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CELTICS RIDE DEFENSE TO 6-0 START
The Celtics defeated Minnesota on Wednesday to improve to 6-0, and Boston has not yet allowed more than 90 points in a game. The only other team in NBA history to win its first six games without allowing more than 90 points was the 1947-48 Baltimore Bullets, who opened with a nine-game streak of that kind, in the days before the shot clock.
KNICKS GO COLD DOWN THE STRETCH
The Pacers held the Knicks without a field goal over the final nine-plus minutes of Wednesday's game. It's the first game this season in which a team did not make a field goal over the final nine minutes of the fourth quarter and there was only one such game last season (76ers against Nets on January 31).
HORNETS EXTEND OVERTIME WIN STREAK
It took an extra period, but the Hornets defeated the Mavericks on Wednesday. New Orleans has won its last 10 home games which went to overtime, dating back to 2006. That's the third-longest streak in NBA history: the Knicks won 14 straight home OT games from 1988 to 1992 and the Rockets had an 11-game winning streak from 1976 to 1980.
LAKERS EXTEND AN OVERTIME STREAK OF THEIR OWN
With an overtime win in Houston on Wednesday the Lakers have won their last five overtime games on the road, tying the 76ers and Magic for the longest current streak in the NBA.
NUGGETS CONTINUE HOT SHOOTING FROM DEEP
The Nuggets have made at least half of their three-point attempts in each of their last three games, including a 10 for 18 performance on Wednesday. It's the first time in team history that the Nuggets have made at least 50 percent of their three-pointers in three straight games (minimum: 15 three-point attempts in each game).
WADE SCORES 40 VS. WIZARDS
Dwyane Wade has had 24 games of 40 or more points since the start of the 2005-06 season, including his 40-point game against Washington on Wednesday. The only NBA players with as many 40-point games over the last four-plus seasons are Kobe Bryant (58, including Wednesday) and LeBron James (27).27
THEY'RE MAGIC IN ORLANDO
The Magic scored 122 points on Wednesday in their second home game of the season after scoring 120 in their home opener. It's the first time that Orlando has treated the home fans to 120 or more points in consecutive games since a three-game streak in February 1996.
BEST IN THE REGULAR SEASON, BEST IN THE POSTSEASON
The Yankees won the 2009 World Series after going 103-59 during the regular season, best in the major leagues. In the 15 seasons since the playoffs expanded to three rounds, only two other World Series winners also had the best record during the preceding regular season: the 2007 Red Sox and 1998 Yankees.
MATSUI WINS WORLD SERIES MVP
Matsui hit two go-ahead homers that stood up as game-winners in the World Series, both off Pedro Martinez, in Games 2 and 6. Only two other players have hit two such homers in one World Series, including one in the clincher: Frank Robinson in 1966 and Mel Ott in 1933.
Matsui came to the plate only 14 times in the series, setting a record for the fewest by any World Series MVP, excluding pitchers. (The World Series MVP has been awarded since 1955.) Three previous MVPs had 15 plate appearances: Johnny Bench in 1976 (4-game series), Steve Yeager in 1981 (6-game series) and Rick Dempsey in 1983 (5-game series).
Matsui, at 35, is the oldest World Series MVP, excluding pitchers, since Paul Molitor was so honored at age 37 for the 1993 Blue Jays. Molitor was Toronto's starting DH in all three games played in Toronto in that series and he played first base and third base in the games in Philadelphia.
PETTITTE WINS CLINCHER FOR 2ND TIME
Andy Pettitte got the win in Game 6, marking the second time he's started and won a World Series clinching game; Pettitte also won Game 4 of the 1998 World Series. He's the first starting pitcher to win two World Series finales since Bob Gibson (1964 and 1967).
Pettitte is only the second pitcher to win a postseason series-clinching game three times in one year. Derek Lowe won the clinching game in all three rounds for the Red Sox in 2004. Lowe won the final game of the 2004 ALDS in relief, which means Pettitte is the first pitcher to start and win the final game in all three rounds of the playoffs in one season.
A FAMILIAR SIGHT
Mariano Rivera closed out the Phillies and he's now been on the mound for four series-clinching outs (also 1998, 1999 and 2000). No other pitcher in major-league history has had more than two series-clinching outs.
DEVILS ROOKIE SCORES 2 PPGS
Niclas Bergfors scored a pair of power play goals less than four minutes apart in the third period to help the Devils earn a come-from-behind win over the Capitals. Bergfors is only the fifth rookie in Devils history to score two power play goals in one game and he's the first to do so since Dec. 6, 1995, when Petr Sykora had two PPGs in a New Jersey loss at Montreal.
STASTNY REACHES 200 CAREER POINTS
Paul Stastny had three assists for the Avalanche in their 4-1 win over the Coyotes. Stastny's assists were the 199th, 200th and 201st points in his four-year career. He's the third player from the 2005 NHL draft to reach the 200-point plateau, after Sidney Crosby (413 points) and Anze Kopitar (228).228
IGINLA BURNS STARS
Jarome Iginla had a hand in all three goals by the Flames in their overtime victory at Dallas, scoring twice, including the OT winner, and assisting on Daymond Langkow's goal that tied the score in the final minute of the third period. Iginla was the Stars' first-round draft choice in 1995 but he was traded to Calgary before he ever played a game for Dallas. Iginla has been one of the NHL's top offensive players during his 13-year career but he's rarely done well against the team that drafted him. Iginla's three-point night on Wednesday marked only his fourth multiple-point game in 47 career games versus the Stars and it was his first game with more than one point against Dallas since Nov. 29, 2000, when he had three assists in a Flames win in Big D.
MILLER BLANKS ISLANDERS
Ryan Miller stopped all 24 shots he faced in his 3-0 win over the Islanders in Buffalo. It was Miller's 14th career shutout, tying him with Don Edwards for third place on the all-time Sabres list, behind Dominik Hasek (55) and the goaltender he beat on Wednesday night, Martin Biron (18). But to put things in perspective, it's worth noting that Hasek had nearly as many shutouts in one season for Buffalo (13 in 1997-98) as Miller has in his seven seasons in the NHL.
2 STRAIGHT SHUTOUTS FOR VOKOUN
Tomas Vokoun, who won 4-0 at St. Louis on Saturday, posted his second straight shutout when he beat the Hurricanes 3-0 on Wednesday. It's the sixth time in the team's 16-year history that a Panthers goaltender has recorded two consecutive shutouts. Roberto Luongo did that three times, Craig Anderson once, and Vokoun once before, with wins over Colorado and Nashville last season (Dec. 21-23, 2008).
BOYLE WINS SHOOTOUT FOR SHARKS
The Sharks and Blue Jackets skated to a 2-2 deadlock through 65 minutes but it was San Jose who picked up the win on Wednesday night when defenseman Dan Boyle was the only player on either team to score in the shootout. It was the 17th shootout victory for the Sharks in the five seasons that the tiebreaker has been used by the NHL but it was San Jose's first such win in which a defenseman scored the shootout decider.