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 Dallas-Golden State series was the 20th in NBA playoffs history in which one team had at least 25 more wins than the other in the regular season. Not only are the Warriors the first underdog to win such a series, but the previous 19 teams combined to win only six games, and none of those teams won more than one game in the series.
The old record for the biggest difference in regular-season wins for a series-winning underdog was 21, by the Nuggets (42 wins) over the SuperSonics (63) in 1994.
• The Warriors defeated the Mavericks by 25 points, 111-86, the second-largest margin of victory to knock out the top seed since 1984, the first year of the current playoff format. In the 2001 Western Conference finals, the second-seeded Lakers defeated the Spurs by 29 points, 111-82.
• Dirk Nowitzki, who averaged 24.6 points per game and was an All-Star this season, made only 2 of 13 shots in the Mavericks' loss (15 percent). Only one other player in NBA history has taken at least 10 shots in a game in which his team was eliminated from the playoffs and made as low of a percentage as Nowitzki, after being an All-Star and averaging at least 20 points per game that season: Michael Finley was 1-for-17 (6 percent) in the Mavericks' 2001 series-ending loss to the Spurs.
• Don Nelson's Warriors eliminated the Mavericks from the playoffs two seasons after Nelson coached Dallas. Plenty of NBA coaches have defeated a former team in a postseason series. But only four others have knocked out a team that they had coached as few as two seasons earlier: Larry Brown for the Pistons vs. the 76ers in 2005, Lenny Wilkens for the SuperSonics vs. the Trail Blazers in 1978, Pat Riley for the Heat vs. the Knicks in 1997 and Alex Hannum for the 76ers against the Warriors (who he had coached the previous season) in 1967.
• The home team has won all six games of the Jazz-Rockets series, including Utah's 94-82 win over Houston on Thursday. It's the 21st time in NBA history that the home team has won the first six games of a postseason series. The good news for the Rockets: The home team has won 18 of the previous 20 Game 7s.
• Mehmet Okur, who made four 3-pointers in the Jazz's win over the Rockets, is the fifth starting center to make as many as four 3-pointers in a postseason game. Sam Perkins did it four times, Clifford Robinson did it twice and Bill Laimbeer and Raef LaFrentz each did it once.
• Scott Niedermayer has 10 regular-season overtime goals, the most ever by a defenseman, but his series-clinching goal against the Canucks was his first overtime goal in the playoffs.
• Jean-Sebastien Giguere is now 10-1 in overtime in the playoffs. Only two other goaltenders won 10 of 11 postseason overtime games at any point in their career: Grant Fuhr from 1991-93 and Patrick Roy from 1993-96.
• There have been 12 overtime games in the 2007 playoffs, and the Canucks have been involved in half of them. The last team to play as many as six OT games through the first two rounds of the NHL playoffs was the 1999 Blues, who had seven through the conference semifinals.
• Derek Jeter extended his hitting streak to 20 games with hits in each end of the Yankees' Thursday doubleheader against the Rangers. Jeter, who had a 25-game hitting streak last season, is the third player in Yankees history to have a 20-game hitting streak in back-to-back seasons, joining Joe DiMaggio (1940 and 1941) and Don Mattingly (1984 and 1985).
• Sammy Sosa recorded his 1000th career extra-base hit Thursday, making him the 27th player in major league history to reach that milestone. Sosa, who has 361 doubles, 44 triples and 595 home runs, is one of eight members of the 1,000 extra-base-hit club for whom home runs have accounted for the majority of his extra-base hits. And of that group, Sosa has the highest percentage of his extra-base hits being home runs. Next-highest is Mike Schmidt (54 percent).
• Damion Easley's ninth-inning three-run home run gave the Mets a 6-4 lead en route to a 9-4 win over the Diamondbacks. It was Easley's second home run this season which changed the lead after the Mets had been trailing. He had a 10th-inning solo homer against the Rockies on April 24 that tied the game 1-1. The only other major leaguer with two lead-changing home runs this season in the ninth inning or later when his team was trailing is Alex Rodriguez.
• The Mets have won 11 in a row in Arizona, the longest current road winning streak in the major leagues by one team over another, and the longest such streak in Mets history.
• Tom Glavine recorded the 2,500th strikeout of his career Thursday, making him the 29th pitcher in major league history to strike out 2,500 batters. Of the 28 others, all but six played the majority of their career in the expansion era (1961 to date). The six old-timers are all in the Hall of Fame: Tim Keefe, Cy Young, Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson, Bob Feller and Warren Spahn. And with the exception of Feller, the pre-expansion pitchers are the only members of the 2,500-K club who averaged fewer strikeouts per nine innings than Glavine (5.4).
• The Devil Rays moved into a tie for second place in the American League East with their win over the Twins on Thursday. The Devil Rays have been in second place this many games into a season only once previously (they've never been in first place this late in a season). In 1999, the Devil Rays were in second place through 32 games, with a 17-15 record.
• James Shields struck out eight batters in 7 1/3 innings Thursday, giving him 45 Ks in 43 1/3 innings this season. Only three other right-handed pitchers have thrown at least 30 innings this year and have averaged a strikeout per inning: Jake Peavy (46 in 39 1/3), Daisuke Matsuzaka (39 in 38) and Boof Bonser (32 in 31 2/3).
• The Red Sox beat the Mariners on Thursday, 8-7, after Dice-K allowed five runs in the top of the first inning. Over the last 15 years the Red Sox won only two other games at Fenway Park in which they allowed at least five runs in the top of the first -- two weeks apart in September 2000 against the Twins and Indians.
• Left over from Tuesday: Barry Bonds' home run against Jeff Francis was Bonds's 222nd home run against a left-handed pitcher, setting an all-time record. Bonds had been tied with Hank Aaron, who had 221 home runs against southpaws. Next-most: Ruth (219), Mays (209).
• The Indians completed their sweep of the Blue Jays on Thursday by coming from four runs down to win, after trailing by three runs on Tuesday and two runs on Wednesday. The Blue Jays have lost eight games this season in which they had a lead of at least two runs, tying them with the Yankees for the most in the major leagues.
• Real Salt Lake announced Thursday that Jason Kreis, the all-time leading goal scorer in Major League Soccer, has retired as a player to replace John Ellinger as the team's head coach.
Kreis has been the all-time MLS goal-scoring leader since June 19, 2004, when he tied Roy Lassiter at 88 goals. Kreis passed Lassiter seven days later, reached the 100-mark on Aug. 13, 2005, and retires with 108 goals in MLS regular-season play. Comparisons in other sports:
• Wayne Gretzky of the Coyotes is the third coach in NHL history to be the league's all-time leading goal scorer while active as a coach. Cy Denneny was the all-time leader during his two tenures as a coach (1928-1929 Bruins, 1932-1933 Ottawa Senators). Newsy Lalonde held the lead for three days only (Feb. 16-18, 1921) following a five-goal game while he was player/coach of the Canadiens.
• Dolph Schayes was the only man to coach an NBA game while he was the league's all-time leading scorer, although George Mikan came within four days of doing so! Schayes's reign as NBA scoring leader ended 24 games after his coaching career began when his career point total was surpassed by Bob Pettit in 1963. Mikan was passed in career points by Ed Macauley four days before making his debut as a coach for the Minneapolis Lakers in 1957.
• Two MLB managers were active as player/managers while ranking first in career home runs: Harry Stovey (Philadelphia of the American Association in 1885) and Roger Connor (St. Louis of the N.L. in 1896). The highest that any manager ranked during the live-ball era: Mel Ott ranked third in homers at the end of his tenure as Giants manager (1946-47).
• Jimmy Conzelman was the only NFL head coach who was the league's all-time leader in career touchdowns at the time. Conzelman topped the career TD list in 1924, while he coached the Milwaukee Badgers, and in 1925-26, when he coached the Detroit Panthers.
• Kreis will be the third man to play for and coach the same MLS team in one season. Roy Wegerle coached the final game of the 1996 season for the Rapids and Walter Zenga was a player-coach for the Revolution in 1999. The last manager or coach in the MLB, NFL, NBA or NHL who also played for the team that season was Pete Rose for the 1986 Reds.
• Jaime Moreno's goal on Thursday in D.C. United's 1-1 tie with the Revolution was the 30th penalty-kick goal of Moreno's career. Only three other players in MLS history have even half that many: Preki (23), Carlos Ruiz (16) and Amado Guevara (15).