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Elias Says ...

12/23/2006 - NBA NHL

A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:

NBA
• The Wizards ended the Suns' 15-game winning streak Friday in Phoenix after Washington snapped the Mavericks' 12-game winning streak earlier this season.

Only three other teams in NBA history ended two winning streaks of 12 or more games in the same season: the 2001-02 Trail Blazers (Kings, 12; Spurs 13); the 1990-91 Suns (Lakers and Trail Blazers, 16 each); and the 1949-50 Rochester Royals (Minneapolis Lakers, 14; Syracuse Nationals, 12).

• The Wizards scored 144 points in Phoenix on Friday, giving them 525 in four games on their current trip. That's the most points any team has scored over four road games since 1992, when the Warriors had 531 over four road games in March and April.

Gilbert Arenas scored 54 points Friday after scoring 60 on Sunday against the Lakers. Over the past 30 years, only five other players have scored 50 points twice in a six-day span: Kobe Bryant (2006), Allen Iverson (2004), Antawn Jamison (2000), Michael Jordan (three times in four days in 1987 and then in 1992) and Bernard King (1984).

Steve Nash had 42 points and 12 assists in a losing cause Friday; Kobe Bryant had 45 points in 10 assists in the Lakers' loss to the Wizards on Monday. Before this Washington trip, a player had 40 points and 10 assists in a home loss only twice in the past 15 years; Stephon Marbury did it for the Nets in 2001 and Gary Payton for the SuperSonics in 2002.

• Allen Iverson must have wanted to show his new teammates that, much like Little T, he's learned how to share. A.I. took only 15 shots in 39 minutes in the Nuggets' 101-96 loss to the Kings -- the fewest he's taken in a game in which he played more than 35 minutes since Dec. 8, 2004, when he took 13 shots in 38 minutes in a blowout loss to the Timberwolves.

Earl Boykins led the Nuggets with 23 shots Friday, eight more than Iverson. It's only the seventh time that a teammate took as many as eight more shots than Iverson. Six of those times were in 1996-97, Iverson's rookie season, and the other was in his second season, when on Feb. 19, 1998, Iverson took nine shots, Tim Thomas had 18 and Derrick Coleman had 17.

• The 76ers ended their 12-game losing streak with a 98-83 win in Boston. It's only the second time an NBA team has snapped a losing streak of at least 12 games against the Celtics. On Jan. 22, 1997, the 76ers snapped a 13-game losing streak with a 127-125 overtime win in Boston.

With Iverson traded and Paul Pierce injured, this was the first 76ers-Celtics game in which neither Iverson nor Pierce appeared since Dec. 15, 1997, in Boston, when Iverson was suspended for missing a practice and Pierce was still playing college ball at Kansas.

• The Rockets won in San Antonio on Friday for the first time since 1997. The Spurs' 17-game home winning streak vs. Houston had been the NBA's fourth-longest home wining streak by one team against another entering the day.

In franchise history, the Spurs had only one longer home winning streak against a particular team, and that's a current streak; they've won the last 18 times that they've hosted the Warriors.

Houston's string of 17 straight losses at San Antonio was the second-longest road losing streak against one opponent in Rockets franchise history (including the team's four seasons in San Diego). Houston lost 23 straight meetings with the 76ers at The Spectrum from 1974-90.

Tim Duncan made only 4 of 13 shots against Yao and the Rockets (31 percent). That's Duncan's second-lowest field-goal percentage in a game against Yao; he had a 2-for-10 game in Dec. 2003.

• In the Mavericks' 115-83 win over the Clippers, Dallas held a 43-point lead (102-59) early in the fourth quarter. That was the largest lead held by any NBA team in any game this season, and the Mavericks' largest lead in two years and a day. On Dec. 21, 2004, Dallas led the Knicks by 46 points before settling for a 123-94 win in New York.

David Lee had 14 rebounds Friday, giving him 68 over his last four games. Over the past 25 years, the only Knicks players with that many rebounds over four games are Patrick Ewing (three times) and Marcus Camby (five times). The only NBA player with that many rebounds over four games this season is Ben Wallace.

Michael Redd, Mo Williams and Charlie Bell each scored at least 25 points in the Bucks' 113-107 win over the Timberwolves. Over the past 10 years, the only other Bucks trio to each score at least 25 points in a non-overtime game was Ray Allen, Sam Cassell and Glenn Robinson, who did it twice in 2000 (Feb. 15 and Dec. 12).

NHL
Rod Brind'Amour had a goal and two assists in the Hurricanes' 5-1 win over the Islanders. Brind'Amour has 37 goals and 83 points (in 78 career games) against the Islanders, his highest totals against any NHL team. Brind'Amour ranks fifth all-time in goals against the Islanders, behind Jaromir Jagr (54), Mario Lemieux (50), Mike Gartner (48) and Mark Recchi (40).

• Chicago, say hello to Peter Bondra. Bondra became the 37th NHL player to reach the 500-goal plateau by scoring Friday, but No. 500 overall was only his second goal for the Blackhawks. He became the first NHL player whose first or second goal for a team was the 500th of his career.

• Carolina scored four power-play goals in nine attempts in its win over the Islanders. That matched the total number of power-play goals scored by the Hurricanes over their previous ten games combined, during which they had 51 power play opportunities (Nov. 28 through Dec. 19).

• The Devils have allowed more than 30 shots on goal in each of their last five games. It's the longest streak of its kind for the Devils since February 1994, when they allowed over 30 shots in each of six consecutive games.

• The Canucks fell behind 2-0 in the first 12 minutes en route to their sixth consecutive road loss, a 3-2 defeat at the hands of the Blue Jackets in Columbus. Vancouver has not led at any time during its current road losing streak. The last time the Canucks lost six straight road games without holding a lead in any of those games was in January/February 1981.

Daniel Cleary continued his hot streak with a tie-breaking short-handed goal that proved to be the game-winner in the Red Wings' 3-1 victory over Minnesota. Cleary scored his first goal this season Nov. 4, ending a career-high 36-game goal drought which dated to February of last season. That goal began a stretch in which Cleary has scored 14 goals in 21 games, one more than he scored in the 215 games he played from the start of the 2002-03 season through Nov. 2 this year.

In fact, Cleary's 14 goals over the past 49 days matches his single-season high in his nine-year NHL career. Cleary scored 14 goals in 81 games for Edmonton in the 2000-01 season.

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