Date: April 23, 2011

Elias Says...

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

NBA

NBA - quite a few teams on the verge of being swept

From Elias: 3 teams are on the verge of being swept (Pacers, Knicks, 76ers) and a 4th team is down 2-0 in this year's playoffs (Nuggets)

Since the current 1st round format went to 7 games There have only been 2 instances where at least 3 teams were swept in the 1st round.

In 2007, the Heat, Wizards, and Magic were swept. And in 2004, the Celtics, Knicks and Grizzlies also were swept.

Boston Celtics

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Rondo

RONDO: NOT YOUR RUN-OF-THE-MILL TRIPLE-DOUBLE

From Elias: Rajon Rondo finished with 15 points, 11 rebounds and a Celtics playoff-record 20 assists in Boston's 113-96 victory over the Knicks in Game Three. Only one other player in NBA history has had a playoff triple-double in which he had 20-or-more assists; that was Magic Johnson, who did it in a victory over the Celtics in 1984 (with 21 assists) and did it again seven years later (20 assists) in a loss to the Bulls.

Rondo's dishing came as no surprise to the Knicks: he averaged 16.7 assists over the three games he played against New York during the regular season. That was the highest assists average by any player against any NBA team this season (minimum: three games) and it was the highest average that any player has ever had in one season against the Knicks (minimum: three games).

Rondo, by the way, had a triple-double by the end of the third quarter. It marked the fourth time over the last three playoff seasons that an NBA player has achieved a triple-double before the start of the fourth quarter, and Rondo has accounted for all four of them!

Boston Celtics, New York Knicks

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Allen

ALLEN & PIERCE MAKE NBA HISTORY

From Elias: Ray Allen made eight three-point field goals in 11 attempts and Paul Pierce made six threes in eight attempts in the Celtics' Friday night win in New York. Their total of 14 three-pointers set an NBA single-game playoff record for the most threes by two teammates. The old record was 12, done in five games, with Pierce being a part of two of those tandems (both times with Antoine Walker) and Allen being a part of one (with Tim Thomas).

Boston Celtics, New York Knicks

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Crawford

CRAWFORD's 3RD STRAIGHT 20-POINT GAME OFF THE BENCH

From Elias: Jamal Crawford scored 23 points including the game-clinching three-point field goal on a bank shot with 5.7 seconds remaining in the Hawks' 88-84 victory over the Magic. Crawford has been nothing if not consistent in the playoffs: he scored 23 points off the bench in Game One and had 25 off the bench in Game Two. The last NBA player to score 20-or-more points off the bench in each of the first three games of a playoff series was Manu Ginobili in the first round in 2008.

Atlanta Hawks, Orlando Magic, San Antonio Spurs

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Bryant

BRYANT GETS ANOTHER 30, GASOL GETS OUT OF HIS FUNK

From Elias: Kobe Bryant had his 80th playoff game scoring 30-or-more points as the Lakers won in New Orleans, but Lakers fans might be more psyched that Pau Gasol roused from his playoff slumber. Gasol scored 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting and matched his 2010-11 regular-season total of three-pointers (one). Gasol, who averaged 18.8 points per game and shot 52.9 percent from the floor during the regular season, had scored only eight points in each of the first two games of the series, while shooting 21.1 percent from the field. The last NBA player to score eight-of-fewer points in each of his first two playoff games after having averaged at least 18 points per game during the regular season was Sam Cassell with the Nets in the 1998 playoffs.

Los Angeles Lakers, New Orleans Hornets, New Jersey Nets

MLB

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Sanchez

SANCHEZ: A LOW-HIT WONDER

From Elias: Anibal Sanchez lost his no-hit bid in the ninth inning but completed a one-hit, 4-1 victory over the Rockies. Sanchez now has a no-hitter and two one-hitters to his credit since making his major-league debut in 2006; no other major-league pitcher over that span has thrown three complete games allowing either one hit or no hits.

Florida Marlins, Colorado Rockies

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Gallardo

GALLARDO: FEWEST AT-BATS TO 9 HR BY ANY PITCHER SINCE TWIN-D

From Elias: Yovani Gallardo gave the Astros a taste of their own medicine with a fourth-inning home run, and he received credit for the Brewers' 14-7 win over Houston. Coming into Friday's games, Houston pitchers were batting a major-league high .343 this season while no other staff was even hitting as high as .200.

It was the ninth home run of Gallardo's big-league career, in just his 177th at-bat as a pitcher. You have to go back more than 50 years to find the last major-league pitcher who hit his first nine homers in so few at-bats (again, including only his at-bats as a pitcher). That was Don Drysdale, who hit his ninth homer in his 144th at-bat in 1958.

Milwaukee Brewers, Houston Astros

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McDonald

OLD McDONALD HIT A BOMB...

From Elias: John McDonald (yes, that John McDonald) belted the game-ending home run in the 11th inning providing the Blue Jays with a 6-4 win over the Rays. For the 36-year-old McDonald, who has played in the majors for at least part of every season since 1999, it was his 20th home run in 812 games, and his first walk-off homer. The only other active major leaguer who hit his first walk-off homer at such an advanced age is Diamondbacks catcher Henry Blanco, whose first walk-off came at age 38, last season with the Mets.

Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Rays, Arizona Diamondbacks, New York Mets

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Napoli

RANGERS TIE A.L. RECORD

From Elias: Mike Napoli, Ian Kinsler, David Murphy, Adrian Beltre and Mitch Moreland belted home runs in five consecutive innings as Texas took it to the Royals, 11-6. The Rangers tied an American League single-game record for consecutive innings hitting at least one home run, last done by the Athletics against the Angels in 2003.

Texas Rangers, Kansas City Royals, Oakland Athletics

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Lester

LESTER TOSSES A SCORELESS SIX, KEEPS STREAK GOING

From Elias: Jon Lester threw six shutout innings and the bullpen held on as the Red Sox took a 4-3 decision from the Angels in Anaheim. That makes it seven straight games in which the Red Sox starter has allowed no more than two earned runs, Boston's longest such streak since September of that most magical of years, 2004. Boston's starters have a 1.19 cumulative ERA over their current seven-game stretch of excellence.

Boston Red Sox, Anaheim Angels

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Hamels

COLE LOVES IT IN SAN DIEGO

From Elias: Cole Hamels allowed four hits over eight shutout innings and Ryan Madson completed the shutout with a scoreless ninth as the Phillies blanked the Padres, beating Clayton Richard, at Petco Park. Re-read that last sentence: yes, it refers to the Phillies' 2-0 win on Friday night, but how about this: everything in that sentence also happened in the Phillies' last game in San Diego, a 5-0 victory last August 29! Hamels, who went to high school in San Diego, has now thrown 18 consecutive scoreless innings at Petco, dating back to the 2008 season.

It was the Phillies' ninth consecutive victory over the Padres in San Diego, the longest current road winning streak by one major league team against another.

Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres

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Uribe

URIBE, IN ANY UNIFORM, LOVES THE FRIENDLY CONFINES

From Elias: Juan Uribe had a home run and four RBI in the Dodgers' 12-2 win at Wrigley Field on Fridayżand that was not quite as good as what he did in his last game there. Playing for the Giants last September 23, Uribe had two homers and six RBI in a 13-0 romp over the Cubs. Uribe joins Candy Maldonado as the only players to hit home runs in two consecutive games played at Wrigley Fieldżone for the Giants, the other for the Dodgers. Maldonado homered in his last game there with the Dodgers in 1985 and in his first game there for the Giants in 1986.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants

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Verlander

VERLANDER REACHES 1,000 Ks QUICKLY

From Elias: Justin Verlander allowed three solo home runs but no other runs to pitch the Tigers to a 9-3 win over the visiting White Sox. Verlander struck out eight batters, the last one being the 1,000th strikeout of his big-league career. It took Verlander only 170 games to reach that four-figure total; the only other active pitchers who reached that mark within 170 games are Kerry Wood (134 games), Jake Peavy (160) and Felix Hernandez (166).

Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox, Seattle Mariners, Chicago Cubs

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Pujols

PUJOLS TURNS IT AROUND

From Elias: Albert Pujols went 1-for-3 and had a pair of RBI in the Cardinals' rain-delayed 4-2 win over the Reds. Remember the hand-wringing over Albert's first 10 games, when he went 6-for-40 with one homer and four RBI? In the 10 games since then, he has gone 14-for-40 with five homers and 12 RBI.

St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds

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Pelfrey

PELF FINALLY BEATS D'BACKS; METS FINALLY WIN A PELF START

From Elias: Mike Pelfrey allowed one run and five hits in earning his first win in six career decisions against the Diamondbacks, a 4-1 verdict at Citi Field. The Mets had lost all four of Pelfrey's earlier starts this season, something they had not done behind their opening-day starter since they dropped the first four starts made in 1974 by, of all people, Tom Seaver!

New York Mets, Arizona Diamondbacks

NHL

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Ennis

ENNIS GETS THE FIRST AND THE LAST

From Elias: Tyler Ennis scored the game's first goal, then scored in overtime as the Sabres recovered after blowing a 3-0 lead to capture Game Five in Philadelphia. Only two other rookies in NHL history have scored the first goal of a playoff game and then scored the game-winner in overtime. Greg Meredith did that for Calgary at Vancouver in 1983, and Andy Delmore did it for the Flyers at Pittsburgh in 2000.

Buffalo Sabres, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins

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Weber

PREDS WIN IT, SCORING LATE IN 3RD & EARLY IN 4TH

From Elias: Shea Weber tied the score with 35.3 seconds remaining in the third period, and Jerred Smithson won it just one minute, 57 seconds into overtime as the Predators snatched victory from the Ducks, 4-3, before a stunned Anaheim audience. It was only the ninth time in NHL playoff history that a team that had tied the score in the final minute of the third period won the game with a goal in the first two minutes of overtime. The last to do it: the Canadiens against the Flyers in 2008, with Alexei Kovalev getting the tying goal and Tom Kostopoulos the winner.

Nashville Predators, Anaheim Ducks, Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, Montreal Canadiens, Calgary Flames


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