Elias Says ...
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• It was billed as Nowitzki vs. McGrady, but Jason Terry scored the last six points of the game to rally the Mavericks to an 80-77 win over the Rockets. This was the fourth Dallas victory since Jan. 1 in which Terry scored the enduring go-ahead points in the final two minutes of play. The only other player with even three such game-winners during that time is Vince Carter.
• LeBron James outscored Kobe Bryant 38-34 in the Cavaliers' 114-108 win at Staples Center. That might not seem like news, but it was the first time in seven meetings that the higher scorer in the individual battle between LeBron and Kobe played for the winning side.
James made 18 of 22 free throws, the most points that a visiting player scored from the foul line against the Lakers in a regulation-length game since 1966, when Oscar Robertson shot 19-for-23 from the line. Note: Gilbert Arenas made 21 of 27 free throws in an overtime game at Staples Center on Dec. 17.
• The Flyers traded Peter Forsberg to the Predators on Thursday night. As we've reported previosuly, Forsberg's career average of 0.90 assists per game is the fourth highest in NHL history, behind only the three players widely considered the best of the expansion era -- perhaps of all time: Wayne Gretzky (1.32), Mario Lemieux (1.13) and Bobby Orr (0.98).
But Forsberg still has something left in the tank, having collected 19 assists in his past 16 games. Only four players have more assists during that time (that is, since Dec. 28): Joe Thornton, 27 (20 games); Sidney Crosby, 25 (20); Henrik Zetterberg, 24 (23); and Martin St. Louis, 21 (22).
• Thirty-seven-year-old Joe Sakic scored two goals and assisted on three others in the Avalanche's 7-5 win at Calgary. Over the past 30 years, only three other players recorded five points in a game at age 37 or older: Mario Lemieux (40 in 2005), Brett Hull (37 in 2002) and Wayne Gretzky (38 in 1999).
• The Sabres overcame a first-period deficit to defeat the Oilers 2-1. Buffalo has earned a league-high 41 points in the standings this season in games in which it trailed, two more than the runners-up, the Penguins.
• Daniel Briere's overtime goal in the Sabres' victory was his third in OT this season, tying Sami Salo of the Canucks for the league lead. (Salo scored his third OT goal Wednesday.) Briere is the first player in Sabres history to score three overtime goals in one season.
• Randy Robitaille scored two late goals to seal the Islanders' 4-1 win over the Bruins. It was the first time that Robitaille scored twice in the same period since March 4, 2001, and he set a personal record by scoring a pair of goals in a span of 2 minutes, 53 seconds.
• Teemu Selanne scored a power-play goal in overtime to give the Ducks a 5-4 victory over the Coyotes. Selanne, who had never scored a PPG in overtime prior to his game-winner against the Penguins on Nov. 6, became the 11th NHL player to score two such goals in one season. (No player has scored three in a season.)
• Vincent Lecavalier scored both regulation-time goals for the Lightning in their 3-2 shootout victory over the Capitals. Lecavalier has scored seven goals in five games against the Caps this season with at least one goal in each game.
• The Rangers defeated the Hurricanes 4-1 at Raleigh on Thursday night, marking the second consecutive season in which New York has recorded a three-goal road victory over the defending Stanley Cup champs. Last season, the Rangers posted a 5-2 win at Tampa. They had a total of only two such wins over the previous 20 seasons combined.
• Padraig Harrington shot an opening-round 63 to take a three-stroke lead at the Nissan Open. That equaled the best first-round score in tournament history. The others to shoot 63 in the first round at the Nissan Open -- formerly known as the Los Angeles Open -- were Michael Allen (1990), Lanny Wadkins (1985), Terry Mauney (1982) and Charlie Sifford (1969). Wadkins and Sifford went on to win the tournament in those years.
• Harrington recorded 10 birdies Thursday to become the third golfer to shoot 10 sub-par holes in a round this season. The others were Kevin Sutherland in the second round of last week's AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and Brandt Snedeker in the opening round of the Buick Invitational. (Both had 10.)
Harrington was the fourth player to shoot below par on at least 10 holes in a round at the Nissan Open. The last was Ted Tryba in the third round in 1999 (10).
• Phil Mickelson shot a bogey-free 66 on Thursday, the third round this season in which has shot par or better on every hole. Mickelson had only five such rounds during the entire 2006 season.