Elias Says ...
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• There were four overtime games in the NBA on Wednesday (Pacers-Heat, Sixers-Cavaliers, Grizzlies-Jazz and Trail Blazers-Timberwolves), matching the most on any day in league history. It happened on two previous occasions (Dec. 16, 1977, and Jan. 10, 2003).
• The 76ers needed two overtime periods to prevail over the Cavaliers in Cleveland, 118-115. Philadelphia hadn't won a multiple-overtime game on the road since March 12, 1991, (at Atlanta). The only other NBA team without such a victory during that span was the expansion Bobcats.
• LeBron James scored 13 points in the second overtime period but missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer in an attempt to extend the game. In his career, James has made 4 of 14 potential game-tying or game-winning field-goal attempts in the final second of either the fourth quarter or overtime. LeBron's 13 points were the most for any NBA player in the second overtime period of a game since Orlando's Darrell Armstrong scored 13 in a victory at Philadelphia on Feb. 2, 2001.
• The Pacers came back from a 65-45 third-quarter hole to defeat the Heat in overtime 96-94. It was the fifth time this season that an NBA team won a game in which it trailed by at least 20 points during the second half. Indiana hadn't won a game in that fashion since Nov. 20, 2001, (vs. Atlanta).
• Shaquille O'Neal returned to action with five points in 14 minutes off the bench. That's right, off the bench. O'Neal has started all but nine games during his NBA career and he had entered only one of his previous 269 games as a substitute (Dec. 11, 2005). Seeing Shaq enter a game off the bench is unusual, but there's one current NBA player who has appeared in more than 500 games and started every one: Mike Bibby (633 games).
• The Suns overcame a 10-point deficit to defeat New York 112-107 and extend their winning streak to 15 games. It was the fourth time during their current streak that the Suns won a game in which they trailed by double digits. Phoenix became the sixth team in NBA history to win 15 straight games twice in one season. The other teams to do it were the 1946-47 Washington Capitols, 1970-71 Bucks, 1971-72 Lakers (during a 33-game winning streak), 1996-97 Jazz and 1999-2000 Lakers.
The Suns have won each of their past 11 games by a margin of at least five points, matching the longest such streak in franchise history. In fact, the last NBA team with such a streak was Phoenix, last season.
• The Celtics came out on the short end of an 82-76 decision against the Hawks in Boston, dropping their record to 2-15 in games without Paul Pierce this season. And with a loss at Sacramento, the Bucks' record fell to 1-8 this season without Michael Redd.
• The Rockets chalked up their second road win against the Spurs this season, winning consecutive visits to San Antonio for the first time since the spring of 1997. In the interim, Houston was 0-17 on the Spurs' home court.
• Tim Duncan scored 37 points in the Spurs' loss, his highest total in a game in more than two years. It was the 11th time in Duncan's career that he scored at least that many points in a game at San Antonio, but he's done that only twice on the road.
• Chucky Atkins came off the Grizzlies' bench to score 29 points and hand out 15 assists in a 132-130 overtime victory at Utah. Atkins was the first NBA player with at least 25 points and 15 assists in a game he didn't start since Cleveland's Bobby Washington (26 points, 15 assists) did it against the Lakers on Feb. 9, 1971.
• Deron Williams had 21 assists for the Jazz, nine of which led to field goals by Carlos Boozer. Williams has assisted on 135 of Boozer's field goals this season, the most for any NBA player on buckets made by a particular teammate.
• Randy Wittman returned to the NBA head-coaching ranks and saw his Timberwolves lose in overtime at Portland. Five of the previous six coaches who took over an NBA team during a season won their first game: Tony Barone (2006-07 Grizzlies), Bob Hill (2005-06 Sonics), Pat Riley (2005-06 Heat), Brendan Malone (2004-05 Cavaliers), and Avery Johnson (2004-05 Mavericks). The exception was Miami's Ron Rothstein (earlier this month).
• Joe Sakic had four assists for the Western Conference in its 12-9 victory in the NHL All-Star Game. It was Sakic's seventh multiple-point game in All-Star play, breaking the record he had shared with Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Mark Messier and Luc Robitaille (six each).
• Daniel Briere, who scored a goal and assisted on four others, was named the game's MVP. Briere tied a record by registering five points in his first All-Star Game, a mark he now shares with Adam Oates (1991), Bill Guerin (2001) and Dany Heatley (2003).
• Martin St. Louis became the first Tampa Bay Lightning player to score a goal in an All-Star Game. Tampa Bay entered the NHL in 1992-93 and waited more than 14 years for that to happen. No other expansion franchise had ever gone more than 10 seasons into its existence before having one of its players score a goal in an All-Star Game.