Another amazing performance by Westbrook
•Russell Westbrook scored 36 points, handed out 18 assists and hauled down 12 rebounds in the Thunder’s overtime win over the Nuggets on Friday night. It marked the second time Westbrook recorded a triple-double with at least 35 points and 15 assists this season, having also done that on November 11 against Orlando (41 points, 16 assists and 12 rebounds). The only other player to have two such games in his career is Oscar Robertson, who did it eleven times from 1961 to 1970. Five other players did it once: Wilt Chamberlain (1968), Charlie Scott (1972), Pete Maravich (1975), Michael Jordan (1985) and LeBron James (2010).
A busy night on the hardwood
•After the NBA was dark for Thanksgiving, all 30 teams in the league returned to action on Friday. It marked the fifth time in NBA history that 15 games were played on one day. The first time it happened was on January 2, 2009 and the most recent such occurrence (before Friday) was on April 16, 2014.
James plays his 1000th game
•LeBron James scored 19 points, grabbed five rebounds and handed out 11 assists in his 1000th regular-season NBA game, a 128–90 Cavaliers victory over the Mavericks. In doing so, James increased his career totals to 27,138 points, 7174 rebounds and 6938 assists. The only other players who amassed as many points as James through their first 1000 games were Wilt Chamberlain (30,828), Michael Jordan (30,809), and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (27,819). The only other player who produced minimums of 25,000 points, 7000 rebounds and 6500 assists to that point of his NBA career was Oscar Robertson (26,272 points, 7668 rebounds and 9649 assists).
Irving makes his first ten field-goal attempts
•Kyrie Irving, who scored 25 points in Cleveland’s win, made 10 of his 13 field-goal attempts, including each of his first ten. Irving had never before made more than eight consecutive shots from the floor in any game of his NBA career.
The Spurs remain undefeated on the road
•San Antonio set an NBA record with their 109–103 victory at Boston, becoming the first team in NBA history to win its first nine road games of a season, all by margins of five or more points. Two other teams won their first eight road games of a season by such large margins: the 1969–70 Knicks and the 2015–16 Warriors.
T-Wolves ride big fourth quarter to victory
•The Timberwolves entered the fourth quarter trailing the Suns, but outscored Phoenix by a score of 31-10 in the final period and came away with a 98-85 victory on Friday. The only other time Minnesota won a game in which it trailed entering the fourth quarter and then outscored its opponent by more than 20 points in the final period was on November 5, 2012 against the Nets in Brooklyn. The T-Wolves trailed the Nets by a score of 86-75 after three quarters but scored 32 points to Brooklyn’s 10 in the final 12 minutes.
Butler and Wade lead the Bulls to victory
•Jimmy Butler (26 points, 10-for-15, .667) and Dwyane Wade (26 points, 11-for-18, .611) were both on target while helping the Bulls defeat the 76ers at Philadelphia. Over the last nine seasons, there was only one other game in which a pair of Chicago teammates each scored more than 25 points while making more than 60 percent of their field-goal attempts. The only other Bulls teammates to do so during that time (2008–09 to date) were Kyle Korver and Carlos Boozer in a victory over the Jazz on March 10, 2012.
Anthony carries the Knicks
•Carmelo Anthony generated game-high totals of 35 points and 14 rebounds and added five assists in the Knicks’ overtime win against the Hornets. It was the fourth game of Anthony’s NBA career in which he produced those minimums of points and rebounds (and his third with New York), but it was the first of those games in which he handed out more than two assists.
Wall and Beal swishing and dishing
•John Wall scored 26 points and produced ten assists while Bradley Beal generated 14 points and eight assists in the Wizards’ win at Orlando. It was only the third game in the past six seasons in which a pair of Washington teammates each had minimums of 14 points and eight assists. During that time Wall and Beal accounted for one of the two other such occurrences, having done so in a win at Philadelphia on November 6, 2013. The other Washington teammates who did that since 2011–12 were Wall and Nene in a win versus the Heat on January 15, 2014.
DeRozan is on target on Milwaukee
•DeMar DeRozan made nine of his 18 field-goal attempts and scored a team-high 26 points in Toronto’s win over the Bucks in Milwaukee on Friday night. DeRozan entered the game with a .368 career field-goal percentage at the Bradley Center, which was the third-lowest mark among the 66 active players with at least 130 attempts at Milwaukee’s current home, ahead of Rashad Vaughn (.331) and John Wall (.336). It marked the fifth time DeRozan scored 25 or more points and made at least half of his field-goal attempts in a road game this season, tied with Jimmy Butler for the most such games in the league.
Robinson produces his first 20-point game…but is well behind his father
•Glenn Robinson III led the Pacers with a career high 20 points in Indiana’s win over the Nets on Friday night. It took Robinson 95 games to record his first career 20-point game, something that his father Glenn accomplished in just his fifth game. The elder Robinson, who began his career with the Bucks in 1994, scored 20 or more points 65 times in his first 95 games, including 13 performances of 30 or more points.
Hawks lose by 27 in Utah
•The Hawks were blasted by a score of 95-68 in Utah on Friday night. It marked the first time Atlanta lost a game by more than 25 points since December 26, 2014, when it dropped a 107-77 decision to the Bucks. Atlanta’s streak of 150 consecutive games without losing by more than 25 points was the second-longest current streak of its kind entering Friday’s action behind Toronto (273 straight); and it was the Hawks’ longest such streak since they went 169 straight games without losing by more than 25 points from February 1997 to November 1999.
All five Pistons starters produce in win over Clippers
•The Pistons received great production from their starters in the team’s win over the Clippers, with Marcus Morris scoring a team-high 17 points, Andre Drummond, Ish Smith and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope each scoring 16 points and Tobias Harris chipping in with 15. Only two other team’s starters each scored 15 or more points in the same game this season: the Knicks on November 4 against Chicago and the Clippers on November 12 against Minnesota.
Plumlee does it all for Portland
•Mason Plumlee scored 12 points and contributed 14 rebounds and eight assists in the Trail Blazers’ 119–104 home win over the Pelicans. Plumlee is the first Portland starting center to put up at least 10 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists in a game since Arvydas Sabonis (16 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists) against the Mavericks on February 15, 1999.
Harden doesn’t need a peak shooting performance for a triple-double
•James Harden had 23 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists to register his 13th career triple-double in the Rockets’ 117–104 win at Sacramento. Harden made just six of 18 field-goal attempts Friday. That 33.3 field-goal percentage was his lowest in a triple-double. His previous worse was 35.0%, which he did twice in the 2014–15 season.
King Henrik turns back Flyers
•Henrik Lundqvist faced 42 shots on goal (half of them in the third period) in his 3–2 victory over the Flyers in Philadelphia. That improved Lundqvist’s career record in regular-season games in which he faced 40 or more shots on goal to a remarkable 22–3–10. Lundqvist’s .771 points percentage whan facing 40-plus shots is the second-highest among active NHL goaltenders who’ve played at least 15 such games, behind Tuuka Rask’s .810 percentage (16–3–2 in 21 games).
Sharks bite back after giving up late tying goal
•Patrick Marleau scored the go-ahead goal for the Sharks with 22.5 seconds left to play in the third period which earned them a 3–2 win over the Islanders. Marleau’s game-winner was a quick response to the goal by Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy which tied the score at 2–2 with 57.2 seconds remaining in the third period. Over the last three seasons there was only one other NHL game in which a team scored a go-ahead in regulation time after allowing a tying goal in the final minute of the third period and the Islanders were on the wrong end of things in that game too. That was on April 7, 2015 in Philadelphia, when Anders Lee’s goal at 19:32 of the third period got the Islanders even at 4–4, only to have Brayden Schenn score the winning goal for the Flyers at 19:57.
The only other win of this kind for the Sharks came in their first season in the NHL, 1991–92, and, yes, it was against the Islanders. That game was played on Nov. 9, 1991 at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, the Sharks’ home for their first two seasons in the league. Islanders defenseman Uwe Krupp tied the score with a goal at 19:06 of the third period, but Sharks defenseman Bob McGill answered that with a go-ahead goal 14 seconds later which gave San Jose a 4–3 victory.
Brodin’s three points lifts Wild to win over Penguins
•Minnesota defenseman Jonas Brodin tallied three points in one game for the first time in his NHL career when he racked up three assists in the Wild’s 6–2 win against the Penguins. It was the first three-point game by a Minnesota defenseman this season, and if the pattern of recent seasons holds it will be the only one. The Wild had exactly one three-point game by a d-man in each of the past five seasons. It was Marek Zidlicky in 2011–12 and Ryan Suter in each of the next four seasons (2012–13 through 2015–16).
Blackhawks win another tight one
•Artem Anisimov, Patrick Kane and Ryan Hartman scored the goals for the Blackhawks as they took a 3–0 lead in their game at Anaheim and then held on for a 3–2 win over the Ducks. Chicago’s last seven wins have all been by a one-goal margin, with four coming in regulation time and three in overtime. (The team’s record during this stretch is 7–3–1.) Seven consecutive team wins by one goal (and none via a shootout) ties a Blackhawks single-season record set in February 1985 (7–2–1, with six regulation wins and one in OT).
Caps score on the power play in third straight game
•Brett Connolly recorded a goal and an assist in the Capitals’ 3–1 victory against the Sabres. Connolly’s goal was a power play tally which extended Washington’s streak of consecutive games with a PPG to a season-high three games. The Capitals scored only five power play goals in their first 15 games this season (in 42 chances, a success rate of 11.9%) but they’ve scored five goals with a manpower edge in their five games since then (in 18 opportunities, 27.8%).
Wilson and Johansen each score twice in Predators’ win
•Colin Wilson and Ryan Johansen each scored two goals in the Nashville Predators’ 5–1 win against the Jets. It was the second game this season in which the Predators had a pair of multiple-goal scorers, with Viktor Arvidsson and Kevin Fiala having each scored twice in Nashville’s 5–1 victory over the Penguins on October 22. The Predators had only two such games over the past five seasons combined but they both came within an 11-day span, on March 25 (Matt Cullen and Roman Josi vs. Colorado) and April 4, 2014 (Mike Fisher and Wilson at Anaheim).
Green’s OT goal gives Red Wings a win
•Frans Nielsen scored the first two goals for the Red Wings and then assisted on the overtime goal by Mike Green which gave the Red Wings a 5–4 victory over the Devils in Newark. Green’s OT goal was the ninth regular-season overtime tally of his NHL career and his first for a team other than the Capitals. Green is the NHL’s active leader in regular-season overtime goals among defensemen and he ranks second all-time in that category, behind Scott Niedermayer with 13.
Johnson guides Flames to win over his former team
•Former Bruins goaltender Chad Johnson made 35 saves as he backstopped the Calgary Flames to a 2–1 win in Boston on Friday. Johnson has a 3–1–0 record in his four career games against the Bruins in Boston and each win was for a different team: the Islanders (in 2014), the Sabres (2015), and now the Flames. The only other active goaltenders with regular-season wins as a visiting player in Boston for three different NHL clubs are Roberto Luongo (Islanders, Panthers, Canucks) and Craig Anderson (Panthers, Avalanche, Senators).
Atkinson is the star in Blue Jackets’ win
•Cam Atkinson earned first-star honors with a goal and an assist for the Blue Jackets in their 5–3 win against the Lightning in Tampa. Atkinson’s goal was a shorthanded marker in the third period which closed out the scoring in the game. It was Atkinson’s first shorthanded goal this season and it extended his streak of consecutive seasons with at least one SHG for Columbus to four, tying a franchise record. The other players to score at least one shorthanded goal for the Blue Jackets in each of four consecutive seasons are Rick Nash (2006–07 to 2009–10) and Antoine Vermette (2008–09 to 2011–12).
Lindell’s first career goal is a game winner for the Stars
•Esa Lindell’s first NHL goal was the game-winning goal for the Stars in their 2–1 win over the Canucks. Lindell also assisted on the Stars’ first goal of the game, which was scored by Radek Faksa. With his two-point night Lindell became the first rookie defenseman in Stars franchise history (Minnesota and Dallas) to produce a multiple-point game in which he picked up a point on every goal the team scored in a victory. Lindell is the first player, defenseman or forward, whose first NHL goal was a game-winning goal for the Stars since Mattias Janmark notched the game-decider for Dallas in its 2015–16 season opener.
Coyotes extend streak against Edmonton
•The Arizona Coyotes overcame a 2–0 deficit and beat the Edmonton Oilers, 3–2, in a shootout. This was the Coyotes’ 24th consecutive game against the Oilers in which they’ve earned at least one point (20–0–4), a streak which began with a 3–1 win in Edmonton on St. Patrick’s Day in 2011. It’s the longest point streak by one NHL team versus another since the Oilers had a 24-game point skein against the Canucks from Novermber 1985 to March 1988.