A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• Gilbert Arenas scored 51 points on Monday -- including a buzzer-beating, game-winning 3-pointer -- in the Wizards' 114-111 victory over the Jazz. It was the third time in the past 30 days that Arenas has reached such a high point level; he scored 60 against the Lakers on Dec. 17 and 54 at Phoenix five nights later (both of those games went into overtime).
Arenas also celebrated a birthday recently: he turned 25 on Jan. 6. Get a load of this: In the history of the NBA, only three other players as young as Arenas have produced three or more games of 50-plus points over a 30-day span. The names are as regal as this league can offer: Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and
The last NBA player to hit a game-winning shot in the last five seconds of a game in which he scored 50 or more points was Jamal Mashburn for the Hornets against the Grizzlies in an overtime game in which he scored 50 points in 2003. Before that, you go back to
Karl Malone, in a game in which he scored 56 points for the Jazz against the Warriors in 1998.
• The Timberwolves defeated the Pistons 94-90 in an overtime game in Auburn Hills, and Minnesota thereby tied an NBA record with its fourth overtime victory this month. The Wolves had previously beaten the Spurs, the 76ers and the Rockets in overtime, all at home, over a five-day span the first week of the new year.
Six other NBA teams had won four games in extra time in one calendar month: the Knicks in Dec. 1952, the Rockets in November 1976, the Bucks in February 1978, the Hawks in January 1997, the Timberwolves in March 2000 and the Celtics in December 2001.
• The Knicks defeated the Kings 102-97 in a game that was one in a thousand. Make that, one in more than a thousand.
It was the first game in the NBA this season in which neither team led by more than six points at any time during the game. (Each team's largest lead on Monday was exactly six points.) You have to go back to Dec. 9, 2005 -- more than 1,500 games ago -- to find the last regular-season NBA game in which neither team held a lead of as many as seven points. (On that date, the Pistons defeated the Warriors in Oakland 106-103.)
• The Suns outscored the Grizzlies 76-72 on Monday night -- oh wait, that was the halftime score in what turned out to be a 137-122 Phoenix win. You have to go back more than 14 years to find the last NBA game in which each team scored 70 or more points in the first half: on Nov. 28, 1992, the Pacers outscored the Hornets in the first half 76-70 en route to a 134-122 win in Charlotte.
So that now makes 15 straight games in which Memphis has allowed 100 or more points (the last six games that Mike Fratello coached and all nine under his successor, Tony Barone). That's the longest such streak permitted by any NBA team since the Grizzlies themselves allowed triple-figure totals in 15 straight games while based in Vancouver in the winter of 1998.
• This note comes with a disclaimer: The Elias Bureau does not measure (or weigh) athletes, and we agree that over the years there has been some height and weight information listed on team rosters, in all sports, that has caused us to arch a collective eyebrow.
But we can report that in just their second game together as teammates, Earl Boykins (listed at 5-foot-5) and Andrew Bogut (listed at 7-0) have become the first pair of teammates -- one listed at 5-6 or shorter and the other at 7-0 or taller -- to each score 25 or more points in an NBA game.
Boykins dropped 30 and Bogut 27 in the Bucks' 99-91 victory at Charlotte on Monday.
In fact, it was the 13th time since Bryant joined the team in 1996 that the Lakers had made that many 3-pointers in one game -- but just the second of those 13 games in which Bryant didn't score any of them. (The other time was the final game of the shortened 1998-99 season, as Kobe played just 22 minutes in a playoff tune-up.)
• The Red Wings shut out their onetime rivals, the Canadiens, 2-0 in a reunion of sorts in Detroit. First, some history: Back in the day of Gordie Howe and Maurice Richard, these teams met in the Stanley Cup finals four times within a five-year span -- they're still the only pair of teams in NHL history to do that -- from 1952 to 1956.
But on Monday, the story wasn't so much whether the Wings would beat the Canadiens; it was that for the first time in more than three years, the Wings would simply meet the Canadiens. The meeting was the first of these teams since Oct. 20, 2003. The span of three years and 87 days without a regular-season meeting is the longest ever between games involving a pair of "original six" teams.
That's the highest total in the NHL this season of teammates scoring goals in the same game. The Sabres' Chris Drury and Thomas Vanek have each done so in 11 games, as has the Rangers' pair of
Jaromir Jagr and Brendan Shanahan.
Tampa Bay's St. Louis has now scored at least one point in each of the team's last 15 road games, the longest road point-scoring streak in franchise history (1992-93 to date), and the longest by any NHL player within a single season since Eric Lindros had at least one point in each of 16 consecutive road games for the Flyers in 1995-96.
• The Bruins' 3-2 shootout win over Buffalo extended the Sabres' winless streak to a season-high three games (0-2-1). Entering play on Monday, Buffalo had been the only NHL team not to go winless in more than two consecutive games this season.
• The Sharks defeated the Avalanche 3-1 with all three goals coming on the power play to continue a remarkable display of power-play prowess. San Jose has now scored 19 power-play goals over its last seven games, the highest total of man-advantage goals over a seven-game span in a single season by any NHL team since the Blackhawks scored 20 (including a couple by current Chicago coach Denis Savard) over seven games in November 1987.
• The Predators defeated the Flames 5-3 in Nashville, and in so doing, they preserved a quirky distinction that they earned last spring.
Calgary, you see, had won its last four games, despite the absence of its goal-scoring leader, Jarome Iginla. Over the last five NHL seasons, the only team to win five straight games while missing its leading goal-scorer was the Predators, who won their last six games of the 2005-06 season without Steve Sullivan.
• The Panthers confirmed on Monday that offensive coordinator Dan Henning had been let go. Carolina had averaged 24.4 points per game during the 2005 season, but its average fell to 16.9 points per game in 2006.
That decline of 7.56 points per game was the second-largest by any NFL team from 2005 to 2006. The Raiders had a slightly larger decline (7.63 points per game), from 18.1 to 10.5.