Date: May 4, 2009

Elias Says...

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

NBA

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Johnson

JJ COOLS THE HEAT

Joe Johnson had 27 points, five rebounds and five steals in Atlanta's Game Seven win against Miami on Sunday. It was almost 32 years to the day since the last NBA player had at least 25 points, five-or-more rebounds and five-or-more steals in Game Seven of a playoff series. On May 4, 1977, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had 36 points, 26 rebounds and five steals in the Lakers' series-clinching victory against Golden State in the Western Conference semifinals. (Kareem is still the last player to have 25-or-more rebounds in a Game Seven.)

Atlanta Hawks

HOME COOKING ENDS A RECORD STREAK

The Hawks had lost each of their last six Game Sevens in the playoffs. That is the longest Game Seven losing streak for any team in NBA history. Each of those six losses was on the road.

Atlanta Hawks

WIN THE FIRST QUARTER... WIN THE GAME

The Hawks and Heat played the first seven-game playoff series in NBA history in which there were no lead changes after the end of the first quarter of any game.

Atlanta Hawks

DENVER WINS WITH STRONG DEFENSE

The Nuggets had 15 steals and 11 blocked shots in their Game One victory over the Mavericks on Sunday. It had been 16 years since a team reached both of those statistical levels in a playoff game. Phoenix had 15 steals and 12 blocks in a win against San Antonio in May 1993

Denver Nuggets

MLB

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Crawford

CRAWFORD TIES STOLEN BASE RECORD

Carl Crawford tied a modern-day (since 1900) record with six stolen bases on Sunday, leading the Rays to a victory over the Red Sox. Crawford also had four hits, making him the first major-league player in 97 years to have six steals and four-or-more hits in one game. Hall-of-Famer Eddie Collins had a four-hit/six-steal game for the 1912 Philadelphia Athletics.

Tampa Bay Rays

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Baker

BAKER'S NO-HIT BID ENDS WITH FIVE STRAIGHT HITS

Scott Baker had a no-hitter through six innings on Sunday, but then allowed hits to each of the first five Kansas City batters he faced in the seventh inning. In the past 20 years, only one other pitcher had a no-hit bid of at least six innings broken up with hits by five consecutive batters. On September 20, 1999, the Cubs' Jon Lieber held the Cardinals hitless through 6.2 innings, before being tagged for six straight hits (including three home runs).

Minnesota Twins

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Verlander

A GOOD WEEK FOR VERLANDER

Justin Verlander has staked his claim for American League Pitcher of the Week honors. On Monday he struck out nine batters in seven scoreless innings against the Yankees and on Sunday he whiffed 11, while allowing one run vs. Cleveland. He's the first Tigers' pitcher in 23 years to win back-to-back starts, with at least 20 strikeouts and no more than one run allowed over those two games. Jack Morris did that with two complete-game shutouts and 23 strikeouts in July 1986.

Detroit Tigers

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Richmond

RICHMOND ALLOWS 3 RUNS, BUT NEVER MORE

Scott Richmond gave up three runs in seven innings against the Orioles on Sunday, winning his fourth straight start. Richmond has allowed three-or-fewer runs in each of his 10 career starts in the major leagues. Three other active pitchers surrendered no more than three runs in each of their first 10 big-league starts: Brandon Webb, Josh Johnson and Joba Chamberlain.

Toronto Blue Jays

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Lee

LEE SLAMS THE MARLINS

Derrek Lee hit a grand slam in the Cubs' win over the Marlins on Sunday. It was Lee's fifth career bases loaded home run at Wrigley Field. Three other active players have hit at least five grand slams at their current home ballpark: David Ortiz (seven at Fenway Park), Travis Hafner (six at Progressive Field) and Paul Konerko (five at U.S. Cellular Field).

Chicago Cubs

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Billingsley

BILLINGSLEY IS 5-0

Chad Billingsley beat the Padres on Sunday to improve his record to 5-0. At 24, he's the third pitcher under age 25 to start a season 5-0 for a team managed by Joe Torre. The other two were Allen Watson (1993 Cardinals) and Andy Pettitte (1997 Yankees).

Los Angeles Dodgers

SCORELESS THROUGH NINE IN SAN FRAN

The Giants scored in the bottom of the 10th inning to beat Colorado 1-0 on Sunday. It was the second game this season at AT&T Park in which neither team scored in the first nine innings. There were no games of that kind in that ballpark from 2003 to 2008.

San Francisco Giants

ROYALS RALLY IN THE METRODOME

Minnesota held a 4-0 lead on Sunday afternoon, but Kansas City rallied to win in the Metrodome, 7-5. Entering play on Sunday, the Royals were the only team in the major leagues that had not won a game this season in which it trailed by two-or-more runs.

It's the eighth time in the last three seasons that the Twins lost a game after leading by at least four runs, but it's the only one of those eight games that was played in Minneapolis. Prior to Sunday, their last home loss in which they surrendered a lead of four-or-more runs was on May 14, 2006 against the White Sox.

Kansas City Royals

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Fielder

A HOME RUN AND 3 WALKS FOR PRINCE

Prince Fielder had a perfect day at the plate, hitting a home run and walking three times in Milwaukee's 4-3 win against Arizona on Sunday. It's the first time in Fielder's career he's homered and drawn at least three walks in one game. His father, Cecil, did that four times in his 13 years in the big leagues, but never before his 10th season.

Milwaukee Brewers

ANOTHER SHUTOUT WIN FOR THE REDS

The Reds blanked the Pirates on Sunday, 5-0, giving Cincinnati three shutout victories in its last four games. In the past 25 years, the Reds had only one other four-game stretch in which they did not allow a run in three of those games. That happened in May 1992, with Greg Swindell, Chris Hammond and Tim Belcher starting and winning those three games.

Cincinnati Reds

A 13TH INNING TO REMEMBER

The Athletics and Mariners each scored three runs in the 13th inning on Sunday, before Seattle won in 15 innings. It's the first time in 18 years that two teams extended a game by each scoring at least three runs in the 13th inning or later. The Brewers and Cubs each scored three runs in the 15th inning on May 1, 1991, before Milwaukee prevailed in the 19th inning.

Oakland Athletics, Seattle Mariners

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Gonzalez

GIO WASN'T ON A PITCH COUNT

Oakland's Gio Gonzalez threw 108 pitches in five innings of relief during the Athletics' 15-inning loss at Seattle on Sunday. That was the most pitches by a relief pitcher since Esteban Loaiza had 109 for the Yankees in a game at Fenway Park in September 2004.

Oakland Athletics

D'BACKS FLY SOLO IN MILWAUKEE

The Diamondbacks hit three home runs in the seventh inning, but it wasn't enough in their 4-3 loss at Milwaukee on Sunday. How unusual is it for a team to score at least three runs in a game, all on solo home runs in the same inning? It happened twice in each of the previous two seasons and this was the first occurrence in 2009.

Arizona Diamondbacks

NHL

DUCKS LOVE WORKING OVERTIME

The Ducks beat the Red Wings in triple-overtime on Sunday to even their playoff series at one game apiece. Anaheim is 14-3 since 2003 in postseason games decided in overtime. The Ducks have twice as many OT wins over the last six playoff years as any other NHL team. Colorado, Ottawa and Vancouver each have seven playoff overtime wins since 2003.

Anaheim Ducks

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Marchant

MARCHANT SCORES IN THIRD OT

Todd Marchant's goal at 1:15 of the third overtime period gave the Ducks a 4-3 victory in Game Two of their series against the Red Wings. It was the second overtime playoff goal of Marchant's career. His first OT goal was for the Edmonton Oilers in Game Seven of their first-round series against the Dallas Stars in 1997. Marchant's 12-year and four-day gap between that goal and the one he scored in Detroit on Sunday was the second-longest between playoff overtime goals by any NHL player. His Anaheim teammate, Teemu Selanne, holds the record for that with a 14-year, 23-day span between an overtime goal for the Winnipeg Jets against the Canucks in April 1993 and one for the Ducks in Detroit in May 2007.

Anaheim Ducks

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Ward

WARD BLANKS BRUINS AND SETS TEAM RECORD

Cam Ward stopped 36 shots in his 30 shutout win in Boston on Sunday night. Ward's 36 saves were the most ever by a Whalers/Hurricanes goaltender in a playoff shutout. The previous high was 32 by Hartford's Mike Liut against the Canadiens in 1986 and Carolina's Kevin Weekes versus the Devils in 2002.

Carolina Hurricanes


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