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DURANT PEFORMS SOME MAGIC
From Elias: Kevin Durant scored 41 points in the Thunder's 100-97 win against the Nuggets, sending Oklahoma City to the next round of the playoffs. Durant, who turned 22 last September, is the second-youngest player in NBA history to score 40 points in a playoff series-clinching victory. The youngest was Magic Johnson, who as a 20-year old rookie scored 42 points in Game 6 of the 1980 NBA Finals against the 76ers, helping clinch the championship for the Lakers.
THE BIG THREE BRING THE HEAT
From Elias: Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James each scored at least 15 points and pulled down 10 or more rebounds in the Heat's series-clinching victory over the 76ers. It was the first NBA playoff game in six seasons in which three teammates each registered a 15/10 (points/rebounds). That had last been done by Phoenix's Amar'e Stoudemire, Steve Nash and Shawn Marion in the 2005 Western Conference Semi-Finals against Dallas.
ANTHONY SETS NBA RECORD
From Elias: Joel Anthony, who made two key free throws with 17 seconds remaining in the Heat's win against the 76ers, played 38 minutes, 59 seconds during the game with no field-goal attempts. Anthony set an NBA playoff record for most minutes played in a game without a field-goal attempt.
NEAL SAVES SPURS SEASON
Gary Neal's buzzer-beating three-pointer forced overtime and the Spurs stayed alive in the playoffs with a 110-103 victory over the Grizzlies. Prior to Neal, the last NBA player to make a game-tying three-point field goal with less than one second remaining in the fourth quarter of a playoff game was the Pistons' Chauncey Billups in 2004 against the Nets. New Jersey won that game in triple overtime.
This was the first time in Spurs history that they avoided elimination from an NBA playoff series with an overtime win.
PADRES SET SHUTOUT RECORD
From Elias: The Padres lost 7-0 to the Braves on Wednesday, the seventh time this season that San Diego failed to score in a game. No other team in major-league history was shut out seven times in one season before the end of April.
CANO'S HOMER IS ALL YANKEES NEED
From Elias: Robinson Cano's three-run homer off Mark Buehrle in the first inning was all the offense that the Yankees needed in their 3-1 win against the White Sox. Buehrle had not given up a home run in the first inning in any of his 44 previous starts. Among major-league pitchers who have made at least one start in 2011, only Justin Masterson (51) and Trevor Cahill (46) have now not allowed a first inning homer in any of their last 40 or more starts.
ETHIER TIES DODGERS RECORD FOR APRIL HITTING STREAK
From Elias: Andre Ethier tied a modern (since 1900) Dodgers record on Wednesday with a hit in 24 consecutive games played in April. Ron Cey had a 24-game hitting streak of that type spanning 1976 to 1977, as did Steve Garvey from 1978 to 1979.
Ethier's game-winning homer in the 10th inning against the Marlins gave him 38 hits in 100 at-bats this season. Ethier also started 38-for-100 last year, but while he had 10 home runs and 32 RBIs to that point in 2010, his game-winning blast gave him only three homers and 15 runs batted in this season.
GORDON AND FRANCOEUR JOIN A-ROD AND JETER
From Elias: Alex Gordon's hitting streak ended at 19 games on Wednesday night, but Jeff Francoeur went 2-for-4 against the Indians, and he now has a hit in 16 consecutive games. Only one other pair of major-league teammates since 1900 each had a hitting streak of 15 or more games before the end of April in the same season. Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter did that in 2007, with A-Rod fashioning an 18-game streak and Jeter hitting in 17 straight games before May 1.
JIMMY ROLLS IN ARIZONA
From Elias: Jimmy Rollins was 2-for-5 with a home run and three runs batted in, helping the Phillies beat the Diamondbacks. Rollins entered that game with only two RBIs this season, which had tied him with Derrek Lee for the fewest among all major-league players who started every one of their team's games in 2011.
BREWERS' HEART SHUT DOWN
From Elias: Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder and Casey McGehee, the Brewers' 3-4-5 hitters, each went 0-for-4 in Wednesday's loss to the Reds. Entering the game, the heart of Milwaukee's order was batting .330 this season, the second-highest in that majors from those slots in the lineup, with an MLB-leading 55 RBIs.
SCOTT GOES DEEP AGAINST BECKETT AGAIN
From Elias: Luke Scott's home run in the Orioles' 5-4 win over the Red Sox was the third of his career against Josh Beckett, tying his career-high off any pitcher. Beckett's in good company; the other pitcher off whom Scott has gone deep three times is Roy Halladay.
BERKMAN EXTENDS HIS MULTI-HIT STREAK
From Elias: Lance Berkman, who was 2-for-4 with an RBI in the Cardinals' win against the Astros, has at least two hits in each of his last six games. That's the longest multi-hit game streak in the major leagues this season and it's one shy of the longest such streak of Berkman's career.
MURPHY'S TWO CLUTCH HITS SPARK COMEBACK
From Elias: Daniel Murphy's game-tying home run in the eighth inning at Washington was the first lead-changing home run of his major-league career in the seventh inning or later. Murphy then added a two-run double in the ninth inning to increase his batting average with men in scoring position this season to .533 (8-for-15).
PIRATES BLANK GIANTS AT HOME
From Elias: The Pirates, who defeated the Giants 2-0 in Pittsburgh, have now won seven home games over the last three seasons in which they scored two or fewer runs. Three of those seven wins have come against San Francisco, with no more than one versus any other team.
ROUGH NIGHT AT COMERICA
From Elias: It was a rough night for the fans at Comerica Park, who watched the Tigers make four fielding errors and lose to the Mariners, 10-1. It was only the second time in the last 20 years that Detroit lost a home game by at least nine runs and committed four or more errors in the process.
HORTON SCORES SECOND OVERTIME GOAL
From Elias: Nathan Horton's second overtime goal of the series was the decider for the Bruins in Game 7 of their first-round series against the Canadiens. Horton, who also scored the OT winner in Game 5, is only the second player in Bruins history to score more than one overtime goal in a playoff series. Mel "Sudden Death" Hill scored three OT goals in Boston's 1939 Semi-Final matchup against the Rangers. Hill remains the only NHL player ever to score three overtime goals in one playoff series.
POWER OUTAGE DOESN'T STOP BRUINS
From Elias: The Bruins won their first-round series against the Canadiens, but Boston also became only the second team in NHL history to go through a playoff series of seven games without scoring at least one power play goal in that series. The first instance was by the Bruins in their seven-game loss to the Canadiens in the 1952 Semi-Finals.
RECCHI IS OLDEST TO SCORE GOAL IN GAME 7
From Elias: Forty-three-year-old Mark Recchi became the oldest NHL player to score a goal in a Game 7 when he tallied the Bruins' second goal against the Canadiens on Wednesday night. Recchi smashed the record set exactly one year earlier (April 27, 2010) by Nicklas Lidstrom, who was one day short of his 40th birthday when he scored a goal for the Red Wings in the seventh game of their first-round series against the Coyotes.
LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE FOR PENGUINS
From Elias: The Lightning won, 1-0, in Game 7 of their first-round series against the Penguins with two former Islanders playing the key roles: Sean Bergenheim, who scored the goal for Tampa Bay, and goaltender Dwayne Roloson, who stopped all 36 shots on goal by Pittsburgh. It was only the sixth 1-0 Game 7 in NHL playoff history and the first since 2002, when Colorado's Patrick Roy edged San Jose by the minimum score in a second-round seventh game. The Penguins are the first team to lose two Game Sevens by a 1-0 score. In 1975, Chico Resch and the Islanders completed their comeback from a three-games-to-none deficit versus the Penguins with a 1-0 win in Game 7 at Pittsburgh.