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ROCKETS GUARDS PRODUCE, BUT PISTONS PREVAIL
Kevin Martin scored 27 points and Aaron Brooks scored 25, but that wasn't enough as the Rockets fell, 110-107, to the Pistons in overtime. It was the first time in 25 years that both starting guards on the visiting team scored at least 25 points at Detroit. (Note that neither Martin nor Brooks needed the OT period to reach the 25-point mark.) The last teammates to do so were World B. Free and John Bagley in a Cavaliers victory on April 5, 1985. The last time Detroit won a home game in which their opponents starting guards both scored at least 25 points was January 30, 1976 against the Kansas City Kings. Jimmy Walker (27) and Nate Archibald (26) were KC's guards in that game.
DURANT DETHRONES KINGS, AS USUAL
Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 27 points in Sunday's 108-102 win at Sacramento, falling just short of his career scoring average against the Kings (28.8 PPG in 10 games). Over the last 40 years, only two players recorded as high a scoring average as Durant's in their first 10 games against the Kings: Michael Jordan (36.2) and Shaquille O'Neal (28.8).
BRYANT, LAKERS FALL SHORT AT ORLANDO
Kobe Bryant missed a potential game-tying 20-footer with one second to play in the Lakers 96-94 loss at Orlando. It was the second time in the last six weeks that Bryant took the game's final shot from the field in a one-possession Lakers loss. During calendar year 2009, the Lakers didn't lose any games by three points or less in which Bryant took the game's final shot.
YOUNG AND YOUNGER PACE SIXERS WIN OVER RAPTORS
Thaddeus Young set a career high with 32 points and 19-year-old Jrue Holiday added 21 points in the 76ers 114-101 victory at Toronto. It was the second 20-point game this month for Holiday, who erased Young's name from the Sixers record book with 23 points against the Magic last Monday. That was the highest point total ever recorded for the Sixers by a teenager. The previous mark was 22 points by Young against the Bucks two years ago.
CELTICS TOP WIZARDS DESPITE GARNETT'S OFF NIGHT
The Celtics survived an 0-for-7 shooting night by Kevin Garnett to post an 86-83 victory over the Wizards. That was the highest total of shots Garnett has taken in a game in which he failed to score a field goal. His previous high was 0-for-5 against the Knicks as a 19-year-old rookie for the Timberwolves in January 1996.
WINGS CRUSH HAWKS WITH 5-GOAL OUTBURST IN 2ND
The Red Wings overcame a 2-0 deficit by outscoring the Blackhawks 5-0 during the second period, then held on for a 5-4 win at Chicago. It was the first time in 23 years that an NHL team outscored its opponent by five goals in one period and managed no better than a one-goal victory. Both teams did so in the Flames 6-5 win at Toronto on January 26, 1987. The Maple Leafs scored five goals in the first period; the Flames scored five in the third period and a game-winner in OT.
IGINLA REGAINS SCORING TOUCH AGAINST WILD
Jarome Iginla scored three goals in the Flames 5-2 win at Minnesota. Iginla is the all-time leader in goals against the Wild, with 30 in 53 games; no one else has more than 18 goals. But Iginla went into Sunday's game goalless in his last 10 games versus Minnesota since recording a hat trick against the Wild on March 22, 2008. Sunday's hat trick was Iginla's third against the Wild; no other player has more than one.
IGINLA GETS TRICKY ON THE ROAD
Jarome Iginla has recorded three hat tricks this season, all in road games. Iginla is the first player in Flames history (Atlanta or Calgary) with three road hat tricks in one season and the first player on any NHL team with three in one season since 1999-2000, when Pavel Bure of the Panthers and Petr Nedved of the Rangers each had three.
LUONGO BUSY IN VICTORY OVER PREDATORS
Roberto Luongo stopped 33 of 35 shots on goal in the Canucks 4-2 win at Nashville. Luongo has a 15-2-3 record with a 2.48 goals-against average in games in which he faced at least 35 shots over the last two seasons.
FORMER BRUINS-KILLER MALKIN AWAKENS IN PENGUINS WIN
Evgeni Malkin scored the game-winning goal in the Penguins 2-1 victory over the Bruins. Malkin scored goals in each of his first seven games against Boston (nine total goals from Nov. 2006 to Feb. 2008), but he had been goalless in six games versus the Bruins since then before notching his game-winner on Sunday.
HURRICANES DOMINATE RECENT VISITS TO ATLANTA
The Hurricanes posted a 4-0 shutout victory over the Thrashers, marking the second straight visit to Atlanta on which Carolina scored the game's first four goals. The Hurricanes hadn't done that even once in 28 previous games at Phillips Arena.
KALETA SHINES AT MSG
Patrick Kaleta scored in overtime to give the Sabres a 2-1 victory at Madison Square Garden. For Kaleta, who scored a pair of goals in the Sabres 3-2 win on their last visit to MSG (Dec. 12), it was the first time he scored in consecutive games as a visiting player at any arena.
MAIR SCORES IN PAIRS
Adam Mair, who scored Buffalo's first goal against the Rangers, also scored against the Flyers on Friday night. It was the second time this season that Mair scored in consecutive games, which isn't noteworthy until you consider that those are his only four goals of the season.
CARTER'S 8-FOR-8 IS A PERSONAL BEST
Jeff Carter opened the scoring with a power-play goal in the Flyers 3-1 victory over the Maple Leafs. Carter has scored eight goals in eight games, marking the first time in his NHL career that he has averaged a goal a game over a span that long.
FRESHMAN DESLAURIERS SHOWS BRODEUR HE BELONGS
Jeff Deslauriers made 22 saves in the Oilers 2-0 win over the Devils, becoming only the fifth rookie ever to defeat Martin Brodeur by posting a shutout. The others were Carey Price (2008), Ray Emery (2006), Michael Garnett (2005), and Jason Muzzatti (1996).1996