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Anthony dominates the Lakers
From Elias: Carmelo Anthony followed his 62-point tour de force by scoring 35 points in the Knicks' 110-103 victory over the Lakers. Anthony, who scored 30 and 34 points in his two previous games versus LA, became only the second player in Knicks history to record three straight 30-point efforts against the Lakers. The first was Walt Bellamy, in a span of 25 days during the winter of 1966.
Ex-Celtics are underwhelming winners in return to Boston
From Elias: It was hardly the kind of individual performances that the Nets' four former members of the Celtics would have wanted for the return of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to Boston. Pierce, Garnett, Joe Johnson, and Jason Terry combined for only 21 points, but against all odds Brooklyn posted an 85-79 win.
Pierce played 555 home games for the Celtics; in only 12 of them did Boston's opponent win despite being held to 85 or fewer points. Garnett played 197 home games for Boston, including only three losses in which the opposing team scored 85 or fewer points. Neither Johnson (23 home games) nor Terry (40) ever played a game at TD Garden in which the Celtics' opponent won despite scoring 85 or fewer points.
Incidentally, it wasn't the first time that four former Celtics played for the Nets versus Boston. Joe Kleine, Tony Massenburg, Xavier McDaniel, and Eric Montross played in a pair of New Jersey victories over Boston in 1997.
More 20/20s at 20 in the 21st than in the 20th
From Elias: Anthony Davis scored 22 points and grabbed 19 rebounds in the Pelicans' 100-92 win over the Magic. At age 20, Davis missed the first 20/20 game of his NBA career by one rebound. But there have already been more 20-year-olds with 20/20 games in the 21st century (Dwight Howard, DeJuan Blair, Enes Kanter, and Andre Drummond) than there were in the 20th century (John Drew, Shaquille O'Neal, and Joe Smith).
Morris makes the most of his minutes
From Elias: Markieff Morris scored 27 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in 33 minutes off the bench in the Suns' 99-90 win at Cleveland. Morris was the first Suns sub in more than four decades to post a 25/15 game¿since Neal Walk did so against the Lakers in 1973 (29 points, 23 rebounds). No player had done so off the bench for any NBA team since JaVale McGee for the Wizards four seasons ago.
Warriors defeat another top team with strong defense
From Elias: The Trail Blazers came to Oakland with a 33-11 record, but the Warriors defeated the Blazers, 103-88. Golden State has now won seven of its last 13 games against teams with a record at least 20 games above .500 at the time of the matchup. They won only two of their previous 21 such games.
Portland shot 34 percent from the field in the loss to Golden State. That tied the second-lowest field-goal percentage the Blazers have recorded in their 209 regular-season games against the Warriors.
Mavs outscore Pistons in uncharacteristic point-fest
From Elias: The Mavericks defeated the Pistons, 116-106, in the highest-scoring Dallas-Detroit game in more than a quarter-century. The last time those teams produced as many points in a head-to-head matchup as they did on Sunday was Dec. 18, 1987. That was a 117-112 Pistons victory at the Pontiac Silverdome; Mark Aguirre was the game's high scorer (35), and Adrian Dantley led the Pistons (28).
Heat defeat Spurs with strong first 3 quarters
From Elias: The Heat opened a 91-71 lead at the end of the third quarter and cruised to a 113-101 victory over the Spurs. It was only the second time in their last 75 regular-season games that the Spurs were outscored in each of the first three quarters. San Antonio has lost 67 of the last 70 games in which its opponent "won" each of the first three periods.
Rangers score seven against the Devils
From Elias: The Rangers trailed, 3-1, in the first period of their game against the Devils at Yankee Stadium but the Blueshirts scored the final six goals on the day and left the Bronx with a 7-3 victory over their Hudson River rival. The seven goals were the most scored by the Rangers in a game versus the Devils, regular-season or playoffs, since Dec. 26, 1993, when they beat New Jersey, 8-3, at Madison Square Garden. Martin Brodeur was the starting and losing goaltender for the Devils in both games and he was pulled from the net in each one.
Zuccarello turns a deficit to a lead
From Elias: Mats Zuccarello scored a pair of goals for the Rangers in their win over the Devils. Zuccarello's first goal tied the score, 3-3, at the 2:48 mark of the second period and his second goal put the Rangers ahead, 4-3, less than 10 minutes later. Zuccarello is the first Rangers player to score consecutive goals in one game, turning a one-goal deficit into a one-goal lead, since Nov. 1, 2010, when Brandon Dubinsky did that against the Blackhawks. Dubinsky scored his two goals in that game 76 seconds apart spanning the first and second periods.
Vermette scores a distinctive hat trick in Coyotes' loss
From Elias: Antoine Vermette recorded his second hat trick of the season and the third of his NHL career when he scored three goals in the Coyotes' 5-4 overtime loss at Vancouver. Vermette scored his first goal at even strength, the second while the Coyotes were playing shorthanded, and the third on a Phoenix power play. He's the first Coyotes player to register a hat trick which included even-strength, shorthanded and power play goals since Steve Reinprecht on Jan. 2, 2008 at Colorado.
It's the second such hat trick for Vermette, whose first three-goal game in the NHL was one of that variety for Ottawa in 2008. The only other NHL player with a hat trick of that kind this season is Steven Stamkos (Oct. 10 vs. Florida).
Ladd haunts his former team
From Elias: Andrew Ladd, who played on the Blackhawks' 2010 Stanley Cup-winning team, scored the game-winning goal for the Jets in their 3-1 victory at Chicago. Ladd is the first former Blackhawks player to score a game-winning goal against Chicago since Feb. 11, 2012, when Radim Vrbata scored the decisive goal for the Coyotes in a 3-0 victory.
Hall hits the 50 mark again
From Elias: Taylor Hall became the first Oilers player to reach the 50-point mark this season when he recorded the second of his two assists in Edmonton's 5-1 win over the Predators. Hall scored 53 points for the Oilers in 2011-12 and he led the team with 50 points in the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season. He's the first Edmonton player to score at least 50 points in each of three consecutive seasons since Ales Hemsky and Shawn Horcoff both posted four-year streaks from 2005-06 through 2008-09.
Another 2-goal comeback by the Panthers
From Elias: The Panthers trailed, 4-2, in the third period at Detroit. But Drew Shore and Brad Boyes scored goals less than 2 minutes apart that tied the score at 4-4, and Florida went on to beat the Red Wings, 5-4, via a shootout. It was the sixth time this season that the Panthers earned at least one point in a game in which they trailed by two or more goals in the third period; no other NHL team has done so more than four times this season.