Elias Says ...
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• Allen Iverson had 32 points in the Sixers' 88-75 victory against the Hawks on Wednesday night. It was Iverson's third straight 30-point performance in a season opener, the longest such streak for any player since Michael Jordan began three straight seasons in that fashion from 1995-96 through 1997-98.
• The Hawks dropped their season opener for the eighth straight year, the longest such losing streak for any franchise in NBA history. Atlanta snapped the mark of seven consecutive season-opening losses that it had shared with Detroit (1960-66), Cleveland (1979-85), Utah (1982-88) and the Clippers (1997-2003).
• Vince Carter had game-high totals of 25 points and 11 rebounds to complement Jason Kidd's triple-double in the Nets' 102-92 win over the Raptors. Last season, Carter and Kidd each had a double-digit rebound total in the same game on two occasions, while all other starting-guard tandems throughout the league did it once (Chris Paul and Rasual Butler for the Hornets).
• The Bulls followed their 108-66 opening-night victory at Miami with a 109-94 loss at Orlando. Chicago's 15-point margin of defeat was the largest for any NBA team that won its preceding game by at least 40 points since April 1996, when the Knicks backed up a 125-79 win against the Raptors with a 92-77 loss at Cleveland.
• The Cavaliers defeated the Wizards 97-94 and held Gilbert Arenas without a point until late in the third quarter (after he shot 0-for-5 from the floor during the first half). Over the past two seasons, Arenas played only one game in which he failed to score a point in the first half.
Cleveland has won consecutive season openers for the first time since winning three in a row from 1986-87 through 1988-89. That was the only time in Cavaliers franchise history that they won their season opener in three straight years.
• Ron Artest made only 6 of 24 shots from the floor in Sacramento's 92-83 loss at Minnesota. It was only the second time in his career that Artest missed as many as 18 field-goal attempts in one game. He hit 9 of 27 shots from the floor against the Lakers on Feb. 2, 2004.
• It took three extra periods for the Knicks to defeat the Grizzlies 118-117. In NBA history, only one other season opener went into triple OT. That was on Oct. 18, 1974, when Portland beat Cleveland 131-129 in four overtimes.
• Kobe Bryant was on the bench for the Lakers' victory at Golden State. During the post-Shaq era in L.A. (since 2004-05), the Lakers are a .500 team with Kobe on the court (73-73) compared to four games south of .500 in the games he's missed (8-12).
• Evgeni Malkin scored two goals, including the game-winner, in Pittsburgh's 4-3 overtime victory at Los Angeles. Malkin became the first player since the 1917-18 season to begin his NHL career with goals in each of his first six games. That's when the Canadiens' Joe Malone established the all-time record by scoring goals in his first 14 NHL games.
Among those who made their NHL debuts since 1979-80 (the dawn of the Gretzky era), no other player achieved a six-game goal scoring streak fewer than 25 games into his career. The player who did it the quickest over that span (prior to Malkin) was Sergei Nemchinov, in his 25th game for the 1991-92 Rangers.
Five current NHL players each with more than 350 career goals have never had a goal-scoring streak longer than five games: Brendan Shanahan (608 goals), Sergei Fedorov (444), Rod Brind'Amour (386), Scott Mellanby (358) and Trevor Linden (357).
• Brind'Amour scored two goals and assisted on two others for the Hurricanes in their 5-2 win at Atlanta. It was the 1,200th game of Brind'Amour's NHL career, but only the fourth game in which he had both two goals and two assists. His most recent game of that ilk was in January 1998 for the Flyers.
• Marian Hossa had 16 shots on goal (and one goal) in Atlanta's loss to Carolina. It was the highest shot total by one player in an NHL game since Ray Bourque set the league record with 19 for Boston in a 3-3 tie with Quebec on March 21, 1991. Two players had recorded 15 shots in one game since Bourque's record effort: Dave Andreychuk for Toronto in March 1993, and Alexander Ovechkin earlier this season.
• Chris Chelios earned his first point of the season, assisting on Johan Franzen's first-period goal in the Red Wings' 3-2 win over the Flames. Chelios, who hadn't been listed in the scoring detail in any of his previous 10 games this season, snapped the longest start-of-season point drought of his career. Last year, Chelios was held without a point in his first nine games.
• The Avalanche beat the Blue Jackets in Columbus 5-3 despite being outshot 44-22. It was Colorado's first win in a game in which it was outshot by at least a two-to-one margin since Jan. 4, 2003, when Patrick Roy and the Avs won at San Jose, 6-1, even though the Sharks had a 41-19 edge in shots.
• Tomas Kaberle found the net for the third straight game as the Maple Leafs posted a 4-2 victory over the Lightning. Kaberle is only the fourth defenseman since 1990-91 to score five goals over a three-game span. The others were Brian Leetch (1996-97), Sandis Ozolinsh (2000-01) and Andy Sutton (2003-04). No Toronto defenseman had done that since Ian Turnbull in 1976-77.
• Mike Modano scored a goal in the Stars' 4-1 win over St. Louis. Modano has 31 career goals (in 83 games) against the Blues, second-most among active players, behind Jeremy Roenick (32 goals). Rounding out the top five are Sergei Fedorov (26), Joe Nieuwendyk (26) and Tony Amonte (25).
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