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Rockets: 2 Straight Games With A 30-10 Man And A 20-10 Man
From Elias: Chandler Parsons had 31 points and 10 rebounds while Dwight Howard added 24 points and 12 rebounds as the Rockets stopped the Trail Blazers, 126-113. It was the second straight game in which one Houston player produced a 30-10 (points-rebounds) game and another went for 20-10; in Saturday's win over the Bucks, Terrence Jones went for 36 and 11, Howard for 20 and 14. It's the first time since February 2012, when the Timberwolves did it, that any NBA team has had a 30-10 player and a 20-10 player in each of two successive games; and it's the first time the Rockets have done that since 1996, when Hakeem Olajuwon and Charles Barkley did it on November 30, and then Barkley and Clyde Drexler followed suit on December 2.
High-Scoring Hawks, At Home, Handle Heat
From Elias: Paul Millsap scored 26 points, leading seven Hawks players who were good for at least a dozen points, as the Hawks captured an unusual 121-114 victory from the visiting Heat. Atlanta led at halftime, 71-70, in the first NBA game in more than four years in which each team reached the 70-point plateau over the first 24 minutes. (The last NBA game like that was a Suns-Warriors game the day after Christmas of 2009, in which Phoenix led at the half by the same 71-70 score.)
Furthermore, Monday's Heat-Hawks contest was only the third in the history of the NBA in which each team scored 70-plus points in the first half, but neither team scored moiré than 50 points in the second half. The last such game was played on Dec. 27, 1980, when the Nuggets defeated the 76ers, 125-121, after the score had been tied, 75-75, at the half.
For the Heat, Monday's loss represented the second straight time that 114 points were not enough for Miami to win. The last time that Eric Spoelstra's team scored that many points, at home on January 2, it lost to the Warriors, 123-114. Prior to that loss to Golden State, the Heat had been 41-0 when scoring more than 110 points in regulation-length games since LeBron James joined the team in 2010.
Bulls Hand Lakers A Rare Overtime Loss
From Elias: Taj Gibson's layup at the overtime buzzer provided the winning points in the Bulls' 102-100 victory over the Lakers. It was Chicago's second extra-time win within six days, having won a triple-overtime contest at Orlando on Wednesday. And it lifted Chicago's all-time record in overtime games above the .500 mark: 115 wins, 114 losses.
The loss ended the Lakers' seven-game winning streak in extra-session games; in fact, the Lakers had won 23 of their last 26 overtime games, dating back to 2008. No other team in NBA history had ever won 23 out of a span of 26 games that had required an extra period.
If that wasn't unusual enough, take a look at the boxscore. No starter on either team scored more than 20 points, yet Nick Young of Los Angeles (31 points) and D.J. Augustin of Chicago (27) each came off the bench to take scoring honors for their respective teams. It was the first NBA game since 1970 in which no starter scored more than 20 points, but one team had a 30-point scorer and the other had a 25-point scorer off the bench.
Nets Clobber Knicks At MSG, Avenging Knicks' Big Win In Brooklyn Last Month
From Elias: The Nets won for the seventh time in their last eight games with a dominating 103-80 victory over the crosstown Knicks at Madison Square Garden in the teams' second meeting this season. When the teams played in Brooklyn on December 5, the Knicks came away 113-83 winners.
Believe it or not, that marked only the second time in NBA's 68-year history that division opponents had traded road wins by margins of more than 20 points within the same season. The only other time that happened also involved the Knicks: on Feb. 28, 1961, the Celtics drubbed the Knicks, 142-116, at the old Garden in New York, as eight future Hall of Famers each contributed 13 or more points. Just 17 days earlier, the Knicks had somehow earned a 129-107 decision at Boston Garden against a Celtics squad that included those same eight future Hall-of-Famers on the court and another, coach Red Auerbach, on the sidelines. Richie Guerin scored 40 points and Willie Naulls 34 in that game, overcoming Bill Russell's 33 rebounds.
Knicks: Sub-35-Percent Shooting In A 2nd Straight Game
From Elias: The Knicks shot connected on only 24 of 71 field-goal attempts against the Nets on Monday, a season-low rate of 33.8 percent, which actually was only a slightly lower accuracy rate that they had demonstrated in their previous game - a 109-95 loss to the Clippers on Friday in which they shot 34.9 percent from the floor. Get this: This marked the first time in nearly 55 years - since Feb. 20 and 21, 1959 - that the Knicks had lost two straight games and had shot below 35 percent from the floor in each. Back in 1959, New York dropped consecutive contests to the Lakers - that's the Minneapolis Lakers - and the Pistons, shooting 33.9 percent and 34.0 percent, respectively. How long ago was that? Each of those games was the first game of one of those all-NBA doubleheaders with which the schedules of the 1950s were populated: the Knicks-Lakers game was played in Detroit, and the Knicks-Pistons game in Philadelphia.
Additionally, the Knicks' recent losses to the Clippers and the Nets marked the first time in the shot-clock era - that's since the autumn of 1954 - that the Knicks have lost two consecutive games, both at home, shooting less than 35 percent from the floor in each game.
Randolph's 20-20 Game, Though Special, Not Enough, As Pelicans Top Grizzlies
From Elias: Zach Randolph's totals of 23 points and 20 rebounds weren't enough as the visiting Pelicans took a 95-92 decision from the Grizzlies, ending streaks of five straight Memphis wins and eight straight New Orleans losses. It was the first time since 2005 that an NBA team that had lost at least eight in a row earned a road victory against team that had won its last five or more games; back in 2005, the Knicks, losers of nine straight, surprised the Pacers, winners of their last six, 113-112, in overtime in Indianapolis.
But Randolph's game was noteworthy not only because it was a 20/20 game - it was actually the significantly more uncommon 20/10/10 game, meaning that his 20 rebounds were divided into 10 off the offensive glass and 10 on the defensive end. Since the calendar year 2013 began, the only other NBA player to have a game like that was Reggie Evans, for the Nets last March 27; he had 22 points, with 12 offensive and 14 defensive boards in a victory at Portland. But it was the third such game of Randolph's career, the most by any active player. He had 31 points and 25 (10+15) rebounds for Memphis in a win over the Knicks in February 2010, and had 24 points and 21 (10+11) rebounds in a loss to the Spurs in December 2010.
Clippers Win A Dunkathon
From Elias: DeAndre Jordan had 16 points and 21 rebounds and led a Clippers dunkfest in the team's 112-103 road victory over the Pistons. It was the sixth game in Jordan's NBA career in which he collected 20 or more rebounds; his 16-point total represented his top scoring effort in any of those games. And of Jordan's eight field goals, seven came on dunks, the most by any NBA player in any game this season.
More on the dunkfest... Jordan threw down four of them in the first quarter - the second time this season that he has done that... He also had four dunks in the opening quarter of the Clippers' first game this season, against the Lakers on October 29. No other NBA player has had four dunks in an opening quarter this season, and only two others (Phoenix's Miles Plumlee and Houston's Terrence Jones) have had four throwdowns in any quarter this season... The Clippers' total of seven first-quarter dunks (Blake Griffin had the other three) was the highest by any NBA team in any quarter since the Clippers themselves had seven in the third quarter of a game against Phoenix last April 3.
Jefferson Achieves A Couple Of Firsts In Bobcats Victory
From Elias: Al Jefferson generated 10 points and 10 rebounds in the first quarter, the Bobcats eventually took a 30-point lead, and then Charlotte held on to win, 100-95, over the visiting Raptors. Jefferson became the first NBA player this season, and also the first player in franchise history, to enjoy a double-double in the first quarter of a game.
Charlotte had only two offensive rebounds in the game, compared with 34 defensive rebounds for Toronto. That offensive-rebounding percentage (5.6 percent) was the second-lowest by any team in an NBA game this season; the Heat had a figure of 5.4 percent (two offensive rebounds compared with 35 defensive rebounds by the Cavaliers) in a win at Cleveland on November 27. Oddly, the last six NBA teams with a single-game offensive-rebounding rate below six percent each won the game in question, dating back to December of 2012.
Marion Equals Career-High Field-Goal Percentage In Mavs' Win
From Elias: Thirty-five-year-old Shawn Marion scored eight first-quarter points as the Mavericks took an early lead; then, after much of a 24-point lead had dissipated, Marion made his team's final field goal of the game to help secure a 102-97 victory at Cleveland. Marion made seven of his eight field-goal attempts during the game (including two of three three-pointers); remarkably, that success rate of 87.5 percent matched his highest in any of the 908 games in his NBA career in which he has made at least four field goals. He shot 87.5 percent in just one of those other games, making seven of eight shots in a win for the Suns over the Hawks on Jan. 29, 2008.
Beal: Not Yet A Triple-Double, But A Triple-8
From Elias: Bradley Beal contributed 22 points, nine rebounds and eight assists to the Wizards' 107-99 victory over the 76ers. It was the first time in Beal's two-year NBA career that he got eight-tenths of the way toward a triple-double. Previously, his best effort got seven-tenths of the way there, with 26 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in a win at Cleveland on November 20 of this season.
Panthers Upset Victors To Snap Penguins' Home Winning Streak
From Elias: The Penguins' 13-game winning streak at Consol Energy Center came to a crashing halt when they lost, 5-1, to the Panthers. It was only the third time in NHL history that single-season home winning streak of 13-plus games ended with a loss by a margin of four or more goals. The previous instances were in March 1965, when the Red Wings saw their 14-game winning streak at Olympia Stadium stopped by a 4-0 loss to the Maple Leafs, and in March 2013, when the Ducks' streak of 13 consecutive wins at Honda Center ended with a 5-1 loss to the Red Wings.
Kessel Stays Hot
From Elias: Phil Kessel extended his point streak to six games when he had a goal and an assist to help the Maple Leafs to a 4-2 win at Phoenix. Kessel has tallied at least two points in five of his last six games, and his total of 12 points during his point streak (four goals, eight assists) is his highest over any six-game span within one season since Oct. 8-22, 2011, when he set a career high with 13 points over six games.
Marchand Scores 2 More Goals, And This Time Bruins Win
From Elias: Brad Marchand scored two goals in the Bruins' shootout loss to the Blackhawks in Chicago on Sunday and he did it again in Boston's home-ice win over the Kings on Monday. Marchand is only the second Bruins player to score at least two goals in each of two consecutive team games over the last five seasons. The other player was the guy who assisted on both of Marchand's goals in Monday's game (and his first goal on Sunday), Patrice Bergeron, who had back-to-back two-goal games against the Devils and Flames on Jan. 4-5, 2012.
Okposo Hits 20-Goal Mark After Only 4 Goals Last Season
From Elias: Kyle Okposo reached the 20-goal mark for the second time in his NHL career with a power play goal that tied the score at 3-3 for the Islanders late in the third period of their game against the Flyers; the Isles went on to win in a shootout. Okposo scored 24 goals in 79 games two seasons ago, but he scored only four times while playing in all 48 games in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season. Okposo's 16-goal increase this season over his 2012-13 total ties the Blues' Alexander Steen for the largest goal gain in 2013-14 among NHL players who appeared in at least 40 games last season. Steen has scored 24 goals in 37 games this season, after tallying only eight in 40 games for St. Louis in 2012-13.
Islanders Have Seen Enough Of Read
From Elias: Matt Read scored two goals for the Flyers when they completed their four-game season series against the Islanders with a 4-3 shootout loss at Nassau Coliseum. Read put in six goals in Philadelphia's four games versus the Islanders this season, with at least one goal in each game, though he has scored only seven goals in 39 games against other NHL teams. Since the 1998-99 season, the only other Flyers player to score at least a half-dozen goals against the Islanders in one season was Scott Hartnell, who had seven (in eight games) in 2007-08.
Counter-intuitive: When Hutton Sees A Lot Of Shots, He Usually Wins
From Elias: Nashville goaltender Carter Hutton earned his 10th win of the season by making 35 saves in a 4-1 victory against the Stars. Hutton is 8-1-0 with a 2.29 goals-against average in the nine games in which he has faced 30 or more shots on goal this season, but his record is only 2-6-2 in games in which there were fewer than 30 shots on target against him.
Blues Get Backline Scoring In Road Win Over Red Wings
From Elias: Barret Jackman, Kevin Shattenkirk and Jay Bouwmeester each scored a goal for the Blues in their 4-1 win in Detroit. Over the last 12 seasons, the only other game in which three St. Louis defensemen scored goals was a 6-1 home-ice victory against the Stars on Oct. 16, 2008. The Blues backliners with goals in that game were Eric Brewer, Jay McKee and Steve Wagner.