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CELTICS' FOUR-GAME SWEEP IS ALMOST UNPRECEDENTED
From Elias: The Celtics, who completed a first-round sweep of the Knicks on Sunday, became only the second team in NBA history to win a playoff series 4-0 and have a different player lead the team outright in scoring in every game. Ray Allen (24 points) was the Celtics' top scorer in Game 1, followed by Rajon Rondo (30), Paul Pierce (38) and Kevin Garnett (26).
The other team to fashion a four-game sweep of that kind was the Pistons, who won all four games against the Bucks in the 1989 Eastern Conference Semi Finals, with Bill Laimbeer, John Salley, Isiah Thomas and Joe Dumars each taking a turn as their leading scorer.
MAGIC SETS PLAYOFF RECORD FOR THREE-POINT FUTILITY
From Elias: The Magic was 2-for-23 (.087) on its three-point field-goal attempts in Sunday night's loss to the Hawks, setting an NBA record for the lowest three-point field-goal percentage by a team in a playoff game (minimum: 20 attempts). Orlando broke the mark shared by two teams that were 2-for-20 (.100): the Pistons in Game 3 of the 2002 Eastern Conference Finals against the Celtics, and the Kings in Game 7 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals versus the Lakers.
HOWARD COMMITS EIGHT TURNOVERS AGAIN
From Elias: Dwight Howard committed eight turnovers in the Magic's loss to the Hawks on Sunday night, after he was charged with eight giveaways in Game 1 against Atlanta last weekend. Since the 1977-78 season, when the NBA began recording turnovers for individual players, only one other starting center had two games with at least eight turnovers within one playoff series. That was Yao Ming, against Utah in 2007.
ROOKIE LEADS SIXERS
From Elias: Evan Turner scored 17 points, tying Lou Williams for team-high honors, in the 76ers' 86-82 victory against the Heat. Since the franchise moved to Philadelphia after the 1962-63 season, there were only two other playoff wins for the 76ers in which a rookie was their leading scorer. Andrew Toney scored a team-best 26 points in a playoff win against the Celtics in 1981, and Terry Catledge led Philadelphia with 27 points in a postseason victory vs. Washington in 1986.
RED SOX' STARTERS EVOKE MEMORIES OF THE BABE
From Elias: John Lackey threw eight shutout innings in Boston's 7-0 victory at Anaheim, continuing a remarkable streak by the team's starting pitchers. Terry Francona's starters have a 0.88 ERA over their last nine games, the lowest for the Red Sox over any nine-game span since July 1918, when they had a 0.84 ERA over nine games. One of Boston's starters during that stretch was Babe Ruth, who won 13 games that season, and then two more for the champions in the World Series.
MILES IGNITES DODGERS WITH LEADOFF TRIPLE
From Elias: Aaron Miles began the top of the first inning with a triple and the Dodgers scored five runs in that inning, on their way to a 7-3 win against the Cubs. Since the franchise moved to Los Angeles after the 1957 season, only one other Dodgers player led off a game at Wrigley Field with a triple. That was Willie Davis, who did it twice, once in 1961 and once in 1967.
MARLINS MAKE HITS COUNT
From Elias: The Marlins had only three hits in their 6-3 win against the Rockies, but two of them produced all six of their runs -- a bases-loaded triple by Omar Infante and a three-run homer by Mike Stanton. Florida became the first major-league team in six years to score six or more runs in a game, while recording three-or-fewer hits. That had last been done by the Reds, whose three-hit attack beat the Mets 6-3 in April 2005.
BRAVES SWEEP DEFENDING CHAMPS
From Elias: Atlanta's extra-inning win at San Francisco on Sunday culminated a three-game sweep of the Giants. It's the third time in franchise history that the Braves swept a series of at least three games against the defending World Series champion in April. They also did that in 1972 (at Pittsburgh) and in 2004 (vs. Florida).
HALLADAY LOSES SHUTOUT WITH ONE OUT TO GO
From Elias: Roy Halladay allowed a run-scoring single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, but still earned the win in the Phillies's 3-1 victory at San Diego. It was the fourth time in Halladay's major-league career that he lost a shutout by allowing a run with two outs in the ninth inning. He's already had two games of that type with Philadelphia, after only two in 12 seasons with Toronto.
TIGERS BLANK SOX IN CONSECUTIVE GAMES
From Elias: The Tigers defeated the White Sox 3-0 on Sunday, after blanking them 9-0 on Saturday. It's only the second time in the last 60 years that Detroit won back-to-back shutouts versus the White Sox. The other instance during that span came in August 1978, with Jack Billingham and Jim Slaton each throwing complete-game shutouts.
BACK-TO-BACK COMPLETE-GAME WINS FOR SHIELDS
From Elias: James Shields pitched a complete-game shutout at Toronto on Sunday, five days after he went the distance in a victory against the White Sox. Over the last six seasons, only two other pitchers have recorded back-to-back complete-game wins in April: Zack Greinke and Tim Wakefield, each in 2009.
KUBEL TAKES IT TO THE TRIBE
From Elias: Jason Kubel's two-run double in the seventh inning was the game-winning hit in the Twins' 4-3 triumph over the Indians. Kubel had five RBIs in Minnesota's two games against Cleveland this weekend, exceeding his total from last year, when he produced only four RBIs in his 16 games versus the Indians.
AVILES: TWO HOME RUNS AND A STEAL FROM LEADOFF SPOT
From Elias: Mike Aviles hit two home runs and stole a base against the Rangers on Sunday, becoming the first leadoff hitter in Royals history with two homers and a steal in the same game.
JETER BELTS FOUR HITS IN BALTIMORE
From Elias: Derek Jeter was 4-for-6 in the Yankees' 6-3 win over the Orioles. It was Jeter's first four-hit game before May in a decade, since he went 4-for-6 at Kansas City on April 9, 2001. It was also Jeter's first four-hit performance in 118 career games at Camden Yards.
METS END HOMESTAND ON WRIGHT NOTE
From Elias: David Wright hit two home runs and stole a base in the Mets' victory over the Diamondbacks. It's the fourth time in his major-league career that Wright has had two homers and a steal in the same game. The only other player to have more than one game of that type for the Mets is Tommie Agee, who did it twice (once in 1970 and once in 1971). All four of Wright's "two-homers-and a-steal" games came in Queens, three at Shea Stadium and now one at Citi Field.
FLYERS FORCE GAME 7
From Elias: There will be a seventh game in the Flyers-Sabres series as a result of Philadelphia's overtime victory in Game 6. Ville Leino's goal at 4:43 of overtime in Buffalo on Sunday marked the third time in Flyers history that they staved off elimination in a best-of-seven playoff series with an OT win in Game 6. The first instance was in 1968 (the first post-expansion playoffs in the NHL) against St. Louis, when Don Blackburn scored in the second overtime period of Game 6, and the second was in 2004 versus Tampa Bay, when Simon Gagne's OT goal kept the Flyers alive. Philadelphia fans might not want to read any further. The Flyers lost Game 7 in both of those series.
A GOAL IN EVERY PERIOD
From Elias: The Nashville Predators won a playoff series for the first time in their 12 seasons in the NHL by eliminating the Anaheim Ducks, four games to two. The Predators outscored the Ducks, 22-20, in the series and the teams combined to score at least one goal in every period of the six games. It was the first NHL playoff series of at least six games in which goals were scored in every period since the first-round matchup between the Flames and Kings in 1993. That series, won by L.A. in six games, featured an average of just over ten goals per game (61 total goals).
SMITH IS THIRD BLACKHAWKS ROOKIE WITH OT PLAYOFF GOAL
From Elias: Rookie Ben Smith scored the overtime goal that earned the Blackhawks a 4-3 victory in Game 6 of their series against the Canucks and forced a Game 7 in Vancouver on Tuesday. Smith is the third rookie in Blackhawks history to score an overtime goal in the playoffs, joining Cully Dahlstrom (1938) and Doug Lecuyer (1980).