Elias Says ...
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• Gilbert Arenas scored a game-high 45 points for the Wizards in a 111-99 victory over Cleveland, their fourth win in five games at Verizon Center. It was the third 40-point game of the season for Arenas, all coming at his home arena. (His previous 40-point games were against Boston and Indiana.) The last NBA player to have three 40-point games in his team's first five home games of a season was Rick Barry, who did it for the 1966-67 San Francisco Warriors.
Arenas is averaging 36.6 points per game at Verizon Center, the highest average for any player in franchise history through the club's first five home games of a season. The next-highest home scoring average for a Washington player at this juncture of a season belongs to Bernard King (33.6 PPG in 1990-91).
• The Magic defeated the Bobcats 97-83 on the strength of Dwight Howard's 24 points and 21 rebounds, 11 and 12 of which, respectively, came during the third quarter. Howard was the first player to post numbers like that (11-plus points and 12-plus boards) during a single period of an NBA game since P.J Brown did it for New Orleans on March 14, 2003 (12 points and 12 rebounds in the third quarter of an 87-83 Hornets win at Miami).
• Portland jumped out to a 13-0 lead and cruised to an 86-68 victory at New Jersey. That matched the most unanswered points that any team has scored to begin an NBA game this season (13 by the Magic vs. the Sonics on Nov. 8), and it was the Trail Blazers' largest shutout lead since they scored the first 22 points in a 105-84 win over the Celtics on Feb. 21, 2004.
• The Clippers defeated the Sixers at Staples Center in overtime, giving them victories in each of their first six home games of a season for the first time in franchise history (which dates back to the 1970-71 Buffalo Braves). The Washington Wizards are now the only one of the 17 NBA franchises in the league as long as the Clippers that has never won its first six home games of a season. (The Wizards franchise dates back to the 1961-62 Chicago Packers.)
• The Celtics' 122-118 win over the Knicks was the second-highest scoring regulation game at Madison Square Garden in the last 15 seasons. The most points in a non-overtime game in New York over that span (1992-93 to date) came in the Knicks' 133-118 loss to the Suns on Jan. 25, 2005.
• Overtime forced Alonzo Mourning to play a season-high 35 minutes in Miami's win at Atlanta. It was Mourning's second-highest total of minutes played in any game during the 2006 calendar year. He was on the court for 36 minutes in a loss at Minnesota on March 21.
• Alexander Frolov became the first NHL player to record three consecutive multiple-goal games this season when he scored twice in the Kings' 5-3 win over the Coyotes. Frolov had two goals versus the Sharks on Monday and two more against the Flyers on Thursday. Last season, the only NHL players to score at least two goals in each of three consecutive team games were Jaromir Jagr and Ilya Kovalchuk. Frolov was the first Kings player to do it since Luc Robitaille in March 1993.
• Dan Cloutier stopped 36 of 39 shots in the Kings' win over the Coyotes. Cloutier is 9-0-2 with a 1.97 goals-against average and .924 save percentage in his last 12 games against Phoenix (11 starts and one relief appearance since April 2002), limiting the Coyotes to three-or-fewer goals in each game.
• Hall of Fame defenseman Serge Savard had his uniform No. 18 retired by the Canadiens prior to their game against the Thrashers at Bell Centre on Saturday night. Savard played in the Stanley Cup Finals seven times and was on the winning team in each series (Montreal 1968, 1969, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979). The only player in NHL history to play in as many or more Finals as Savard and win the Cup each time was Savard's Canadiens teammate and fellow Hall of Famer, Jacques Lemaire (8-for-8). Lemaire played on the same seven Cup-winning teams as Savard, but he also won with the Canadiens in 1971, a series Savard missed due to a broken leg.
• Jamie Langenbrunner scored a goal for the fourth consecutive game to help the Devils earn a 2-1 win in Toronto. Langenbrunner's four-game goal-scoring streak matches his career high, set with Dallas in March 2000. Langenbrunner has scored five of New Jersey's 11 goals over the last four games.
• Eric Staal scored three goals to lead Carolina to a 5-4 win over the Stars. It was the third hat trick by a Hurricanes player this season; Justin Williams (Oct. 16 at Tampa Bay) and Erik Cole (Nov. 9 vs. Washington) had the earlier ones. The Hurricanes are the only NHL team to have three different players notch a hat trick this season. Atlanta is the only other team with three hat tricks this season, but Ilya Kovalchuk has two of the three. (Slava Kozlov had the other one.)
• The Hurricanes' Ray Whitney scored only one goal in 12 games during October but his goal in Carolina's win over Dallas was his eighth in 10 games in November. The eight goals are the most that Whitney has ever scored in one calendar month in his 15-season NHL career. Before this season, Whitney had scored seven goals in a calendar month five times (last in November 2002 for Columbus).
• Mike Dunham made 43 saves in a 4-1 win for the Islanders over the Panthers. It was the second time this season that Dunham stopped 43 or more shots in a Islanders victory; he made 46 saves in a 5-4 shootout win in Anaheim on Oct. 11. The only other goaltenders in Islanders history to record two 43-save (or more) wins in one season were Roland Melanson (1983-84), Kelly Hrudey (1985-86), Glenn Healy (1989-90) and Roberto Luongo (1999-2000).
• The Sabres lost 4-1 to the Senators in Ottawa, though they still have the best record in the NHL (16-3-1). Buffalo has allowed four goals in 11 of its 20 games this season, including eight of its last 10 contests. Only Carolina (also 11 times) has allowed four or more goals in a game this season as often as the Sabres. But Buffalo is the only NHL team that has not allowed more than four goals in a game this season (shootout "goals" excluded).
• The Blue Jackets have lost five consecutive games, including all three games since Gary Agnew replaced Gerard Gallant as the team's head coach on Tuesday. Columbus is the first NHL team to record no points in its first three games after a midseason coaching change since Tampa Bay in 1997-98. That season, the Lightning lost all six games under interim coach Rick Paterson (who replaced Terry Crisp), then lost their first three games after Jacques Demers took over from Paterson.
• Detroit's Jiri Hudler scored at 19:56 of the third period to tie the score 3-3 and send the Red Wings' game in Edmonton to overtime. (The Oilers won via the shootout.) It was the latest score-tying goal in an NHL game this season and the latest by a Red Wing since March 13, 2001 (Slava Kozlov vs. Vancouver, 19:58).
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