Date: January 3, 2010

Elias Says...

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

NBA

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Durant

DURANT'S STREAK CONTINUES

Kevin Durant scored 31 points against Milwaukee on Saturday night, his seventh straight game with at least 30 points. That's the longest streak for any NBA player in more than two years - since LeBron James had 30 or more points in seven consecutive games in November 2007.

Oklahoma City Thunder

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Nene

SIX STEALS FOR NENE

Nene's six steals in Denver's win at Utah on Saturday night were the most by any NBA starting center since Ben Wallace had six against the Clippers on November 17, 2007.

Denver Nuggets

NETS SET NBA RECORD IN LOSS TO CLEVELAND

Cleveland out-rebounded New Jersey 52-38 in the Cavaliers' victory on Saturday afternoon. It was the 21st consecutive game in which the Nets had fewer rebounds than their opponents, an NBA single-season record. The old mark was held by the 1989-90 Charlotte Hornets, who had a 20-game streak.

Cleveland Cavaliers, New Jersey Nets

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Jackson

JACKSON AND AUGUSTIN STAMP COMEBACK WIN

Stephen Jackson and D.J. Augustin each scored 13 points in the fourth quarter to help Charlotte complete a come-from-behind victory against Miami on Saturday afternoon. Only one other pair of teammates each scored 13-or-more points in the fourth quarter of a game this season: Corey Maggette (21) and Monta Ellis (13) in a loss at Milwaukee on November 14.

Charlotte Bobcats

PACERS RIDE BIG SECOND QUARTER TO VICTORY

Indiana outscored Minnesota 41-19 in the second quarter and went on to beat the Timberwolves 122-111. It was only the third time in the Pacers' NBA history that they scored more than 40 points in a quarter and allowed fewer than 20 points in that same quarter. They did that in a win against the Knicks in February 1980 (outscoring New York 42-12 in the first quarter) and in a victory versus the Nets in April 2001 (with a 41-12 advantage in the third period).

Indiana Pacers, Minnesota Timberwolves

GRIZZLIES ROUT THE SUNS IN PHOENIX

Memphis defeated Phoenix 128-103 at US Airways Center on Saturday night. Since 2001, the Suns lost only one other home game by at least 25 points - a 116-86 defeat against Detroit in February 2008.

Memphis Grizzlies, Phoenix Suns

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Okafor

OKAFOR LEADS THE HORNETS

Emeka Okafor had 16 rebounds and 14 points (6-for-8 from the field and 2-for-4 from the foul line) in the Hornets' win against the Rockets on Saturday night. It was only the fourth game of Okafor's NBA career in which he pulled down 15 or more rebounds and made at least 75 percent of his field-goal attempts.

New Orleans Hornets

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Rose

ROSE PROVIDES THE MAGIC IN WIN OVER ORLANDO

Derrick Rose had 30 points, seven assists and six rebounds in Chicago's win against Orlando on Saturday night. It had been almost two years since a Bulls player had a 30/5/5 (points/rebounds/assists) game. Prior to Rose the last Chicago player to do that was Kirk Hinrich, who put up 38 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds against the Pacers on January 23, 2008.

Chicago Bulls

NHL

DEFENDING CHAMPS EXTEND LOSING STREAK TO FIVE

The Penguins' 6-2 defeat at Florida was their fifth consecutive loss, the longest losing streak by a defending Stanley Cup champion since November 2005 when Tampa Bay lost six straight. Sunday's loss to the Panthers was the second of the Penguins' five losses in a row in which they blew a 2-0 lead (also last Tuesday at Buffalo).

Pittsburgh Penguins

PAYNE SUPPLANTS BYLSMA AS LEAGUE'S YOUNGEST COACH

Davis Payne, who replaced Andy Murray as head coach of the Blues on Saturday, is the NHL's youngest current coach. Payne, at age 39, carries that distinction by the margin of less than a week. He and Dan Bylsma were each born in September 1970, only five days apart.

St. Louis Blues

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Langenbrunner

A HOMETOWN HAT TRICK FOR LANGENBRUNNER

Duluth native Jamie Langenbrunner recorded the first hat trick of his 15-year NHL career when he scored three goals for the Devils in their 5-3 win over the Wild in St. Paul. Langenbrunner is only the third Minnesota-born player ever to notch a hat trick in an NHL game played in his home state. The others were the North Stars' Neal Broten against Toronto on Feb. 6, 1986, and the Wild's Mark Parrish versus Chicago on Dec. 9, 2006.

New Jersey Devils

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Konopka

KONOPKA CELEBRATES BIRTHDAY WITH GAME-WINNING GOAL

Zenon Konopka, who turned 29 years old on Saturday, scored the game-winning goal for Tampa Bay in its 3-1 victory over the Penguins. Konopka is the first player in Lightning history to score a game-winning goal on his birthday and he's the second NHL player to do so this season. The Flyers' Danny Briere scored in overtime to beat the Rangers on October 6, his 32nd birthday.

Konopka was the first player to score a game-winner against the defending Stanley Cup champion on his birthday since Donald Brashear did that for the Canucks against the Stars on Jan. 7, 2000 (his 28th birthday).

Tampa Bay Lightning

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Galiardi

ROOKIE-S LAST-MINUTE GOAL WINS GAME FOR AVS

T.J. Galiardi's goal at 19:02 of the third period broke a 2-2 tie and earned the Avalanche a 3-2 win at Columbus. It was only the third time in the last ten seasons that a Colorado player scored a tiebreaking goal in the last minute of the third period. The others were both in the 2005-06 season, by Patrice Brisebois and Dan Hinote.

Galiardi was the first rookie in Nordiques/Avalanche history to score a go-ahead goal in the final minute of the third period and the first freshman on any team to do that since the Kings' Anze Kopitar on April 7, 2007 against Phoenix.

Colorado Avalanche

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Kovalchuk

KOVALCHUK'S FOUR POINTS ARE NOT ENOUGH

Ilya Kovalchuk recorded one goal and three assists for the Thrashers in their shootout loss to the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum. It was the 20th game with four or more points of Kovalchuk's NHL career and his 14th in a road game. Since he entered the league in October 2001, the only other players with even half as many road games with four-plus points as Kovalchuk are Jaromir Jagr (8), Joe Thornton (8), Sidney Crosby (7) and Jarome Iginla (7).7

Atlanta Thrashers

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Ward

WARD WINS SECOND STRAIGHT ROAD GAME

Cam Ward beat the Rangers, 2-1, in overtime at Madison Square Garden on Saturday afternoon. It was his second consecutive road victory since the Christmas break, following a 6-3 win at Washington on Monday. Ward was winless on the road this season (0-7-3) before the holiday hiatus.

Carolina Hurricanes

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Luongo

LUONGO MANTAINS MASTERY OF STARS

Roberto Luongo made 31 saves in his 3-1 victory at Dallas on Saturday afternoon. Luongo has won his last five games versus the Stars and he's 8-0-2 with a 1.84 goals-against average in his last ten games against them, dating back to November 2006.

Vancouver Canucks

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Iginla

IGINLA BEGINS 2010 WITH A THREE-POINT GAME

Jarome Iginla ended 2009 with a three-game point drought but he began 2010 with one goal and two assists in the Flames' 3-1 win over the Maple Leafs. Iginla has scored goals in each of his last four games versus Toronto and he's scored at least two points in each of his last five games against the Leafs (totaling five goals and seven assists).

Calgary Flames

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Kopecky

KOPECKY AND SHARP SCORE TWICE

Tomas Kopecky and Patrick Sharp each scored two goals for the Blackhawks in their 6-3 win at St. Louis. It was the first time that two Chicago players each scored at least two goals in a road game since Nov. 17, 2007, when Sharp scored three times and Rene Bourque tallied twice in the Blackhawks' 5¿3 win at Detroit.

Chicago Blackhawks

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Handzus

HANDZUS SCORES GAME-WINNING SHORTHANDED GOAL

Michal Handzus scored a shorthanded goal to break a 1-1 tie early in the third period and the Kings protected that one-goal lead the rest of the way for a 2-1 win over the Capitals. Handzus had no goals and six assists in his last 21 games heading into the NHL's Christmas break but he's scored three goals and three assists in five games since then.

Los Angeles Kings


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