Special to ESPN.com
NOWITZKI DOMINATES DURANT
Dirk Nowitzki dominated his matchup against fellow star forward Kevin Durant. Nowitzki shot 13-for-18, while Durant made only four of 18 field-goal attempts in the Mavericks' 100-86 win at Oklahoma City. In the last 10 years, there has been only one NBA game in which two opposing starting forwards each took the same number of shots with one making at least nine more than the other. On February 20, 2008, Chris Bosh was 14-for-16 for the Raptors while Hedo Turkoglu was 4-for-16 for the Magic in a Toronto victory.
A DWIGHT HOWARD SPECIAL
Dwight Howard had 18 points, 14 rebounds, and eight blocked shots in the Magic's 118-99 win at Toronto. It was the third time since the start of last season that Howard had at least 15 points, 10 rebounds and 8 blocks in a game. No other NBA player has had even one such game over that span.
Howard also made six of his seven field-goal attempts (.857). It's been 15 years since a player had at least 15 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 blocks while shooting 85% or better from the floor. Dikembe Mutombo had 19 points, 26 rebounds, 9 blocks, and also shot 6-for-7 for the Nuggets on November 11, 1994.
CASSPI MAKES MOST OF FIRST START
Omri Casspi, the first NBA player from Israel, scored 22 points in his first start in Sacramento's 112-109 home win over Washingon. That ties the most points scored by any Kings player in his first NBA start since the team moved to California in 1985. Randy Brown scored 22 against the Clippers in 1992.
ARENAS & JAMISON SCORE 30 FOR 12TH TIME
Gilbert Arenas had 33 points and Antawn Jamison had 30 in the Wizards' loss at Sacramento. It was the 12th time that Arenas and Jamison have each scored 30 points in the same game for Washington, by far the most by any current pair of teammates. Kobe Bryant/Pau Gasol and Steve Nash/Amar'e Stoudamire have each scored 30 in the same game five times.
MURPHY BIG FOR PACERS
Troy Murphy had 26 points, 15 rebounds, and shot 10-for-13 (.769) from the field in the Pacers' 101-98 home win over the Bobcats. That's the highest field-goal percentage by any NBA player in a 25-point/15-rebound game this season. The last Indiana player to shoot at least 75% in a 25-15 game was Steve Stipanovich on February 20, 1987 (30 points, 15 rebounds, .818 FG%).
KING JAMES FILLS UP THE BOXSCORE
LeBron James had 36 points, six rebounds and seven assists in the Cavaliers' 108-101 win at Philadelphia. It was the tenth straight game that James has had at least ten points, five rebounds, and five assists. LeBron now has four such streaks of 10+ games since entering the NBA in 2003-2004. There has been only one other double-digit streak in the entire league over that span, an 11-gamer by Kevin Garnett in 2004.
GASOL EVOKES MEMORIES OF SHAQ
Pau Gasol scored 26 points and pulled down 22 rebounds in the Lakers' 107-106 overtime win at Milwaukee. The last Lakers player with at least 25 points and 20 rebounds in a game was Shaquille O'Neal, who scored 31 with 26 boards on March 21, 2004. That game was also a one-point overtime win over the Bucks, with Kobe Bryant making the game-winner.
WEST GOES 30/10
David West had 32 points and 12 rebounds in the Hornets' 95-87 win over the Pistons in New Orleans. It was West's first 30-point/10-rebound game this season. But it was his seventh such game since January 1, tying Dirk Nowitzki for fourth-most in the NBA in calendar year 2009 behind Chris Bosh (11), Kevin Durant (8) and LeBron James (8).8
MELO THRIVES FROM THE STRIPE
Carmelo Anthony made 19 of 20 free-throw attempts (95%) in the Nuggets' 111-101 win over the Rockets. That's the best-ever percentage by a Denver player taking at least 20 foul shots in an NBA game.
RARE BIG ROAD WIN FOR CLIPPERS
The Clippers' 120-95 win at Minnesota was Los Angeles' second road victory of at least 25 points this season (118-90 over Golden State on November 6). Before 2009-2010, the Clippers franchise had only five 25-point road wins in 39 seasons.
JOHNSON COMES UP BIG DESPITE PLAYING LESS THAN 30 MINUTES
Joe Johnson had 26 points and eight rebounds despite playing only 29 minutes in the Hawks' 110-97 win over the Grizzlies. The last Atlanta player to reach those levels in points and rebounds in under 30 minutes of play was Ken Norman on March 8, 1995 vs. Denver (33 points, 8 rebounds in 26 minutes).
LOPEZ LOSES AGAIN DESPITE BIG NUMBERS
Brook Lopez scored 23 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in the Nets' 108-92 home loss to the Jazz. It was the 11th time this season that Lopez has had at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in a losing effort, most in the NBA. The only other player with even half that many 20/10 losses is Chris Bosh (10).10
ISLES NARROWLY MISS SECOND MSG SHUTOUT
Dwayne Roloson made 25 saves to lead the Islanders to a 2-1 road win against the Rangers on Wednesday night. Roloson's bid for a shutout was spoiled when Enver Lisin scored for the Rangers at the 19:05 mark of the third period. The Islanders have posted a shutout in only one of their 112 regular-season and 20 playoff games at Madison Square Garden, and it came 35 years ago when Billy Smith beat the Rangers, 3-0, on Dec. 17, 1975.
ANOTHER LATE TIEBREAKER FOR DEVILS
Patrik Elias scored with 2:36 remaining in the third period to break a 1-1 tie and the Devils held on for a 2-1 win over the Canadiens. It was the fourth time this season that a New Jersey player scored a tiebreaking goal in the last four minutes of the third period. No other NHL team has more than two such goals this season. The other Devils to score go-ahead goals in the final four minutes are David Clarkson (Oct. 10 at Florida), Dainius Zubrus (Oct. 29 at Boston) and Jamie Langenbrunner (Dec. 4 vs. Tampa Bay).
KANE'S THREE ASSISTS
Patrick Kane assisted on all three goals in the Blackhawks' 3-0 win against the Blues. It was the seventh three-assist game by a Chicago player in calendar year 2009 but only the second by a forward. Dave Bolland had three assists versus San Jose on March 25 last season. Blackhawks defensemen with three assists in one game since January 1 are Duncan Keith (three times), Matt Walker and Cam Barker.
ANOTHER "EMPTY" HAT TRICK FOR 'CANES
Tuomo Ruutu completed the first hat trick of his NHL career on the empty-net goal with 5.3 seconds left in the third period that clinched the Hurricanes' win against the Stars. It was the second three-goal game this season by a Carolina player. Erik Cole had the other one, and he too finished it off with an empty-net goal (Dec. 5 vs. Vancouver).
The Hurricanes have the second-lowest goals-per-game average in the NHL this season (2.39 per game). The team with the highest average, the Washington Capitals (3.56 goals per game), has not had a player record a hat trick this season.
PRUCHA SCORES TWICE
Petr Prucha scored the first two goals for the Coyotes in their 6-3 win over the Maple Leafs. It was Prucha's first two-goal game since he was traded to Phoenix by the Rangers last March. Prucha had four two-goal games as a rookie with the Rangers in 2005-06 (including three in a nine-day span) but he's recorded only four in four seasons since then.
ELLIOTT DULLS SABRES
Brian Elliott notched his second shutout of the season with a 2-0 win against the Sabres on Wednesday night in Ottawa. Elliott has played six games against Buffalo in his young career and won them all, holding the Sabres to a total of 10 goals. The only other team that Elliott has beaten more than twice in his three seasons in the NHL is Atlanta (3-1-0 in four games).
WEISS SCORES AGAIN VS. THRASHERS
Stephen Weiss scored the first goal in the Panthers' game against the Thrashers, and he assisted on Michal Frolik's tiebreaking game-winner with 1:21 left in the third period. Weiss has scored one goal in each of his three games versus Atlanta this season, after registering only three goals in 35 games against the Thrashers entering 2009-2010.