Special to ESPN.com
FORM HOLDS TRUE
The outcome was predictable when the Nets hosted the Cavaliers on Wednesday night. It was the 30th time in the last 25 seasons that the teams with the NBA's best and worst records faced each other at least 50 games into a season. There has been only one upset in those 30 games. On February 28, 1995 the Clippers (10-46 entering the game) defeated the Suns (42-13).
JAMES INGNITES CAVS' QUICK START
LeBron James registered 14 assists against New Jersey, including eight passes that led to buckets in the first 12 minutes. It was the third time in James's NBA career that he handed out at least eight assists in one period of a game. All three games were this season and in each instance James recorded that high assist total in the first quarter. LeBron distributed nine first-quarter assists at Indiana on Jan. 29 and eight in the opening period against the Mavericks on Nov. 28.
PIERCE SNAPS OUT OF SCORING FUNK
Paul Pierce scored a game-high 27 points in the Celtics' win over the Bobcats, after he scored fewer than ten points in each of his previous three games. Pierce's three straight games scoring in single digits matched the longest such streak of his career. He scored fewer than ten points in three straight games as a rookie in March 1999 and he did it again ten years later (March 2009).
ANYTHING BUT SUPER FROM THE LINE
Dwight Howard was 6-for-11 from the line in the Magic's romp over the Warriors. Howard has missed at least one free throw in every game he's played this season and in each of his last 81 regular-season games dating back to last year (March 9). Only Wilt Chamberlain (three times) and Shaquille O'Neal (twice) have had streaks as long as Howard's. Chamberlain's longest streak was 453 games (1963 to 1969), an NBA record. Shaq's longest was 185 games from 1996 to 1999.
PERFECT FROM THE LINE
Dirk Nowitzki made all ten of his free throws in the Mavericks' three-point win against the Timberwolves. It was the sixth game this season in which Nowitzki was ten-for-ten or better from the line, matching Kevin Durant for the most such games for any NBA player.
WHEN GIANTS COLLIDE
The Nuggets defeated the Thunder with Carmelo Anthony (30 points) getting the best of Kevin Durant (19, snapping his streak of 33 straight games with at least 20 points). Anthony (29.7 PPG) has outscored Durant (26.7) over their nine head-to-head matchups (of which Denver has won eight), with both players having scored at least 30 points in each of their previous five meetings.
Carl Landry scored 22 points for the Kings in his return to Houston, including a pair of free throws in the final seconds to all but clinch Sacramento's 84-81 win. Landry is the fourth former Rocket to score at least 20 points for the Kings in his first game against his ex-mates from Houston. Cuttino Mobley did it in 2005 (24 points), as did Rodney McCray in 1988 (29) and Jimmy Walker in 1973 (31 for the K.C.-Omaha Kings).
WALKER STARTS AND SCORES
Bill Walker responded to his first NBA start by scoring a career-high 22 points for the Knicks in their victory over the Pistons. Walker was the second Knickerbocker this season to score at least that many points in the first start of his NBA career, joining Toney Douglas (23 points on Nov. 11), who was the first to do it since Mike Woodson (25 points on Nov. 14, 1980).
BLAZERS RUN AWAY
The Trail Blazers dominated throughout in their 102-79 decision over the Pacers, winning all four quarters by scores of 32-26, 21-15, 26-21 and 23-17. It was only the second NBA game this season in which one team outscored another by at least five points in each period (the other was the Bobcats' 104-65 win over the Heat on Jan. 20) and the first such win for Portland since April 14, 1998 (92-66 versus Sacramento).
ONE POINT AWAY FROM A MODEST MILESTONE
Lou Williams scored 30 points for the 76ers in their loss in Atlanta as he increased his career point total to one shy of 3,000 in his 300th NBA game. Williams also improved his career scoring average to 9.997 points per game, the closest to double digits that it's ever been.
CONLEY IS HIGH SCORER
Mike Conley scored a game-high 26 points in the Grizzlies' 104-100 win at New Orleans to snap Memphis' nine-game losing streak in road games against the Hornets. It was the first game this season in which Conley led all players in scoring. He did that twice last season.
Daniel and Henrik Sedin each assisted on three goals in the Canucks' 6-3 win over the Red Wings. It's the second time that both Sedin twins recorded an "assist hat trick" in the same game. The previous instance was on Jan. 13, 2007, when Daniel and Henrik each posted three assists in Vancouver's 6-1 win at Toronto. The last pair of brothers other than the Sedins to each notch three assists in the same game was Quebec's Peter and Marian Stastny against Pittsburgh in December 1982.
BOOTH USES HANDS AND FISTS
David Booth recorded one goal and three assists for the Panthers in their 7-4 win over the Flyers, and he picked up a fighting major for a first-period bout against Philadelphia's Mike Richards. Over the last four seasons the only other NHL player to score four points or more in a game in which he also had a fighting major is Jarome Iginla, who did that earlier this season (Jan. 30 vs. Edmonton: two goals, two assists, one fight). Booth is the first player in Panthers history with a "four-points-and-a-fight" night.
GREEN GOAL WINS MILESTONE GAME
Mike Green, playing in the 300th regular-season game of his NHL career, scored the game-winning goal for the Capitals in their 3-1 victory at Buffalo. Green has scored 67 career goals, more than any other active defenseman registered in his first 300 NHL games. The only other current defenseman who scored at least 60 goals in his first 300 games is Dion Phaneuf (61) .
TOEWS AND KANE
Jonathan Toews scored his 20th goal of the season to cap the scoring in the Blackhawks' win over the Oilers. Toews has scored 20-plus goals in each of his three seasons in the NHL (24, 34, 20), as has his Chicago teammate, Patrick Kane (21, 25, 26). Over the last 20 years, the only other players to debut in the same season and score at least 20 goals as teammates in each of their first three NHL seasons were Winnipeg's Teemu Selanne and Alexei Zhamnov, who each scored 20-plus goals for the Jets in their first four seasons (1992-93 through 1995-96).