Elias Says ...
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• The Mavericks rallied to win their 13th straight game: a 90-85 victory over the Spurs. Dallas was the third team in NBA history to carry a winning streak of at least 12 games into a game against the Spurs at San Antonio, but the first of those teams to leave with its winning streak intact. On Jan. 28, 1992, the Bulls had a 13-game winning streak snapped with a 109-104 loss at San Antonio. Less than a year later (Jan. 3, 1993) the Suns had a 14-game streak ended with a 114-113 defeat at HemisFair Arena.
• The Mavericks, who defeated Seattle the previous night, are 8-0 this season in the second of games played on consecutive days, the longest winning streak of that kind for any NBA team (within one season) since the Suns won eight in a row under those circumstances in 2004-05. No team had won its first eight such games of a season since Portland won its first nine in the abbreviated 1999 campaign.
• Kevin Garnett's field goal as time expired in overtime gave the Timberwolves a 104-102 victory over the 76ers. Garnett had only one other game-winning field goal at the buzzer over the past six seasons (since 2001-02); that one gave Minnesota a 96-94 win over the Clippers on Dec. 7, 2003.
• The Nets came back from an 18-0 deficit to defeat the Bulls 91-86. The only other NBA game this season in which one team scored the first 18 points also involved New Jersey. The Nets squandered an 18-0 lead in a 92-90 loss to the Celtics on Dec. 9.
• Michael Redd won the battle, outscoring LeBron James 26-8, but the Cavaliers won the war with a 95-86 victory at Milwaukee. James had outscored Redd in each of their last nine head-to-head meetings, averaging 33.9 points per game to Redd's 24.8 in those games.
• Gilbert Arenas scored 35 points and handed out 12 assists in the Wizards' 116-105 win over the Clippers, becoming the first player in franchise history to reach those totals in one game. Four other NBA players have done that this season: Stave Nash (three times), Jason Kidd, Dwyane Wade and Baron Davis.
• The Wizards outshot the Clippers (51.6 percent to 43.7 percent), after Los Angeles had posted a higher field-goal percentage than its opponent in each of its previous seven games, one shy of the longest such streaks for any NBA team this season (eight games by the Jazz and Warriors).
• Tracy McGrady scored a game-high 44 points as the Rockets defeated the Jazz 100-86. Houston is 5-1 since Yao Ming's injury, with McGrady averaging 30 points per game over that span. In the 20 games that he played alongside Yao this season, McGrady averaged 19.2 points per game.
• Kobe Bryant had eight points and 10 assists while playing 26 minutes in the Lakers' romp over the Nuggets. It was only the second time in Bryant's career that he had more assists than points in a game in which he played at least 15 minutes. On March 28, 1998, Kobe had two points and three assists in 27 minutes in a 106-91 loss in Utah.
Bryant missed his only two field-goal attempts of the first half and went to the locker room at the break with two points (on free throws) and nine assists (tying his career high for a half). Bryant hadn't failed to make a field goal during the first half of a game since Nov. 19, 2004 (0-for-10 from the floor).
• The Suns ran amok over the Heat, posting a 108-80 victory. It was Miami's fifth straight loss, the last three of which have all been by margins of at least 15 points. Miami's 72-point deficit over its last three games is its largest for any three-game span since December 1991.
• Matt Carroll had made his last 37 free-throw attempts before missing from the line on a technical foul shot in the second quarter of the Bobcats' loss in Orlando. Carroll, whose streak is a Bobcats franchise record, was two free throws shy of the longest such streak in the NBA this season (39 by Sacramento's Kevin Martin).
• The Coyotes trailed the Thrashers 4-1 early in the third period of their game in Atlanta but rallied for a 5-4 overtime victory. It was only the fourth time in Jets/Coyotes history that they won a game in which they trailed by three-or-more goals in the third period. Their three previous comeback wins of that nature all came when the franchise was located in Winnipeg: at Los Angeles in January 1985 (trailed 4-1, won 6-5), at Calgary in November 1986 (trailed 3-0, won 4-3), and at home against Hartford in January 1993 (trailed 7-4, won 8-7).
• Marian Hossa ended a seven-game goal drought, his longest as a Thrasher, with a pair of goals. Though Hossa went goalless in those seven games from Dec. 21 through Jan. 2, he did lead the league with 12 points over that span, all assists. Hossa has seven multiple-goal games this season, tying him with Teemu Selanne for the league high.
• The Penguins beat the Sabres in Buffalo 4-2, though Sidney Crosby's offensive contribution to Pittsburgh's victory was limited to one assist. It was only the second time this season that the Penguins won a game in which Crosby scored fewer than two points. Pittsburgh beat Columbus on Oct. 21 when Crosby was also held to a lone assist. In the 36 games Crosby has played this season, the Penguins are 16-3-2 when he scores at least two points, 2-3-2 when he's held to one point and 0-8-0 when he is held pointless.
• Nashville scored eight goals in the first two periods of its game in Chicago and coasted to an 8-3 win over the Blackhawks. The Predators set a franchise record for the most goals through the first 40 minutes of a game, breaking their mark of seven set in a 9-4 win over Calgary on March 18, 2006.
• Paul Kariya had a goal and three assists in the Predators' victory. Kariya has 13 goals this season, all of which have been scored in Nashville wins. Kariya has the most goals this season of any NHL player who has scored all of his goals in games his team won.
• Avalanche rookie Paul Stastny had one goal and two assists in Colorado's 4-2 win over Tampa Bay. It was the fourth time Stastny recorded three or more points in a game this season (one four-point game, three three-point games), the most by any rookie in 2006-07. The only other rookies with more than one three-point game this season are the Kings' Anze Kopitar, the Penguins' Evgeni Malkin, and Stastny's teammate Wojtek Wolski (two each).
• The Canucks were 17-18-1 when the NHL took its annual two-day Christmas break, but Vancouver's 3-2 overtime victory over Edmonton was its sixth win in six games since the league resumed play Dec. 26. The Canucks are the only NHL team with a perfect record since Boxing Day. Three other teams have not lost in regulation time over that span: the Coyotes (5-0-1), Devils (4-0-1) and Senators (4-0-1).
• Another game, another three-goal third-period comeback win in the NHL. This time it was the Blue Jackets who won despite trailing the Ducks 3-0 at nearly the mid-point of the third period of their game in Anaheim. It was only the second time in Columbus' six seasons in the NHL that it earned points from a game in which it trailed by three or more goals in the third period. The Blue Jackets notched a 5-4 shootout win in Detroit on March 25 last year after trailing 3-0 just past the seven-minute mark of the third period.
• Anaheim's Teemu Selanne missed a penalty shot with 21 seconds remaining in the third period and the Ducks trailing the Blue Jackets 4-3. It was the first time that an NHL player missed a potential game-tying penalty shot in the final minute of the third period since Jan. 12, 2002, when Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis failed to convert with six seconds left against Ottawa and the Lightning trailing 2-1.
• Bill Cowher was the Steelers' head coach for 15 seasons, directly after Chuck Noll served 23 seasons (1969-91) in the same capacity. The Steelers are the only team in NFL history to have used only two head coaches over a span of 38 consecutive seasons. (George Halas was the Bears' head man for 40 years, but not continuously: he had four distinct 10-year segments as their head coach.)
Throughout the other major pro sports leagues in North America, the only case of a team having consecutive head-coaching or managerial tenures of at least 15 seasons is that of the Dodgers, who had Walter Alston from 1954-76 and Tom Lasorda from 1976-96 -- a span of 43 years. Lasorda succeeded Alston during the final week of the 1976 season.
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