Wade playing young so far in 2015-16
For the fifth time in five games this season, Dwyane Wade scored at least 20 points (25 on Thursday night) as the Heat won 96-84 at Minnesota. Wade, who will celebrate his 34th birthday in January, is the oldest player to put up 20+ points in each of his first five games of a season since Karl Malone, at age 37 in 2000-01.
Bulls backcourt puts up big numbers
Derrick Rose scored 29 points in 37 minutes and 29 seconds, and Jimmy Butler added 26 points in 37:55 of the Bulls’ 104-98 home win over the Thunder. It was the fourth time in franchise history that both of Chicago’s starting guards scored at least 25 points while playing less than 40 minutes. The other Bulls backcourt mates to do that were Quintin Dailey and Reggie Theus (March 1983 vs. New Jersey), Michael Jordan and John Paxson (November 1989 at Utah), and Ben Gordon and Rose (January 2009 at Phoenix).
Home court doesn’t mean much in Jazz games
The Jazz have been on a wild ride lately. Utah’s last four games have consisted of road wins by 28 and 21 points at Philadelphia and Indiana, a 16-point home loss to Portland, and a 12-point win at Denver Thursday night. No team has had a four-game stretch that included three road wins by 12+ points and a home loss by the same kind of margin since the 76ers in November 1980.
Lillard continues hot start
Damian Lillard led all players with 27 points in the Trail Blazers’ 115-96 win over the Grizzlies, bringing his season scoring total to 164. Only one other starting guard has scored as many points over Portland’s first six games of a season; Clyde Drexler put up 166 in 1988-89.
Jefferson can’t miss
Al Jefferson made 15 of 18 shots from the floor (83%), scoring a game-high 31 points in the Hornets’ 108-94 win at Dallas. The only other Charlotte player ever to shoot better than 80% in a 30-point game was Larry Johnson (81%, 31 points), against the Bulls on April 23, 1993.
Carlson reaches 200-point milestone
John Carlson tallied one goal and one assist in the Capitals’ 4-1 win against the Bruins. Carlson’s first point in Thursday’s game, an assist on an Alex Ovechkin goal, was the 200th point of his NHL career. The Massachussets native is one of seven U.S.-born defensemen to have recorded 200 or more points since 2009-10, his first season in the NHL. The others are Dustin Byfuglien, Ryan Suter, Alex Goligoski,Jack Johnson, James Wisniewski, and Keith Yandle.
Anderson thrives with extra work
Ottawa goaltender Craig Anderson stopped 38 of Winnipeg’s 40 shots on goal in his 3-2 shootout victory over the Jets on Thursday. Anderson has won all three games in which he faced 40 or more shots on goal this season, which has improved his career record in such games to 36-12-9.
An unlikely two-goal game for Grossman
Defenseman Nicklas Grossmann registered the first multiple-goal game of his ten-season NHL career when he scored his first two goals for the Coyotes in their 4-2 win against Colorado. Grossmann, who was traded to Arizona by the Flyers in June, scored only five goals in 463 games over his first eight years in the NHL before matching that goal total with five in 68 games for Philadelphia last season. He’s the first Coyotes defenseman other than Oliver Ekman-Larsson to score two goals in one game since New Year’s Eve 2013, when Keith Yandle scored twice against Edmonton.
Kucherov loves western New York
Nikita Kucherov scored one goal and assisted on another in the Lightning’s 4-1 victory over the Sabres in Buffalo. Kucherov has tallied four goals and four assists in his five career games versus the Sabres at First Niagara Center, with at least one point in each game, but he no points in five career games against them in Tampa.
A rare winner for Hodgson
Cody Hodgson, who signed with Nashville as a free agent last summer, scored his first goal for the Predators on Thursday and it was the game-winning goal in their 3-2 victory at Minnesota. Hodgson scored 41 goals over the past three seasons while playing for the Buffalo Sabres but only one of those goals was a game-winner, and it came more than two-and-a-half years ago against the Bruins in Boston on Jan. 31, 2013. None of the last 37 goals he scored for the Sabres were decisive tallies.
Flames win another in OT
Mikael Backlund’s goal at the 35-second mark in overtime earned the Flames a 2-1 win over the Flyers. Backlund has scored three overtime goals in an NHL career spent entirely with Calgary, with one in each of the last three seasons, a period in which the Flames have recorded a league-high 19 overtime wins, four more than Anaheim, the team with the second-highest OT win total.
Wiese on an unlikely scoring run
Dale Weise extended his point streak to a career-high four games when he scored the first goal in the Canadiens’ 4-1 win against the Islanders. Weise leads the Canadiens with eight goals in 15 games this season, two shy of the single-season high he set while playing 79 games for Montreal last season. Weise’s goal in Thursday’s game was a power play marker, as was the goal he scored against Ottawa two days earlier. Before Tuesday’s game, Weise had scored only one power play goal in his 271 career games in the NHL.
SOURCE: Elias Sports Bureau