Date: May 16, 2011

Elias Says...

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

NBA

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Durant

DURANT AND WESTBROOK JOIN FAMED COMPANY

From Elias: Kevin Durant scored 39 points and Russell Westbrook had 14 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds in the Thunder's victory over the Grizzlies in Game 7 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals.

Five other pairs of teammates in NBA history had a playoff game in which one scored at least 39 points and the other had a triple double. In each case, the duo was comprised of two Hall-of-Famers: Wilt Chamberlain and Tom Gola, twice (Philadelphia Warriors, 1960), Jerry West and Elgin Baylor (Lakers, 1964), Hal Greer and Chamberlain (76ers, 1967), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson (Lakers, 1980), and Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, twice (Bulls, 1992-93).

Westbrook became the fifth player in NBA history to register a triple-double in Game Seven of a playoff series, joining a quartet of Hall-of-Famers: Jerry West (1969), Larry Bird (1984), James Worthy (1988) and Scottie Pippen (1992).

Oklahoma City Thunder, Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls

BULLS WIN WITH STRONG SECOND HALF

From Elias: The Bulls and Heat were tied 48-48 at halftime, but Chicago went on to win Game 1 of their series, 103-82. It was only the third time in the last 40 seasons that a team won a Conference Finals or NBA Finals game by more than 20 points after it did not hold a lead at halftime.

The 76ers defeated the Lakers 135-102 in Game 5 of the 1982 Finals, after those two teams were tied at intermission, and the Jazz beat the Spurs 109-83 in Game 3 of the 2007 Western Conference Finals, after Utah trailed by four points at the half.

Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers, Utah Jazz, San Antonio Spurs

MLB

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Posada

POSADA CONTROVERSY PUTS JONES IN HISTORIC COMPANY

From Elias: When Jorge Posada (with his 267 career home runs) said that he could not play on Saturday night, whom did Joe Girardi tap to take his spot in the nine-hole? None other than Andruw Jones - who has 408 career home runs! It was the first start in Jones's major-league career in which he batted ninth, and he became only the second player in major-league history with at least 400 home runs to his credit to start in the nine-hole of a major-league game.

The only other player to do it was none other than the Hall-of-Famer Jimmie Foxx. Well past his prime, Foxx joined the Phillies for the 1945 season, when most regular major-league players were in military service in the final year of World War II. Foxx mostly played first and third base for the Phillies, but he also pitched in nine games, including two late-season starts when the schedule was jammed up with doubleheaders. Phillies manager Ben Chapman decided to bat Foxx ninth in his two starts as a pitcher, and so Foxx, of all people, is the record-holder for most career homers by a ninth-place hitter in a starting lineup. He had hit 531 career homers at the time of the first of those games (Aug. 19, 1945) and had hit 532 homers at the time of his second start as a pitcher (Sept. 2, 1945). (Foxx finished his career with 534 homers, at the time second to Babe Ruth's 714.)

New York Yankees

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Uggla

UGGLA TAGS HALLADAY FOR GAME-WINNING HOMER

From Elias: Dan Uggla's eighth-inning home run broke a 2-2 tie and gave the Braves a 3-2 victory over the Phillies. Uggla became only the third player to hit a game-winning homer off Roy Halladay in the eighth inning or later. The others were Justin Morneau in 2009 and Jay Bruce in 2010.

Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies, Cincinnati Reds, Minnesota Twins

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Kinsler

KINSLER OWNS SANTANA

From Elias: Ian Kinsler went 4-for-4 in the Rangers' win over the Angels on Sunday, getting all four hits off Ervin Santana. Kinsler is now 6-for-6 with a walk against Santana this season, the best for any major-league player off one pitcher in 2011 (no one else is even 5-for-5 against one pitcher).

Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Angels

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Bautista

BAUTISTA HITS HIS TARGET

From Elias: Jose Bautista became the first player to hit three home runs in a game at pitcher-friendly Target Field on Sunday, leading the Blue Jays to an 11-3 win. No player, for the Twins or an opponent, hit three home runs in one game at the Metrodome, during the Twins' final 15 seasons playing in that stadium (1995-2009). The last player to go deep three times in that building coincidentally also did so for Toronto: Darnell Coles on July 5, 1994.

Toronto Blue Jays, Minnesota Twins

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Braun

BRAUN JOINS MOLITOR IN BREWERS HISTORY

From Elias: Ryan Braun hit a three-run homer in the first inning and an RBI triple in the second inning, igniting Milwaukee's 9-6 win against Pittsburgh. Only one other player in Brewers history hit a home run and a triple within the first two innings of the same game: Paul Molitor, who did that twice, 12 years apart, each time against the Yankees (in 1979 and 1991).

Milwaukee Brewers, Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Yankees

MARQUIS HITS TWO-RUN DOUBLE IN FIRST INNING

From Elias: Jason Marquis belted a two-run double to climax a six-run first inning for the Nationals, paving the way for Washington's 8-4 win against the Marlins. Marquis became only the second pitcher in the 43-year history of the Expos/Nationals franchise to drive in two runs in the first inning of a game. Dennis Martinez did that for Montreal in 1987 at Olympic Stadium against the Phillies.

Washington Nationals, Florida Marlins, Philadelphia Phillies

RED SOX REACH .500

From Elias: The Red Sox, who were 2-10 earlier this season, improve to 20-20 with Sunday night's win against the Yankees. Prior to Boston, the last team to make it back to .500 as early as 40 (or fewer) games into a season after previously falling eight games below .500 was the 2005 Yankees, who were 11-19, and then won eight straight games.

Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees

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Carpenter

REDS FINALLY NAIL CARPENTER

From Elias: Chris Carpenter had won 10 consecutive decisions against the Reds before Sunday's loss in Cincinnati. Brandon Phillips sent Carpenter to the showers with a two-run double in the seventh inning, giving Cincinnati a 6-2 lead. Two more runs were charged to Carpenter in that frame, when reliever Trever Miller gave up a two-run double to Jay Bruce. It was the first time in Carpenter's 20-start, 141 1/3-inning history against the Reds, that he allowed four earned runs in one inning.

St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds

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Delaney

NO WALK IN THE PARK FOR DELANEY

From Elias: Rays reliever Rob Delaney faced three Orioles batters in the sixth inning, walked all three of them (one intentionally) and then watched all of them come around to score when J.J. Hardy hit a grand-slam homer off Cesar Ramos. Only two other active pitchers have faced at least three batters in a game, walked every one of them, and were charged for a run scored by every batter they faced: Fernando Rodney (2009 Tigers) and Carlos Villanueva (2007 Brewers).

Tampa Bay Rays, Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles Angels, Detroit Tigers, Toronto Blue Jays, Milwaukee Brewers

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Ludwick

LUDWICK LOVES COORS

From Elias: Ryan Ludwick, who hit a three-run homer in the Padres' win in Denver on Sunday, is 21-for-52 (.404) at Coors Field, his highest batting average at any major-league park in which he has had at least 10 at-bats.

San Diego Padres, Colorado Rockies

NHL

CANUCKS DRAW FIRST BLOOD AGAIN

From Elias: The Canucks came from behind in the third period to beat the Sharks, 3-2, in Game One of the Western Conference Final. The Canucks have won their last seven playoff series openers, a franchise record and the longest current streak of its kind for any NHL team. Since 1995, the only other NHL team to win seven or more consecutive Game Ones was the Red Wings with a streak of nine in a row from 2007 to 2009.

Vancouver Canucks, San Jose Sharks, Detroit Red Wings


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