- Roberto Abramowitz
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A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• Gilbert Arenas scored 32 points including a three-pointer as time expired to give the Wizards a 108-105 victory over the Bucks. It was Arenas' first game-winning, buzzer-beating field goal in more than two years (since Dec. 20, 2004 at Golden State).
It was the 15th straight game in which Washington scored at least 100 points, the longest such streak for any Eastern Conference team in any of the last 14 seasons (since 1993-94). The Wizards are 12-3 at Verizon Center, matching the franchise's best mark through the first 15 home games of a season (done previously in 1968-69, 1974-75, 1977-78 and 1984-85).
• The eight other NBA games on Wednesday night (all but Milwaukee at Washington) matched a road team that played the previous night against a home team that had Tuesday night off. Home teams coming off a day of rest have an 81-36 (.692) record this season when facing teams that played the previous day (including 4-4 last night). That's a much higher winning percentage than home teams have compiled in all other games (.585).
• LeBron James scored a game-high 32 points in the Cavaliers' 107-104 win in Boston. James has scored at least 30 points in each of his last seven games against the Celtics, giving him the longest current streak of consecutive 30-point games against a particular opponent for any NBA player. Allen Iverson has six straight 30-point performances against both the Heat and Nets.
• The Grizzlies won an old-fashioned shootout against the Warriors, 144-135. It was the first NBA game in which both teams scored more than 30 points in each quarter since the Warriors defeated the Nets in overtime at New Jersey, 153-148, on March 28, 1992. Last night's combined total of 279 points by Memphis and Golden State was the highest in a regulation NBA game since Jan. 18, 1992; that game also involved the Warriors (a 143-141 win at Dallas).
• Mike Miller made 9 of 12 three-pointers for Memphis, his third straight game with at least seven three-point field goals, matching the longest such streak in NBA history. The only other player to do that was George McCloud, for the 1995-96 Mavericks.
Golden State earned a line in the record book by going 18 for 46 from the arc, the second-most three-point attempts in a game for any team in NBA history. The record belongs to the Mavericks, who went 18 for 49 from three-point range (including 7 for 20 by the aforementioned McCloud) in a regulation victory over the Nets on March 5, 1996.
• Pat Riley's leave of absence resulted in Ron Rothstein's return as head coach of the Heat, albeit on an interim basis. Rothstein coached Miami during the expansion club's first three seasons in the league (1988-89 to 1990-91). The Heat posted the NBA's worst record over that span (57-189 .232), eight games behind their expansion partners, the Charlotte Hornets (65-181, .264).
Rothstein's .296 career winning percentage during his two previous stints as a head coach in the NBA (97-231, including a 40-42 mark for the 1992-93 Pistons) is third-lowest among those who have coached at least 250 games, ahead of Tim Floyd (.280, 90-231 for the Bulls and Hornets) and Sidney Lowe (.257, 79-228 for the Timberwolves and Grizzlies).
Rothstein watched the Clippers shoot 60.5 percent from the floor to defeat Miami in his return to the bench on Wednesday. It must have been like old times for Rothstein, who saw the Clippers make 61.6 percent of their field-goal attempts in the first game in the history of the Heat (Nov. 5, 1988).
• The Timberwolves made 28 of 29 free throws, and seemingly needed every one of them to defeat the Spurs, 103-101, in overtime. Only one team in NBA history has ever been perfect from the free-throw line with at least 20 attempts in an overtime victory. On Jan. 14, 1995, Portland went 20-for-20 from the charity stripe in a 104-103 OT win at Denver.
• Dany Heatley scored three goals in the second period of the Senators' win over the Sabres: one short-handed, one at even strength and one on the power play. Since 1996-97, the only other NHL player to score goals of each type in the same period was the Kings' Alexander Frolov on Nov. 13, 2005 at Columbus.
It was Heatley's league-high third hat trick this season; Ilya Kovalchuk, who has a pair of three-goal games, is the only other player with more than one. Heatley has tied the Ottawa franchise record for most hat tricks by a player in one season; Marian Hossa had three in 2002-03.
Heatley's hat trick was only the third against the Sabres over the last two seasons. The others were also by Senators, Daniel Alfredsson and Martin Havlat (now with Chicago), and they each scored four goals in the same game: a 10-4 Ottawa victory in Buffalo on Nov. 2, 2005.
• Despite their loss at Ottawa, the Sabres are 15-4-1 away from Buffalo this season. Buffalo's 31 points match the second-most for any team in NHL history through its first 20 road games of a season. Only the 1944-45 Canadiens had more (32 points, 15-3-2).
• Miami's Nick Saban era ended on Wednesday and the Dolphins began the process of hiring a new head coach. Miami hasn't appeared in the postseason tournament since 2001. The only other NFL teams that haven't made the playoffs in any of the past five seasons (2002-2006) are the Texans (whose inaugural season was 2002), Lions (1999), Bills (1999) and Cardinals (1998).
1dKevin Van Valkenburg