United Stats of America – #NBA Edition

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1.

Exclusivity…

Spurs, accompanied by Warriors, enter an exclusive club

The Spurs throttled the Magic, 107-92, to earn their 40th victory in 48 games this season. Coupled with the Warriors, who with a 44-4 record, had the night off, this marked only the fourth season in NBA history in which two different teams amassed 40 wins before they suffered 10 losses. It previously happened in the 1980-81 season with the Celtics (40-9) and 76ers (40-8), the 2008-09 season with the Celtics and Lakers (both 40-9), and last season with the Hawks (40-8) and Warriors (40-9).

null+ Green does his thing for a 4th straight game

Jeff Green scored 24 points off the bench to lead the Grizzlies to a 110-95 win at New Orleans – the fourth straight game in which Green has come off the bench to lead the Grizzlies in scoring. Not incidentally, Memphis has won all four of those games; previously, Green scored 30 points in an overtime win over Orlando, 21 points in a win over Milwaukee, and 29 points in a triumph over Sacramento.

Get a load of this one: Green became the first NBA player in more than 21 years to come off the bench in four consecutive games, to finish each of those games as the game’s leading scorer (outright or tied), and to see his team win each of them. The last player to put together four consecutive games like that was Dan Majerle with the Suns in January of 1995.

null+ Teague, in 486th game, finally earns share of king-for-a-day

Jeff Teague poured in a season-high 32 points as the Hawks thumped the Mavericks, 112-97. Teague’s game marked only the third this season in which a Hawks played accumulated at least 30 points; Al Horford provided the two other games of that sort (33 and 30 points). It was the fourth time in Teague’s career that he has scored 30-or-more points, and the Hawks have won each of those games.

Teague and Sacramento’s Rudy Gay, who scored 32 points later in the evening, shared high-scoring honors across Monday’s nine NBA games. It marked the first time in his 486-game career that Teague had been the league’s high scorer for a day, either outright or tied.

null+ Jokic’s big game evokes the young ‘Melo

Rookie Nikola Jokic won’t turn 21 years of age until February 19, but he celebrated the arrival of his birth month by achieving season-highs of 27 points and 14 rebounds to highlight the Nuggets’ 112-93 victory over the visiting Raptors. Jokic became only the second rookie in the Nuggets’ NBA history to produce a 25-point, 10-rebound game before his 21st birthday. Carmelo Anthony had a pair of games like that (26 and 14, and 36 and 11) 12 years ago, at the age of 19.

null+ Westbrook’s quick triple-double vs. Wizards, part II

Russell Westbrook‘s seventh triple-double of the season, and his second in his last two games, led the Thunder to a 114-98 victory over the visiting Wizards. It was Westbrook’s second triple-double against Washington this season – and in each of those games, he achieved it before the end of the third quarter. Westbrook has three before-the-end-of-the-third-quarter triple-doubles this season; no other NBA player has more than one.

Jazz still perfect in overtime vs. Bulls

Gordon Hayward scored the last three points in regulation time to tie the score, then scored six points in overtime to lead the Jazz to a 105-96 victory over the visiting Bulls. And as the game went into the extra period, perceptive Utah fans knew that that the Jazz had the Bulls exactly where they wanted them. This was the fifth regular-season game between the teams that required an overtime period, and the Jazz has won all five of those games, going back to a Feb. 3, 1992 triple-overtime victory over the Jordan-and-Pippen squad. And the only playoff overtime game between the teams also resulted in a Utah victory – in the opening game of the 1998 Finals.

+ Pistons beat the odds

Math quiz: Which team wins? Team A shoots 48.8 percent from the floor; Team B, 42.9 percent. On three-point attempts, Team A makes 43.8 percent; Team B, 33.3 percent. And from the line, Team A hits 86.7 percent; Team B, 68.8 percent. Oh, by the way, Team A is playing at home.

Yes, it’s a trick question. On Monday night, the Pistons overcame all of those disadvantages to secure a 105-100 decision in Brooklyn. In so doing, Detroit became the 17th visiting team this season to play a game in which it was out-shot from the floor by at least 5 percent, from three-point range by at least 10 percent, and from the line by at least 15 percent. But the Pistons were the first of those 17 teams to go home a winner.

+ Cavs get balanced scoring; LeBron counts by sixes

“The Cavaliers took a 111-106 overtime decision over the Pacers in Indianapolis, in a game in which, for only the second time this season, each Cleveland starter produced at least 14 points. (The other such occasion came on January 4, in a 122-100 win over the Raptors.)

LeBron James finished with 24 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists – only the second time that he has reached each of those levels since he returned to Cleveland at the beginning of last season. And the other time he did it, nine nights earlier, the Cavaliers lost the game, at home, to the Bulls.

+ Gay and Acy make up for absence of Cousins

In the absence of DeMarcus Cousins, their leading scorer and rebounder, the Kings outrebounded the Bucks, 53 to 37, and Rudy Gay scored a game-high 32 points to key a 111-104 victory. Quincy Acy, who played 17 minutes, 27 seconds, collected seven offensive rebounds. No NBA player this season has corralled that many offensive rebounds in a game in which he spent so little time on the court.

Source: Stats from the Elias Sports Bureau

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United Stats of America #NBA Edition + 6 Other Things

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Steph Curry and the dominant Warriors aren’t just beating teams anymore, they’re throwing staggering knockout punches against the NBA’s best – make that second-best.

In a span of eight days, Golden State have 30-point wins over Cleveland, Chicago and San Antonio. Curry scored 37 points and hit six three-pointers in three scintillating quarters Monday night, and the reigning champions showed they still rule the West by routing the Spurs 120-90.

“No moment’s too big, obviously,” Curry said. “We know this is just another regular-season game, but there was some hype around it. Every time we have an opportunity to prove who we are and take another step in the journey, we’re ready for it. It wasn’t always that way. This core has been together for a while and understands how to mentally prepare for nights like this.”……(Continue Reading: Gregg Popovich: Warriors’ slaughter of Spurs was ‘like men and boys’ | The Guardian)

+ Warriors win the first round of 2015-16 duel with Spurs

In a highly anticipated matchup, Stephen Curry (37 points) and the Warriors coasted by the Spurs, 120-90, in what was the first matchup in NBA history between two teams with winning percentages of .830 or higher (minimum 40 games played for each team). Golden State’s 30-point victory soundly ended the Spurs’ 13-game winning streak. That’s the third largest margin of victory against an opponent with a winning streak of at least 13 games entering the matchup. The Knicks defeated the Mavs, 128-94, in March 2010, ending a 13-game streak, and the Magic routed the Rockets, 114-82, in March 1991, stopping a Houston winning streak at 13.

+ Cousins with another huge game

DeMarcus Cousins scored 56 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the Kings’ double-overtime loss to the Hornets on Monday. Cousins, who totaled 48 points and 13 rebounds in his last game on January 23, is the fourth player with at least 100 points and 25 rebounds in consecutive games over the last 40 years. Michael Jordan did so in March 1990 (118 points and 30 rebounds; the first of the two games was his 69-point performance against the Cavaliers), David Robinson in April 1994 (100 points and 30 rebounds; he scored 71 points in the second of the two games), and Antawn Jamison accomplished this feat in December 2000 as a member of the Warriors (102 points and 27 rebounds).

Cousins’ 104 points over his last two games are the most for any player in Kings history; the previous high was 92 points by Oscar Robertson in February 1965 (when the franchise was known as the Cincinnati Royals). The last player with 100 points over a two-game span wasKobe Bryant in March 2007, netting 110 points.

+ A rare 50-point and 20-assist pairing

As though DeMarcus Cousins‘ 56-point performance was not enough, his Kings teammate Rajon Rondo dished out 20 assists in Sacramento’s overtime loss to the Hornets. It’s just the fourth game in NBA history in which one player scored at least 50 points and his teammate had at least 20 assists. The first such game was on March 2, 1962, in Wilt Chamberlain‘s 100-point game for the Warriors versus the Knicks; his teammate Guy Rodgers had 20 assists. And just under a year later, Chamberlain and Rodgers were at it again; Chamberlain scored 54 points and Rodgers totaled 20 assists for the Warriors against the Royals on March 1, 1963. The third instance was on February 10, 1998, when the Wizards’ Tracy Murray (50 points) and Rod Strickland (20 assists) did so versus the Warriors. In all three of those prior instances, the 50-point/20-assist team won the game.

+ A first for three young players

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 26 points, Zach LaVine added 21 points, and Andrew Wiggins had 20 of his own in the Timberwolves’ loss to the Cavaliers on Monday night. Towns, LaVine, and Wiggins, all 20 years old, are the first trio of teammates under 21 years old to put up at least 20 points in the same game in NBA history. Only one other trio did so at 21 years or younger: Kevin Durant (21 years old), Russell Westbrook (21), and James Harden (20) for the Thunder against the Wizards on November 20, 2009.

Towns also grabbed 11 rebounds, becoming the first rookie with at least 25 points and 10 rebounds in a game against LeBron James.


1.

Wait A Second…

MLBPipeline.com will unveil its 2016 Top 100 Prospects list on Friday on MLB.com. The Top 50 will be revealed during a one-hour show on MLB Network at 9 p.m. ET. Leading up to the release, we look at baseball’s Top 10 prospects at each position. There has been quite a bit of turnover from last year to the 2016 edition of the Top 10 second-base prospects, with six new names joining the list, thanks to two graduations and four who dropped off the list. Scouting reports, grades, stats and video on Prospect Watch……(Continue Reading: Prospect Watch: Top 10 second basemen for 2016 | MLB.com)


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2.

Helping The Homeless…

With the Mets bringing back Yoenis Cespedes, most of baseball’s big-name free agents are off the board.

That doesn’t mean the cupboard is bare, however. There are many players left who could help plenty of teams.

Still, finding a spot at this point in the game of musical chairs is a challenge. Many clubs have filled their vacancies and/or reached their budgetary limits.

Pitchers and catchers are now less than a month from reporting, which means time is running out for the stragglers to sign before their unemployment lags into Spring Training. With that in mind, let’s spend other people’s money and see if we can find a home for 10 of the top players remaining on the market……(Continue Reading: Let’s play matchmaker for MLB players still unsigned.)


3.

Where There’s A Will There’s An Elway…

If Peyton Manning soon has the option to pull a John Elway and end a Hall of Fame-bound quarterbacking career in the glorious aftermath of a Super Bowl triumph, it will be because Elway provided him with a team capable of making it happen.

But few people in the room deserved more credit than the quarterback already enshrined in Canton who…...(Continue Reading: John Elway has put Peyton Manning in position to follow in his footsteps – The Washington Post)


4.

Get Over Yourself…

Seattle fans are still upset about something the Carolina Panthers QB did to the 12th man flag. Nevermind the crouch-grabber on your own team Seattle Fan.  Cam Newton has long moved on from thinking about the Seattle Seahawks, the team his Carolina Panthers beat two playoff rounds ago before beating the Arizona Cardinals last weekend to reach the Super Bowl.

Angry Seahawks fans have not forgot about Cam, though. #Stalker #StayClassy

Continue Reading: Bitter Seahawks fan starts petition to ban Cam Newton from CenturyLink | FOX Sports


5.

A Look Back…

Even though the Bears were 10-point favorites, the New England Patriots approached Super Bowl XX in New Orleans with confidence.

“We’ve been underdogs all year,” cornerback Raymond Clayborn said a few days before the game. “I accept it. We’ll go out and beat the Bears just like we beat everybody else. Do football players pay attention to the spread? We notice it. But we have confidence in ourselves.”……(Continue Reading: Pats thought they’d win Super Bowl XX)


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6.

#FanDuel Ultimate Value Lineup

Giving you the Perfect Lineup is easy and we tweet it, post it on Facebook and create an entire post about it in our RESULTS, so……What about if you had the greatest value lineup of all time?  A Lineup that every player chosen had low ownership, way less, and never cost you more than $6,500 – well my friends this is the #NBA Ultimate Value Lineup – culled directly from the numbers and our reports – Check Back Before 4:30p MST everyday and see who we like, and let us Teach You How To #Win!!!

pablo (2)

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.


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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.


Getting Smart With #NBA + #NHL NEWS o’Day (11-5-15)

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1. NBA Bounce House

You wondered how long it was going to take before some #NBA player became fed-up with those sleeved-uniforms and for LeBron, he wasn’t having it anymore.  It’s like when Costanza made the Yankees wear all-cotton uniforms – #WorstIdeaEver.  Hopefully soon, Mr. Silver will realize these too were a turr-able idea and give the shooters their free-range back in their shoulders.

Curry continues to roll in the early going

Stephen Curry scored 31 points and made seven three-pointers in the Warriors’ 112-108 win over the Clippers on Wednesday. Curry has scored 179 points in his five games played this season. Over the last 40 seasons, the only other players to score as many points as Curry through their first five games of a season are Adrian Dantley (1980-81) and Michael Jordan, who did it three times (1986-87, 1989-90 and 1991-92).

Curry’s 28 three-pointers made are by far the most any player has made through five games of a season since the NBA instituted the three-point shot in 1979-80. The previous high was 21 by Ryan Anderson (2011-12), O.J. Mayo (2012-13) and Trevor Ariza (2014-15).


Howard is perfect from the field

Dwight Howard went 10-for-10 from the field and hauled down 14 rebounds in the Rockets’ overtime win over the Magic on Wednesday night. It marked the second time that Howard has shot 10-for-10 or better from the field in a game, having also done that on February 24, 2010 (11-for-11), ironically while he was with the Magic against the Rockets. The only other players to attempt 10 or more shots from the field and make all of them multiple times in the shot-clock era are Wilt Chamberlain (8 times), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (twice), Bernard King (twice) and Karl Malone (twice).


Blazers’ backcourt has a big night in UtahAltX.Logo.white

Damian Lillard scored 35 points and starting backcourt mate C.J. McCollum chipped in with 27 in the Blazers’ win in Utah on Wednesday night. It’s the first time in nearly 20 years that Portland’s starting backcourt each produced at last 25 points in a road game, since Rod Strickland (32) and Clyde Drexler (30) did it against the SuperSonics in a losing effort in Seattle on January 15, 1995.


Suns win with a team effort

Eric Bledsoe led the Suns with 19 points and was the team’s leader in assists with eight in a 118-97 win over Sacramento on Wednesday night. It marked the most points the Suns have scored in a game in which they did not have a single player score 20 points or hand out 10 assists since December 8, 1994, when they defeated the Nets by a final of 133-106 with Wayman Tisdale and Dan Majerle producing a team high 19 points and Elliot Perry leading the way with nine assists.


Beal’s three-pointer beats Spurs

Bradley Beal‘s three-pointer with less than a second remaining in the fourth quarter gave the Wizards a 102-99 victory over the Spurs on Wednesday night. Beal is the first player to win a game with a three-pointer with less than a second remaining in the fourth quarter or overtime against San Antonio since the Mavericks’ Steve Nash made a shot from beyond the arc with 0.6 seconds left in overtime in a 126-123 Dallas win on December 26, 2001.


Pacers frontcourt controls the boards in win over Celtics

The Pacers starting frontcourt, Lavoy Allen (11 rebounds), Paul George (10) and Jordan Hill (10) each recorded double-digits in rebounds in the Pacers’ 100-98 win over the Celtics on Wednesday. Indiana received 10 or more rebounds from each of their frontcourt starters in only one game in the previous six seasons combined (2009-10 to 2014-15), on January 8, 2013 (George, David West and Roy Hibbert).AltX.Logo.white


Nets fall to 0-5

The Nets lost their fifth consecutive game to open the 2015-16 season, dropping a 101-87 decision to the Hawks. Brooklyn has lost by margins of 15, 17, 10, 7 and 14 points in their five defeats. The only other teams in NBA history to lose each of their first five games of a season, all by more than six points, after appearing in the playoffs the previous season, are the 1966-67 Baltimore Bullets (first five games) and 1957-58 Minneapolis Lakers (first six games).


Cavs win by 10 after trailing by 15

The Cavaliers overcame a 15-point deficit and defeated the Knicks by a score of 96-86 on Wednesday night. It marked the first time Cleveland won a game by a double-digit margin after trailing by at least 15 points since November 3, 2009, when the Cavs overcame a 18-point deficit and beat Washington by a score of 102-90.


Raptors produce road wins over Western foes on consecutive nights

One night after beating the Mavericks in Dallas, the Raptors (5-0) beat the Thunder in Oklahoma City on Wednesday night to improve upon the best start in franchise history. It’s the third time since the start of the 2014-15 season that Toronto has won road games against Western Conference opponents on consecutive days, having won games in Sacramento and Utah last December 2nd and 3rd; and against the Clippers in Los Angeles and Nuggets in Denver on December 27th and 28th. No other Eastern Conference team has more than two sets of back to back road wins on consecutive days against teams from the West over that span, and the only other East teams that have done that more than once are Atlanta and Detroit.


2. Ice-Ice Baby

Burmistrov’s late goal wins it for the Jets

Winnipeg’s Alexander Burmistrov scored a tiebreaking goal with 2:05 left to play in the third period and his goal was the game-winner for the Jets in their 4-2 victory over the Maple Leafs in Toronto. It was the second time this season that a Jets player scored a go-ahead goal in the final three minutes of the third period; Dustin Byfuglien snapped a tie with 88 seconds remaining in regulation time in Winnipeg’s home game against the Flames on October 16. The Jets are the only NHL team to have scored more than one such goal this season. Before this season, the Jets had tallied only three tiebreaking goals in the last three minutes of the third period since the team relocated to Winnipeg from Atlanta in 2011.


Blues win after allowing five goals in the first

Vladimir Tarasenko’s goal with 1:06 remaining in overtime earned the Blues a 6-5 win over the Blackhawks in Chicago, a game in which St. Louis trailed, 5-2, at the end of the first period. It was the 11th time in NHL history that a team won a game in which it allowed five first-period goals, and it was the first such win in Blues history. Before Wednesday’s victory by St. Louis, the last time an NHL team won a game in that manner was when the Lightning beat the Flyers, 8-7, in Philadelphia on November 18, 2010, after Tampa Bay trailed, 5-4, at the first intermission.


Fehr nets another short-handed goal

Eric Fehr’s short-handed goal midway through the third period gave the Penguins a 3-0 lead in a game they would go on to win 3-2 in Vancouver. Fehr also tallied a short-handed goal in his Penguins debut on October 31 against the Maple Leafs. He is the first player in NHL history to score a short-handed goal in each of his first two games with a team.

SOURCE: Elias Sports Bureau

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#ElectionDay #NBA + #NHL News & Notes

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1. NBA Bounce House

Duncan sets NBA record for wins with one team

Tim Duncan scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the Spurs‘ 94-84 victory over the Knicks on Monday. Duncan has 954 regular-season wins with the Spurs, passing John Stockton (953 with Jazz) for the most victories by a player with one team in NBA history. Rounding out the top three is Stockton’s teammate Karl Malone, who had 919 wins during his tenure with Utah.

Duncan has a 954-381 (.715) regular-season record with the Spurs. Among the 10 players with at least 700 wins with one team, only one has a higher winning percentage with that team: Duncan’s teammate Tony Parker. With Monday’s win, Parker improved to 728-284 (.719) in his Spurs career.


25,000 points for James

With his 22 points scored in the Cavaliers‘ win on Monday, LeBron James reached 25,001 regular-season points in the NBA, in his 915th career game. James is the 20th player in NBA history to score 25,000 points; only three of those players reached that mark in as few games as he did. Ahead of him on the list are Wilt Chamberlain (691 games), Michael Jordan (782), and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (889).

James also added 11 assists in Monday’s game, becoming the sixth player to record a double-double in the game in which he surpassed 25,000 points, joining Chamberlain (who had a triple double when he reached that mark in 1968), Jerry West (1973), Abdul-Jabbar (1980), Karl Malone (1997), and Tim Duncan (2014).


Westbrook joins elite groupAltX.Logo.white

Russell Westbrook totaled 25 points, 11 assists, and eight rebounds in the Thunder’s loss on Monday. Westbrook has 121 points, 37 assists, and 30 rebounds in four games this season. Only two other players in NBA history had at least 120 points, 30 assists, and 30 rebounds over their first four games of a season, and each did so twice: Oscar Robertson (1961-62 and 1966-67 seasons) and Larry Bird (1984-85 and 1987-88 seasons).


Harden leads the way for Rockets

James Harden scored 37 points as the Rockets earned their first win of the season, a 110-105 triumph over the Thunder. Dwight Howard had the second-highest points output for Houston in Monday’s game, with 16 points. Last season, Harden played in 12 games in which he scored at least 20 more points than any of his teammates. Only one other player had at least five such games in the 2014-15 campaign: Russell Westbrook, with eight.


Warriors win big after trailing at the end of the opening quarter

The Warriors defeated the Grizzlies, 119-69, on Monday after trailing by one point at the end of the first quarter. Golden State is just the second team in NBA history to win a game by at least 50 points after being outscored in the opening quarter. The first such instance occurred on February 1, 1983, when the Bulls came out victorious over the Rockets, 129-76, after also trailing by a point at the end of the first.


Curry has another big quarter

Stephen Curry scored 30 points, including 21 in the third quarter, of the Warriors’ 119-69 victory over the Grizzlies. It’s the second straight game in which Curry scored at least 20 points in a quarter, having netted 28 points in the third period of the Warriors’ win over the Pelicans on Saturday. The last player with a 20-point quarter in consecutive games was Jamal Crawford in January 2007. Crawford had 23 fourth-quarter points on January 24 against the Suns and had two 20-point quarters in his next game on January 26 versus the Heat (20 points in second quarter and 23 in third).


2. ‘Ockey News – The Quick and the Dead

Toews and Kane find success against Quick

Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane each scored a goal for the Blackhawks as they posted a 4-2 victory over the Kings which ended L.A.’s winning streak at seven games. Toews has scored 11 goals in his 21 regular-season games against Quick, which ties him with Radim Vrbata for the third-most goals versus the two-time Stanley Cup-winning netminder, behind Shane Doan and Patrick Marleau (12 each). Kane scored only one goal in his first 13 regular-season games versus Quick but he’s tallied seven goals in eight regular-season games against him since then.


Lupul nets a pair in Leafs’ victory

Joffrey Lupul scored two goals in the Maple Leafs’ 4-1 win over the Dallas Stars’ in Toronto. It was Lupul’s first multiple-goal game since the last time the Stars played at Air Canada Centre, a 5-3 Maple Leafs victory on Dec. 2, 2014 in which Lupul notched the final two Toronto goals. Lupul finished the 2014-15 season by scoring only one goal in his last 30 games but he’s the Maple Leafs’ leading scorer with five goals this season.

pablo (10)

Friday Dregs

Iguodala comes through for Kerr and the Warriors

Andre Iguodala didn’t start a game during the 2014-15 regular season and he hadn’t started a game during this year’s playoffs until Steve Kerr sent him to the floor to begin Game 4 of the Finals. Iguodala proceeded to score 22 points and grab eight rebounds, both tied for the Warriors’ team high, as Golden State topped the Cavaliers, 103-82, to deadlock the series.

Over the last 45 years, the only other players who started an NBA Finals game without starting a game during either the preceding regular season or earlier in that year’s playoffs were Terry Teagle (1991 Lakers), Marcus Camby (1999 Knicks) and Manu Ginobili (2013 Spurs). Ginobili (24 points in Game 5) and Iguodala (on Thursday night) are the only players among them who either scored 20 or more points or pulled down as many as eight rebounds in their first start during that year’s Finals.

Convincing road victory for Golden State

The Warriors’ 21-point margin of victory in Game 4 was the largest for any road team in an NBA Finals game in which they entered the game trailing in the series. The previous high was 16 points by Miami in its 109-93 Game 4 victory at San Antonio in 2013.

Cleveland off the mark from downtown

The Cavaliers made only four of their 27 three-point field-goal attempts in Game 4 (14.8 percent). There have been 474 instances in NBA playoff history in which a team launched at least 25 shots from three-point range; only four other teams that took 25 or more three-point shots made as low a percentage of them as did the Cavaliers, with the last such team doing it 18 years ago, when the Bulls made four of 27 three-point shots (14.8%) in an 87-80 loss at Miami in Game 4 of the 1997 Eastern Conference Finals. The only other team to hit such a low three-point percentage (minimum: 25 shots) in a Finals game was the Bulls, who made only three of 26 three-point shots (11.5%) in losing Game 5 of the 1996 Finals at Seattle, 89-78.

Not many turnovers in Game 4

The Warriors (seven) and Cavaliers (nine) combined to commit only 16 turnovers in Game 4. That is the second-lowest total of turnovers in a NBA Finals game in any of the last 15 years. The only Finals game with fewer turnovers during that time (2001-2015) was the opener of the 2013 Finals, when the Spurs (four) and Heat (nine) combined to turn the ball over only 13 times.

Kazmir limits the Rangers to one hit, again

Scott Kazmir threw eight innings for the Athletics as they topped the Rangers, 7-0, and the only hit he allowed was a fifth-inning single by Elvis Andrus. It was the 11th major-league game this season in which a pitcher had a scoreless outing of seven or more innings without allowing more than one hit. Kazmir is the only pitcher who has had two such games and both were against the Rangers in Oakland. He pitched seven scoreless innings versus Texas on April 8, allowing one hit (a bunt single by Leonys Martin leading off the game).

nullCuddyer’s first walkoff RBI since 2006

Michael Cuddyer‘s second go-ahead RBI of the night came on a game-ending single in the bottom of the ninth inning and gave the Mets a 5-4 triumph over the Giants. Cuddyer, who hadn’t produced a game-ending RBI since he hit a walkoff homer for the Twins on April 19, 2006, played 1140 major-league games in the interim. Cuddyer entered Thursday’s game with the longest current streak of consecutive games without a walkoff RBI among active major-league players, a distinction that now belongs to San Diego’s Clint Barmes, who has played 1090 games since the only walkoff RBI of his career (a game-ending homer for the Rockies off Trevor Hoffman in the 2005 season opener).

Trout and Pujols both homer for the Angels

Mike Trout homered in the sixth inning and Albert Pujols hit a four-bagger in the ninth to help the Angels beat the Rays at Tropicana Field. It was the fifth game this season in which both Trout and Pujols homered, tying them with Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and Logan Morrison for the most such games for any major-league teammates this year.

nullMarcum tosses a gem

Shaun Marcum pitched seven innings and limited the Mariners to two hits in the Indians’ 6-0 shutout on Thursday afternoon. Marcum joined Trevor Bauer (April 9) and Corey Kluber (May 13) as Cleveland starters who have won games this season in which they had a scoreless outing of at least six innings without allowing more than two hits. The only other major-league teams that have had starts of that kind by three different pitchers this season are the Athletics (Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmirand Drew Pomeranz) and Giants (Madison Bumgarner, Ryan Vogelsong and Chris Heston).

nullGonzalez allows a run

The Rangers’ Chi Chi Gonzalez saw his career ERA balloon to 0.42 by allowing one run in seven innings versus the Athletics as he suffered his first loss in his third major-league game. Fernando Valenzuela posted a 0.33 ERA through his first three starts in the majors (in 1981), but since then, the only other pitcher who accumulated at least 20 innings through his first three major-league starts while pitching to an ERA as low as Gonzalez’s is Pat Combs, who had a 0.41 ERA to that point of his career for the 1989 Phillies.

Pay DiRT

James leads the way for Cavaliers in Game 3 victory

LeBron James scored 40 points to lead the Cavaliers to a 96-91 victory over the Warriors and a 2-1 lead in the series. James also recorded eight assists, which is one more than the combined total of the rest of the Cavaliers team. No other player in NBA history scored 40 points and recorded at least half of his team’s assists in a Finals game before James. The last player to achieve that feat in any round of the playoffs was Rajon Rondo, who scored 44 points and tallied 10 of the Celtics’ 15 assists in an overtime loss to the Heat in 2012.

James, whose three-game streak with more than 30 field-goal attempts is the longest of his career, has scored 123 points through three Finals games, breaking the record for most points in the first three games of a NBA Finals. Rick Barry had previously held that mark, having scored 122 points in the first three games of the 1967 Finals for the Warriors against the 76ers. James and Barry are also the only players to miss at least 20 field-goal attempts in three consecutive Finals games; Barry had four such games in a row to conclude the 1967 Finals while James now has three such games to begin this year’s Finals.

nullFirst 20-point effort for Dellavedova this season

Matthew Dellavedova played a huge role in the Cavaliers’ Game 3 victory as well, contributing 20 points, including 10 in the third quarter. The scoring output marked Dellavedova’s highest scoring game of the season – his high in the 2014-15 regular season was 18 points (April 15), and his playoff-high was 19 points (May 14) prior to Tuesday. Only one other player in the last 10 seasons scored at least 20 points in a Finals game without recording any 20-point games in the previous regular season or first three rounds of the playoffs. That player happens to be one of Dellavedova’s teammates – Mike Miller scored 23 points in the Heat’s Finals-clinching victory in 2012 against the Thunder, marking his only 20-point effort of the 2011-12 regular season and playoffs.

Heston throws first no-hitter of 2015

In just his 13th major-league start, Chris Heston entered the record books by throwing a no-hitter at Citi Field against the Mets. Heston, who recorded 11 K’s without walking a batter, became the first rookie pitcher to strike out more than 10 opposing hitters without issuing a walk in a no-hitter. Heston’s three HBP’s resulted in the only baserunners for the Mets on Tuesday, and it also put Heston on a list by himself – no other pitcher in major-league history hit at least three opposing batters while completing a no-hitter.

Heston threw the fourth no-hitter for the Giants over the last four seasons – Matt Cain threw a perfect game against the Astros in 2012, and Tim Lincecum no-hit the Padres in 2013 and again in 2014. The only other team in major-league history to throw a no-hitter in each of four consecutive seasons is the Dodgers, though Los Angeles needed just one pitcher – Sandy Koufax – to achieve the feat.

Speaking of Sandy Koufax, the Dodgers great was the last pitcher before Heston to finish a no-hitter with three strikeouts in the final inning. Koufax K’d the last three Cubs in his perfect game on September 9, 1965.