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ANTHONY HITS ANOTHER GAME-WINNER
From Elias: Carmelo Anthony's 19-foot jumper with four seconds remaining in the game lifted the Knicks to a 110-109 win at Indiana. Anthony has made five go-ahead or game-tying field goals in the final ten seconds of either the fourth quarter or overtime this season (two for Denver and three for New York), the most for any NBA player. Monta Ellis, Rudy Gay and Deron Williams have each made four such field goals this season.
ROSE LOOKS LIKE AN MVP
From Elias: Derrick Rose scored 39 points, making 13 of 17 shots from the floor as well as all ten of his free throws, to lead the Bulls to a thrilling three-point victory at Orlando. Rose was only the third player in the last 18 seasons to score 39 or more points while missing no more than four field-goal attempts and going 10-for-10 or better from the line in an NBA game. The others to do it over that span (since 1993-94) were Chris Bosh (for the Raptors, Feb. 20, 2008) and Amar'e Stoudemire (for the Suns, Nov. 5, 2008).
JAMES HELPS HEAT TOP CELTICS
From Elias: LeBron James scored 27 points in Miami's victory over the Celtics, while Dwyane Wade scored 14 points and Chris Bosh contributed 13. The Heat's "big three" have played 71 games together this season and Sunday's contest was just the third in which only one of them scored as many as 15 points. The two previous games of that kind were both on the road: a loss at Boston on October 26 and a win at Orlando on February 3.
NO POINTS, TEN ASSISTS
From Elias: Chris Paul was 0-for-6 from the floor and 0-for-2 from the line while handing out ten assists in the Hornets' loss at Memphis. It was the fifth NBA game this season in which a player had double-digit assists despite posting a "goose egg" in the point column. Jason Kidd has done it three times and Jose Calderon once.
PISTONS CLIMB OUT OF A BIG HOLE
From Elias: The Pistons trailed, 40-25, at the end of the first period but they mounted a comeback to post a 112-101 win at Charlotte. Detroit has only one other victory over the last 12 seasons (since 1999-2000) in a game in which it trailed by 15 or more points at the end of the first quarter. That was on November 14, 2007 when the Pistons came from behind for a 111-104 win at Golden State.
CLEARY'S KIND OF TOWN
From Elias: Daniel Cleary's third-period goal was the game-winner in the Red Wings' 4-3 victory at Chicago that kept the defending Stanley Cup champions from clinching a playoff spot by their own efforts (though they backed in when Dallas lost at Minnesota later in the day). Cleary has scored only four goals in 49 regular-season games against Chicago in his NHL career, though all four goals were scored in Chicago (one for Phoenix and three for Detroit). Yet in the one playoff series in which Cleary faced the Blackhawks (the 2009 Western Conference Final) he tallied five goals in five games!
STARS ELIMINATED IN FINALE
From Elias: Jose Theodore made 26 saves in his 5-3 win over the Stars that eliminated Dallas from playoff contention and enabled the Blackhawks to sneak into the postseason despite their home-ice loss to the Red Wings earlier on Sunday. Theodore hasn't had much success against the Stars in his 14-season NHL career. He's 4-11-4 in 19 games versus Dallas, with each of his four wins for a different team: Montreal, Colorado, Washington and Minnesota.
ANOTHER OT GOAL FOR JONES
From Elias: David Jones scored his third overtime goal of the season to earn the Avalanche a 4-3 season-ending win against the Oilers. Jones is the first player in Quebec/Colorado franchise history to score three overtime goals in one season. Before this season, no Avalanche player had scored more than one OT goal in a season since Milan Hejduk potted two in 2003-04.
ROOKIE MAKES HIS FIRST GOAL COUNT
From Elias: Defenseman Alexander Urbom's first NHL goal was the game-winner when the Devils closed the season with a 3-2 victory over the Bruins on Sunday. Urbom was the seventh rookie to score goals for the Devils this season, tying them with the Oilers for the NHL high. The other New Jersey rookies with goals this season were Mark Fayne, Jacob Josefson, Nick Palmieri, Matt Taormina, Mattias Tedenby and Alexander Vasyunov. The seven rookie goal-scorers were the most by the Devils in one season since they had an identical number in 1990-91.
RAYS SET START-OF-SEASON STRIKEOUT RECORD
From Elias: The Rays' early-season offensive futility continued on Sunday with a 6-1 loss at Chicago in which they scored their only run on a throwing error by pitcher Gavin Floyd (on an errant pickoff attempt). Tampa Bay batters whiffed eight times on Sunday, and they've registered at least seven strikeouts at the plate in each of their nine games this year, the longest such streak to begin a season for any team in baseball's modern era (1900-2011).
HOT START FOR DEFENDING A.L. CHAMPS
From Elias: The Rangers improved their record to 8-1 this season by winning the final two games of their weekend series at Baltimore. The Rangers are the first defending league champion to begin a season with eight or more wins in their first nine games since the 2004 Marlins (8-1) and they're the first defending American League champ to do so since the 1998 Indians (8-1).
WEAVER FANS 15
From Elias: Jered Weaver struck out 15 batters in 7 2/3 innings to defeat the Blue Jays on Sunday. Weaver became the tenth pitcher to register 15 or more strikeouts in a game so early in a season (in his team's ninth game or sooner), including twice each by Nolan Ryan (1970 and 1989) and Randy Johnson (1998 and 1999). Weaver was the first to do it since John Smoltz fanned 15 batters in a loss for the Braves in their sixth game of the 2005 campaign.
DUSTIN AND IRA
From Elias: Dustin Pedroia went 3-for-4 against the Yankees on Sunday night after going 3-for-5 on Friday and 3-for-4 on Saturday during the Red Sox' first series at Fenway Park this season. Pedroia became the second player in franchise history to collect three or more hits in each of the club's first three home games of a season. In 1926, Ira Flagstead went 4-for-6, 4-for-5 and 3-for-4 at Fenway in Boston's season-opening three-game series against New York. You've never heard of Flagstead? He played 13 seasons in the majors (1917, 1919-1930), seven of them with the Red Sox.
DEJESUS AND BUTLER EXTEND STREAKS
From Elias: David DeJesus went 2-for-4 in the leadoff spot in the Athletics' 5-3 win at Minnesota to extend his hitting streak against the Twins to 25 consecutive games (since September 2008). Billy Butler had only one hit for the Royals as they defeated the Tigers on Sunday, but it extended his hitting streak against Detroit to 22 consecutive games (dating back to September 2009). The only other active major-leaguer with a current hitting streak of more than 20 games against a particular team is the Cubs' Aramis Ramirez, who has a 23-game streak versus the Cardinals.
CARDS WIN DESPITE PUJOLS GOING 0-FOR-5
From Elias: The Cardinals snapped their three-game losing streak and salvaged the final game of their three-game series at San Francisco despite Albert Pujols going 0-for-5. It was the 30th game of Pujols' career in which he went 0-for-5 or worse (and his second such game this season), but St. Louis is 18-12 in those games.
NINE HITS IN THREE GAMES FOR VICTORINO
From Elias: Shane Victorino went 3-for-4 in the Phillies' 3-0 win at Atlanta to cap a three-game series in which he had 9 hits in 13 at-bats. It's the second time in Victorino's major-league career that he collected as many as nine hits over a span of three games. He went 10-for-13 during a three-game outburst against the Brewers (4-for-4) and Braves (6-for-9) in September 2008.
REYES REACHES BASE IN FIRST INNING
From Elias: Jose Reyes has earned his way on base (via hit, walk or hit by pitch) to lead off the first inning in seven straight games, including Sunday, when he began the bottom of the first with a bunt single. That matches the longest such streak of Reyes' career (seven consecutive games in June 2006). It's the longest streak of that kind for any major-leaguer since Rafael Furcal did it in nine straight games for the Dodgers in April 2009. Reyes is one of two active players with two such streaks of seven or more games in his career. The other is Johnny Damon, who reached base safely to lead off the first inning in ten straight games for the 2000 Royals and eight in a row for the 2004 Red Sox.
ROCKIES STARTERS REMAIN UNDEFEATED
From Elias: Jhoulys Chacin allowed five runs (four earned) in six innings on Sunday and it was good enough to earn the win in the Rockies' victory at Pittsburgh. Colorado has the only starting staff in the majors that hasn't been charged with a loss this season. The 5-0 mark by Rockies starters is the best to begin a season in franchise history.
TRIBE BLASTS BEDARD
From Elias: The Indians handed Erik Bedard his second loss in as many starts this season, scoring six earned runs in four innings off the Mariners' southpaw to increase his ERA to 9.00. It's the first time in Bedard's major-league career that he's lost his first two starts of a season. Over his six previous years in the majors (2004-2009; he didn't play last season), Bedard posted a combined 5-1 record with a 3.51 ERA over his first two starts.
RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
From Elias: Ryan Ludwick, Nick Hundley and Cameron Maybin each homered for the Padres as they defeated the Dodgers, 7-2, in San Diego. It was the first game at Petco Park in which the Padres hit three or more homers without allowing any in almost two years (since April 11, 2009). The Padres have played nine such games in Petco Park's history and won all of them.
LONG BALL LIFTS THE BREW CREW
From Elias: Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun and Casey McGehee each hit two-run homers in the Brewers' 6-5 win against the Cubs. It's the third time that Fielder, Braun and McGehee each homered in one game for the Brewers, all at Miller Park. The trio did so once in each of the previous two seasons (June 25, 2009 vs. the Twins and June 11, 2010 vs. the Rangers).
HAPP CONTRIBUTES ON THE MOUND AND AT THE PLATE
From Elias: J.A. Happ pitched into the eighth inning to beat the Marlins and he went 2-for-3 at the plate, including a two-run double in the fourth inning to give the Astros a lead they would never relinquish. Happ was the first Astros pitcher to collect two hits and register a game-winning RBI in one game since Brian Williams (not the NBC anchor) did it at Montreal on June 8, 1994.
BIG COMEBACK IN THE DESERT
From Elias: The Diamondbacks rallied from deficits of 5-0 and 7-6 to defeat the Reds at Chase Field. Arizona won only one game over the past two seasons in which it trailed by five or more runs (April 28, 2010 at Colorado). It was the D-backs' first such win at home since July 3, 2008 against the Brewers.