BLUES' BERGLUND
Patrik Berglund had one goal and two assists for the Blues in their 5-2 win at Columbus. It was Berglund's 12th multiple-point game this season (2 three-point games, 10 two-pointers), keeping pace with Anaheim's Bobby Ryan (who also had his 12th multi-point game of the season on Sunday) for second-most among NHL rookies, behind Kris Versteeg's 13.
NCAA Men's Basketball
LOWEST SCORING TOURNAMENT GAME FOR PITINO
Louisville's 52 points on Sunday were the fewest by a team with Rick Pitino as its head coach in any of his 51 games in the NCAA Tournament. His previous low was 57 points by Louisville in a loss to Illinois in the national semifinal in 2005.