United Stats of #NBA #Murica



Portland’s backcourt lights up the scoreboard in consecutive games

CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard each scored 34 points in the Blazers’ win over the Nets on Tuesday night. It marked the second consecutive game that McCollum and Lillard each scored 30 or more points. Prior to Portland’s dynamic duo, the last pair of starting backcourt teammates to each score at least 30 points in consecutive games were San Antonio’s George Gervin and James Silas over 36 years ago. Gervin scored 55 and Silas chipped in with 32 in a Spurs win over the Pacers on January 23, 1980 and in San Antonio’s next contest, which came two days later, Gervin (39) and Silas (32) turned the trick again in a victory over the then Seattle SuperSonics.

nullWall registers his second triple-double this month

John Wall registered 16 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists leading the Wizards to a 109-89 win over the Pelicans on Tuesday. It marked the second time Wall recorded a triple-double this month, having previously done that with an 18 point, 13 rebound, 10 assist performance against the 76ers on February 5. Prior to Wall, the last Wizard to post multiple triple-double performances in a single calendar month was Chris Webber in April 1995.

Davis held to nine points after his 59-point performance

After exploding for 59 points on Sunday, Anthony Davis was held to just nine points by the Wizards on Tuesday night. The only other player in NBA history to fail to reach double-digits in points after scoring 55 or more points the previous game is Tony Parker. On November 7, 2008 Parker scored just four points in 10 minutes of action against the Heat after scoring 55 points against the Timberwolves in his previous game.

nullVucevic drops 35 on his former team

Former 76er Nikola Vucevic came back to haunt the team that drafted him, scoring 35 points in the Magic’s win over Philadelphia at the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday. Vucevic is the fourth player to score 35 or more points in a victory against the 76ers in Philadelphia after previously playing for the team. The others to do that are Connie Dierking (41 points at Convention Hall in 1968), Charles Barkley (35 points at The Spectrum in 1993) and Larry Hughes (37 points at Wachovia Center in 2005).

nullCousins is first the King with ten 35-point games since Tiny

DeMarcus Cousins scored 39 points leading the Kings to a 114-110 win over the Nuggets on Tuesday night. It’s the 10th time that Cousins has scored 35 or more points in a game this season. He is the first Kings player with double-digit 35-point games in a single season in 41 years, since Nate “Tiny” Archibald had 10 such games for the then Kansas City-Omaha Kings during the 1974-75 season.

Jazz earn another OT win

The Jazz defeated the Rockets in overtime on Tuesday night. Utah has now won five overtime games this season, which ties the franchise record in that category. The Jazz also recorded five overtime victories in 2005-06 and 2010-11.


nullStaal brothers lead Hurricanes to victory

Jordan and Eric Staal each scored a goal for the Carolina Hurricanes in their 3-1 win over the Flyers. It’s the 10th time that the brothers have both scored in the same game during their four seasons as teammates with the Hurricanes and the second time they’ve done so this season. (Jordan and Eric each scored once in Carolina’s loss to Tampa Bay on November 1.) There were two NHL games in which they each scored a goal as opponents, when Jordan was playing for Pittsburgh and Eric for Carolina (March 11, 2010 and November 12, 2011).

nullStempniak beats Rangers for second time this season

Lee Stempniak‘s tiebreaking goal late in the second period was the game-winning goal for the Devils in their 5-2 victory over the Rangers in Newark. Stempniak scored three goals in New Jersey’s four games versus the Rangers this season and two of those goals were game-winners. Stempniak is the sixth player to score two game-winning goals for the Devils against the Rangers in one season. The others are John MacLean (1986-87), Stephane Richer (1992-93), Bobby Holik (1997-98),Brian Gionta (2005-06) and David Clarkson (2011-12).

nullForsberg single-handedly beats Maple Leafs

Filip Forsberg scored the first three goals in the Nashville Predators‘ 3-2 win at Toronto. He’s the first player in Predators history to record the first three goals in a game and the first player on any NHL team to do that since Nicklas Backstromsingle-handedly staked the Capitals to a 3-0 lead against the Lightning on December 13, 2014. Before Forsberg, the last player to score the first three goals in a game against the Maple Leafs was the Red Wings’ Steve Yzerman on November 17, 1990 at Maple Leaf Gardens. Forsberg’s natural hat trick is only the second one at any juncture in an NHL game this season. Sidney Crosby scored three consecutive goals in the Penguins’ game against Ottawa on February 2, turning a 4-3 deficit into a 6-4 Pittsburgh lead.

nullLightning win on Paquette’s shorthanded penalty-shot goal

Cedric Paquette scored a shorthanded goal on a penalty shot in the last minute of the second period and that goal was the game-winner for the Tampa Bay Lightning in its 2-1 victory against the Coyotes. He’s the first player in Lightning history to score a goal on a penalty shot while the team was shorthanded. The only other NHL players to score a shorthanded penalty-shot goal this season are Boston’s Brad Marchand (December 4 at Calgary) and Ottawa’s Zack Smith(January 18 at San Jose).

nullNielsen scores twice in Islanders win

Frans Nielsen scored a pair of goals to lead the New York Islanders to a 4-1 road win against the Minnesota Wild. It was the team-leading fourth multiple-goal game this season for Nielsen, who had recorded only seven multi-goal games in his nine previous seasons in the NHL with no more than two such games in any single season.

nullKlingberg notches three assists

John Klingberg notched his third three-point game this season by assisting on three goals for the Dallas Stars in their 5-3 victory at Winnipeg. He’s the first Stars defenseman to register three points or more in a game at least three times in one season since Sergei Zubov had four such games in 2007-08. Klingberg’s three points in Tuesday’s game give him a season total of 51, the highest by a Dallas defenseman since 2006-07, when Zubov tallied 54 points and Philippe Boucher notched 51.

nullSmith continues his strong play in February

Zack Smith scored one goal and assisted on another in the Ottawa Senators‘ 4-1 win at Edmonton. Smith registered only nine goals and two assists in 49 games this season through the end of January, but he’s set career highs for both goals (6) and points (10) in any calendar month in the 11 games he’s played in February. Smith’s previous high for a month were five goals (November and December 2011) and eight points (November 2011).

Source: Elias Says: Sports Statistics – Stats from the Elias Sports Bureau

United Stats of #Murica – #NBA + #NHL Edition


nullWhiteside is a monster off the bench

Hassan Whiteside, who has settled into his role off the bench, scored 19 points to go along with his 18 rebounds for Miami in its overtime victory against the Pacers. Whiteside, who scored 25 points and grabbed 23 rebounds as a substitute on Saturday, is the first NBA player to produce at least 18 points and 18 rebounds in consecutive games, both off the bench, since LaSalle Thompson had back-to-back games of that kind for the Kansas City Kings in January 1984.

nullFirst triple-double for Antetokounmpo

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 27 points, snared 12 rebounds and handed out 10 assists as the Bucks defeated the Lakers, 108-101. Seventy-eight days after Antetokounmpo’s 21st birthday, he became the first player to generate a triple-double for Milwaukee since Larry Sanders in November 2012 and the second-youngest to do so in franchise history (41 days older than Brandon Jennings when he did it on October 30, 2010). Jason Kidd’s career total of 107 triple-doubles during his playing career is the third-highest in NBA history, behind Oscar Robertson (181) and Magic Johnson (138), but Antetokounmpo is the first player to post a triple-double with Kidd as his head coach.

nullCurry and Thompson dominate the Hawks

Stephen Curry scored 36 points and Klay Thompson added 27 as the Warriors defeated the Hawks, 102-92. It was the sixth game this season in which Curry and Thompson each scored more than 25 points, the most such games for any pair of starting guards in the NBA. Two other starting-guard duos have produced four such games this season: DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry for Toronto, and Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum for Portland.

nullLowry and DeRozan have their way with the Knicks

Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan each scored 22 points to lead the Raptors to a 122-95 victory over the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Both Lowry and DeRozan have scored more than 20 points in all three of Toronto’s games versus New York this season. Over the last 40 seasons (1976-77 to date), only one other pair of backcourt starters each scored 20 or more points in three games against the Knicks within one season. That was in 1996-97, when Allen Iverson and Jerry Stackhouse did it for the 76ers.

nullTowns and Griffin

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 28 points and gathered 13 rebounds for the Timberwolves in their 124-122 victory over the Celtics. It was the 12th game for Towns this season in which he generated at least 25 points and ten rebounds, the most for any rookie in the franchise history of the T-wolves. Over the last 16 seasons (2000-01 to date), the only other NBA player with at least a dozen such games in his rookie season was Blake Griffin (24 in 2010-11).

nullPistons’ starters score 86 of their 96 points

Reggie Jackson scored a team-high 23 points for the Pistons in their 96-88 victory at Cleveland in a game in which Detroit’s starters scored all but ten of the team’s points (with Stanley Johnson accounting for all of the Pistons’ bench points). It was only the second win for the Pistons over the last four seasons in which their bench combined to score no more than ten points. Detroit’s other victory of that kind during that time (2012-13 to date) also came against the Cavaliers, earlier this season, when its bench contributed nine points in a 104-99 triumph on November 17.


nullThird-period goal for Ovechkin

Alex Ovechkin scored a tiebreaking goal in the third period which put the Capitals ahead to stay in their 3-2 win against the Coyotes. Ovechkin has scored 514 goals in his 11-season NHL career and he has now registered exactly 200 of them in third periods (184) or in overtime (16). Only three other active players have scored at least 200 such goals and they have all been in the NHL for at least 18 seasons: Jaromir Jagr (277), Jarome Iginla (228) and Marian Hossa (213).

nullTwo goals each for a trio of Sharks

Joe Thornton, Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl each scored two goals for the San Jose Sharks in their 6-3 win at St. Louis. Is was the fifth time in the last three seasons that an NHL team had three multiple-goal scorers in one game, yet it was the third time over that span that the Sharks have been the team to do it! Couture, Joe Pavelski and Raffi Torres were the trio of multi-goal Sharks in a 7-3 San Jose win at Philadelphia on Feb. 27, 2014, and on Dec. 4, 2014 the Sharks beat the Bruins, 7-4, with Pavelski, Tommy Wingels and Tyler Kennedy each scoring two goals.

nullRinne wins north of the border

Nashville’s Pekka Rinne made 28 saves in his 2-1 shootout victory against the Canadiens at Bell Centre. Rinne had a 4-9-3 record in his first 16 road games this season, but he’s 4-0-2 in six games on the road since then with all four wins coming in Canada (Winnipeg, Edmonton, Vancouver and Montreal).

Korpisalo notches his tenth victory

Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo notched his 10th victory in his first season in the NHL with a 6-4 win against the Bruins in Boston. Korpisalo is the third rookie goaltender in Columbus franchise history to reach double-figures in wins in one season, after Pascal Leclaire in 2005-06 (11) and Steve Mason when he won the Calder Trophy in 2008-09 (33).

Source: Elias Says: Sports Statistics – Stats from the Elias Sports Bureau

The DiRT Canon Weekend Update – #Megatron Edition

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Detroit Breakdown:

Word comes down that Calvin Johnson is done.  No more nagging injuries.  No more missed opportunities.  No more chance for the Lions to cut him.  Megatron gets to go out on his terms, with plenty of energon left in the tank.  What is it about Detroit that seems to see franchise icons walk away?

This feels different than Barry Sanders walking away.  It feels different because the game has changed.  Perceptions have changed.  No longer are today’s players willing to risk further destruction for a few extra moments.  It also feels different because we thought Barry was just sick of losing in Detroit and that he was gonna resurrect his career in a new uniform.  Calvin seems at peace and contentment with his decision.  The calendar just struck 30 for Calvin, and what better way to heal a tired warrrior’s body then spending the salad days on a beach, earning 20%.


+ Megatron drops a mega-bomb

ESPN reported on Sunday that Calvin Johnson has planned since last summer to make 2015 his final season in the NFL. If Johnson sticks to that plan, his total of 1,214 receiving yards will be the highest in NFL history by a player in his final season in the league. Three other players gained at least 1000 receiving yards in their last season: Sterling Sharpe (1,119), Reggie Langhorne (1,038), and Jimmy Smith (1,023).

+ Johnson’s absence would be felt by Stafford

Calvin Johnson accounted for 31 percent of Matthew Stafford’s passing yards since the Lions drafted Stafford in 2009. During those seven seasons, only one other receiver was responsible for a greater percentage of a quarterback’s passing yards than Johnson was for Stafford (minimum: 5000 passing yards). A.J. Green has accounted for 32 percent of Andy Dalton’s total.


MMQB with Peter King…

Before building the Broncos into a winner, John Elway cut his teeth in player personnel by watching his father. Plus, the Joy of Cam, Marvin Harrison vs. T.O. in Hall of Fame voting, Doug Williams recalls the greatest quarter in Super Bowl history and more from San Francisco as Super Bowl week kicks off

+ Read: John Elway, Broncos GM, learned from father Jack Elway | The MMQB with Peter King

+ Watch: Your Pro Bowl Highlight Is Richard Sherman Dropping An RKO On Clay Matthews



While we prepare for Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7, you may have wondered if the game is gonna be any good – we all remember some stinkers.  So when thinking about makes a good Superbowl, The Washington Post has given us the 10 Least watchable Superbowls of all time. They arrived at these conclusions by asking a few questions: Was there exciting drama? A legendary performance? A moment that we still can’t forget? Or were they just all hype and no substance?

So, here are the 10 least watchable Super Bowls.

Agree? Disagree? Tell us in the comments.

+ Read: Ranking the watchability of every Super Bowl ever played – The Washington Post


Put That In Your Pipe…

The smile that flashed across John Scott’s face again and again throughout the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game was the perfect symbol of his adventure at Bridgestone Arena on Sunday.

It also looks like the NHL may have gotten this right. If you actually watched the NHL All Star game, you might have enjoyed it!  As well as, John Scott giving it to Jeremy Roenick. Roenick apologized to It was a good job by both Roenick for the apology and Scott for acknowledging it….with a dig, that made this a true Cinderella story.

+ Read: Scott named MVP of Pacific’s All-Star Game victory


Suns of Anarchy?

You may have never felt like Jeff was that good anyway.  The year they broke out and won 48 games, everybody seemed to be having career years, running around without any perceived strategy. Every game was Dragic+Bledsoe driving to the basket – Frye shooting 3’s off the pick n roll – Green chuckin’ it as soon as he gets it – or the Morris brothers taking and making contested mid range shots. There never appeared to be any real ball movement.

The Phoenix Suns fired Jeff Hornacek on Sunday night, ending his tenure as head coach with a 14-35 start to the 2015-16 NBA season.  How many of those guys above are still with the team and how much of that sliding win% is Hornacek’s fault.  Screams more of #FirstWorldProblems from ownership having unrealistic expectations.  I cold be wrong.

+ Read: Jeff Hornacek Fired by Suns: Latest Details, Comments and Reaction 


Rising Arizona?

The Arizona Diamondbacks have two of the best hitters in baseball, but not much else around them.

Apparently, general manager Dave Stewart feels the acquisition of shortstop Jean Segura from the Milwaukee Brewers in Saturday’s five-player trade will help remedy that shortcoming.

However, except for a stellar first half of 2013, Segura has been an average to below-average major league player. Over the past two years, he’s posted a .252/.285/.331 slash line in hitter-friendly Milwaukee.

+ Read: Jean Segura joins better offense in Arizona, but won’t really help it

What You Need To Know For Wednesday, Dec. 30 2015

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nationwide_college map


Degenerate Me

Last weekend was a monster for us junkies, despite what looked like insane violence on many football fields – or is it because of it? (shrugs shoulders)  Only the wetheads worry about blood on the grass during times like these, when the football gets better each week and the money you pillage from suckers, lines your pockets like fine silk.  The best being yet to come, except for maybe place like Cleveland and San Francisco who are more like bloated dead bodies floating along the ethereal abyss.

Playing with House-Money has always been risky – however, last week was swimming with sharks.  Many high-altitude rollers got eaten alive on Sunday – those that survived were clubbed like baby seals, causing an eruption of fear and grief in homesteads from coast to coast.  Strong men wept, and women hurled themselves savagely down dirty stairwells in filthy towns like Boston and Cleveland – Cripes, even in the frozen snow out here in the Rockies.

But me?  My own luck was splendid, as the Marquis used to say, as I repeatedly fleeced and humiliated two of the cruelest and most depraved degenerates in America, the infamous McCutcheon brothers from Pittsburgh.  T’was wonderful.  The arrogant swine got exactly what they deserved – a massive public beating they will never forget.  They came out here with huge wads of ca$h and revenge in their hearts for the losses they suffered last year in the very same bunker – where their doom is a constant companion.  It’s even worse during bowl-season.


C’Ya Chipster

Good luck Chipster – your 1st lesson as a professional was a hard one.  You found out that going 10-6, 10-6 and 6-9 don’t mean much in Philly.  Never you mind that the Eagles have no idea how to win, because they haven’t since…….ummm, hold on, it’s right here in my notes….oh yeah, 1960.  It was 20 years later since they returned to play for a title, and another 24 until the next one – losing both – so it’s likely not until 2024 that they contend anyway.

Besides looking for another job in the #NFL – Tennessee, maybe? – you have to deal with Screamin’A dustin’ off an old narrative; as he did appearing on Mike and Mike this morning telling a classic Screamin’A story about a time he was “stopped on the street” by some Eagles players who came up to him and started talking about Chip Kelly.  Sensationalism!

The point is – you had all the control Chip and made some shaky decisions and never quite won enough to earn the cache you need.  Just remember, Bill was run out of Cleveland and it also took awhile in Foxboro before he became the man he is today – You just keep it 100 Chipster and if it doesn’t work out here, you’ll have your pick of places in college – like Baton Rouge if Les doesn’t change.


LF=212yds 5TD’s


(Can’t) Hold That Tiger

The Tigers wrapped up a very memorable, drama-filled football season with a record-setting 56-27 win over Texas Tech in the Advocare Texas Bowl, and it sure does feel good. One could argue that last night’s game doesn’t mean a whole heck of a lot, but after losing three of the previous four bowl games, and enduring a three-game losing streak in the month of November, it’s nice to head into the offseason on a high note. With last night’s win, the Tigers ended the season 9-3, and let’s not forget that this would have almost certainly been a 10-win season had the season-opener against McNeese State been played.

Source: Dandy Don’s LSU Recruiting and Sports News – LSU Football and More!


Today in History

On December 30, 1978, Ohio State University (OSU) makes the decision to fire its 65-year-old football coach, Woody Hayes, one day after Hayes punched a player on the opposing team near the end of the Gator Bowl.

Source: OSU fires coach Woody Hayes for attacking an opposing player – Dec 30, 1978


Out of Chaos Comes Order

Social issues are a minefield for athletes.  Michael Jordan was never going to be confused for Kareem when it came to social justice and attitudes.  No one is, and athletes that came after never wanted to jeopardize their image to their corporate masters – just as players today are more conscious of their “brand” then they are at times with their play.

Yet, Lebron speaks out after advocates ask him to strike games to honor Tamir Rice – is this what we want our athletes to do when every social crisis occurs?  Read more here.

Source: LeBron Speaks Out After Advocates Ask Him To Strike Games To Honor Tamir Rice



The More You Know

Week 17 – Situational Trends

By Week 17 Vegas knows which teams are truly bad. In the last five years, home underdogs of a touchdown or greater in the last week of the regular season have gone 1-33 SU and 14-20 (41%) ATS.

  • Games Matching this Criteria: Browns (+10) vs. Steelers and Dolphins (+9) vs. Patriots.

The Cardinals and Chiefs are on fire each having won nine straight games. The last 30 teams to win that many games in a row went 22-8 straight-up in their next matchup but 12-17-1 (41%) against-the-spread.

  • Games Matching this Criteria: Chiefs (-6.5) vs. Raiders and Cardinals (-4.5) vs. Seahawks.

Tom Brady and the Patriots don’t lose often but when they do, New England typically wins (40-10 straight-up) and covers (34-16 against-the-spread – 68%) the next week.

  • Games Matching this Criteria: Patriots (-9) at Dolphins.

  • ATL -4 vs. NO The Falcons are 7-3 against-the-spread in their last ten games as home favorites against the Saints.
  • AZ -4.5 vs. SEA Carson Palmer is 7-1-1 against-the-spread at home with Arizona against non-divisional opponents but 3-3 ATS vs. the NFC West.
  • BAL +7 @ CIN In the last five years, AFC North teams that have been underdogs of a touchdown or greater to the Bengals are 0-5 straight-up and 1-3-1 ATS.
  • BUF +3 vs. NYJ The Bills are 8-2 against-the-spread in their last ten home games against the AFC East.
  • CAR -10.5 vs. TB Cam Newton has never lost as a touchdown or greater favorite, he is 11-0 straight-up and 6-5 ATS.
  • CHI -1 vs. DET The Bears are 2-7-1 against-the-spread in their last ten games against the Lions.
  • CIN -7 vs. BAL The Bengals are playing for a bye in the AFC. All-time, teams that have been favored by a touchdown over the Ravens are 5-1 straight-up.
  • CLE +10 vs. PIT Cleveland has lost eight straight as double-digit underdogs against AFC North rivals but the Browns went 5-3 ATS in those games.
  • DAL -3 vs. WAS The Cowboys are 1-5 against-the-spread at home this year and are now 3-11 ATS the last three years when Tony Romo doesn’t start.
  • DEN -7.5 vs. SD Denver is 3-6-1 against-the-spread in its last ten home games as touchdown or greater favorites.
  • DET +1 @ CHI Detroit is 2-18 straight-up in its last 20 games as road dogs against the NFC North, the Lions went 9-10-1 ATS in those games.
  • GB -3 vs. MIN The Packers can clinch the NFC North with a win, Aaron Rodgers is 18-4 straight-up (14-7-1 ATS) vs. the division as a home favorite.
  • HOU -6.5 vs. JAX The Texans clinch the AFC South with a win, Houston is 15-7 straight-up all-time as a home favorite against the division.
  • IND -6 vs. TEN Indy needs a win (plus a lot of help) to make the playoffs. The Colts are just 3-4 straight-up (3-4 ATS) in home games this year.
  • JAX +6.5 @ HOU The Jags have been road dogs in 13 straight games vs. division opponents. Jacksonville went 8-4 ATS in its previous 12 games.
  • KC -6.5 vs. OAK KC has won nine straight (including four in a row vs. the AFC West) and is 7-2 against-the-spread during the winning streak.
  • MIA +9 vs. NE The Dolphins have been underdogs to the Patriots in 25 straight games, Miami went 11-13 ATS in the previous 24 contests.
  • MIN +3 @ GB The Vikings can clinch the NFC North with a win but Minnesota hasn’t won in Green Bay since 2010 and is 1-4-1 ATS in its last six games in Lambeau.
  • NE -9 @ MIA New England clinches home-field advantage with a win, the Pats have won 18 straight as touchdown favorites vs. the AFC East ( but are only 6-10-2 ATS)
  • NO +7 @ ATL This is the fifth straight division game in which the Saints have been underdogs, New Orleans covered the previous four.
  • NYG -3 vs. PHI The Giants are 2-8 ATS in the team’s last ten home games against the Eagles.
  • NYJ -3 @ BUF The Jets can clinch a playoff berth with a win against the Bills but New York has lost and failed to cover in four straight vs. Buffalo.
  • OAK +6.5 @ KC The Raiders are 14-6 against-the-spread in the team’s last 20 road games against division rivals.
  • PHI +3 @ NYG Philly is 8-2 against-the-spread in its last ten road games as underdogs against division opponents.
  • PIT -10 @ CLE Big Ben has been a double-digit road favorite seven times in his career and failed to cover in each game (including losing outright last week).
  • SD +7.5 @ DEN Philip Rivers has won six of his last ten trips to Denver and the Chargers went 7-1-2 against-the-spread in those games.
  • SEA +4.5 @ AZ In Russell Wilson’s career, the Seahawks following a loss in the regular season are 11-6 against-the-spread the next week.
  • SF +3.5 vs. STL The 49ers have been home dogs to the Rams 11 times. San Francisco is 3-8 straight-up and 5-5-1 ATS.
  • STL -3.5 @ SF The Rams aren’t favored on the road often (just 10 times in the last ten years), but when they are St. Louis covers (7-3 ATS).
  • TB +10.5 @ CAR The Bucs have lost six straight as double-digit dogs to divisional rivals but Tampa Bay went 3-3 against-the-spread in those games.
  • TEN +6 @ IND The Titans have failed to cover in seven straight road games against division rivals (1-6 straight-up as well).
  • WAS +3 @ DAL The Washington professional football team is 8-2 ATS in its last ten trips to Dallas.

What You Need To Know For Wednesday, Dec. 16 2015

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Degenerate Pete

Speculating is a vice, millions are hooked and many will suffer grievously before this holiday season is over, because of their desires of the heart – not the head. The traditional “Christmas spirit” runs completely against the grain of the natural laws of Speculating, which have nothing to do with silly human weaknesses like Generosity or Kindness or Carelessness.

If Santa Claus had a speculating habit, he would have been dead a long time ago. There are a lot of Criminal Psychos between here & the North Pole, and they would show no mercy on a goofy old man who gets loaded one night a year and drives around through strange neighborhoods with a truckload of jewelry & furs & gold Rolexes. What if ISIS got their hands on him? They would set him on fire & stuff him head-first down a smoking chimney.

Which is not much different from how Professional speculators treat their victims at Xmas time, which also happens to be the end of the football season & the start of Playoff frenzy that will build & grow & throb like a Shark’s heart for 33 more days until Super Bowl Sunday.

Just like Pete the Penultimate.  He was denied again reinstatement by Commish Manfred.  As Ed Graney notes in his article for the Las Vegas Review-Journal: After MLB’s latest hypocritical ruling, Pete Rose doesn’t get it.”

Pete is a shady, classless, swarmy, dirty, clueless, unpenatent-hit king.  The debate may never be over, because however you may moralize the crimes of Clueless Pete – you will see on your tour of the museum of baseball, that he is only one of many deplorable characters that played the game.  For Pete, just shut up, tell your lawyers to shut up, stop making money on autographs and other mementos in Cooperstown, and be the ambassador you think you actually are, and never show – be more than about Pete Rose – if you can.  Kneel before the Gods of Baseball and beg forgiveness and walk the valley as the shepherd – then maybe….until then you might just have to be satisfied as the second best baseball player in hell, because Ty Cobb leads that team.


Tell the Truth

As Danny Kanell avenges the war on football, Bob Costas believes football’s biggest problem can not be fixed.  Is Football headed to a Running Man scenario where football players are fielded by inmates and the shouts from the Colosseum grow louder for the lions?  Everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses.  Who will deny the public what it wants?!

read more here:


Missouri Compromise

It’s usually adorable when politicians try to venture into college sports. Combine grandstanding with a distinct lack of understanding of the system upon which an elected official is attempting to impose rules, and you have a recipe for comedy. Today’s example comes from Missouri state representative Rick Brattin, who has introduced a bill that would revoke the scholarships of athletes who refuse to play for any reason other than injury.

This is obviously a response to the Missouri football team’s threat in November to sit out a game against BYU. That move by the players turned a local story into a national one and basically got Missouri’s system president and chancellor fired. And while there is a robust argument to be had about whether that was the appropriate result, this isn’t the site for that. Today, as the Internet commenters always command, we’ll stick to sports.

Source: Analyzing the dumbest piece of college athletics legislation imaginable


Way to Early Heisman Race 2016

NEW YORK—As Derrick Henry walked out of the Heisman Trophy winners’ press conference Saturday night, the next item on his to-do list was to text his grandmother Gladys. The woman who gave Henry his nickname (Shocka) couldn’t make it to the Big Apple to celebrate with the Alabama junior tailback. She was in a Florida hospital, but that hospital hosted one heck of a party.

Meanwhile, Stanford do-everything back Christian McCaffrey and Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson left the ceremony already planning a return visit. They’re sophomores, and it’s quite possible they’ll be back here next year. It’s also quite possible one of them will hoist the trophy. But don’t just picture those two with the Heisman. Take a look at the top eight vote-getters from this season.

1. Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama (1,832 points)
2. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford (1,539)
3. Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson (1,165)
4. Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma (334)
5. Keenan Reynolds, QB, Navy (180)
6. Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU (110)
7. Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State (79)
8. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State (57)

Besides McCaffrey and Watson, Mayfield, Fournette and Cook will return next year. So will Oregon tailback Royce Freeman, who led the Pac-12 in rushing (1,706 yards). So will Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett, who looked like a Heisman candidate as a redshirt freshman and should own the Buckeyes’ starting job free and clear as a redshirt junior. So will UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen, who looked like a budding superstar in his first few college games and should enjoy the fruits of a year-one-to-year-two improvement.

Source: Early look at 2016 Heisman race: Who follows Derrick Henry?


Out of Chaos Comes Order

Every season, hundreds of college football teams line up for a three-month, 12-game haul in the hopes of gaining a spot in the College Football Playoff.

This year, it was an easy selection. Clemson, Alabama, Michigan State, and Oklahoma were the right picks. It was a relatively easy night for Jeff Long and his committee.

However, looking back at the regular season, six critical plays were needed to make this year’s selection such a simple one. Had these plays not happened, controversy would’ve reigned supreme over the college football world.

Here are the six plays that defined the 2015 college football season.

Source: Sports Central / Sports Articles and Columns / College Football / Six Plays that Defined the 2015 Season

Kane's point streak ends at 26, Avs blank Blackhawks


You Play to #Win the Game

”We didn’t focus on (Kane’s streak), we focused on winning the hockey game,” Colorado coach Patrick Roy said. ”I thought we did a good job offensively, defensively. in the neutral zone.

”I liked our game tonight, and our goalie was really solid in key moments in the game.”

Source: Kane’s point streak ends at 26, Avs blank Blackhawks

6 Things You Should Know For Wednesday


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Just a Fantasy

Among several things to consider before you sip on your preferred method of liquid distribution, is how far sports has come.  Think of how different and strange it would look like to any grown person from the 80’s on back – this current and cultural-testament to games of skill and barbarism, created to satiate above the simple pleasure of watching sport.  E.B. White once wrote an apocalyptic essay in the New Yorker about the decline of sports and the day it got too big.  It was a wild and ridiculously futuristic vision of a world overburdened with crazy gambling and blind addictions to every point spread on every game, contest, fight, horse race, etc…

It was written a long time ago and well before I was born, but spooky to read it and see it arrive in all its truth.  All before cell phones, credit cards, TV’s – its crazy to think that a generation of people grew up in a time before electric lightbulbs, automobiles, planes, radios, TV’s, ever existed…

Now just think back to just a decade ago and how far removed sports has become today from what you knew then, and the explosion of Fantasy Gaming.  This article by Ben McGrath, also from the New Yorker, writes an excellent piece all the way back from April of this year – talking about how much Fantasy Sports has evolved beyond a dismissed, lesser-breed of sports fan to prove its strength by millions, that includes over 8 million women – You could say we all have seen way too much, and it’s all way beyond what we are talking about.  It’s like bringing String Theory of Quantum Mechanics into a football conversation – for some of us, that’s exactly what we are doing.


Hockey Will Go Hockey On You

A good hockey player plays where the puck is.  A great hockey player plays where the puck will be.”  Wayne Gretzky said that, and he should know – he was/is a GREAT ‘Ockey player.  So, for Steve Rosenbloom of the Chicago Tribune, he weaves a tapistry of America’s greatest “Ockey triumph to #Murica’s greatest ‘Ockey movie.  It’s a trip down memory lane that quilts together hockey rivalries, to gold medals and comedy gold.


NBA and The Big Short

It’s always interesting to read about the possible breakdowns of sports leagues and their shortcomings.  For the #NBA their league could be in an underlying financial crisis of free-agency, poor incentives, networks, roster construction, and players more concerned with brand building than team-building.  It might be why watching the outliers of the Spurs and Warriors is so fun.  It’s good-team basketball that values playing hard on defense too.


West Coast Bias

There is a genuine bias being pushed out thru the Worldwide-Leader Car Wash and the statement is clear.  Baker Mayfield is the most important player in college football for a one loss Oklahoma.  He even has a sophisticated Heisman website.  Is he good? Sure.  But compared to other QB’s?  What about Brandon Doughty who is 5th in passing-yardage-game, with 42 TD’s and 6 picks – nobody who has more than 30TD’s has a better TD:INT ratio?  Neither Connor Cook, nor Baker Mayfield have as much passing yardage, total offense or TD passes as Doughty – just saying – where’s his heisman chatter?  Same thing for Dalvin Cook of FSU – his numbers are way better than Derrick Henry, who is an overrated dump truck with the same steering capability.  Yet, the greatest injustice is saved for the player that is the most dynamic, dangerous and leads the nation in total yards – compare his numbers to Heisman darling Reggie Bush, there’s no comparison.  Read all about him and get back to me with your thoughts on the most under-appreciated player in the country, and who should actually win the Heisman Trophy, but won’t.

  • My Heisman Finalists
    • Christian McCaffrey
    • Dalvin Cook
    • CJ Beatherd
    • Brandon Doughty
    • Leonard Fournette


Out Of Chaos Comes Order

Being a referee is never easy.  The job description is not for those who suffer from low self-esteem, but what we are witnessing is stupefying.  Currently when you watch #NFL games you wonder if the replacement refs ever left?  The perception seems to be that it has never been this bad.  Maybe it has and we never had so many ways to express our outrage, or have so many more people listen and join in.  Not sure, but clearly it’s enough to have articles written about the problem.  Maybe it’s time the #NFL spends some money on making the position Full-Time, so there could be more accountability to those that regulate league rules.

What’s the best sports record ever? Researchers offer their top 106.

Top 10

What are the greatest sports records in history? Which ones will never be broken? Is it possible to compare records across eras, or, for that matter, across sports?

A quartet of analytics professors, all of them sports fans, have attempted to answer these daunting questions, and some of their answers will surprise you, and, quite possibly, infuriate you……(continue reading)

Source: Researchers compose list of best sports records of all time – More Sports – SI.com

What You Need To Know Wednesday

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5 Times a Charm

Bomb threats, DUI’s, hit-and-runs, vandalism…you know a model citizen who has already faced at least a suspension(s) of 10 games before news of his latest suspension, of which, is now a year.  You’d think it would send him packing to another team but the Raiders are gonna wait it out.  Why do teams keep giving this guy chances?  Maybe it has to do with him being the fastest guy to 30 sacks in #NFL history.  But maybe at some point we should set a higher standard than just being good at orchestrated violence – Read more about this new suspension here:


Mama Said Knock You Out

In this era of safety and the wussification of the gladiators we once knew – vaunted medical staff are incapable of diagnosing a player having trouble during the game, and then notice something off about him, forgetting plays, and then he suffers an apparent second concussion – then is that not negligence?  Is it not a criminal offense?  Yes congratulations to the O-coordinator for noticing something was amiss with Brian Hoyer – but shame on everyone else paying lip service to brain injury – Read more here:


Time Just Keeps On Ticking

Back in my day, Time of Possession was a metric that told you what team dominated field possession and overall the game.  Those with the higher T.O.P usually had the better record. As the following article dictates, Time of Possession may be a dead stat – put out to pasture by the fundamental idea that more plays correlates to the possibility of more points.


What If You Had a Party and No one Came?

Remember when going to Bowl-Game meant something?  In this era of everyone gets a trophy – so does everyone get a Bowl-Game.  We have now have 80 Bowl games.  80!  80 games to fill with NCAA Football teams that many of do no deserve.  There exists a real possibility that some really undeserving teams will get some free-swag bags and a trip somewhere nice, like Boise in December, as this article breaks down the what if…


Rookie Hazing

life can be tough for a rookie in any sport.  But what if you got your shot late, like 32 late?  Knowing your legs won’t get any fresher and stock ownership in IcyHot might be your first investment – probably will not diminish your enthusiasm.  But for Marcelos Huertas his dream is real and might be like watching John Beckwith play in the #NBA.


Home Cooking Your Own Books

Like Enron, the #NHL has a credibility problem.  You just can not trust the advanced stats the league puts out.  Stupidity is not like a tide that raises all boats – it’s the tide that sinks them all.  For league to trumpet out bad data and for no one to notice, screams the type of ineptitude that I and most people I know have associated Gary Bettman with for decades.  Maybe the casual fan doesn’t care, but it still doesn’t mean you invest much in a sport that continues to get lapped in the ratings by ice-dancing.


What You Need To Know About the #NBA + #NHL Last Night (11-11-15)


1. NBA Bounce House

Westbrook keeps 20-and-10 streak alive in triple-double

Russell Westbrook’s first triple-double of the season included 22 points and 11 assists, the fifth consecutive game in which he has produced at least 20 points and 10 assists. It’s the third time in Westbrook’s career that he has put together at least five straight games of 20 points and 10 assists (he previously did it in January 2011 and he enjoyed a seven-game streak last winter). No other NBA player has strung together five consecutive 20-point, 10-assist games since Chris Paul had a seven-game streak very early in the 2008-09 season.

LeBron takes command in 4th quarter

LeBron James may have heard calls that he lesson his rate of shots late in games in order to rely on his teammates in the late stages of close games. But with an exciting game against the Jazz on the line on Tuesday night, LeBron took over. Trailing, 91-83, with just over nine minutes to play, James scored 17 of the Cavaliers’ next 28 points and propelled his team to a 118-114 victory. It marked the first time since the King returned to Cleveland that he has scored that many points and helped to turn such a large fourth-quarter deficit into a Cavs victory.

Bosh’s first 30/10 game in nearly a yearAltX.Logo.white

Chris Bosh poured in 30 points and secured 11 rebounds to lead the Heat to victory, 101-88, over the Kobe-less Lakers in Miami. It was his first 30/10 (points/rebounds) game of this season and his first in nearly a year (the last one came last November 22) and his seventh in his six seasons playing in Miami. Over his seven seasons with the Raptors, Bosh had 40 games of 30 points and 10 rebounds.

What did Ryan Anderson do, for the first time in franchise history?

Ryan Anderson scored 25 points and collected 11 rebounds coming off the bench to help the Pelicans to their first victory of the season, 120-105 over the visiting Mavericks. The team now known as the Pelicans has played 1057 games since coming to New Orleans in 2002, and in all of those games, Anderson became the first player to generate at least 25 points and 10 rebounds in a game that he did not start.

Galloway’s threes paying dividends

Langston Galloway’s three-point field goal gave the Knicks the lead early in the fourth quarter and New York never relinquished its advantage in a 111-109 victory in Toronto. Galloway made two of his three field-goal attempts from beyond the arc against the Raptors, lifting his season accuracy on three-pointers to 62.1 percent (18 made in 29 attempts). That’s the second-highest three-point shooting percentage in the NBA, trailing only, of all people, Metta World Peace. The soon-to-be-36-years-old Lakers forward (who made all four of his shots from behind the arc at Miami on Tuesday) has connected on seven of his nine long-range shots this season, a rate of 77.8 percent that stands in contrast to his 34.1-percent rate entering this season.

Thomas leads Celtics to win (or did he?)AltX.Logo.white

So, Isaiah Thomas scored a game-high 20 points in the Celtics’ 99-83 victory in Milwaukee, but he shot a miserable 1-for-10 from three-point range. Thomas became the first player in Celtics history to take at least 10 three-point field-goal shots and make no more than one, yet still emerge from the game as his team’s leading scorer.

Hornets get badly out-rebounded, but win

The Hornets scored 63 points in the first half and held on to upend the Timberwolves, 104-95, in Minneapolis. Jeremy Lin and Jeremy Lamb – there’s an Elias note in there somewhere – led the Hornets with 19 and 18 points, respectively, and their team was able to overcome a significant rebounding deficit (48 to 34). It’s the seventh time since Charlotte returned to the NBA in 2004 that it has won a game in which it had a deficit as large of 14 rebounds; oddly, six of those games have come on the road.

NHL-Teams-logos2. Ice-Ice Baby

Jagr, at 43, scores game-winning goal

Jaromir Jagr’s tiebreaking goal in the third period was the game-winner for the Panthers in their 4-3 victory over Flames. It was the first game-winner of the season for Jagr, who at 43 years, 268 days is the second-oldest player to score the winning goal in an NHL game. Jagr will have to wait more than two years before he can break the record set by Chris Chelios, who was 46 years, 24 days old when he scored the deciding goal for the Red Wings at Colorado on Feb. 18, 2008.

Athanasiou scores, and no one else does

Andreas Athanasiou, who made his NHL debut on Sunday, scored his first NHL goal against the Capitals on Tuesday and the Red Wings made it stand up in a 1-0 victory. Athanasiou is the first player to score the first goal of his NHL career in a 1-0 Red Wings victory in just over 66 years, since Steve Black did so on Oct. 29, 1949 at Montreal. Before Athanasiou, the last player to score his first NHL goal in a 1-0 game was Andy Andreoff of the Kings on March 16 last season against the Coyotes.

King Henrik has spoken: MSG impervious to Hurricanes

Henrik Lundqvist blanked the Hurricanes, 3-0, for his first shutout in nearly 11 months. Before Tuesday’s game, Lundqvist’s last shutout had been a 2-0 win at Edmonton on Dec. 14, 2014. Lundqvist made 35 regular-season starts between those two clean sheets, his longest shutout drought since a career-high 51-start dry spell from March 2012 to April 2013. Lundqvist’s victory over the Hurricanes was his eighth in a row against them at Madison Square Garden, a home-ice winning streak that dates back to January 2011. In each of the first seven wins during that streak, he held Carolina to exactly one goal!

Allen blanks second straight opponentAltX.Logo.white

Jake Allen earned his second straight shutout with a 24-save, 2-0 win over the Devils in Newark, after blanking the Predators, 4-0, in Nashville on Saturday, a game in which he stopped 45 shots. It’s the second set of back-to-back shutouts for Allen in his young NHL career, having done it just over a year ago (Oct. 30 and Nov. 4, 2014) when his second straight whitewashing was also a road game against the Devils (the first of two shutouts was in St. Louis against the Ducks). Allen is the fourth goaltender in Blues history to produce two separate single-season streaks with consecutive shutouts. The others are Hall of Famer Glenn Hall, Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott.

Gardiner scores a rare, late game-winner for Leafs

Jake Gardiner’s goal with 3:28 left to play in the third period snapped a 2-2 tie and lifted the Maple Leafs to a 3-2 victory in Dallas. Gardiner is the first Toronto player to score a go-ahead goal in the last five minutes of regulation time since James van Riemsdyk did so in a game against the Lightning on Jan. 28, 2014, and he’s the first Maple Leafs defenseman to score such a goal since Ian White beat the Penguins with a tiebreaking goal at the 18:38 mark of the third period back on Dec. 27, 2009.

Another 2-goal game for Duchene

Matt Duchene scored two goals and assisted on another in Colorado’s 4-0 win at Philadelphia. It was Duchene’s second two-goal game this season and it came exactly one week after he scored twice in the Avalanche’s 6-3 home-ice victory over the Flames. Duchene has recorded 20 multiple-goal games since he made his NHL debut at age 18 in October 2009, only a few months after the Avs made him the third overall pick in the Entry Draft. The only 2009 draftee with more multi-goal games in the NHL than Duchene is the top pick that year, the Islanders’ John Tavares, with 27.

Hansen and D.Sedin: 1 goal, 3 assists each

Jannik Hansen and Daniel Sedin each produced a goal and three assists in the Canucks’ 5-3 win at Columbus. It was only the second time since 1997 that two Vancouver players each scored at least four points in the same road game. The other instance came in the Canucks’ 5-2 win at Edmonton on Feb. 6, 2007, when Daniel Sedin finished with three goals and two assists and his brother, Henrik, earned four assists. Henrik almost made it a trio of four-point players for Vancouver in Tuesday’s game, but he managed “only” three points (two goals, one assist).

Young Eichel’s 2nd straight 2-point gameAltX.Logo.white

Jack Eichel, whose first multiple-point game in the NHL (two assists) came in the Sabres’ win against the Canucks on Saturday, made it two straight multiple-point games when he scored one goal and assisted on another in Buffalo’s 4-1 victory in Tampa. Eichel, who turned 19 years old on October 28, is the first teenager to score at least two points for the Sabres in each of two consecutive team games since Pierre Turgeon had four straight multi-point games at age 19 in 1989 (Feb. 17-24).

Preds’ backliners go on offense

Seven different players scored a goal for the Predators in their 7-5 win against the Senators and four of those seven players are defensemen: Shea Weber, Roman Jose, Matthias Ekholm andBarret Jackman. It was the first game in franchise history in which four Predators defensemen scored goals, and the first such game for any NHL team since Oct. 26, 2013, when a quartet of Coyotes d-men each scored once against the Oilers: Oliver Ekman-Larsson, David Schlemko,Michael Stone and Keith Yandle.

Little ties for NHL lead with 7th multi-point game this season

Bryan Little had a hand in all three of the Jets’ goals in their loss to the Wild, scoring two himself and assisting on a goal by Blake Wheeler. Little is averaging exactly one point per game this season (16 points in 16 games) but he has produced seven multiple-point games, tying the Stars’ Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguinfor the NHL lead.

SOURCE: Elias Sports Bureau

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What You Need To Know About the #NBA Last Night (11-10-15)


1. NBA Bounce House

Warriors remain undefeated

Klay Thompson netted 24 points as the Warriors improved to 8-0 on the season, defeating the Pistons, 109-95. Golden State’s average margin of victory over its first eight games this season is 17.8 points. That’s the third highest mark at this point in the season among the 30 teams to start 8-0 in NBA history. The two teams that rank ahead of the Warriors both went on to win the NBA championship that season: the 1964-65 Celtics (+18.5 average points differential) and the 1996-97 Bulls (+18.4).

Duncan pulls down 14 rebounds in Spurs’ win

Tim Duncan, who turned 39 years old this past April, grabbed 14 boards in the Spurs’ 106-88 win over the Kings. The last player with at least 14 rebounds in a game at 39 years or older was Dikembe Mutombo, who had 15 boards on April 10, 2009 for the Rockets at age 42, in his final season in the NBA. Mutombo had nine such games at 39 years or older; that’s the second highest total for any player in NBA history. Duncan has a lot of work to do to approach the record: 21 by Robert Parish.

Rookie Okafor playing like a veteranAltX.Logo.white

76ers rookie Jahlil Okafor, playing in his seventh game in the NBA, scored 21 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in the 76ers’ 111-88 loss to the Bulls on Monday. Over the last 10 years, only two other players had at least 20 points and 15 rebounds in one of their first 10 regular-season games in the league: the Grizzlies’ Marc Gasol in November 2008 (27 points and 16 rebounds in his fourth career game) and the Lakers’ Julius Randle last week (22 points and 15 rebounds in his fourth game). The last 76ers player to do so was Sharone Wright in November 1994, scoring 23 points and 15 rebounds in just his second game in the NBA.

T’Wolves hold off late charge from Hawks

Andrew Wiggins scored 33 points as the Timberwolves were able to hold off the Hawks, 117-107, on Monday night. Minnesota led, 81-47, early in the third quarter, but Atlanta went on to score 58 of the next 82 points, tying the game at 105-apiece as Paul Millsap sunk a free throw with 4:25 remaining in the fourth. It’s been nearly six years since a team trailed by at least 34 points at any point in a game and was able to climb back to tie the game. That was on December 21, 2009, when the Kings did so against the Bulls. Sacramento was down by as many as 35 points in the third quarter. Led by 15 fourth-quarter points from Ime Udoka and 11 points in the final quarter from Tyreke Evans, the Kings stormed back to tie it with less than two minutes remaining in the fourth and went on to win the game, 102-98.

Indiana’s seeing double…digits

Paul George scored a game-high 27 points, and George Hill added 23 of his own as the Pacers defeated the Magic, 97-84, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana has defeated Orlando by at least 10 points on its home court in each of the last six meetings between the two teams, dating back to March 2013. That is tied for the longest current streak of this type for any team against another; the Spurs have had double-digit victories in their last six games versus the Nets in San Antonio.

It’s been over 20 years since the Pacers had such a streak against a particular opponent. They defeated the Nets in such a fashion spanning six games from December 1992 to March 1995.

2. Ice-Ice Baby

Coyotes storm back to win it in OT

Rookie Max Domi scored a pair of goals and Mikkel Boedker scored the game-winner in overtime as Arizona came back from down 2-0 to defeat the Ducks, 4-3. Prior to Monday’s game, the Coyotes did not earn a point in each of their last 25 games in which they trailed by at least two goals; that was the longest active streak in the league. The Penguins now hold that distinction, with a regulation loss in each of their last 17 games when down by two or more goals.

SOURCE: Elias Sports Bureau


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Getting Smart with #NBA + #NHL News o’Day (11-9-15)

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1. NBA Bounce House

Love flashes his old form in Cavs’ win

Kevin Love scored 22 points and grabbed 19 rebounds in the Cavaliers’ 101-97 win over the Pacers. Although Love fell one rebound short of his first 20/20 game in nearly three years, it was a performance reminiscent of his heyday in Minnesota. Love had 16 games with at least 20 points and 20 rebounds for the Timberwolves, including 11 during the 2010-11 season. No other NBA player has had a season with at least ten 20/20 games (points and rebounds) since Kevin Willis in 1991-92.

nullDurant proves his value to OKC

Kevin Durant led all players with 32 points in the Thunder’s 124-103 victory over the Suns. It was Oklahoma City’s second win by at least 20 points this season. The Thunder had only one such victory in their final 26 games last season, with Durant sidelined. Here’s a broader picture to put Durant’s value in perspective: OKC has won 33 of its last 50 games with Durant, eight by 20 points or more. In its last 50 games without Durant, Oklahoma City is barely above .500 (26-24), with only four wins by at least 20 points.­

nullWhiteside is one of NBA’s top shot blockers

Hassan Whiteside blocked six shots to complement his 20 points and 11 rebounds in Miami’s 96-76 victory over Toronto. Whiteside ranks second in the NBA with 123 blocks since making his first start for the Heat on January 14. Only Rudy Gobert has blocked more shots than Whiteside during that time … and just barely (125).

nullWill Galloway become the Knicks’ go-to shooter in the clutch?

Langston Galloway hit a go-ahead three-pointer with 2:00 to play that proved to be the game-winner, as the Knicks defeated the Lakers, 99-95. Galloway has now made seven of 12 field-goal attempts (2-for-2 this season) in the last two minutes of the fourth quarter or overtime and the game within five points.


2. Ice-Ice Baby

Bergeron leads Bruins to win over Isles

Patrice Bergeron assisted on the first goal and scored the second in the Bruins’ 2-1 win over the Islanders. It was Bergeron’s third multiple-point game this season and in each of those games he recorded at least one goal and one assist. Bergeron played in 81 games for Boston last season but he had only three games in which he tallied both a goal and an assist.

nullKlingberg is top-scoring d-man

John Klingberg took over the points leadership this season among NHL defensemen with a pair of assists in the Stars’ 4-1 win against the Red Wings. Klingberg is the second defenseman in Stars franchise history with 15 points in the team’s first 15 games of a season. The first was Craig Hartsburg, who scored three goals and was credited with 12 assists in the Minnesota North Stars’ first 15 games in 1987-88.

nullPamieri powers Devils’ OT win

Kyle Palmieri scored a power play goal in overtime to earn the Devils a 4-3 win over the Canucks. It was the first time that the Devils won a home game on an overtime PPG since March 4, 2011, when Ilya Kovalchuk scored the winning goal against the Penguins. Palmieri’s overtime goal was the third of his NHL career and first for the Devils, but it wasn’t the first OT goal he scored at Prudential Center. His first overtime goal in the NHL gave the Anaheim Ducks a 3-2 victory over the Devils in Newark on Dec. 20, 2013.