Elias Says ... No substitute for Duncan
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• Tim Duncan played in the 500th regular-season win of his NBA career on Saturday. The Spurs have a 500-194 record in games that Duncan has played. Duncan is the first player to win at least 500 of his first 700 NBA games since Byron Scott did it playing exclusively for the Lakers (1983-1992).
Larry Bird holds the NBA record for fewest games to 500 wins (500-164), followed by James Worthy (500-175), Magic Johnson (500-176), Bill Russell (500-177) and Sam Jones (500-179).
Duncan's .720 personal winning percentage is the highest among active players who have played at least 500 NBA games. Rounding out the top five are Shaquille O'Neal (.697, 659-286), Robert Horry (.677, 689-329), Kobe Bryant (.655, 479-252) and Bruce Bowen (.655, 431-227).
• The Pacers scored 32 points in the first quarter -- their highest-scoring first quarter in any game this season -- but barely scored that many the rest of the way as the Timberwolves took a 78-71 decision in Indianapolis. Since the NBA introduced its 24-second clock in 1954, that's the fewest points scored by a team in a game in which it scored as many as 32 points in the first quarter.
The Pacers had led 20-4 a little over halfway through the first quarter. It was the first time this season that Indiana has lost a game in which it once held of lead of 15 or more points.
• David Lee had 13 rebounds in the Knicks' loss in Philadelphia. Lee has had 81 rebounds in his last five games. The last Knick with that many boards over a five-game span was Marcus Camby in Dec. 2001 (86 rebounds).
• Andre Miller had 11 assists in his debut with the 76ers. Miller is only the fourth player in NBA history to record 11 or more assists in his first game with a team after a midseason acquisition. The others to do it: Norm Van Lier for Chicago in 1971-72 (12 assists), Kevin Porter for New Jersey in 1977-78 (13) and Jalen Rose for New York in 2005-06 (11).
• Seven Pistons had at least two blocked shots in their game on Saturday. It was only the second time since the NBA starting recording blocked shots in 1973-74 that a team had as many as seven different players block two (or more) shots in the same game. The only other such game was also by the Pistons, but that was in a double-overtime game against Atlanta on Oct. 18, 1980.
• One last note, but maybe the best, on Gilbert Arenas' 54-point performance in the Wizards' victory at Phoenix on Friday night. Arenas, who scored 60 points against the Lakers last Sunday, is only the third player in NBA history to record two (or more) 50-point games on the same road trip. Bernard King did it for the Knicks in 1984, and Wilt Chamberlain did it multiple times for the Warriors from 1960 to 1964, and once for the 76ers in 1967.
• The Rockets, who are already playing without Tracy McGrady, lost Yao Ming with a knee injury during Saturday night's game against the Clippers. Since 2004-05, McGrady's first season in Houston, the Rockets are 83-44 (.654) in games in which both TMac and Yao play, 1-8 (.111) when neither play, 7-11 (.389) with McGrady, but not Yao, and 10-27 (.270) with Yao, but not McGrady.
• Tony Gonzalez had a fumble in the Chiefs' win over the Raiders. It was Gonzalez's first fumble in over seven years, since Nov. 14, 1999, when he fumbled (and recovered the ball himself) in a game at Tampa, a span of 593 receptions. That's the longest such streak in NFL history by a wide receiver or tight end. The previous longest streak was 562 receptions without a fumble, by Ozzie Newsome, who finished his career that way.
• The Chiefs' 20-9 win in Oakland kept Kansas City's playoff hopes flickering, and dropped the Raiders to a 2-13 mark with one game remaining. Oakland, which finished the season 0-6 in its division, has lost its last 14 games against AFC West opponents. That's the longest stretch of division losses by any NFL team since the Saints dropped 15 consecutive games vs. NFC West foes from 1995 to 1997.
In addition, the Raiders' string of 11 consecutive home losses against division opponents is the NFL's longest such streak since the Lions dropped 12 straight home games against NFC Central opponents from 1985 to 1988.
• The Rangers took a 2-0 lead into the third period of their game at Florida on Thursday but lost to the Panthers 3-2. The Rangers went one better (or "worse," depending on your viewpoint) at Tampa Bay on Saturday, blowing a 3-0 lead through 40 minutes and losing to the Lightning 4-3.
It's only the fourth time in NHL history that a team came up pointless in consecutive games after taking a lead of two or more goals into the third period in each game. The Rangers did that once before, in Oct. 1986 (both losses were in overtime), and Edmonton did it twice (Nov. 1987 and April 1993). But the 2006-07 Rangers are the first team ever to lose two straight games that way in regulation time.
• Defenseman Dan Boyle had four points (three goals, one assist) during the Lightning's third-period comeback against the Rangers. Boyle is the third defenseman in NHL history to record three goals and at least one assist in a single period in one game. Jerry Korab did it for Buffalo (vs. Minnesota) in Nov. 1978 and Paul Coffey for Edmonton (at Chicago) in March 1985.
• Rick DiPietro and the Islanders shut out Columbus 4-0 at Nassau Coliseum on Saturday night. In the team's last home game, one week before, DiPietro and the Isles blanked Atlanta 6-0. It was only the second time in the last eight seasons that the Islanders posted shutouts in consecutive home games. DiPietro was the goaltender that time as well, March 21-23, 2004, when he notched a pair of 3-0 shutouts (over Tampa Bay and Washington).
• The Islanders' Jason Blake scored his 20th goal of the season in the team's shutout win against the Blue Jackets. Blake reached the 20-goal plateau in the Islanders' 34th game of the season. The last Islander to score 20 goals as quickly as Blake was Zigmund Palffy, who did so in the team's 29th game in 1996-97.
• Atlanta beat New Jersey 5-2 Saturday night. It was the Thrashers sixth straight win over the Devils, the longest winning streak against any one team in franchise history.
• Mats Sundin scored the fourth penalty-shot goal of his NHL career in the Maple Leafs' 3-2 loss to the Capitals. That ties Sundin with Joe Sakic and David Vyborny for the third-highest highest total in league history. The only players with more penalty-shot goals than Sundin are Pavel Bure (seven) and Mario Lemieux (six).
• Defenseman Philippe Boucher scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal in the Stars' 3-2 victory over the Oilers. Boucher has six goals and 12 points (in 11 games) in December. The goal and point totals are both personal highs in a calendar month for Boucher, who is in his 14th NHL season. His previous highs for one month were four goals (done three times) and ten points (Jan. 2006).
• The Predators beat Los Angeles 7-0 Saturday night. The seven-goal margin of victory was the largest ever for Nashville. The Predators have won by a six-goal margin six times, and five of those six games were shutouts.
• Jason Arnott, J.P. Dumont and David Legwand each scored two goals in Nashville's win. It was the first time in the Predators' eight-year franchise history that they had three players with multiple-goal games in the same game.