Special to ESPN.com
ANTHONY LEADS NUGGETS TO VICTORY
Carmelo Anthony had 34 points on Thursday giving him 73 points over the first two games of the Western Conference Finals. Only two other players have scored that many points in the first two games of a playoff series against the Lakers: John Havlicek had 80 in the first two games of the 1969 NBA Finals, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had 73 in 1972.
THIS HAD BEEN A WINNING FORMULA FOR THE LAKERS
Kobe Bryant had 32 points and Pau Gasol had 17 rebounds, but it was not enough for the Lakers on Thursday. The Lakers had won their last six games and were 17-6 overall in postseason games in which Kobe scored 30 or more points and a teammate had at least 15 rebounds.
CROSBY LIGHTS THE LAMP FIRST
Sidney Crosby scored the first goal of the game tonight, the sixth time in this postseason he has done that. That ties an NHL record for one playoff year, previously done by Bobby Hull in 1962 and Fernando Pisani in 2006.
MALKIN ON A SPREE
Evgeni Malkin has 13 points over his last five games and he has five consecutive multiple-point games, tying a Penguins playoff record. Mario Lemieux had five successive multiple-point games in the 1991 and 1992 postseasons. The last NHL player with 13 points in a five-game span in the playoffs was Theo Fleury in 1995.
AN EVEN GAME
There were 11 goals in the Pittsburgh-Carolina game, all of which were at even strength. That's the most goals in a postseason game, with none on the power play or short-handed, since Vancouver's 6-5 win over Los Angeles in 1991.
TWINS SCORE 20 IN CHICAGO...AGAIN
The Twins blew out the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on Thursday, 20-1, less than two years after Minnesota won another game at that park, 20-14 on July 6, 2007. There have been only three other cases in major league history of a team scoring 20 runs at an opponents' stadium twice in a two-year span. The Twins were also the last to do it, at Tiger Stadium in 1994 and 1996.
GREINKE DOESN'T WIN, BUT HE'S STILL IN GREAT COMPANY
Zack Greinke left Thursday's game with a lead but the bullpen failed to hold it in the Indians' win. Greinke's ERA now stands at 0.82, which is the second-lowest for any major league pitcher nine starts into a season in the live ball era (1920 to date); Juan Marichal had a 0.69 ERA through nine starts in 1966.
CARDS SWEEP CUBS
The Cardinals swept the Cubs this week by scores of 3-0, 2-1 and 3-1. It's only the second time in the history of the rivalry that the Cardinals have swept a three-game series from the Cubs despite not scoring more than three runs in any game; they also did it in 1957.
RANGERS CAN'T WIN IN DETROIT
The Tigers ran their home winning streak against the Rangers to 11 with a 4-3 win on Thursday. That's Detroit's longest home winning streak vs. one team since taking 14 successive games from the Royals at Tiger Stadium from 1987 to 1990.
THE OLD-TIMERS ARE SMILING
Edwin Jackson threw 132 pitches on Thursday, the most for any major league pitcher this season and his counterpart, Kevin Millwood, threw 121. Their 253 combined pitches were the most by opposing starters in nearly three years, since Aaron Harang (135) and John Smoltz (120) combined for 255 on July 8, 2006.
YANKEES POWER SURGE SURGES ON
The Yankees hit two homers on Thursday, giving them more than one homer in each of their last eight home games, setting a team record. The Yankees had hit two or more homers in seven consecutive home games twice previously, in 2000 and 1938.
ANOTHER SHUTOUT AT HOME FOR ATLANTA
The Braves lost 9-0 to Colorado on Thursday, their second lopsided shutout loss on their current homestand, after they lost 12-0 to the Diamondbacks on Saturday. You have to go back to 1928 to find the last time the Braves had two home shutout losses by nine or more runs in one season. (The Boston Braves had four home shutout losses of that type in 1928.) It's the first time in Braves' history that they've had two shutout losses of nine or more runs on one homestand.
GWYNN TRADED TO PADRES
The Padres traded for Tony Gwynn, Jr. on Thursday and he made his debut for them against the Giants. Only two other players appeared for the team for which their fathers played at least 2,000 games: Dale Berra, son of Yogi, for the Yankees; and Pete Rose, Jr. for the Reds.
LINCECUM GREAT VS. SAN DIEGO
Tim Lincecum allowed one run in seven innings against the Padres on Thursday, lowering his career ERA against San Diego to 1.44. The only pitchers with a lower ERA against any team since 2007 (minimum: 50 innings) are Cole Hamels (1.23 vs. Washington) and A.J. Burnett (1.35 vs. the Yankees) .
WIN AND LOSS IN FIRST GAME IN THE BIGS
Clay Zavada got the win and Cristhian Martinez got the loss on Thursday in the Arizona-Florida game while each player was made his major league debut. It was the second time this season that both deciding pitchers in a game were making their major league debuts; it also happened in the Detroit-Toronto game on April 9, when Ricky Romero defeated Rick Porcello. Before this season there was only one game over the past 25 seasons (1984-2008) like that: last September 4 James Parr and Shairon Martis were the deciders in their debuts.
ANOTHER 10 RUN GAME FOR PHILLIES
The Phillies defeated the Reds on Thursday, 12-5, giving them a major-league best eight games with 10 or more runs scored this season.