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TURN BACK THE SHAQ
From Elias: Shaquille O'Neal scored 25 points and gathered 11 rebounds in the Celtics' 89-83 win over the Nets. It was the 432nd time in O'Neal's NBA career that he had at least 25 points and 10 rebounds in a regular-season game, but it was his first since March 18, 2009 for Phoenix. Shaq's career total of 20/10 games is the highest among active players and the most for any NBA player since Karl Malone did it 525 times. Of course, the all-time leader is Wilt Chamberlain, who had 25+ points and 10+ rebounds in 631 regular-season games, 30 more than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
NOWITZKI LEADS THE WAY
From Elias: Dirk Nowitzki scored a game-high 34 points to lead the Mavericks to a 111-103 come-from-behind victory at Oklahoma City. It was the league-high ninth time this season that Nowitzki was the leading scorer in a game (either outright or tied). Carmelo Anthony and Andrea Bargnani have each done that eight times.
LOVE DOES IT AGAIN
From Elias: Kevin Love scored 32 points and grabbed 22 rebounds for the Timberwolves in their overtime loss to the Spurs, after posting 31 points and 31 rebounds against the Knicks on November 12. The only other active NBA players who've had at least two games in one season with more than 30 points and more than 20 rebounds are Shaquille O'Neal (two in 1992-93, three in 1993-94), Tim Duncan (two in 2000-01), Kevin Garnett (two in 2002-03) and Zach Randolph (two last season).
BULLS BEAT SUNS IN DOUBLE OVERTIME
From Elias: Derrick Rose scored 35 points before committing his sixth personal foul of the game during the second overtime period of the Bulls' 123-115 at Phoenix. Rose was the fifth player in franchise history to foul out of a game after scoring at least 35 points. The others were Michael Jordan (six times), Reggie Theus, Orlando Woolridge and Scottie Pippen (once each). There have been 123 games in the all-time series between the Suns and Bulls (62 wins for Phoenix, 61 wins for Chicago) but Wednesday's game was the first of them that required double overtime.
JAZZ PERFECT FROM THE LINE
From Elias: The Jazz went 19-for-19 from the free-throw line in their victory over the Hornets, after making all 21 of their foul shots at Portland four days earlier. Utah had been perfect from the line in only one of its previous 470 games before doing it against the Trail Blazers on Saturday.
FIVE IN A ROW FOR THE KNICKS
From Elias: The Knicks defeated Charlotte on consecutive nights to extend their winning streak to five games. It's New York's longest winning streak since they posted six consecutive victories in January 2006 (under Larry Brown). In the interim, every other NBA team had at least one winning streaks of five or more games and all but Minnesota had at least two such streaks.
GALLINARI MISSES FROM THE LINE
From Elias: Danilo Gallinari missed his first foul shot in the Knicks' victory to snap his string of 43 consecutive free throws made, which is the longest such streak in the NBA this season. Five players had streaks of that length (or longer) in 2009-10, including a league high 74 in a row by Dirk Nowitzki to end the regular season.
ANOTHER 20/10 GAME FOR HOWARD
From Elias: Dwight Howard (24 points, 18 rebounds) recorded his fourth straight game with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds as the Magic defeated the Heat. Howard's streak of four consecutive 20/10 games is the longest in the NBA this season. Chris Bosh, Pau Gasol and Amar'e Stoudemire have each registered a three-game streak of that kind.
THREE-POINT STREAK FOR MARTIN
From Elias: Kevin Martin scored 25 points, including three three-pointers, in the Rockets' 111-101 win over the Warriors. Martin, Manu Ginobili and Jason Terry are the only NBA players to make at least one three-point field goal in each of their team's games this season.
From Elias: Reggie Evans grabbed 22 rebounds for the Raptors to help defeat the 76ers. Evans tied Chris Bosh for the second-highest rebound total in one game in Raptors history. The only player to pull down more than 22 rebounds in a game for Toronto was Donyell Marshall (24 in a loss at Chicago on Feb. 17, 2004).
GRIZZLIES DON'T NEED THREE-POINTERS
From Elias: The Grizzlies shot 2-for-10 from three-point range in a convincing win over the Pistons, after making only 1 of 11 shots from beyond the arc in their previous game, a 97-95 victory versus the Heat on Saturday. Memphis is the only NBA team to win two straight games this season without making more than two three-point field goals in either game. There were only five instances of teams winning back-to-back games under those circumstances last season and three of those five streaks were by the Grizzlies.
MILWAUKEE LOSSES ANOTHER CLOSE ONE
From Elias: The Bucks lost an 83-81 decision at Cleveland to drop their record to 0-3 this season in games decided by three or fewer points. The only other NBA teams that are 0-3 (or worse) in "one-possession" games are Miami and Philadelphia (both 0-3).
From Elias: Alex Ovechkin assisted on all three Capitals goals in their 3-2 win over the Hurricanes in Raleigh. Ovechkin has scored only two goals in 13 games against Carolina over the last three seasons but he's recorded a staggering total of 20 assists versus the Hurricanes since the start of the 2008-09 season, with at least one assist in all but one of those 13 games.
RECCHI REACHES MILESTONE
From Elias: Mark Recchi became the 13th player in NHL history to reach 1500 career points when he scored the second of his two goals in the Bruins' 3-1 over the Panthers. Recchi was a teammate of four other members of the 1500-point club with the Penguins in 1990-91 and 1991-92: Ron Francis, Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr and Paul Coffey. By the way, the only player in NHL history to record multiple-goal games at an older age than Recchi was on Wednesday (42 years, 296 days) is Gordie Howe, who had two two-goal games for Hartford as a 51-year-old in November 1979 and one at age 42 years, 313 days with Detroit in February 1971.
ONE GOAL IS ENOUGH FOR FLEURY
From Elias: Marc-Andre Fleury made 30 saves in his 1-0 win against the Sabres in Buffalo. It was the 17th shutout of Fleury's NHL career with the Penguins and his fifth by a 1-0 score. That gives Fleury sole possession of the Penguins record for 1-0 shutouts, a mark he shared with Tom Barrasso (four) entering play on Wednesday.
BACK-TO-BACK WINS FOR NEW JERSEY
From Elias: The Devils have their first winning streak of the season as a result of their 2-1 shootout victory against the Flames, which followed a 5-0 win over the Capitals on Monday. Entering play on Wednesday the Devils were the only NHL team that had not won consecutive games this season. It's also worth noting that New Jersey has won its last two games with Johan Hedberg in goal in place of the injured Martin Brodeur, the NHL's all-time wins leader.
START SPREADING THE NEWS
From Elias: Ryan Malone scored the first two goals as Tampa Bay built a 5-0 lead over the Rangers then cruised to a 5-3 victory. Malone has 15 multiple-goal games in his NHL career and eight of them have come against the three teams from the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area: four versus the Islanders, three against the Devils and one versus the Rangers.
MORROW SCORES GAME-WINNER
From Elias: Brenden Morrow scored to break a 1-1 tie early in the third period and the Stars nursed that one-goal edge the rest of the way for a 2-1 win at Ottawa. Morrow's goal was his ninth in 20 games this season. That's a career-high total for the 11-year NHL veteran through his first 20 games of a season.
ACQUISITION PAYS OFF
From Elias: Andrew Ladd had a goal and an assist for the Thrashers in their 5-1 win over the Red Wings. Ladd, who was traded to Atlanta last summer by the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks, leads the Thrashers with 23 points this season (8 goals, 15 assists). That's the highest point total for any NHL player who changed teams since the end of the 2009-10 season.
UMBERGER ON A ROLL
From Elias: R.J. Umberger recorded a goal and an assist for the Blue Jackets in their overtime victory on Long Island. Umberger's assist extended his assist streak to seven games, setting a Columbus franchise record. Umberger is an unlikely record holder. His longest previous assist streak in the NHL was three games, and he had only one assist in 13 games this season when his current streak began on November 10.
From Elias: The Blues' 2-1 shootout win over the Predators on Wednesday followed the script used for most of the games between St. Louis and Nashville in recent seasons. Fourteen of the last 19 Blues-Predators games have been decided by a one-goal margin (dating back to February 2008), including four in overtime and five in shootouts.