Date: January 16, 2011

Elias Says...

By Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.
Special to ESPN.com

NFL

MOST POINTS IN ROAD PLAYOFF GAME SINCE BEARS WON, 73-0, IN 1940

From Elias: The Packers spotted the Falcons the first touchdown before rolling to a 48-21 victory in Atlanta. It was the first time in the last 229 NFL postseason games (excluding neutral-site Super Bowls) that a road team won by as many as 27 points. The last visiting team to win an NFL postseason game by that sort of margin? The Vikings, who won at New Orleans, 44-10, on Jan. 3, 1988, in the first postseason game in Saints history.

But here's an even better one: Green Bay's total of 48 points was the second-highest points total for any road team in NFL postseason history (again, excluding Super Bowls, where there is no true road team). The only road team to exceed the Packers' total? The Bears, in their legendary 73-0 victory over the Redskins at Washington in the 1940 NFL Championship Game.

Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers

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Rodgers

RODGERS GOES WHERE NO PLAYOFF QB EVER HAS

From Elias: Aaron Rodgers passed for three touchdowns and ran for one in the Packers' win in Atlanta; last season, he passed for four touchdowns and ran for one in their 51-45 playoff loss at Arizona. Rodgers became the first player in NFL history to throw at least three touchdown passes and to run for a touchdown in each of two different postseason games.

Rodgers completed 31 of his 36 passes at Atlanta, a completion rate of 86.1 percent - the highest completion percentage in NFL postseason history for a player who had at least 30 completions in a game (there have been 27 such instances).

Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers

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Williams

TRAMON WILLIAMS MIMICS JAMES HARRISON

From Elias: Tramon Williams sent the Packers into the locker room on a halftime high when he intercepted a Matt Ryan pass and returned it 70 yards for a score as the first-half clock ticked to zero. It was only the second time in NFL postseason history that a player has returned an interception for a touchdown as the first half expired. Perhaps you recall the other one: James Harrison's 100-yard run after picking off a Kurt Warner pass at the close of the second quarter in Super Bowl XLIII.

Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers

STEELERS BEAT THE ODDS AND THE RAVENS

From Elias: The Steelers ignored the percentages and came back from a 21-7 halftime deficit to defeat the Ravens, 31-24, to advance to the AFC Championship Game. The percentages? Coming into Saturday's game, teams leading by exactly 14 points at halftime had won 94 percent of NFL postseason games, and teams leading by 14-or-more points at any time during the second half had won 96 percent of those games.

It was only the second of the Steelers' 32 postseason victories in which they overcame a deficit of 14-or-more points. Eight years ago, Pittsburgh overcame the Browns' 17-point, second-half lead to take a 36-33 first-round decision; Tommy Maddox was the Steelers' quarterback in that one.

Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens

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Boldin

RAVENS' BIG-3 WIDE RECEIVERS COME UP SHORT

From Elias: The Ravens started the season having acquired Anquan Boldin and T.J. Houshmandzadeh to join Derrick Mason in a well-credentialed wide-receiver corps. In fact, it marked the first time in NFL history that three wide receivers, each with at least 500 career receptions, had played on the same team. But on Saturday evening at Pittsburgh, the three combined to catch only four of the 13 passes thrown their way by Joe Flacco, for only 36 yards.

Houshmandzadeh was targeted five times, catching three for 38 yards, but failed to catch the fourth-down pass that was the Ravens' final offensive play of the day; Boldin and Mason, targeted eight times between them, had one reception (Boldin's) for minus-two yards. During the regular season, those three players caught 58 percent of the passes on which they were targeted; on Saturday, they caught only 31 percent when targeted.

Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers

NBA

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Korver

ONE OR A KIND FOR KORVER

From Elias: Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade went back-and-forth for a while in the fourth quarter, but it was Kyle Korver's three-point field goal with 25 seconds remaining that put the Bulls ahead to stay as they defeated the Heat, 99-96. Korver has built a career as one of the NBA's most accomplished three-point shooters; he's one of only two players in league history (Damon Jones is the other) who has made at least 1000 field goals with more than half of them being worth three points. But Saturday's win over Miami marked the first time that he has hit a three-pointer to put his team ahead to stay in the last minute of a game.

Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat

MAGIC'S SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER

From Elias: The Magic maintained a little Saturday night tradition in overcoming a 15-point deficit to defeat the Timberwolves, 108-99, in Minneapolis. A week earlier, Orlando had trailed by 16 points at Dallas before winning, 117-107. Those are the only two games that the Magic has won this season after having trailed by as many as 15 points.

On the flip side are the Timberwolves, who have now lost five games after having led by 15-or-more points, the highest total for any NBA team this season.

Orlando Magic, Minnesota Timberwolves

NUGGETS SCORE FOUR SCORE IN FIRST HALF

From Elias: The Nuggets took an 80-49 halftime lead over the Cavaliers before easing to a 127-99 win on Saturday night. It was the highest first-half points total in the NBA in the last season and a half, but still a far piece from the NBA record. On Nov. 10, 1990, Paul Westhead's run-and-gun Nuggets scored 67 first-half points - and went to the locker room trailing by 40 points! That's right, the Suns led at halftime that night, 107-67, en route to a 173-143 victory.

Cleveland Cavaliers, Denver Nuggets

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Brooks

SUPER-SUB BROOKS LEADS ROCKETS

From Elias: Aaron Brooks came off the bench to collect 24 points and 10 assists in the Rockets' 112-106 win at Atlanta. Brooks, who scored 12 of those points in the fourth quarter, is only the second NBA player this season to get 20-or-more points and 10-or-more assists in a game he did not start. On December 28, Gilbert Arenas had 22 points and 11 assists in a 110-95 win at Cleveland.

Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks

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Randolph

GRIZZLIES HISTORY: RANDOLPH HAS SIX 20/20 GAMES, ALL OTHERS FIVE

From Elias: Zach Randolph finished with 23 points and 20 rebounds in the Grizzlies' 89-70 victory over the Mavericks. It was Randolph's sixth 20/20 game (points/rebounds) in a season and a half with the Grizzlies - one more 20/20 game than the total produced by all other players in the 16-year history of the franchise, which began in Vancouver in 1995.

Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies

NHL

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Tavares

TAVARES HAT TRICK: QUICK AND NATURAL

From Elias: John Tavares recorded a natural hat trick with three goals in a 5:46 span during the second period of the Islanders' 5-3 win over the Sabres. Tavares was the first Islanders player to score three consecutive goals in a game that quickly since Dec. 10, 1991, when Ray Ferraro tallied a natural hat trick within a 4:43 span early in the second period of a 7-7 tie against the Blues.

Taveras produced the second-fastest natural hat trick in the NHL this season. Washington's Alexander Semin had one in a 4:29 span against the Lightning on November 26.

Buffalo Sabres, New York Islanders

`CANES' SPECIAL NIGHT

From Elias: The Hurricanes scored four power play goals and a shorthanded goal in their 6-4 win against the Lightning. It was the first time that Carolina has registered five special-teams goals in one game since Feb. 7, 2009, when it posted four power play goals and a shortie in a 7-2 win at Phoenix.

Tampa Bay Lightning, Carolina Hurricanes

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Whitney

WHITNEY REACHES 900 POINTS

From Elias: Ray Whitney scored two goals and assisted on another to lead the Coyotes to a 6-2 win over the Ducks. Whitney's goal that opened the scoring was the 900th point of his NHL career. Whitney, a second-round pick by San Jose in the 1991 draft, is only the second player from that draft class to reach the 900-points plateau. The other 1991 draftee with that many points is also still active: Alexei Kovalev (1008 points).

Anaheim Ducks, Phoenix Coyotes

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Kulikov

KULIKOV, 20, GETS GAME-WINNER IN OT

From Elias: Defenseman Dmitry Kulikov scored the first overtime goal of his two-year NHL career to earn the Panthers a 3-2 win over the Devils. Kulikov, who turned 20 years of age on October 29, is the second-youngest overtime goal-scorer in Panthers history. Florida's youngest OT goal-scorer was the man who had the primary assist for Kulikov's game-winner on Saturday, Stephen Weiss. Weiss scored in overtime as a 19-year-old rookie on Jan. 25, 2003 against Carolina.

Florida Panthers, New Jersey Devils

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Staal

STAAL ROUNDING INTO SHAPE

From Elias: Jordan Staal recorded a goal and an assist for the Penguins in their 3-2 win at Boston on Saturday afternoon; in Pittsburgh's previous game, at Montreal on Wednesday, Staal tallied a goal and two assists in a 5-2 victory. It's only the second time in his five seasons in the NHL that Staal has posted consecutive multiple-point games. He did that last year in games against the Rangers (March 4, three points) and Stars (March 6, two points). Between his two pairs of multi-point games, Staal, limited by injuries, accumulated a total of only five points in 22 regular-season games (three goals, two assists).

Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins


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