Date: May 18, 2009

Elias Says...

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

NBA

MAGIC ELIMINATES THE CHAMPS

The Magic ousted the Celtics from the playoffs with a 101-82 Game 7 win at Boston. It was the largest margin of defeat for a defending NBA champion in an elimination playoff game since the Spurs knocked the Lakers out of the 2003 playoffs in the second round with a 110-82 victory at Los Angeles in Game 7.

Orlando Magic

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Turkoglu

TURKOGLU GOES WEST

Hedo Turkoglu scored 25 points and handed out 12 assists for Orlando on Sunday. The only other player with at least 25 points and 10 or more assists in a Game 7 against the Celtics was Jerry West, who had 42 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists in the Lakers' two-point loss to Boston in the decisive game of the 1969 Finals (108-106 at Los Angeles).

Orlando Magic

LAKERS' DEFENSE ELIMINATES ROCKETS

The Lakers defeated the Rockets, 89-70, to advance to the Western Conference Finals. It was only the fourth time in the shot-clock era (since 1954-55), and the first time since 2000 (87-65 over Phoenix), that the Lakers held their opponent to 70 or fewer points in a playoff game. The Lakers blocked 10 shots on Sunday (with at least one by five different players), their most in the postseason since Game 3 of the 2002 Finals against New Jersey.

Los Angeles Lakers

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Gasol

LAKERS FORWARDS ARE GAME-HIGH SCORERS

Pau Gasol scored a game-high 21 points and Trevor Ariza (15 points) was the only other player to score more than 14 for either team in the Lakers' win. The dominant Lakers teams of recent generations were blessed with great guard-center tandems (West and Wilt, Magic and Kareem, Kobe and Shaq), so how unusual was it to see a pair of Lakers forwards post the two highest point totals of a playoff game? It had never happened since Chamberlain and West's first playoffs together with the Lakers in 1969.

Los Angeles Lakers

ROCKETS LOSE ANOTHER GAME 7

The Rockets have lost their last three "Game 7's" dating back to the 2005 playoffs, matching the Kings and Hornets for the longest current losing streak of its kind for any NBA team.

Houston Rockets

MLB

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Damon

FIVE O'CLOCK LIGHTNING STRIKES IN THE BRONX

Johnny Damon's game-ending home run in the tenth inning gave the Yankees a third straight walkoff win in their series against the Twins. The Yankees are the first major-league team with three consecutive walkoff wins since the Diamondbacks in 2007 (July 26-28), but no American League team had turned that trick since the 2004 Tigers (June 26-29). The Yankees have had three straight walkoff wins seven other times in their history (most recently in 1972), but only twice against one opponent (1910 vs. Cleveland and 1931 vs. Detroit).

New York has won its last four games despite trailing in the seventh inning or later in each one. Although the Cubs won four consecutive games in that fashion last season, no American League team had done so since the Blue Jays did it in five straight games in August 1998. The Yankees won four straight games in which they erased such late deficits only one other time in their history (five in a row, May 17-21, 1910).

New York Yankees

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Kershaw

KERSHAW FLIRTS WITH A NO-HITTER

Clayton Kershaw took a no-hit bid into the eighth inning in the Dodgers' 12-5 win at Florida. Since a 21-year-old Vida Blue threw a no-hitter for the Athletics in 1970, only four other pitchers as young as Kershaw (21 years, 59 days) have held an opponent hitless through the first seven innings of a game: Don Gullett (1971 Reds), Dwight Gooden (1984 Mets), Edwin Correa (1987 Rangers) and Felix Hernandez (2007 Mariners).

Los Angeles Dodgers

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Halladay

HALLADAY A WINNER AND AN INNINGS EATER

Roy Halladay notched his eighth win of the season as the Blue Jays defeated the White Sox on Sunday. Halladay (8-1), who has pitched at least seven innings in each of his games this season, is the first pitcher since Kansas City's David Cone in 1994 to go 8-1 or better over his first nine starts of a season while accumulating as many as 68 innings pitched.

Toronto Blue Jays

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Rodriguez

MILESTONE HOME RUN FOR PUDGE

Ivan Rodriguez hit his 300th career home run in the Astros' 6-5 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field. It was Pudge's 293rd career homer as a catcher, to go along with five as a designated hitter and two as a pinch-hitter. Only four players in major-league history have hit as many as 300 home runs as a catcher: Mike Piazza (396), Carlton Fisk (351), Johnny Bench (327) and Yogi Berra (306). Lance Parrish and Gary Carter both had a career total of 324 home runs, but neither hit 300 as a backstop (299 and 298, respectively).

Houston Astros

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Escalona

ESCALONA IS A WINNER IN HIS MLB DEBUT

Timing was everything for Sergio Escalona in his major-league debut. Escalona debuted with a scoreless seventh inning and was credited with the victory after the Phillies took the lead in the eighth and defeated the Nationals in Washington. The most well known Phillies pitcher to earn a victory as a reliever in his big-league debut was Hall of Famer Ferguson Jenkins (Sept. 10, 1965 vs. St. Louis in 12 innings). Escalona was the fourth Philadelphia pitcher to do that since Jenkins, joining Rick Surhoff (1985), Todd Frohwirth (1987) and Wayne Gomes (1997).

Philadelphia Phillies

RANGERS PAD THEIR AL WEST LEAD BY SWEEPING THE ANGELS

The Rangers increased their lead in the AL West to 4.5 games by completing a three-game sweep of the Angels. It had been almost ten years since a first-place Rangers team swept a series from the second-place team in its division (a three-game sweep of the Athletics, Sept. 24-26, 1999).

Texas Rangers

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Cruz

CRUZ EXTENDS HIS WINNING STREAK TO 11 GAMES

The Royals scored three runs in the eighth inning to make a winner out of Juan Cruz (3-0) as they defeated the Orioles, 7-4. Cruz has won his last 11 decisions (since June 2007 with Arizona), all in relief, to give him the longest current winning streak for any pitcher in the majors, ahead of his teammate, Ron Mahay, who's won his last nine decisions. Cruz's winning streak is the longest for any reliever since Jesse Crain won 11 in a row for the Twins to begin his major-league career (2004-2005).

Kansas City Royals

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Cain

CAIN HELPS HIS OWN CAUSE IN 2-0 WIN

Matt Cain and three Giants relievers combined to shut out the Mets, 2-0, with Cain providing an insurance run with an RBI single in the fifth inning. Cain was the second pitcher to register both a win and an RBI in a 1-0 or 2-0 game this season (Yovani Gallardo homered for the Brewers in a 1-0 win over the Pirates on April 29), but the last pitcher to do it prior to this season was Cincinnati's Aaron Harang, with one RBI in a 2-0 win at Houston on July 25, 2006.

San Francisco Giants

RAYS ARE STEALING THE SHOW

The Rays stole another two bases while beating the Indians on Sunday. (No, none of them were by Andy Sonnanstine.) It was the 19th consecutive game in which Tampa Bay stole at least one base, giving them the longest single-season streak for a major-league team since 1986 (20 straight games by the Cardinals) and the longest in a season for an American League team since 1914 (19 for the Yankees). The Rays have 43 stolen bases during their streak, the most for any team over a span of 19 games since the 1992 Brewers (also 43).

Tampa Bay Rays

MARINERS BEAT BOSTON IN NINTH

Franklin Gutierrez's RBI single off Ramon Ramirez in the bottom of the ninth gave the Mariners a 3-2 win over the Red Sox. It was only the second run charged to Ramirez this season (0.86 ERA) and it was the first time he was on the mound for a walkoff loss in his 174 games in the majors.

Seattle Mariners

TIGERS DIG OUT OF AN EARLY HOLE

The Tigers overcame a shaky start by Armando Galarraga (five runs in two-thirds of an inning) to post an 11-7 win over the Athletics. Over the last two seasons, only one other major-league team has won a game in which its starting pitcher was charged with at least five runs without making it out of the first inning (Minnesota at Tampa Bay, Sept. 18, 2008). The Tigers hadn't won such a game since May 25, 2006, when they beat the Royals after Mike Maroth took an early shower.

Detroit Tigers

PIRATES SCORE 10 IN AN INNING, NINE BEFORE MAKING AN OUT

The Pirates defeated the Rockies on Sunday after putting up 10 runs in the seventh inning, nine of which crossed the plate before Pittsburgh made its first out of the inning. It was the second time this season that a team scored at least nine runs in an inning before making an out (the Red Sox scored a dozen no-out runs in one inning against the Indians on May 7), but it happened only once in the majors over the previous five seasons (Cardinals versus Padres, Aug. 8, 2007).

Pittsburgh Pirates

NHL

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Cleary

CLEARY SCORES TWICE IN SERIES OPENER

Daniel Cleary scored two goals for the Red Wings in their 5-2 win over the Blackhawks in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final. It was the second multiple-goal game of Cleary's playoff career. His first one came exactly two years earlier, on May 17, 2007, with two goals in Detroit's 5-3 loss at Anaheim in Game 4 of that year's Western Conference Final.

Detroit Red Wings

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Franzen

FRANZEN'S HOME-ICE ADVANTAGE

Johan Franzen scored a goal and added two assists for the Red Wings. Franzen has scored points in each of his last 13 playoff games at Joe Louis Arena (totaling 12 goals and 10 assists), dating back to Game 5 of last year's first-round series against Nashville.

Detroit Red Wings

THREE UNASSISTED GOALS

The Red Wings led the Blackhawks, 2-1, through two periods in Game 1 and all three goals were unassisted (by Chicago's Adam Burish, and Detroit's Daniel Cleary and Johan Franzen). It was only the second time in the NHL's "modern era" that there were no assists on the first three goals of a playoff game. The previous instance was in Game 4 of the 1998 Western Conference Final between the Red Wings and Stars, with Detroit opening the scoring with solo goals from Kirk Maltby and Steve Yzerman, and Dallas answering with an unassisted tally by Pat Verbeek.

Detroit Red Wings


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