Elias Says ... Home no advantage for Seattle
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• The Seahawks held a 7-3 lead at the end of the third quarter against San Francisco on Thursday night and Seattle fans at Qwest Field had history on their side. Entering the game, Mike Holmgren had a 76-5 (.938) career-winning percentage in home games in which his team took a lead into the fourth quarter, which was the fourth-best record for any head coach in NFL history (min: 50 such games), behind George Allen (.962), George Halas (.952) and Don Shula (.940).
But the 49ers staged a fourth-quarter rally to win 24-14 marking the first time in Holmgren's career as an NFL head coach that his team lost a game by at least 10 points after leading entering the fourth quarter.
• Alex Smith engineered the fourth-quarter comeback with two touchdown passes and an 18-yard TD run. Only two other players in NFL history threw at least two TD passes in one quarter, while also running for a TD of at least 15 yards in that same quarter. Phil Simms did that as a rookie for the 1979 Giants (against the 49ers) and Kordell Stewart did it for the Steelers in 1997 (against the Ravens).
• Frank Gore rushed for 144 yards on Thursday night after gaining 212 yards on the ground against Seattle last month. That total of 356 rushing yards is the most for any 49ers player against one team in one season. The previous franchise record was 313 rushing yards for Wilbur Jackson against the Saints in 1977.
• On Thursday, the Red Sox officially announced the signing of Daisuke Matsuzaka. Boston's starting pitchers combined for a 3.53 ERA in 2002, the lowest in the American League that season and the best mark for the Red Sox' starting staff since 1990. But the ERA for Red Sox starters has increased in every season since then: to 4.30 in 2003, 4.31 in 2004, 4.56 in 2005 and 5.00 this past season. That matches the longest current streak of seasons in which a team's starters ERA has risen. The Giants have also had an increase in every season since 2002.
• While the Red Sox were saying hello to Matsuzaka, a player they famously let get away was preparing to say goodbye. Jeff Bagwell is expected to announce his retirement on Friday morning. Bagwell played his entire major-league career with the Astros, recording a .540 slugging percentage while scoring 1,517 runs and driving in 1,529 runs. Only six other men -- each a slam-dunk Hall-of-Famer -- played their entire career with one franchise and had at least a .500 slugging percentage, 1,500 runs scored and 1,500 RBI: Lou Gehrig, Mel Ott, Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Mickey Mantle and Mike Schmidt.
• Saku Koivu, playing in his 600th NHL game, scored two goals to lead the Canadiens to a 4-2 come-from-behind win over Tampa Bay. Koivu, a native of Finland who has spent his entire career with Montreal, is the 37th player in franchise history to reach the 600-game plateau but only the second non-Canadian to appear in 600 games for Les Canadiens. Sweden's Mats Naslund played 617 games from Montreal from 1982-83 through 1989-90.
• Buffalo was outshot by Florida 33-16 but beat the Panthers 2-1. It was the fewest shots on goal in one game for the Sabres since Feb. 28, 2004, when they had 15 in a 7-1 loss in Ottawa, and their lowest shot total in a game they won since March 29, 2003 at Carolina (outshot 39-15, won 3-1).
• The Red Wings' Daniel Cleary broke a 1-1 tie with a goal at 12:38 of the second period and Detroit went on to beat the Blackhawks in Chicago 3-2. Cleary had only 15 points (3 goals, 12 assists) in 77 games for the Red Wings last season, and he had no goals and one assist in his first 13 games this season (through Nov. 2), but he leads Detroit in both goals (11) and points (19) in the team's 17 games since then.
• Henrik Lundqvist faced 45 shots on goal and made a career-high 43 saves to backstop the Rangers to a 5-2 win in Dallas. (His previous single-game high for saves was 38, done twice last season.) Lundqvist is 4-0-1 in the five games in which he's faced 40 or more shots on goal in his two seasons in the NHL.
• In Boston, the Devils decided to give goaltender Scott Clemmensen his second start of the season and first since October 19 (ending a streak of 22 straight starts by Martin Brodeur). Clemmensen struggled at the outset, allowing goals to Brad Boyes 19 seconds into the game and Patrice Bergeron at 1:25. It was only the third time in the Devils' 24 seasons in New Jersey that they allowed two goals in the first 90 seconds of a game. They gave up two goals in the first 53 seconds against Washington on Dec. 19, 1986, and exactly nine years later (Dec. 19, 1995) the Devils surrendered a pair of goals in the first 75 seconds against Philadelphia.
The Devils ended up losing to the Bruins 5-3 and getting outshot 45-29. New Jersey had not allowed that many shots on goal in a regular-season game since April 10, 1994, when Martin Brodeur faced 47 shots on goal in a 2-2 tie against the Panthers in Florida.
• Yao Ming had 38 points and 18 rebounds in Houston's loss against Golden State. It's his second 35/15 (points/rebounds) game this season. No other player has done that even once this season. The last player with more than one such game in one season before New Year's Day was Shaquille O'Neal in 2001.
• Sean May's 32 points in Charlotte's victory over Orlando were the most in one game off the bench by any player in the brief three-season history of the Bobcats franchise. The previous record was 28, done by Kareem Rush last season and Keith Bogans in November 2004.
• Orlando's Dwight Howard committed six turnovers and his teammates Trevor Ariza and Keyon Dooling each had five in the Magic's loss. It was only the second time this season that three starters on one team each committed at least five turnovers in one game. Yao Ming, Tracy McGrady and Rafer Alston did it on November 7, but Houston won that game at Memphis 86-80.