Elias Says: November 26, 2017

Old and young lead Mavs

Thirty-nine year old Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks with 19 points and Dennis Smith Jr., who was celebrating his 20th birthday on Saturday, scored 15. Nowitzki and Smith are the third pair of teammates, one age 39 or older and one age 20 or younger, to both score 15 or more points in the same game. John Stockton (age 39) and Andrei Kirilenko (age 20) had five games like that for the Jazz in 2001-02, and Michael Jordan (39) and Kwame Brown (20) did it twice for the Wizards in 2002-03.

Curry shakes off slow start

Stephen Curry scored 27 points despite missing his first ten shots from the field in the Warriors’ win over the Pelicans on Saturday night. That’s the most points scored by a player in a game in which he missed his first ten or more shots from the field since Kobe Bryant scored 29 points against the Suns on November 19, 2004 after starting the game 0-for-11 from the field.

Another large comeback in the NBA

The Rockets overcame a 22-point first quarter deficit in their win over the Knicks on Saturday night on the strength of James Harden’s 37 points and 10 assists. Houston’s win marked the eighth out of 286 games in this young NBA season in which the winning team overcame a deficit of 20-or-more points. That’s already half of the total of 16 such wins all last season, in 1230 games.

The Knicks have lost three of those eight games. They lost their home opener to the Pistons after holding a 21-point lead, and lost to the Cavaliers on November 13 after leading by 23 points, also at Madison Square Garden.

Beasley and Lee get Knicks off on the right foot

The Knicks got off to a fast start in their loss to the Rockets on Saturday night as Michael Beasley scored 17 points in the first quarter and Courtney Lee chipped in with 15 points in the opening quarter. Beasley and Lee became the first pair of teammates to each score 15 or more points in the first quarter of a game since DeMarcus Cousins (15 points in the first quarter) and Rudy Gay (15) turned the trick for the Kings against the Knicks two days after Christmas in 2014. The Kings beat the Knicks, 135-129, in overtime in that game.

Irving is proficient and efficient

Kyrie Irving made 11 of 20 shots from the field and scored 25 points in the Celtics’ win over the Pacers. It’s the fifth straight game in which Irving scored at 20 points and made at least half of his shots from the field. Only two other Celtics players over the last 25 years had such streak. Tony Allen had five consecutive games with at least 20 points while making at least half of his shots from the field in 2006-07 and Ray Allen had a five-game streak like that in 2009-10.

Irving has averaged 31 points per game and has made almost 63 percent of his shots from the field during this streak.

Two late comebacks for Blazers

The Trail Blazers overcame a seven-point deficit in the final two-and-a-half minutes to beat the Wizards in Washington on Saturday after they defeated the Nets by overcoming a six-point deficit in the final 2:20 in Brooklyn on Friday afternoon. Portland became the first team since April of 2008 to win games on consecutive days despite trailing by six or more points in the final three minutes or overtime in each game. The Bucks did it on April 1 and 2 of 2008 against the Knicks and Wizards respectively. Milwaukee trailed the Knicks by as many as seven points in the final three minutes of that game and won in overtime. They trailed by six in the final three minutes in their win over the Wizards.

Another big win for the Sixers

JJ Redick scored 29 points in the 76ers’ 130-111 win over the Magic on Saturday night. It was the third straight win for the Sixers, all by at least 19 points. They beat the Jazz, 107-86, on Monday and the Trail Blazers, 101-81, on the day before Thanksgiving. That matches the longest such streak in franchise history. The Nationals/76ers won three straight games, all by at least 19 points, five other times in franchise history: January/February 1962, October 1966, January 1977, March 1981 and March 2008.

Lowry is rebounding

Kyle Lowry led all players by grabbing a career-high 13 rebounds in the Raptors’ win over the Hawks. It was the fourth time in 19 games this season that Lowry was the outright leader for both teams in rebounds in a game. Prior to this season, Lowry had more rebounds than any other player did in a game four times in 713 regular-season games. Lowry’s team won seven of the eight games in which he was the game’s outright leader in rebounds.

Clips win 10th straight road game versus Kings

Blake Griffin scored 33 points in the Clippers’ win over the Kings in Sacramento on Saturday night. It was the tenth consecutive road win for the Clippers over the Kings dating back to April 2013. That’s the longest current team-vs-team road winning streak in the NBA, and the longest team-vs-team road winning streak in franchise history. The last team to win at least ten consecutive road games against one opponent was the Warriors, who won ten straight games at Minnesota from 2012 to 2016.

Rookie leads the Jazz

Rookie Donovan Mitchell led the Jazz with 24 points in their win over the Bucks. It was the eighth time this season that Mitchell led the Jazz in scoring. No other rookie has led his team in scoring more than five times this season.

Ovechkin turns another trick

Alex Ovechkin recorded his third hat trick of the season and the 20th hat trick of his NHL career when he scored three goals in the Capitals’ 4–2 win at Toronto. Ovechkin is the leader in hat tricks among active NHL players and he’s now tied with Darryl Sittler and Pavel Bure for 14th-most in NHL history. Ovechkin’s three hat tricks in 2017–18 tie his career high for one season; he also had three in 2007–08 and 2008–09.

How do you spell Saad? G-W-G

Brandon Saad is the most interesting player in the NHL. He’s doesn’t always score goals but when he does he always seems to produce the game-winning tally, as he did in the Blackhawks’ 4–1 victory against the Panthers on Saturday. Saad has scored goals in six different games this season (including three in Chicago’s 10–1 rout of the Penguins on opening night) and in each of those games he scored the winning goal! He’s the first NHL player to score the winning goal in each of six or more consecutive games in one season in which he scored a goal since Blues defenseman Al MacInnis had a six-game streak in the 1999–2000 season.

Price blanks Sabres

Carey Price, playing for the first time in three weeks, recorded his first shutout of the season by making 36 saves in a 3–0 win over the Sabres in Montreal. This was the 40th regular-season shutout of Price’s 11-season NHL career. He ranks fifth in shutouts over the last 11 seasons among NHL netminders, behind Henrik Lundqvist (56), Jonathan Quick (46), Pekka Ronne (45) and Roberto Luongo (42).

The Islanders are winning the tight ones

Anders Lee and Jordan Eberle scored the goals for the Islanders as they extended their winning streak to three games with a 2–1 victory against the Senators in Ottawa. The first two wins in the Islanders’ current streak were back-to-back overtime victories against the Flyers (4–3 in Brooklyn on Wednesday, 5–4 in Philadelphia on Friday). This is only the second time in the last ten seasons that the Islanders won three consecutive games, all by a one-goal margin and none via a shootout. Their other three-game winning streak of that kind since 2008–09 was in February 2015 (three 3–2 regulation wins, against Buffalo, Edmonton and Toronto).

Two PGGs for Sid the Kid

Sidney Crosby scored a pair of goals, both on power plays, in the Penguins’ 5–2 win against the Lightning. This was the ninth time that Crosby scored two power play goals in a regular-season game in his NHL career and the first since Feb. 2, 2016, in a 6–5 Pittsburgh victory over Ottawa. Crosby’s nine multiple-PPG games rank him fourth in Penguins history, behind Mario Lemieux (28), Kevin Stevens (12) and Rob Brown (10).

Devils win in OT

Brian Gibbons scored the first overtime goal of his NHL career to earn the Devils a 4–3 win against the Red Wings in Detroit, after New Jersey squandered a 3–1 third-period lead. This was the Devils’ third overtime victory this season and their 19th OT win over the last three seasons. (They had nine in 2015–16 and seven last season.) New Jersey’s 19 overtime wins since 2015–16 are the most by any Eastern Conference team and fourth-most in the NHL, behind the Kings (26), Flames (21) and Blackhawks (21).

Jaden goes wild

Jaden Schwartz scored two goals to help lead the Blues to a 6–3 win over the Minnesota Wild in St. Louis on Saturday. Schwartz has scored nine career goals (in 19 games) versus the Wild, his highest goal total against any NHL team. Since 2012–13, the only players who’ve scored more goals against Minnesota than Schwartz are Patrick Kane (11), Alex Ovechkin (11) and Blake Wheeler (10).

Vegas streaks continue

Jonathan Marchessault tallied one goal and two assists in the Golden Knights’ 4–2 win at Arizona on Saturday, matching the totals he posted in Vegas’ wins at Anaheim on Wednesday and at home versus San Jose on Friday. Marchessault is only the second NHL player to record at least three points in each of three consecutive team games in one of the last three seasons, joining Filip Forsberg who had a three-game streak for the Predators in February 2017. Marchessault’s teammate, William Karlsson, produced a goal and an assist against the Coyotes. Karlsson has scored at least one goal and tallied two points in each of the Knights’ last five games. He’s the first player to have a five-game (or longer) goal streak for a team in its first season in the NHL since 1998–99, when Greg Johnson scored goals in five consecutive games for the Nashville Predators. Karlsson’s streak of five consecutive multiple-point games is the longest by a player on a first-year NHL team since 1979–80, when Mike Rogers racked up six straight multi-point games for the Hartford Whalers.