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MAVS AVENGE 4TH-QTR MELTDOWN AT PORTLAND WITH WIN AT OKC
From Elias: The Mavericks overcame a 15-point fourth-quarter deficit to drag the Thunder into overtime where Dallas finished the job, winning in Oklahoma City, 112-105. It was the second time in the 2011 playoffs that a team has won a game after overcoming a fourth-quarter deficit of 15-or-more points; the Trail Blazers overcame an 18-point Dallas lead to win a first-round game on April 23. Prior to this year, no NBA team had won a playoff game by overcoming a fourth-quarter deficit of 15-or-more points in any of the last eight years.
NOWITZKI: 48 IN GAME 1, 40 IN GAME 4
From Elias: Dirk Nowitzki scored 40 points, making 12 of 20 field-goal attempts, in the Mavericks' win in Game Four of the Western Conference Finals. In Game One of the series, he scored 48 points, making 12 of 15 field-goal attempts (while going 24-for-24 from the foul line).
Nowitzki became the first NBA player to enjoy two games in the same playoff series in which he scored 40 points and shot at least 60 percent from the floor since Shaquille O'Neal had a pair of games like that for the Lakers in the 2000 Finals against the Pacers.
THUNDER WINS BATTLE OF BOARDS, LOSES BATTLE OF POINTS
From Elias: The Thunder lost to the Mavericks despite out-rebounding the visitors, 55 to 33, becoming the first NBA team in just over 25 years to lose a playoff game in which it had such a wide rebounding advantage. The last such game came on April 18, 1986, when the Washington Bullets defeated the 76ers, 95-94, although Philadelphia won the battle of the boards, 58 to 29.
TWO 30-HOMER MEN FROM 2010 HIT THEIR FIRST IN 2011
From Elias: Josh Hamilton, who hit 32 home runs in 2010, hit his first home run of the 2011 season in the Rangers' game against the White Sox, and Corey Hart, who went deep 31 times last year, hit his first three home runs this season in the Brewers' game against the Nationals. Entering play on Monday, Hamilton and Hart were the only two major-league players who hit 30 or more home runs in 2010 who had not homered in 2011.
HART: 3 HOMERS AND 7 RBI IN BREWERS WIN OVER NATS
From Elias: Corey Hart hit three home runs (his first homers of the season) and drove in seven runs in the Brewers' 11-3 win against the Nationals. Hart, batting in the #2 spot for Milwaukee on Monday, was only the second player in the last 50 seasons (1962-2011) to record three homers and at least seven RBI in one game from second slot in the batting order. Bobby Higginson had a three-homer, seven-RBI day for the Tigers while batting second against the Mets on June 30, 1997.
Hart was the first major-league player to hit his first three home runs of a season in one game since 2005, when Dmitri Young belted three homers for the Tigers in their season opener.
ASDRUBAL CABRERA: 8 HITS IN 2 GAMES
From Elias: Asdrubal Cabrera, who was 5-for-5 with two home runs against the Reds on Sunday, recorded three hits (including one home run) in four at-bats in the Indians' 3-2 win over the Red Sox on Monday. Cabrera's eight hits over his last two games match the highest two-game hit total in the major leagues this season. The Padres' Cameron Maybin did it with consecutive four-hit games earlier this month (May 11-13).
OGANDO'S FIRST BIG-LEAGUE SHUTOUT
From Elias: Alexi Ogando pitched the first shutout of his major-league career when he beat the White Sox, 4-0, on Monday night, holding Chicago to five hits, all singles. Ogando who was used exclusively in relief in 2010, his first year in the big leagues, is 5-0 with a 1.81 ERA in nine starts for Texas this season. The only two active pitchers who posted a lower earned-run average in their first nine major-league starts than Ogando are Jaime Garcia (1.66) and Josh Johnson (1.80).
PHILLIES' 7-RUN INNING
From Elias: The Phillies set a team high for runs scored in one inning this year when they pushed seven men across the plate in the third inning of their 10-3 win over the Reds on Monday night. The seven runs were more than the Phillies scored in any two of their previous nine games, a span over which they managed to score a total of 15 runs, with no more than three runs in any single game.
ASTROS' 9TH-INNING COMEBACK WIN
From Elias: The Astros, trailing 3-1, scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the Dodgers, 4-3. It was the first time that the Astros won a game in which they trailed by two runs in the ninth inning or later since Aug. 2, 2008 against the Mets in Houston. Before their comeback win on Monday the Astros had lost the last 178 games in which they trailed by at least two runs in the ninth inning or in extra innings. That was the longest such streak in Houston franchise history and the longest current streak of its kind in the majors. That distinction now belongs to the Mets, who have lost their last 170 games in such a circumstance.
BAUTISTA'S FIRST-INNING HOME RUN
From Elias: Jose Bautista extended his major league-leading home run total to 19 with a first-inning blast in the Blue Jays' win at Yankee Stadium on Monday. Though Bautista has started in the third slot in the batting order in all 39 games he's played this season and owns a .419 batting average in the first inning (13 hits in 31 at-bats), he's hit only three first-inning homers this year.
PUJOLS GOES DEEP... FINALLY
From Elias: Albert Pujols hit his eighth home run of the season, exactly one month after hitting his seventh, and the Cardinals went on to take a 3-1 victory in San Diego. The blast ended the St. Louis slugger's career-long streak of 105 at-bats without a home run; it was the longest homer drought by a major league player with at least 400 home runs to his credit since Chipper Jones went through a 118-at-bat homerless streak early last season.
CUST ENDS LONGEST HOME-RUN DROUGHT OF MLB CAREER
From Elias: Jack Cust ended his career-high 140-at-bat home-run drought when he hit a two-run shot in the first inning for the Mariners against the Twins. Cust had not homered since the next-to-last day of the 2010 season (October 2), playing for the A's in Seattle. Cust had only one other homerless streak in his major-league career even half as long as the one he ended on Monday night: an 80-at-bat dry spell in 2009.
ROOKIE MARCHAND SCORES GAME-WINNER FOR BRUINS
From Elias: Rookie Brad Marchand's sixth goal of the 2011 playoffs was the game-winner for the Bruins in their 3-1 victory over the Lightning in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final. Marchand's six goals are the most by a Boston rookie in one playoff year since 1988, when four Bruins rookies netted at least six goals: Bob Joyce (8), Craig Janney (6), Bob Sweeney (6) and Glen Wesley (6).