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 Celtics extended their team-record losing streak to 15 games with a 109-102 loss to the Pistons. So a team whose history dates to 1946 has finally done something that has been done no fewer than eight times by the Mavericks, who played their first game in 1980.
Two days after the Super Bowl, the Celtics still haven't won a game since before the start of the NFL playoffs! Since the NFL introduced its current 12-team playoff format in 1990, and of course excluding the NBA's late-starting 1998-99 lockout season, the Celtics are just the second NBA team not to win a game during the entire length of the NFL playoffs (first wild-card game through Super Bowl).
In the 1997-98 season, the Warriors went winless in 14 games from Dec. 27 through Jan. 24, but then won their first game following the Broncos' victory over the Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII in South Florida.
• Amare Stoudemire may be on his way to a monstrous month. He had 36 points and nine rebounds in the Suns' overtime win at Portland on Tuesday, and now has amassed 124 points and 55 rebounds in four games in February.
No other NBA player has had so many points and so many rebounds over any four-game span this season. One player did it last season: Stoudemire's teammate Shawn Marion (134 points and 75 rebounds over four games, Feb. 22 to March 1).
• The Knicks trailed the Clippers 53-43 at halftime at Madison Square Garden, but a robust second-half rally led to a 102-90 victory for New York. And it was one for the books.
It had been nearly 10 years -- going back to a win at Boston on March 7, 1997 -- since the Knicks had overcome a double-digit halftime deficit to earn a double-digit victory. And their last win of that type at the Garden came in 1983 against Cleveland, back when Hubie Brown was the coach.
• David Lee developed a big-league shiner after getting hit below the eye early in the game, but the Knicks' indefatigable rebound machine still managed to collect 10 rebounds in New York's win.
Despite starting only 12 of the Knicks' 50 games this season, Lee has still managed to accumulate 10 or more rebounds in 30 of those 50 games. Lee has averaged 16.85 rebounds per 48 minutes this season; the last Knicks player to compile that high a rebounds-to-minutes ratio in a season of at least 1,000 minutes was Willis Reed (16.86) in 1970-71.
• When was the last time you saw an NBA player reach 30 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and five blocked shots in the same game? OK, besides Tuesday night, when Pau Gasol went 30-13-5-5 in the Grizzlies' 98-90 loss to the Rockets.
Well, even if you had seen every game this season and each of the last two seasons, you would not have seen it during that time. The last such game was turned in by Shaquille O'Neal -- then still with the Lakers -- on Feb. 18, 2004.
• Ruben Patterson scored 14 fourth-quarter points in the Bucks' 116-111 victory over the Magic. It was the most points that he had scored in any quarter since he tallied 15 in the second quarter while playing for Seattle at Atlanta on Jan. 9, 2001.
• Five NHL teams won games in shootouts on Tuesday -- the most games settled by that method on one day since the league adopted the rule at the start of last season.
The most amazing of the NHL's five shootout victories on Tuesday belonged to the Blackhawks, who trailed the Flames 2-0 at Calgary with three minutes remaining in the third period. But then Martin Havlat scored a pair of goals -- both on power plays, the second coming with 28 seconds to play -- and Chicago went on to win in the shootout 3-2 (with Havlat beating Miikka Kiprusoff in the shootout as well).
Chicago became only the third team in NHL history to win a game in which it wiped out a deficit by scoring a pair of power-play goals in the last three minutes of the third period. The Flames won an overtime game at Philadelphia in 2005 after tying the score with a pair of power-play goals late in regulation. But the grand-daddy of games of this type was played at Montreal in 1932, when the Maroons scored three power-play goals in a 24-second span late in the third period to defeat the Rangers 4-3.
• The Oilers might have been seeing Sedins in their dreams -- make that nightmares -- after the twins' dynamic performance in the Canucks' 5-2 win in Edmonton. Daniel Sedin had three goals and two assists while Henrik Sedin collected four assists.
You have to go back nearly 19 years to find the last NHL game in which two brothers had four or more points apiece. Back on Feb. 21, 1988, in Quebec's 6-5 win at Buffalo, Anton Stastny and Peter Stastny each had four points. (Of course, the Stastnys had set the bar for that sort of thing pretty high back in 1981, when each of them had eight points -- you read that correctly -- in Quebec's 11-7 win at Washington.)
• Dog Bites Man: Martin Brodeur and the Devils beat the Rangers at the Meadowlands on Tuesday. Brodeur lost his first two regular-season home games against the Rangers (both in the second half of the 1993-94 season), but since then, he's 25-3-4 with a 1.67 goals-against average in 32 regular-season games against the Rangers in New Jersey.
• Jaromir Jagr scored his 20th goal of the season in the Rangers' shootout loss against the Devils -- extending to 16 his streak of 20-goal seasons. Only two other players in NHL history have started their careers as Jagr has -- with 16 consecutive 20-goal seasons: Marcel Dionne did it in each of his first 17 seasons, and Mats Sundin, just last week, extended his own streak to 16 seasons by scoring his 20th of this season, against Jagr's Rangers.
Jagr's goal came in his 54th game of the season; the only other time it took him this long to reach the 20-goal mark was in 1990-91, his rookie year, when he did so in his 60th game.
• The Bruins topped the Capitals 3-2 in a shootout, but the big story was that Alex Ovechkin was held without a point for the third consecutive game. It marks the first time in Ovechkin's 136-game NHL career that he has played three straight regular-season games without recording a goal or an assist.
Among players who debuted in 1979 or later -- the so-called "Gretzky era" -- only two players advanced further into their NHL career without a three-game pointless streak. But don't assume, based on that, that Ovechkin is nearing a record. The players with longer streaks: Kent Nilsson, 183 games (1979 to 1982) and Mario Lemieux, who -- we kid you not -- went 735 games into his career (from 1984 to 1997) without playing three consecutive pointless games!
• Daniel Briere scored a go-ahead power-play goal in each of the first two periods, and then put another puck past Kari Lehtonen in the shootout as the Sabres won 4-3 in Atlanta. It was the seventh multiple-goal game this season for the All-Star Game MVP -- matching his total of multi-goal games over his three previous NHL seasons combined.
Five of Briere's seven multiple-goal efforts this season have come in road games, tying Teemu Selanne for the league lead in that category.
• Evgeni Malkin had a goal and an assist in the Penguins' 4-1 win over the Predators in Pittsburgh. Malkin has had at least one point in each of his team's last 12 games at Mellon Arena (19 total points: four goals, 15 assists). That matches the longest point streak in home games by a Penguins rookie, a mark set by Mario Lemieux in 1984-85. And it's the longest such streak by a rookie on any NHL team since Teemu Selanne had a pair of such streaks in home games for Winnipeg in 1992-93.
• The Maple Leafs, who beat the Blues in St. Louis on Tuesday, have won five consecutive games, including each of the first four games on their current five-game road trip. It's only the fourth time in franchise history that the Leafs have played four straight games on the road and won them all; they also did that in 1993, 2000 and 2003. Toronto can set a club record if it wins the final game of its road trip on Thursday in Nashville.
• Curtis Joseph registered the 50th shutout of his career as the Coyotes won 3-0 in Columbus, becoming the fourth active NHL goaltender to reach that level. Martin Brodeur (89), Ed Belfour (75) and Dominik Hasek (74) welcomed him to the club.
By the way, no major league pitcher has amassed as many as 50 shutouts since Nolan Ryan retired following the 1993 season with a total of 61 shutouts.
• The Blue Jackets have now been blanked 12 times this season, the most whitewashes suffered by an NHL team over its first 54 games since the Penguins had an identical 12 shutouts in the first 54 games to start the 1969-70 season. Before that, you have to go back to the 1930-31 season, when the New York Americans were blanked 13 times in a 44-game season.
• The Avalanche trailed the Panthers 4-2 entering the third period but rallied to win in overtime 5-4. Entering play on Tuesday, Colorado had been 0-14-1 this season in games in which it trailed at the end of the second period, and had been the only NHL team without a win in such a game.