Elias Says ...

3/2/2007 - NHL NFL

A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:


• LeBron James scored 39 points in Cleveland's 95-92 loss at Dallas on Thursday night, but he missed two free throws with 14 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and then failed on two potentially game-tying three-point field goals within the final five seconds. That was the most points scored by an NBA player who missed two game-tying/winning field goals in the final five seconds of a game since January 5, 2001, when Chris Webber scored 51 points for Sacramento, but misfired twice from the field in the last five seconds of overtime in a 93-91 loss to Indiana.

LeBron is now 27-for-46 (58.7 percent) this season on late-game pressure free throws (defined by the Elias Bureau as attempts in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter or in OT with neither team leading by more than four points). He is making 68.4 percent of his free throws in all other situations this season.

• James has scored at least 35 points in each of his last four games against the Mavericks. That ties the longest current streak of 35-point games by one player against one franchise. Kobe Bryant has scored 35 or more points in each of his last four games against Boston and in each of his last four games against Phoenix.

• Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks in points (24), rebounds (11) and assists (7). It was the sixth time this season he led Dallas in all three of those categories in a game that the Mavericks won, the most "victorious triple crowns" for any player in the NBA this season.

• It was the Mavericks' 21st consecutive win in Dallas, the second-longest single-season home winning streak for any NBA team in the last 10 seasons. The Pacers won 25 straight home games during the 1999-2000 season.

• Portland defeated Charlotte 127-90, and at one point in the fourth quarter the Trail Blazers had a 46-point lead. That ties the largest lead for any NBA team in a game this season; Chicago led Memphis by 46 points on Jan. 13. The only larger lead in an NBA game over the last three seasons was a 47-point advantage for Phoenix over Houston on Feb. 16, 2006.

• LaMarcus Aldridge scored 30 points for the Trail Blazers, the most points scored by a Portland rookie in 22 years! On March 6, 1985, rookie Steve Colter scored 35 points for the Trail Blazers in a double overtime game against Washington.

• Rashard Lewis scored 31 points in Seattle's 77-75 victory over the Clippers. That's the most points that any NBA player has scored this season in a game in which his team produced fewer than 80 points.

• The Blues trailed the Islanders 2-0 with less than three minutes to play in the third period but they tied the score on goals 38 seconds apart by Jay McClement and Petr Cajanek, then won the game on Lee Stempniak's goal 25 seconds into overtime. It was the first time in Blues history that they won a game in which they trailed by two goals or more in the final three minutes of the third period.

• Eighteen-year-old Jordan Staal tied the NHL record for shorthanded goals in one season by a rookie when he scored with the Penguins down a man early in the third period of their game against the Rangers. It was Staal's sixth shorthanded goal, tying the mark set by Vancouver's Gerry Minor in 1980-81 and matched by New Jersey's John Madden in 1999-2000. But more remarkable than that is the fact that no other player in NHL history has scored more than one shorthanded goal before his 19th birthday!

• The Rangers took a 2-0 lead into the third period of their game against the Penguins at Madison Square Garden but Pittsburgh rallied for a 4-3 shootout victory over the Blueshirts. It was the league-high sixth time that the Rangers failed to win a home game in which they led by two or more goals this season (two regulation losses, two overtime losses and two shootout losses) and the fourth time they've done so in eight games at MSG since the beginning of February.

• The Flyers had 55 shots on goal in their overtime win in Boston on Thursday night. It was Philadelphia's highest shot total ever in a road game -- their previous high was 54 in a win at Washington in Dec. 1975 -- and their most shots at any venue since they put 55 shots on target in a 4-1 home victory over Phoenix in January 1997. The Bruins had not allowed that many shots on goal in a game since March 1965, when the Red Wings bombarded them with 57 shots en route to a 10-3 win.

• Olli Jokinen's goal at 2:11 of overtime gave the Panthers a 2-1 win over the Stars. It the 11th overtime goal of Jokinen's NHL career and his eighth OT goal over the last three seasons, three more than any other player has registered over that span. Daniel Briere, Patrik Elias, Brendan Morrison and Glen Murray each have five overtime goals since 2003-04.

• Tampa Bay and Washington combined to miss the first 19 shootout attempts in their game on Thursday night before Nick Tarnasky beat Capitals goaltender Brent Johnson to earn the Lightning a victory. The 19 consecutive failed shootout attempts was the second-longest futility streak in the two seasons the tiebreaker has been used in the NHL. The Rangers and Flyers came up empty on 25 straight attempts to begin their shootout on October 7 this season before New York's Marcel Hossa scored to send everyone home.


• Multiple published reports on Thursday night indicated that the Lions will trade Dre' Bly to the Broncos for Tatum Bell, George Foster and a draft pick.

Bly, teamed with Champ Bailey, would give Denver two starting quarterbacks who've each made multiple business trips to Honolulu. Since 1998, there have been only two instances in which a team sent two cornerbacks to the Pro Bowl in the same season: Patrick Surtain and Sam Madison were so honored in 2002 for the Dolphins and also in 2002, Bobby Taylor and Troy Vincent earned Pro Bowl berths at cornerback for Philadelphia.

Bell, whose 26th birthday is Friday, rushed for 1,025 yards in 2006. In the past 10 years, four running backs switched teams after rushing for at least 1,000 yards at age 25 or younger in the previous season: Curtis Martin (Patriots to the Jets after the 1997 season), Marshall Faulk (Colts to the Rams after the 1998 season), Ricky Williams (Saints to the Dolphins after the 2001 season) and Clinton Portis (Broncos to the Redskins after the 2003 season).