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GRIZZLIES HAVE THEIR OWN "BIG TWO"
From Elias: Zach Randolph scored 34 points and grabbed ten rebounds and Marc Gasol contributed 20 points and 13 rebounds as the Grizzlies topped the Thunder at Oklahoma City. It was only the third time since the 1978 playoffs that a visiting team had one player go 30/10 (points/rebounds) and another go 20/10 in a playoff series opener. Tim Duncan (32/10) and David Robinson (26/15) did it for the Spurs in their 1998 playoff opener at Phoenix (a 102-96 win); Kobe Bryant (45/10) and Shaquille O'Neal (28/11) turned the trick in Game 1 of the Conference Finals at San Antonio in 2001 (a 104-90 win).
TWO TEAMMATES OUTSCORE LEBRON
From Elias: Dwyane Wade scored 38 points and James Jones chipped in 25 points off the bench, outscoring LeBron James (22 points), as the Heat rolled to a Game 1 victory over the Celtics. It was the second straight playoff game in which James was outscored by two or more of his teammates (also in Miami's first-round clincher against the 76ers). That happened in only two of LeBron's 75 previous playoff games (both in losses with the Cavaliers).
25 POINTS WITHOUT A TWO-POINT FIELD GOAL
From Elias: James Jones made five of seven field-goal attempts, all from three point range, and he made all ten of his free throws to accumulate 25 points. The only other player ever to score as many as 25 points in a NBA playoff game without making a two-point field goal was Chicago's Scottie Pippen, who did it against Utah in Game 3 of the 1997 NBA Finals (27 points: 0-for-2 on two-point attempts, 7-for-11 from three-point range and 6-for-9 from the free-throw line). Before Jones scored 25 on Sunday, the most points in an NBA playoff game for a player who didn't attempt a two-pointer was 21 by the Lakers Robert Horry, against Utah in Game 2 of the 1997 Conference Semifinals (7-for-7 from the floor, all from beyond the arc, with no free throws).
CRAWFORD A HERO IN BOSTON
From Elias: Carl Crawford erased memories of a dismal April with an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning that gave the Red Sox a 3-2 triumph over the Mariners. It was the seventh walk-off hit of Crawford's big-league career, but his first for Boston. Crawford had six walk-off hits during his nine seasons with Tampa Bay (three homers, a double and two singles), most recently on April 6, 2010. The first walk-off game-winner of Crawford's career was a two-out, three-run homer off Chad Fox that gave the Devil Rays a 6-4 win over the Red Sox in the 2003 season opener.
ASTROS' STARTERS BRING BACK MEMORIES OF RYAN AND SCOTT
From Elias: Bud Norris struck out 11 batters in 7 2/3 shutout innings as the Astros topped the Brewers on Sunday, one day after Wandy Rodriguez fanned six Milwaukee batters in eight shutout innings. It marked the first time that Houston starters had consecutive scoreless outings in which they totaled as many as 17 strikeouts since Sept. 6-7, 1998, when Mike Hampton (7 innings, 5 SO) and Randy Johnson (9 innings, 14 SO) did it.
YOUNG THROWS GEM BUT GETS NO DECISION
From Elias: Chris Young threw seven innings of two-hit shutout ball against the Phillies before the Mets' bullpen relinquished a 1-0 lead in the eighth inning. It was the ninth start of Young's career, all since 2005, in which he pitched at least seven innings while allowing no runs and two or fewer hits. That ties Young with Jake Peavy for the most such starts for any pitcher over that span (2005-2011).
YANKEES USE THE LONG BALL TO THEIR ADVANTAGE
From Elias: Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson homered for the Yankees in their 5-2 win against the Blue Jays. Through 25 games this season the Yankees have hit 26 more homers than they've allowed (45-19). In major-league history, only two other teams averaged over a homer per game more than their opponents through their first 25 games of a season. The 2003 Yankees hit 38 more homers than their opponents through 25 games (48-10) and the 1988 Mets outhomered their opponents by 26 at that juncture of the season (37-11).
FIVE FISH GO DEEP
From Elias: Hanley Ramirez, Greg Dobbs, John Buck, Mike Stanton and Emilio Bonifacio each homered for the Marlins as they defeated the Reds, 9-5, at Great American Ball Park. It was the second game in franchise history in which five different players homered for Florida. The Marlins hit a club-record six home runs, by five different players, in a 10-6 win at Houston on April 11, 2008: Jeremy Hermida (2), Hanley Ramirez, Mike Jacobs, Jorge Cantu and Mike Rabelo.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES
From Elias: The Pirates scored four second-inning runs off Ubaldo Jimenez and sent him to the showers after four innings on their way to an 8-4 victory at Colorado. Jimenez is 0-2 with a 7.20 ERA in four starts this season, after winning his first four starts in 2010 while posting a 0.95 ERA. He didn't suffer his second defeat of 2010 until his 20th start of the season (July 24).
ANOTHER LOSS FOR THE WHITE SOX
From Elias: The Orioles handed the White Sox their fifth straight defeat, after Chicago lost seven in a row last month (April 13-20). Eleven different major-league teams have had losing streaks of five or more games this season, but the White Sox are the only team with two streaks of that length.
WALK-OFF PINCH-HIT FOR CONRAD
From Elias: Brooks Conrad's pinch-hit RBI single off Ryan Franklin in the bottom of the ninth gave the Braves a 6-5 win over the Cardinals. It was the second walk-off pinch-hit of Conrad's career; he hit a game-ending pinch-hit grand slam off Cincinnati's Francisco Cordero on May 20, 2010. Conrad is the first player with a pair of walk-off pinch-hits for the Braves since Brian Hunter had three from 1992 to 2000.
UNLUCKY SEVENS IN THE CARDS
From Elias: The Cardinals' loss in Atlanta on Sunday was their seventh of the season in games in which they led in the seventh inning or later. No other major-league team has more than four such losses this year.
TIGERS CAN'T BUY A WIN IN CLEVELAND
From Elias: The Indians extended their home winning streak to 13 games by completing a three-game sweep of the Tigers. It was the Tribe's 11th consecutive home victory against Detroit, a streak that extends back to May 9, 2010. Only one major-league team has a longer current home winning streak against a particular opponent than the Indians have against the Tigers. The Blue Jays have 14 straight victories against the Orioles at Rogers Centre (since Aug. 8, 2009).
NATIONALS WIN WITH PUDGE
From Elias: Ivan Rodriguez went 2-for-4 on Sunday, including a two-run single in the eighth inning that gave the Nationals a three-run cushion in their 5-2 win over the Giants. Rodriguez was 0-for-10 over his first three starts of the season but he's 10-for-33 (.303) with ten RBIs in nine starts since then, with Washington posting a 7-2 record in those games.
FIVE RBI SINGLES IN ONE INNING
From Elias: The Rays built a 5-0 lead in the first inning on RBI singles by B.J. Upton, Matt Joyce, Casey Kotchman, Felipe Lopez and John Jaso before the Angels chipped away to post a 6-5 come-from-behind victory. No major-league team had five RBI singles in one inning during the 2010 season, but the Rays were the second team to do it this year, joining the Cardinals, who did it only three days earlier (at Houston on Thursday night).
MOSELEY SHUTS DOWN THE DODGERS
From Elias: Dustin Moseley allowed three hits in seven innings and he combined with two Padres relievers to shut out the Dodgers, 7-0. It was the first of Moseley's 38 career starts in the majors in which he pitched five or more innings and didn't allow a run.
TWINS FALL TEN GAMES OFF THE PACE
From Elias: The Twins' loss at Kansas City, coupled with the Indians' victory over the Tigers, dropped Minnesota (9-18) to ten games behind Cleveland (19-8) in the AL Central. It's the fewest games into a season that the Twins have faced a double-digit deficit in their division since 1988, when they were ten games behind the first place Athletics in the AL West after 25 games.
WHEN WALLIN SCORES IT'S A GAME-WINNER
From Elias: Niclas Wallin's second-period goal proved to be the winner for the Sharks in their 2-1 victory in Game 2 of their series against the Red Wings. The 10-year-veteran defenseman has scored only four playoff goals in his NHL career but all four have been game-winning goals. Wallin, whose first three playoff goals were scored in overtime for the Carolina Hurricanes (two in 2002, one in 2006), is only the second player in NHL history whose first four postseason goals were game-winners. The first was forward Gus Bodnar, who scored only four playoff goals in his 12-year career. The first three were for the Maple Leafs in 1945 and the last one with Chicago in 1953.
LECAVALIER NETS A PAIR
From Elias: Vincent Lecavalier's second goal of the game earned the Lightning a 3-2 overtime victory on Sunday and a two-games-to-none lead in their series against the Capitals. It was the sixth two-goal game of Lecavalier's NHL playoff career. Since 2003, when he made his postseason debut, the only other players with as many multiple-goal games in the playoffs as Lecavalier are Marian Hossa (8), Henrik Zetterberg (8), Patrick Marleau (7) and Evgeni Malkin (6).