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BOOZER'S FIRST PLAYOFF 3-POINT TRY COMES WITH THE GAME ON THE LINE
From Elias: Carlos Boozer missed a potential game-tying three-point shot in the final seconds in the Bulls' loss to the Pacers in Game Four of their first-round playoff series on Saturday afternoon. Boozer had never attempted a three-point shot in any of his 758 postseason field-goal attempts prior to Saturday's game. Only two players who began their career since 1979 (first year of the three-point shot) had more postseason field-goal attempts without ever attempting a three-pointer than Boozer: Shaquille O'Neal (3,625) and Bill Cartwright (866).
BLAZERS OVERCOME HUGE DEFICIT TO EVEN SERIES
From Elias: The Trail Blazers overcame a 23-point second-half deficit and defeated the Mavericks to even up their first-round series at two wins each on Saturday afternoon. It was the largest second-half deficit overcome by the winning team in an NBA playoff game since May 25, 2002, when the Celtics trailed the Nets by 26 points in the third quarter before winning, 94-90, in Boston.
RANDOLPH SEALS GRIZZLIES WIN WITH THREE-POINTER
From Elias: Zach Randolph scored 25 points and hit a game-clinching three-point field-goal with 41 seconds left to lead the Grizzlies to a 91-88 victory over the Spurs in Game 3 on Saturday night. Randolph made only 18.6 percent of his three-point field-goal attempts during the regular season, the second lowest percentage for any player with 40-or-more attempts from beyond the arc, ahead of only DeMar DeRozan (9.6%).
21-YEAR OLD LEADS THUNDER TO PLAYOFF VICTORY
From Elias: Serge Ibaka registered 22 points, 16 rebounds and four blocked shots to help lead the Thunder to a 97-94 win over Denver in Game 3 of their first-round series. At the age of 21 years, 217 days old, Ibaka became the youngest player to record at least 20 points, 15 rebounds and four blocked shots in a postseason game. Prior to Saturday, the youngest player to do that in a playoff game was Shaquille O'Neal, who had 24 points, 19 rebounds and five blocked shots at age 22 years and 53 days old against the Pacers on April 28, 1994.
TOP OF THE ORDER PROPELS CUBS
From Elias: Starlin Castro had four hits and three RBI from the leadoff spot and Darwin Barney chipped in with three hits and three RBI from the second spot in the batting order to lead the Cubs to a 10-8 victory over the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. It marks the first time in over 50 years that the Cubs starting leadoff and number two hitters both had at least three hits and three RBI in the same game. The last time the Cubs got that production from the top two hitters in their lineup was on August 13, 1959 when leadoff hitter Tony Taylor had three hits and three RBI and second-place hitter George Altman had five hits and five RBI in a 20-9 romp over the Giants.
DICE-K HURLS SECOND STRAIGHT GEM
From Elias: Daisuke Matsuzaka hurled eight shutout innings while allowing only one hit after throwing seven innings of one-hit no-run ball in his last start. Over the last 60 years, only five other pitchers have pitched at least seven innings of shutout ball while allowing one-or-fewer hits in consecutive starts in a single season: Freddy Garcia in 2006, Pedro Martinez in 2002, Ron Villone in 1999, Dave Stieb in 1988 and Sam McDowell in 1966.
PRICE REMAINS PERFECT AGAINST THE JAYS
From Elias: David Price allowed four runs in eight innings and earned a victory as the Rays beat the Blue Jays by a score of 6-4 Saturday afternoon. Price is now 7-0 in eight career starts against Toronto. Only one active American League pitcher has as many as seven wins without a defeat in starts against an opposing team: John Lester (13-0 in starts against the Orioles).
GRAND NIGHT FOR A-ROD
From Elias: Alex Rodriguez hit a grand-slam home run and drove in six runs to help lead the Yankees to a 15-3 rout of the Orioles in Camden Yards on Saturday night. It is the 14th time in his career that A-Rod has driven in six runs in a game, which ties Lou Gehrig for the highest total in major-league history (RBIs have been officially tracked since 1920).
Rodriguez has hit two grand-slam home runs at Camden Yards in his career. Only one other visiting player has hit multiple grand slams at that ballpark: Edgar Martinez (two).
TWINS SNAP OFFENSIVE SLUMBER
From Elias: The Twins broke out of a season-long hitting slumber by scoring 10 runs in their victory over the Indians on Saturday afternoon. Minnesota scored five-or-fewer runs in each of their first 19 games of the season. Over the last 90 years, only four other teams started a season by scoring five-or-fewer runs in each of its first 19 games: the White Sox in 1943 and 1968, the Athletics in 1966 and the Brewers in 1972.
The Twins scored multiple runs in four different innings in their victory. Prior to Saturday, the Twins had only 14 innings with two-or-more runs through their first 19 games. That was tied with the Pirates for the lowest total in the major leagues through Friday's games.
IKE GOES DEEP AGAIN
From Elias: Ike Davis hit a home run in his third straight game to help lead the Mets to a 6-4 victory over the Diamondbacks on Saturday afternoon. Davis is the first Mets player to homer in three straight games, all at Citi Field, since this stadium opened in 2009. Two other Mets players have hit homers in three straight games at Citi Field, but played road games in between: Gary Sheffield in 2009 and David Wright in 2010. Two visiting players have hit home runs in three straight games, all at Citi Field: Mark Reynolds in 2009 and Troy Tulowitzki earlier this season.
CAIRO COMES THROUGH IN THE CLUTCH
From Elias: Miguel Cairo hit a two-out, two-run single in the eighth inning to break a 3-3 tie and lead the Reds to a 5-3 victory over the Cardinals on Saturday afternoon. It is only the fourth time in his 1,334 game career in the major leagues that Cairo has had a two-out base hit that give his team a lead in the eighth inning or later. Cairo had previously done that on June 20, 1999, April 6, 2000 and May 14, 2008 prior to Saturday.
PENNY SHUTS DOWN WHITE SOX
From Elias: Brad Penny did not allow a hit until one out in the sixth inning leading the Tigers to a 9-0 victory over the White Sox on Saturday afternoon. Penny's five-and-one-third no-hit innings equaled the longest into a game he had ever gone without allowing a hit. Penny also got 16 outs before allowing a hit on May 27, 2000 and May 6, 2005.
OGANDO CONTINUES TO THRIVE AS A STARTER
From Elias: Alexi Ogando allowed one run over six innings and earned the victory in the Rangers' 3-1 victory over the Royals on Saturday night. Ogando is now 3-0 with a 2.13 ERA in his first four starts in the major leagues. Only one other Texas pitcher has gone 3-0 or better with an ERA below 2.20 in his first four starts in the major leagues. Joe Coleman was 4-0 with a 2.02 ERA in his first four major league starts which spanned three seasons (1965-67) for the then Washington Senators.
HOWARD GOES FROM GOAT TO HERO
From Elias: Ryan Howard doubled in the go-ahead runs in the top of the 11th inning after striking out in each of his first four plate appearances in the Phillies' 4-2 victory over the Padres on Saturday night. It was only the second time in the last 10 seasons that a player drove in the winning run in extra innings after going 0-for-4 or worse with a strikeout in each at bat prior to his final plate appearance. Prior to Saturday, the only player to do that over that span was... Ryan Howard, who singled in the winning run in the top of the 10th inning against Washington after striking out in each of four plate appearances on September 22, 2007.
LIGHTNING AVOID ELIMINATION WITH TEAM EFFORT
From Elias: Simon Gagne, Steven Stamkos and Pavel Kubina each scored two goals for the Lightning to help them avoid elimination with an 8-2 win in Game 5 of their series against the Penguins on Saturday. It was the first time in franchise history that Tampa Bay had three different multiple-goal scorers in one playoff game and only the second time in the last ten years that any NHL team had three multi-goal men in the same postseason game. The other instance was by the Red Wings in the 8-2 win that completed their four-game second-round sweep of Colorado in 2008. Johan Franzen scored three goals for Detroit in that game, and Mikael Samuelsson and Henrik Zetterberg each contributed two goals to the Red Wings' victory.
CAPS ADVANCE BEHIND ROOKIE GOALIE
From Elias: The Capitals wrapped up their first-round series against the Rangers with a 3-1 win in Game 5 on Saturday afternoon. Michal Neuvirth was in goal for Washington in all five games of the series, with the rookie allowing only eight goals. Neuvirth's 1.38 goals-against average for the five games was the second-lowest ever in one series by a Caps goaltender (minimum: four games played), behind the 1.17 GAA posted by Semyon Varlamov in the six games he played in Washington's first-round series against the Rangers in 2009. Varlamov was also a rookie that year.
BRUINS WIN IN DOUBLE OVERTIME
From Elias: Nathan Horton's goal at 9:03 of the second overtime period gave the Bruins a 2-1 Game 5 win over the Canadiens in Boston and a three-games-to-two lead in the series. The Bruins won a double-overtime game at TD Garden against the Sabres in last year's playoffs, but before that Boston had not won a multiple-OT game on home ice since 1939 versus the Rangers. They had four postseason losses in multiple-overtime home games in the interim.