Elias Says ...
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• Dwight Howard's dunk with less than one second remaining in the fourth quarter gave Orlando a 106-104 win against San Antonio. It was the first game-winning dunk in the final second of an NBA game since Jerry Stackhouse did it for Washington on Nov. 8, 2002, in a 100-99 victory over the Lakers.
Howard has made 33 of 37 (.892) field-goal attempts over his past three games. That's the highest percentage for any NBA player over a three-game span (minimum: 30 FGA) since Artis Gilmore was 28-for-31 (.903) for the Bulls over three straight games during the 1980-81 season.
The Spurs led by 18 points in the first half. It was their largest blown lead in a defeat since Nov. 21, 2004, when they surrendered a 20-point advantage at Toronto, losing 96-91.
• Chicago led Golden State 93-79 at the end of the third quarter, but the Warriors rallied to win in overtime 123-121. Since 1980, Golden State won only one other game in which it trailed by 14 or more points heading into the fourth quarter. That victory came March 1, 1994, when the Warriors were behind by 14 points at the end of three quarters but beat the Clippers 114-109.
• The Mavericks defeated the Rockets 95-74, improving their record to 41-9. That ties the best record through 50 games for any NBA team over the past 10 seasons. Last season, the Pistons started 41-9 on their way to a 64-18 record.
• Atlanta's Joe Johnson scored 32 points Friday night, becoming the sixth former Suns player to score 30 or more points in a victory over Phoenix on the Suns' home court. The others to do that were Charlie Scott, Eddie Johnson, Cedric Ceballos, Jeff Hornacek and Michael Finley.
• Jarrett Jack scored 12 points in overtime, leading Portland to a 108-100 win at Charlotte. Over the past two seasons, the only other NBA player to score 12 or more points in one OT period was Gilbert Arenas, who had 16 on Dec. 17, 2006, against the Lakers. Arenas scored 60 points in that game.
It's the fifth time in their past nine games that the Trail Blazers have gone to overtime. Earlier this season, Minnesota played five OT games in a nine-game span. Prior to this season, only one team in NBA history played as many as five overtime games in a span of fewer than 10 games: the 1950-51 New York Knicks.
• The 76ers led the Clippers 64-51 with less than two minutes remaining in the third quarter, but Los Angeles rallied to win in Philadelphia 90-89. In the past five seasons, the 76ers lost only one other game in which they had that large a lead (at least 13 points) so late in the game (final two minutes of the third quarter or any time after that). On Dec. 17, 2004, the 76ers had a 19-point lead over the Knicks in the fourth quarter, but lost in overtime 113-107.
• The Clippers' victory was their fifth straight in a game decided by one point (4-0 this season and 1-0 last season). That ties the longest current streak in the league. Cleveland and San Antonio have also won their past five games decided by the minimum margin.
• Paul Pierce returned to action Friday night against the Nets, but his rust showed and the Celtics extended their losing streak to 17 games. Pierce missed his first eight shots from the field, the worst 0-fer to begin any game of his NBA career.
• Pau Gasol was only 2-for-13 (.154) from the field in the Grizzlies' OT win against Minnesota. That's his lowest field-goal percentage for any game in his NBA career in which he attempted at least 10 shots.
• According to The Associated Press, Memphis head coach Tony Barone lamented before Friday night's game about Mike Miller's playing time. Barone said, "We're killing him. We've got to get somebody else some minutes." Then Miller played 50 minutes in the overtime victory.
Miller has played 311 minutes (44.4 per game) over the Grizzlies' last seven games, one shy of the NBA-high for one player over seven games this season. Ryan Gomes, Allen Iverson and Caron Butler each played 312 minutes over a seven-game span this season. One of Miller's teammates may not think it's a big deal. Last season, Pau Gasol played 318 minutes over a seven-game span in December.
• There was no "home cooking" at Conseco Fieldhouse on Friday night. The Nuggets had 30 more free-throw attempts than the Pacers (43-13) in their 102-95 victory. There has been only one larger differential in any NBA game this season. On Nov. 3, the Lakers took 32 more foul shots than Seattle (48-16) in their 118-112 win.
• With Allen Iverson out of action, the heavy workload once again fell to Carmelo Anthony, who had 34 points in 45 minutes. It's the seventh straight game that Anthony has logged at least 40 minutes. Over the past 10 seasons, the only Nuggets player with a longer streak is Nick Van Exel, who played 40 or more minutes in nine consecutive games during the 2000-01 season.
• Chris Bosh scored 29 points in Toronto's 96-92 win over the Lakers. He converted 10 consecutive field-goal attempts during the game, the second-longest streak of his career. He made 15 straight shots last month in a win against Washington.
• Marcus Banks had an unusual line in the boxscore Friday night. He came off the Phoenix bench to score 20 points, but he did not record a rebound, assist, steal or blocked shot in the game. One other player this season produced zeros in those four categories while scoring 20 or more points in a game: Minnesota's Troy Hudson on Nov. 18.
• The Rangers got goals from a couple of unusual sources in their 5-0 win over Tampa Bay. Colton Orr, who had no goals in 65 career games in the NHL entering play Friday, scored New York's first goal and Ryan Hollweg, who had two goals in 104 career games and none in his last 84, scored the Rangers' third goal. It was the first time that two players ended goal droughts of at least 65 games in the same NHL contest since Nov. 6, 2003, when Washington's Joel Kwitakowski stopped a 79-game dry spell and Brian Sutherby ended a 65-game goalless stretch. It didn't help the Capitals that night: those were their only goals in a 4-2 loss at Philadelphia.
• Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier are the second-highest scoring pair of teammates in the NHL this season. They've combined for 142 points (St. Louis 72, Lecavalier 70), second-most in the league by a pair of teammates, behind Pittsburgh's duo of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin (145: Crosby 86, Malkin 59). But with Tampa Bay's 5-0 loss to the Rangers on Friday night, neither St. Louis nor Lecavalier has scored a point in their past five games at Madison Square Garden, dating to January 2004.