Elias Says ...
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports.
A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:
• After Ben Gordon scored 48 points in the Bulls' 126-121 overtime victory at Milwaukee, his teammate Adrian Griffin said, "He never ceases to impress me. If you look at a guy his size, to do the things he does, it's quite incredible." True enough. Gordon was only the eighth player listed at 6-3 or shorter to score as many as 48 points in a game over the last 25 seasons. Like Gordon, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, Michael Adams, Dana Barros, Tony Delk, Stephon Marbury, and Damon Stoudamire did it once; Allen Iverson has done it 13 times.
• The Celtics have won four straight games. Over the last six seasons, the only other team that was more than 25 games below the .500 mark when it started a streak of four or more consecutive wins was the Bobcats, who concluded last season with four wins to finish the season at 26-56.
• Vince Carter missed his last 14 field-goal attempts in the Nets' 99-86 loss at Philadelphia. Carter missed 18 consecutive FGAs over a two-game span in 2003, but until Sunday he had never missed more than 11 straight in one game.
• Marc-Andre Fleury raised his record to 8-0-0 against the Flyers this season in Sunday's 4-3 shootout win. Fleury is the first goaltender to post eight victories against one team in a season since Bruce Gamble of the Maple Leafs went 8-0-1 against the Red Wings in 1967-68.
Only two other goalkeepers in NHL history won eight games against one opponent in a season without a tie or a loss: Bill Durnan of the Canadiens, 10-0-0 against the Bruins in 1944-45; and Frankie Brimsek of the Bruins, 8-0-0 against the Blackhawks in 1938-39. (Of course, Durnan or Brimsek might have considered Fleury's two shootout wins against the Flyers to be nothing more than glorified ties.)
• Pittsburgh's total of eight wins against Philadelphia this season equaled its number of victories against the Flyers over the previous six seasons combined. From 1999-2000 through 2005-06, the Penguins posted an 8-17-9 mark against the Flyers.
• Tomas Holmstrom missed a penalty shot in the first period of the Red Wings' loss. It was Detroit's 10th consecutive miss on a penalty shot, dating back to a goal by Igor Larionov in 1995. That's the longest current span without a penalty-shot goal by any NHL team.
• Martin Brodeur starting at home against Bruins rookie Joey MacDonald seemed like a sure thing. Not only did Boston beat the Devils 4-1, but that followed an odd recent trend: Brodeur has won only five of his last 12 starts at home against rookies (5-6-1).
• The Blackhawks rallied from a 3-1 deficit with two goals in the third period and defeated the Senators 4-3 in a shootout. It was Chicago's first home win in the last three seasons after falling two goals behind. The Blackhawks' last such victory in Chicago was a 4-3 win over the Red Wings on April 6, 2003.
Chicago's 45-game winless streak in home games in which it trailed by two goals was the longest in the NHL since the Islanders recorded a 79-game streak. An earlier generation of Blackhawks posted an NHL-record streak of 94 such games without a win that spanned 16 seasons (1926-27 to 1941-42).
• The Dallas Desperados opened their season with a 60-7 win over the New York Dragons. That was by far the largest margin of victory in a season opener in the 21-year history of the AFL. The previous high was 40 points by the San Jose SaberCats over the Houston Thunderbears in 2000 (54-14); and the Tampa Bay Storm over the Carolina Cobras in 2003 (60-20).
• The Desperados' victory sort of figured. They beat the Dragons by scores of 46-28 and 82-38 last season. The combined 62-point differential for the season was the largest between any two AFL teams over the last five seasons (2002-06).
• Catching up on Saturday night, Chris Greisen of the Georgia Force threw nine touchdown passes in a 69-65 win over the Arizona Rattlers. That was one short of the record for TD passes by one player in a team's opening game of the season. The record was set by Mike Pawlawski of the Albany Firebirds in 2000.
• North Carolina clinched the top seed in the ACC tournament with an 86-72 victory over Duke. UNC won its conference title as the top seed in 1982, but the Tar Heels have failed to win the ACC tournament in seven appearances as the top seed since then (1983, 1984, 1987, 1988, 1993, 2001, and 2005).
• Creighton defeated top-seeded Southern Illinois 67-61 to win the Missouri Valley Conference tournament and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Bluejays have now beaten the Salukis in each of their last six meetings in the MVC tournament -- the longest winning streak by one team over another in the history of the event, which dates back to 1977.