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HOWARD'S SIGNATURE GAME FUELS VICTORYAT PHOENIX
From Elias: Dwight Howard scored 26 points, grabbed 15 rebounds, and blocked five shots in the Magic's 111-88 win at Phoenix. Since the start of the 2010 calendar year, Howard is the only NBA player to post a 25-15-5 game, but he has done it six times including twice this month.
It's not the first time that Howard has recorded a pair of 25-15-5 games in the same month, having previously done so in February 2010. Prior to that, no player had two such games in the same calendar month since Shaquille O'Neal did it in March 2004.
HANSBROUGH STEALS THE SHOW AT MSG
From Elias: Amar'e Stoudemire (28 points) and Carmelo Anthony (25) were the hometown stars, but Tyler Hansbrough stole the show in his Madison Square Garden pro debut by scoring 29 points in the Pacers' 106-93 win. Only three other active players scored that many points in their first NBA game at MSG: Kevin Durant (30 points for the Seattle Sonics in 2007), Antonio McDyess (29 points for the Nuggets in 1996), and Marcus Camby (29 points for the Raptors in 1996).
WESTBROOK'S FOUL-LINE SCORING STREAK SNAPPED
From Elias: Russell Westbrook scored 20 points in 24 minutes and watched the entire fourth quarter from the bench with Kevin Durant as the Thunder cruised to a 95-75 victory at Cleveland. Westbrook shot 10-for-16 from the field, but it was the first game this season in which he didn't score from the foul line, snapping his streak of 67 games with at least one free throw made dating back to last April. Not to worry, Thunder fans, Kevin Durant made all six of his foul shots, extending his streak to 117 games with at least one point from the line.
CELTICS STIFLE BUCKS IN HISTORIC WIN
From Elias: Two of the NBA's best defensive teams produced a historic game as the Celtics defeated the Bucks, 87-56. Milwaukee's total of 56 points was the lowest in team history and matched the fifth lowest in the NBA since the 24-second clock was introduced in 1954. The last visiting team to score 56 or fewer points against the Celtics was the Baltimore Bullets in a 74-53 loss at Boston Garden on January 6, 1950.
BOBCATS PREVAIL IN HOGTOWN
From Elias: The Bobcats defeated the Raptors, 95-90, at Toronto. It was Charlotte's first road victory in more than two years in which the Bobcats scored at least as many points as their host in each of the four quarters. Charlotte's last such win was at Madison Square Garden in March 2009.
EVANS POUNDS THE BOARDS FOR RAPTORS
From Elias: Reggie Evans pulled down 17 rebounds in 29 minutes in the Raptors' loss on Sunday. Evans tied the team record for rebounds in a game of less than 30 minutes of playing time, a mark set 15 years ago by Popeye Jones (17 rebounds in 29 minutes against the Bucks on Dec. 19, 1996).
LANGENBRUNNER GIVETH AND HANDZUS TAKETH AWAY
From Elias: The Kings edged the Stars, 3-2, in Dallas, with Michal Handzus scoring the game-winning goal at the 19:39 mark of the third period, 22 seconds after Jamie Langenbrunner scored for the Stars to tie the game at two goals apiece. It was the second time this season that an NHL team won a game in regulation time after allowing a score-tying goal in the final minute of the third period.
On March 1, the Stars salvaged a 3-2 win at Phoenix on Jamie Benn's power play goal with 5 seconds remaining in the third period, 33 seconds after Ray Whitney evened the score at 2-2 with a goal for the Coyotes. When this month began, there had not been a NHL game with similar last-minute heroics since Nashville's 6-5 win at Ottawa on November 29, 2007. In that game Daniel Alfredsson tied the score at 5-5 with a goal at 19:14, only to have the Predators' Martin Erat score the game-winner at 19:37.
KENNEDY'S PLAYMAKING KEY TO PENGUINS' WIN
From Elias: Tyler Kennedy set his career high for assists in one game when he set up three goals in the Penguins' 5-1 win over the Oilers. Kennedy, who entered play on Sunday with only three assists in his last 21 games, now has as many three-assist games this season as his injured teammate, Sidney Crosby.
KNUBLE SCORES WHEN IT'S NEEDED
From Elias: Mike Knuble's overtime goal earned the Capitals a 4-3 win against the Blackhawks on Sunday. Knuble has scored goals in 13 games since December 1 and 10 of those games were decided by a one-goal margin (including three in overtime and three via shootouts).
TOEWS'S GOAL IS WORTH A POINT
From Elias: The Blackhawks lost 4-3 in overtime at Washington but they earned a point in the standings because Jonathan Toews tied the game at 3-3 with 39 seconds remaining in the third period. It was only the second time in the last three seasons that a Blackhawks player recorded a score-tying goal in the final minute of the third period. The other one was by Kris Versteeg on April 2, 2010 at New Jersey.
SPEZZA'S VIRTUOSO GAME ISN'T ENOUGH
From Elias: The Senators lost 6-4 in Buffalo despite the efforts of Jason Spezza, who scored two of Ottawa's four goals and assisted on its other two. Spezza is only the fifth NHL player to score four points in a game his team didn't win this season. The others are Carolina's Jussi Jokinen (Nov. 19 in a shootout loss), the Blues' David Backes (Nov. 30, regulation loss), and the Ducks' Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, who did it in the same game (Feb. 16, regulation loss).