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CAVALIERS FIRST NBA TEAM TO 50 WINS
The Cavaliers became the first NBA team to reach 50 victories this season, lifting their record to 50-15 with a 97-95 win over the Spurs. In each of the past two seasons the first team to win 50 regular-season games had only 12 losses at that time and then went on to win the NBA title - the Celtics having done that in 2008 and the Lakers last year.
It's the first time that Cleveland has been the first NBA team to reach 50 wins in a season.
CAVS MAKES THREES IN THE FOURTH
With LeBron James sitting out, three of his teammates - Daniel Gibson, Mo Williams and Jawad Williams - hit fourth-quarter three-point field goals to help Cleveland to a two-point victory. Cleveland went 3-for-4 on fourth-quarter three-point shots vs. San Antonio, marking the fifth straight game that the Cavaliers have shot 50 percent or better on threes in the fourth quarter, and lifting their season's fourth-quarter three-point shooting percentage to 39.4 percent, second in the NBA to Phoenix's 41.1 percent.
HORNETS 135, WARRIORS 131
The Hornets' 135-131 victory over the Warriors marked the first NBA game this season in which the losing team scored at least 130 points. Back in the 1990-91 season, there were 13 regulation-length NBA games in which the losing team scored 130-or-more points; but in the 19 seasons since then, there have been only 11 such games.
But rare as such games are, the Warriors have specialized in them. In fact, of the last seven regulation-length NBA games in which a team scored at least 130 points and lost, the Warriors have been the victims four times. Bay Area fans, do you remember the 143-133 loss at Portland in 1993, the 144-135 loss at Memphis in 2007 and the 154-130 loss at home to the Suns last year?
HORNETS ROOKIE GETS 20 ASSISTS
Darren Collison was credited with 20 assists in the Hornets' win over the Warriors, becoming the first NBA rookie with a 20-assist game since Ramon Sessions was credited with 24 assists in a 151-135 loss to the Bulls on April 14, 2008. The first NBA rookie who had a 20-assist game? Future Hall-of-Famer Oscar Robertson for the Cincinnati Royals against the Lakers back in 1961.
MAVERICKS EXTEND 2 STREAKS
The Mavericks extended a pair of streaks with a 125-112 win over the Timberwolves in Minneapolis. It was their 12th straight win overall, and their eighth straight win in Minneapolis. The latter streak matches the longest current road winning streak by one NBA team against another; San Antonio has won its last eight road games against the Clippers and Boston has won eight in a row at New Jersey.
KNICKS SUDDENLY HOT FROM BEYOND THE ARC
Danilo Gallinari shot 4-of-5 from three-point range and his teammates went 6-for-10 in the Knicks' 99-98 win over the Hawks. Only two nights after their NBA record-setting 0-for-18 three-point shooting display against the Nets, the Knicks enjoyed their first game in more than six years in which they connected on at least 10 three-pointers while making at least two-thirds of their shots from downtown. On Jan. 17, 2004, they shot 10-for-15 on three-point attempts in a 101-96 win at Chicago.
GRIZZLIES END 8-GAME HOME LOSING STREAK
The Grizzlies built a 21-point lead and saw the Nets whittle it to two points before they held on for a 107-101 win over New Jersey, breaking an eight-game home-court losing streak. And by winning, Memphis avoided a piece of NBA history.
Earlier this season, Memphis had enjoyed an 11-game home winning streak - and only one team in NBA history had both a home-game winning streak and a home-game losing streak of eight-or-more games in the same season: the 2001-02 Raptors. But had they lost to the Nets, the Grizzlies would have become the first team in NBA history with home winning and losing streaks of at least nine games in one season.
030810 CAVS 50 WINS
The Cavaliers won their 50th game of the season on Monday. In each of the last two seasons ('07-08 Celtics and '08-09 Lakers), the first team to 50 wins went on to win the NBA title. (Source: Elias Sports Bureau)
STARS FOLLOW ODD RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
The Stars pulled a rabbit out of a hat in Washington on Monday night, beating the Capitals, 4-3, via a shootout after going into the third period trailing, 2-0, and having been outshot, 42-16, at that juncture. Since the NHL began recording shots on goal more than 50 years ago, only two other teams won a game in which they were losing at the end of the second period and had given up at least 40 shots on goal through the first 40 minutes. Oddly, the other teams to do that both won, 4-3, on the road in overtime: the Oilers on March 17, 1993 against the Rangers in New York (trailed, 3-1, and outshot, 45-23, through two periods) and the Predators on Nov. 11, 2008 at San Jose (trailed, 2-1, and outshot, 43-18, through two periods).
CAPS DON'T LOSE THEM LIKE THIS VERY OFTEN
Notwithstanding the Capitals' 52-26 advantage in shots on goal, the Stars accomplished something that hasn't been done in quite some time against the Capitals in Washington - defeat them despite trailing by two goals at the end of two periods. The Caps had won their last 66 home games when leading by two-or-more goals heading into the third period, tied with the Wild for the longest current streak in the NHL. Their last such loss, whether in regulation, overtime or shootouts, had been more than eight years ago - on Nov. 8, 2001 vs. Carolina.
OVECHKIN'S 33RD 10-SHOT GAME OVER LAST 5 SEASONS
Alex Ovechkin had 10 shots on goal in Monday night's loss to Dallas, marking his 33rd double-digit shots-on-goal tally since he entered the league in 2005-06. The next-highest total number of 10-plus-shot games since that time? Eric Staal, with seven. Yes, seven! In fact, Ovechkin has more such games over that span than the next seven NHL players combined!
Ovechkin's two goals were not enough against the Stars. It's just the second time that Alex has scored at least twice on home ice, only to see the Caps lose the game; they are now 22-2 in those games, with both losses coming in shootouts.
KINGS INHOSPITABLE HOSTS TO BLUE JACKETS
The Kings jumped off to a 6-0 lead over the game's first 30 minutes and went on to defeat the Blue Jackets by that score. Los Angeles is the first NHL team this season to score six goals without allowing one over a game¿s first 30 minutes.
The NHL has seen only one larger shutout score this season - and Kings fans saw that one, too: a 7-0 loss at Atlanta on November 13.