Special to ESPN.com
ROCKETS CLIMB BACK TO .500
From Elias: The Rockets started this season 4-11 but with a win on Monday they've won 11 of their last 15 games to climb back to .500. They are the first team in NBA history to be more than five games below 500 after 15 games, and then make it back to .500 by their 30th game. Ten previous teams had started 5-10 and made it back to even by their 30th game.
15-10-5 FOR HOWARD
From Elias: Dwight Howard had 19 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks on Monday. It was his 34th career 15-10-5 (points-rebounds-blocks) game, 10 more than any other player since he entered the NBA in 2004; Tim Duncan is second with 24 such games.
MAVERICKS STOP THE TREMENDOUS TRIO
From Elias: The Mavericks held Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Jeff Green to 55 points on Monday, their fourth-lowest output of the season (considering games in which only all three have played). Not surprisingly, the Thunder lost the three games in which the Tremendous Trio combined for fewer points than they had tonight.
20-10-5-5 FOR PAUL
From Elias: Chris Paul had 22 points, 13 assists, six rebounds and five steals in the Hornets' loss to the Timberwolves on Monday. It's the ninth time in Paul's career he's had a 20-10-5-5 (points-assists-rebounds-steals) game; no other NBA player has more than three such games since Paul entered the NBA in 2005. (Next-most: LeBron James and Allen Iverson, three apiece.)
From Elias: With Brandon Jennings out of the lineup depth has become an issue for the Bucks. On Monday both starting guards and the starting center each played at least 40 minutes. It's only the second time this season that a team played its starting guards and center for at least 40 minutes in a non-overtime game; the Knicks did it against Denver on December 12.
RAPTORS CAN BLAME ONLY THEMSELVES
From Elias: The Raptors went 5 for 14 (35.7 percent) from the free-throw line in their loss to the Grizzlies on Monday, which was their second-lowest free-throw percentage in any game in team history. Toronto had a game in 1996 in which they were 0-for-3 from the stripe.
A THREE-POINT EXTRAVAGANZA
From Elias: The Pistons made 11 of 19 (57.9 percent) three-point shots and the Bobcats made 10 of 17 (58.8 percent) on Monday. It was only the fifth NBA game since the three-point field goal was introduced in 1979 in which each team took at least 15 three-pointers and each made at least 57 percent of those shots. The previous instance was a Boston-Portland game in 2008.
OSGOOD RECORDS 400TH WIN
From Elias: Detroit's Chris Osgood recorded the 400th regular-season win of his NHL career with an overtime victory at Colorado on Monday. Osgood is the 10th goaltender in league history to reach the 400-win plateau and the third to do so among netminders who began their career with the Red Wings. The others were Terry Sawchuk and Glenn Hall. The Canadiens (Jacques Plante, Tony Esposito and Patrick Roy) are the only other team to have three goaltenders debut with them and go on to win at least 400 games in the NHL.
LIDSTROM SCORES 10TH GOAL
From Elias: Nicklas Lidstrom reached double-figures in goals for the 16th time in his 19-season NHL career when he scored in the third period of the Red Wings' overtime win at Colorado. The 40-year-old Lidstrom has played in all 36 games for Detroit this season. It's the second-fewest games that he's needed to score ten goals in a season. Lidstrom tallied his 10th goal in his 23rd game in 1997-98.
DECEMBER IS KREJCI TIME
From Elias: David Krejci scored two goals for the Bruins in their shootout win against the Panthers. It was the second two-goal game of the season for Krejci, who scored twice in Boston's 8-1 rout of the Lightning on December 2. Krejci has averaged one goal every 2.5 games in December over the last three seasons (15 goals in 38 games), nearly twice as high as his goal rate in all other months combined (one every 4.8 games, 31 goals in 150 games).
MASON PREFERS TO BE BUSY
From Elias: Blue Jackets goaltender Steve Mason stopped 37 of 40 shots on goal by the Wild in his shootout victory on Monday night. Mason has an 8-3-0 record this season in games in which he's faced at least 30 shots, compared to a 2-6-1 mark with fewer than 30 shots put on him.
JOKINEN CONTINUES HOT STREAK
From Elias: Olli Jokinen continued his recent resurgence with a goal and an assist in the Flames' win over the Sabres. Jokinen scored only two goals in his first 25 games this season but he's tallied six goals in nine games since then. In fact, Jokinen has scored as many goals over his last nine games as he did in his previous 54 games dating back to January 28 last season.
OBLIGATORY 2-GOAL GAME FOR RANGERS D-MAN
From Elias: Rangers defenseman Matt Gilroy scored his first two goals of the season in the Blueshirts' 7-2 win over the Islanders. It was the first multiple-goal game of the season by a Rangers D-man, and if recent history is any indication it could be the last. The Rangers had exactly one multi-goal game by a defenseman in each of the past three seasons: by Michal Rozsival in both 2007-08 and 2008-09, and Daniel Girardi in 2009-10.
A REMARKABLE STREAK ENDS
From Elias: A key point in the Saints' win over the Falcons on Monday was Michael Turner's fumble, his first of the season, on a play from the Saints' one-yard line. Turner entered the game with the second-most touches without a fumble this season among NFL running backs, behind only Baltimore's Ray Rice (350).
But the Saints defense entered the game with an even more remarkable streak: New Orleans had allowed either a touchdown or a field goal on each of the last 90 drives on which its opponents had the ball at the Saints' one-yard line --- a streak that had gone on for more than 12 years!
Before Monday, the last time that the Saints stopped a team without a score on a drive on which it ran a play from the Saints' one-yard line was Dec. 6, 1998, when they stopped the Cowboys without a score after Dallas had a first-and-goal from the one. (How long ago was that? Consider these names: the Saints threw Emmitt Smith for a three-yard loss, Troy Aikman threw two incomplete passes, and after a half-the-distance penalty, they held Smith to a one-yard gain on a fourth down from the two. The Saints' defensive unit was then congratulated on the sidelines by their head coach, Mike Ditka!)
BREES HITS 400 AS OFTEN AS TY COBB
From Elias: Drew Brees had 35 completions on Monday to give him 426 for the season. It's the third time Brees has completed 400 passes in a season; all other players in NFL history combined have produced just five 400-completion seasons: Warren Moon, Drew Bledsoe, Rich Gannon, Kurt Warner and Peyton Manning have one each.