Elias Says ...
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• The Suns hosted the Mavericks Thursday night in a rematch of the 2006 Western Conference finals. It was the first time in a quarter-century that opposing NBA conference finalists from the previous season met with both teams carrying a losing record. The last such game was between the Rockets (17-21) and the Kansas City Kings (14-24) on Jan. 19, 1982.
• The Mavs recorded their first win of the season after four losses, defeating the Suns 119-112. Of the 57 teams in NBA history to win 60 games, no other team started the following season with more than two losses before their first victory. Only one posted an 0-2 start (the Lakers in 1990).
• Steve Nash committed 10 turnovers and missed 10 of his 18 field-goal attempts in the Suns' 119-112 loss. Only Dwyane Wade had 10 turnovers and 10 missed shots in the same game last season, but Nash is the second player to do it this month. Mike Bibby is the other.
• Ben Wallace played only 28 minutes of the Bulls' 113-94 loss to the Cavaliers. It was only the third time in Wallace's last 308 regular-season starts that his team allowed as many as 113 points in regulation time.
• LeBron James shot 4-for-10 from the field while Wallace was on the floor. James faced Wallace and the Pistons 18 times over three seasons -- 11 regular-season games and seven games in the 2006 Eastern Conference semifinals. He never shot better than 50 percent with Wallace on the court in any game against the Pistons.
James's shooting percentage with Wallace on the court is .394 (130-for-330). The breakdown: .372 (74-for-199) in regular-season games, .427 (56-for-131) in the postseason.
• The Hornets suffered their first defeat of the season, 121-116 to the Warriors. The Hornets were the fourth NBA team since 2000 to win their first four games following a losing season. But over the last 20 years, only one team posted a 5-0 start after a losing season: the Kings in 1995 (39-43 in 1994-95).
• Cam Ward, who recorded two shutouts during the 2006 postseason, posted the first regular-season shutout of his career in the Hurricanes' 5-0 win over the Capitals. Six other goaltenders recorded each of their first two NHL shutouts in the playoffs. The only one besides Ward to do so since 1990 was Johan Hedberg as a rookie with the Penguins in 2001.
• Alexei Yashin scored a pair of goals in the Islanders' 3-1 victory at Philadelphia, equaling the number of goals he scored in 23 games against the Flyers during his five seasons with the Isles.
• Brian Boucher of the Blackhawks snapped his season-long seven-game losing streak despite a shootout loss to the Devils. (It seems counter-intuitive, but that's how the new rules work, with Chicago gaining a point despite the "loss.") Over the last 30 years, only one other goaltender lost each of his first seven appearances in a season: Milan Hnilicka of the Thrashers in 2002-03 (8).
• It wasn't a shutout, but after allowing an early goal to Michael Rupp, Boucher kept the Devils off the scoreboard for the final 62 minutes, 29 seconds (including overtime). It's hard to believe, but Boucher has made 48 starts without a shutout since setting an all-time NHL record by not allowing a goal for 332 minutes, 1 second over seven games in 2003-04, including five consecutive shutouts.
• Martin Brodeur raised his record to 11-3 in shootouts, the most such wins since the shootout was implemented last season. Brodeur is now 11-1-1 in his last 14 starts dating back to November 1999 against opposing starting goaltenders on losing streaks of five of more games. The only loss was a 4-1 defeat to Sebastien Caron and the Penguins in 2003.
• Andrew Raycroft and the Maple Leafs defeated the Bruins 6-4 in Raycroft's first appearance against his former team. Over the last 20 years, only one other ex-Bruins goaltender won his first start against Boston: Jeff Hackett in 2003. The last to do so at Boston was Pete Peeters for the Capitals in 1986.
• Mats Sundin has missed 37 games since joining the Leafs in 1994. Thursday night's win was only the second of those games in which Toronto scored as many as six goals. (The other was a 9-1 win over the Thrashers early last season.)
• The Blue Jackets scored four times in the second period to defeat the Blues 4-2 at St. Louis on Thursday night. Columbus had scored a total of four goals in their last four road games.
• The biggest surprise in the Sharks' 7-3 win over the Kings was that Joe Thornton didn't tally a goal or an assist in 16:46 of playing time. It was the 16th time that Thornton played in a game in which his team scored seven or more goals, but the first time that he failed to record a point.
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