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Miami beats everyone
From Elias: Miami topped the Pacers on Sunday to avenge two earlier defeats at the hands of Indiana (January 8 and February 1). The defending champs have now beaten every other team in the league this season to become the 12th team to do so since the NBA expanded to 30 teams in 2004-2005. But only one of those other 11 teams was able to defeat all 29 opponents within their first 61 games of the season, as has Miami. The 2004-2005 Suns also needed 61 games to register victories against every opponent in the league.
Dallas bench leads the way
From Elias: The Mavericks posted a 100-77 victory at Minnesota with Vince Carter, Elton Brand and Darren Collison coming off the bench to post team highs in points (22), rebounds (12) and assists (eight), respectively. It was only the fifth game in franchise history, and the first since December 23, 1994, in which three different non-starters posted outright team highs for the Mavericks in those three categories. Dallas lost each of its previous four games of that kind. The Mavericks were the fourth NBA team to win a game under those circumstances; the Jazz have won two games in that fashion to go along with one victory each for the Hawks and Pistons.
Paul is just about perfect
From Elias: Chris Paul scored 20 points and handed out 14 assists without being charged with a turnover as the Clippers trounced the Pistons. It was the second time in Paul's NBA career that he reached those levels of points and assists in a game without turning the ball over; his previous game of that kind was for New Orleans on January 6, 2009. Only three NBA players had such games in the interim: Derron Williams (Utah, Dec. 1, 2010), Steve Nash (Phoenix, Dec. 26, 2010) and Rajon Rondo (Boston, March 31, 2011).
From Elias: Kevin Durant scored 23 points and made all 11 of his foul shots while grabbing 11 rebounds as the Thunder turned back the Celtics. Durant joined DeMarcus Cousins (January 14) and Tyson Chandler (February 20) as the only players to go 11-for-11 or better from the free-throw line and collect 11 or more rebounds in an NBA game this season.
It's like old times for Howard
From Elias: Dwight Howard controlled the glass with 21 rebounds in the Lakers' victory over the Bulls. Howard has pulled down at least a dozen rebounds in each of his last ten games to equal the second-longest such streak of his NBA career (and his longest since a career-high 14-game streak for Orlando in 2010-2011). The only other NBA player to grab 12 or more rebounds in each of 10 or more consecutive games this season is Anderson Varejao (12 straight games).
Johnson scores and rebounds
From Elias: Amir Johnson scored 17 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to help the Raptors top the Cavaliers. Chris Bosh registered a dozen 15/15 games (points and rebounds) for Toronto in his final season with the club (in 2009-2010, when he was the only Raptor with even one such game). The Raptors have had only four 15/15 games in three seasons since Bosh's departure, all by Johnson, with three of them coming since February 1.
Back-to-back wins in California
From Elias: The Bucks topped the Kings in Sacramento on Sunday after defeating the Warriors at Oracle Arena the previous night. It was the first time that Milwaukee won games on consecutive days on the West Coast since April 3-4, 2001, also at Sacramento and Golden State.
Late game-winner for Anderson
From Elias: Ryan Anderson's "old-school" three-point play (a two-point field goal and a foul shot) with fewer than two seconds remaining in the game stood up to give the Hornets a 98-96 win over the Trail Blazers. It was only the third time in Anderson's five NBA seasons that he attempted a go-ahead field goal in the final ten seconds of either the fourth quarter or overtime. Anderson missed his two previous shots of that kind, both from three-point range (and both for Orlando, Jan. 19, 2011 and Jan. 18, 2012).
Nelson tops 76ers
From Elias: Jameer Nelson led the Magic over the 76ers with 24 points and 10 assists. It was the ninth 20/10-game (points and assists) of Nelson's NBA career and Orlando is 6-3 in those games despite losing the previous three games in which he did that (two of them this season).
Crosby and Lemieux
From Elias: Sidney Crosby didn't score a goal on Sunday night but he assisted on five goals in the Penguins' 6-1 win over the Islanders. Crosby's five-assist game was the second of his NHL career; he recorded five assists against the Flyers on Dec. 13, 2006. He's the only active NHL player with more than one five-assist game. The only other player in Penguins history to register at least five assists in a game more than once is the man who signs Crosby's paychecks, Pittsburgh's co-owner and chairman Mario Lemieux. Lemieux did that eight times in his NHL career.
Teammates tally five
From Elias: Sidney Crosby (five assists) and Chris Kunitz (three goals, two assists) each tallied five points in the Penguins' win over the Islanders. It was the first time that two NHL teammates each scored five or more points in the same game since October 22, 2009, when Ales Hemsky and Dustin Penner had five-point games for the Oilers against the Blue Jackets. The only other pair of Penguins to do that in a game over the last 15 seasons was Crosby (six points) and Sergei Gonchar (five) on December 13, 2006 versus the Flyers.
Little time to spare
From Elias: Matt Duchene scored his second goal of the game with two-tenths of a second remaining in overtime to earn the Avalanche a 3-2 win against the Sharks. It was the first goal at the 4:59 mark of overtime in an NHL regular-season game since March 18, 2012, when Scott Hartnell scored an OT buzzer-beater for the Flyers against the Penguins, and it was the first such goal in Quebec/Colorado franchise history.
Personal best for Nash
From Elias: Rick Nash's five-game goal-scoring streak came to an end on Sunday afternoon but he did assist of two of the Rangers' four goals in their win at Washington. Nash has scored points in each of the last ten games he's played, which is the longest personal point streak of his NHL career. (He had three nine-game streaks with the Blue Jackets.) Nash has excelled in the six games he's played since returning from a four-game absence due to a concussion, recording points on 11 of the 18 goals the Rangers have scored over that span (six goals, five assists).
From Elias: Michael Ryder scored his first two goals since he was re-acquired by the Canadiens in a trade with the Stars on February 26 in Montreal's 5-2 win at Florida. Ryder's goals were his 100th and 101st regular-season tallies for the Canadiens, making him the 57th player to reach the century mark in goals for the "bleu, blanc et rouge." Three other NHL teams have had at least 50 players scored 100 or more goals for them: Boston (55), the Rangers (54) and Toronto (53).
Bobrovsky turns it around in March
From Elias: Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky extended his winning streak to five games with a 3-2 shootout victory in Detroit on Sunday. Bobrovsky, who had a 3-6-3 record this season when his winning streak began on March 3, is only the third goaltender in Blue Jackets history to win five or more consecutive decisions in one season. The others were Marc Denis, who won six straight games in January/February 2006, and Fredrik Norrena, who won five consecutive decisions in November/December 2006.
Oilers jump on Blackhawks early
From Elias: The Oilers outscored the Blackhawks 4-0 in the first period and then barely held on to post a 6-5 win at Chicago. The Oilers have scored four or more first-period goals in a game three times over the last three seasons and all three instances have been against the Blackhawks. They scored four goals in the first period of their 7-4 win at Chicago on October 29, 2010 and five first-period goals in a 9-2 rout of the Blackhawks in Edmonton on November 19, 2011.
Giroux breaks through against Miller
From Elias: Claude Giroux scored a power play goal against Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller at the 17-second mark of the second period and that goal turned out to be the game-winner in Philadelphia's 3-2 victory. Giroux did not record a point in his first five career games versus Miller (through March 2010), but he's scored 14 points in 10 regular-season games against him since then (four goals, 10 assists) and eight points in seven games in the 2011 playoffs (one goal, seven assists).
Another overtime victory for Hedberg
From Elias: Johan Hedberg stopped all three shots he faced in the shootout that earned him and the Devils a 3-2 win over the Jets on Sunday night. Since the NHL began using the shootout in 2005, Hedberg has recorded 24 percent of his wins via that tiebreaking format (25 of 105). That's the highest percentage of overall wins by shootouts in the last eight seasons for any NHL goaltender with at least 50 total wins over that span. Jonathan Quick is second at 21 percent (29 of 139).
Two at a time for Parise
From Elias: Zach Parise scored two goals for Minnesota in its 4-2 win against the Canucks. It was the third two-goal game of the season for Parise, who's played all 24 games for the Wild this year after signing with them as a free agent during the offseason. That's as many multiple-goal games as Parise recorded while playing in all 82 games for the Devils last season.
Getzlaf at home
From Elias: Ryan Getzlaf extended his home-ice point-scoring streak to ten games with the first of his two assists in the Ducks' 4-2 win over the Blues in Anaheim. Getzlaf is the first NHL player to record points in each of ten consecutive team home games this season and he's the first Ducks player to have a single-season home-ice point scoring streak reach double-figures since Corey Perry in 2010 (11 games, January 5 through March 9).