United Stats of America – #NBAAllStarWeekend Edition

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1. United Stats of America

Thomas outduels Paul in Boston

Isaiah Thomas produced 36 points and 11 assists out-dueling Chris Paul, who registered 35 points and 13 assists in the Celtics’ overtime win over the Clippers in Boston on Wednesday night. There have been only two other games in NBA history in which opposing players each produced at least 35 points and 11 assists: Boston’s Larry Bird (49/12) and Portland’s Clyde Drexler (41/11) on March 15, 1992; and New Jersey’s Jason Kidd (38/14) and Phoenix’ Steve Nash (42/13) on December 7, 2006.

nullTowns produces like a veteran in Minnesota’s win

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 35 points, hauled down 11 rebounds and blocked three shots in Minnesota’s 117-112 win over Toronto on Wednesday night. At 20 years, 87 days old, Towns is the second youngest player to record at least 35 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks in a regulation game, trailing only Kevin Durant, who had 41 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks on December 8, 2008 at the age of 20 years, 70 days. LeBron James registered 38 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks at 19 years, 316 days old on November 10, 2004, but that came in an overtime game. (The NBA began recording blocked shots in 1973-74).

nullCousins and Rondo turning out to be a dynamic duo

DeMarcus Cousins recorded 28 points and 12 rebounds and Rajon Rondo chipped in with 15 assists in the Kings’ win over the 76ers on Wednesday night. It marked the seventh time that Cousins has registered at least 25 points and 10 rebounds and Rondo dished out 15 or more assists in the same game. There have been only five other instances of teammates doing that in the same game this season and only one other pair has done it more than once: Minnesota’s Karl -Anthony Towns and Ricky Rubio (twice).

nullCurry and Thompson reign threes on the Suns

Stephen Curry made five three-pointers in a 26-point performance and Klay Thompson hit five shots from beyond the arc accounting for 15 of his 24 points in Golden State’s victory on Wednesday. Curry and Thompson have each made at least five three-pointers in the same game 14 times since they became teammates, which is not only the highest total for any pair of teammates since the NBA instituted the three-point shot in 1979, it is 10 times more than any other combo has done it. Four pair of teammates each made five three-pointers in a game four times: Steve Nash and Raja Bell; Rashard Lewis and Ray Allen; Antawn Jamison and Gilbert Arenas; Bell and Leandro Barbosa.

Hornets snap losing streak in Indiana with a big win

The Hornets snapped a 12-game road losing streak against the Pacers by posting a 117-95 win in Indiana on Wednesday night. Over the last 20 season, the only other teams to end a road losing streak of 12 or more games against a particular opponent with a 20+ point win are the Pistons at the Bulls (30-point win on March 2, 1999 ending an 18-game losing streak), Nuggets at Jazz (21-point win on January 20, 2004 ending a 14-game losing streak) and Timberwolves at Lakers (23-point win on November 10, 2013 ending a 13-game losing streak).

nullLeonard’s game-winning bucket caps Spurs comeback

Kawhi Leonard scored with 0.9 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to put the Spurs ahead in a game they would win over the Magic on Wednesday night. Leonard entered the game just 1-for-4 on shots in which he had a chance to give his team the lead with less than five seconds remaining in the fourth quarter or overtime in his career with his only success in that situation coming on February 13, 2013 against the Cavaliers.

The Spurs overcame a 14-point fourth quarter deficit to win in Charlotte. San Antonio was only 3-48 on the road when trailing by double-digits in the fourth quarter over the last five seasons (since 2011-12) prior to Wednesday.

nullJohnson held off the scoreboard

Joe Johnson did not score a single point in 23 minutes of action in the Nets’ loss to the Grizzlies on Wednesday night. It marked the first time Johnson was held off the scoreboard since December 6, 2003. Johnson entered Wednesday’s action having scored in 937 consecutive games, which was the second longest current streak in the NBA behind LeBron James (961 straight games).

nullAnother productive fourth quarter for Barton

Will Barton scored 15 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter leading the Nuggets to a win over the Pistons on Wednesday night. It’s the fifth time that Barton has scored at least 15 points in the fourth quarter this season, which is the most such games for any player in the league.

Holiday leads the way off the bench

Jrue Holiday came off the bench and led the Pelicans with 21 points and nine assists in the team’s win over Utah on Wednesday. It’s the fourth time that Holiday has led his club outright in points and assists while coming off the bench this season. No other NBA player has done that more than twice in 2015-16.

Bulls rocked after a strong start

The Bulls led the Hawks after the first quarter, but were outscored 85-61 over the final three quarters and dropped a 113-90 decision in Chicago on Wednesday night. It marked the largest margin of defeat the Bulls have suffered in a home game in which they led entering the second quarter since October 31, 2001, when they were defeated by a 25-point margin by the Pacers at the United Center.

nullLeBron helps Cavs spoil Kobe’s final appearance in Cleveland

LeBron James scored 29 points and handed out 11 assists to help lead the Cavs to a win over the Lakers in Kobe Bryant‘s last game at Quicken Loans Arena. Bryant scored 17 points in his final appearance in Cleveland. It’s the 21st time that James and Bryant have played against each other during the regular season, and it marked the sixth time that James out-scored Bryant by double-digits in those games. Bryant has produced at least 10 more points than James only once in their head-to-head matchups.

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

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Tuesday Dregs

Did you know LeBron James finished with 37 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists, and scored game 3’s last five points over the final 40 seconds as the Cavaliers moved out to a three-games-to none series lead with a 114-111 overtime win over the Hawks on Sunday? No other player has ever reached all of those totals (37 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists) in an NBA playoff game.

James earned the 12th triple-double of his playoff career, surpassing Jason Kidd’s total of 11 and moving into second place all-time, behind Magic Johnson, who had 30. James achieved the triple-double with his tenth assist with 3:49 remaining in the third quarter. No NBA player had produced a triple-double within the first three quarters of a playoff game since Chris Paul, playing for the New Orleans Hornets against the Lakers, did that in 2011. No NBA player had earned a triple-double so early in a game since 2009, when Rajon Rondo achieved it with 6:15 to play in the third quarter, playing for the Celtics against the Bulls.

James finished with 37 field-goal attempts, the most he has ever taken in any NBA game, during either the regular season or the playoffs. He missed all nine of his first-quarter field-goal attempts, becoming the first player to take that many shots in the first quarter of a playoff game and to miss them all since Tim Duncan went 0-for-10 from the field in the first quarter of Game 1 of a Western Conference Semifinal series against the Lakers in 2002. LeBron also missed his first shot in the second quarter, becoming the second player in this year’s playoffs to miss his first 10 field-goal attempts of a game. (Isaiah Thomas missed his first 10 shots from the floor in Game 4 of a first-round series against Cleveland.) Among other players who have started past playoff games with double-digit streak of misses: Duncan (twice), Carmelo Anthony (twice), Ray Allen and Tony Parker.

James Harden scored 45 points, grabbed nine rebounds and handed out five assists as the Rockets avoided a sweep with a 128-112 victory over the Warriors. The 45 points is the third-most ever scored by a player for a team that was down, three-games-to-none, in a playoff series, behind the 51 points scored by the Warriors’ Sleepy Floyd in 1987 against the Lakers and the 46 points scored by Miami’s Dwyane Wade against the Celtics in 2010.

Only one other player scored at least 40 points, grabbed at least nine rebounds and handed out at least five assists in a game for a team that was down, three-games-to-none, in a playoff series: Tom Chambers for the Suns against the Lakers in 1989 (41 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists).

The Warriors (20-for-46) and Rockets (17-for-32) combined for 37 three-point field goals made and 78 three-pointers attempted. The 37 three-pointers made were the most ever in an NBA playoff game, breaking the record of 33 set by the Seattle (20) and Houston (13) in Game 2 in 1996; and the 78 shots from beyond the arc were also the most ever in an NBA playoff game, breaking the mark of 70 by Oklahoma City (35) and Houston (35) in Game 2 in 2013.

The Warriors are only the second team, regular season or playoffs, to lose a game in which they made 20 three-pointers. The Nets lost to the Nuggets on Jan. 11, 2012 despite making 20 shots from beyond the arc. NBA teams that made 20 or more three-pointers are 15-1 in the regular season and now 2-1 in the playoffs.


Ben Bishop posted a 2-0 win over the Rangers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final, after giving up five goals in both Game 3 (a 6-5 overtime victory) and Game 4 (a 5-1 loss). Bishop is the only the third goaltender in NHL history to record a playoff shutout after allowing at least five goals in each of the previous two games of the same series. The other goaltenders to do that were the Quebec Nordiques’ Dan Bouchard against the Flyers in 1981 (Game 3) and the Canadiens’Carey Price versus the Bruins in 2008 (Game 7).

Toews heroics are not enough

Jonathan Toews scored a pair of goals in the final two minutes of the third period to tie the score at 4-4 in Game 5 of the Western Conference Final, but the Blackhawks’ late comeback proved to be in vain as Matt Beleskey scored 45 seconds into overtime to win the game for the Ducks. It was the fifth time in NHL playoff history that a team tied a game after trailing by two goals in the last two minutes of regulation time, and Toews is the first player to score both the tying goal and the one before that. The last team before Chicago to stage a two-goal tying rally in the final two minutes of the third period was the Bruins in Game 7 of their first-round series against the Maple Leafs in 2013. Milan Lucic scored to get the Bruins within one goal, and Patrice Bergeron netted both the tying goal in regulation and the series-winner in overtime.


Never Before

Francisco Liriano struck out 12 batters and earned the win as the Pirates completed their three-game series sweep of the Mets. Gerrit Cole struck out ten batters in his series-opening win on Friday, as did A.J. Burnett in his victory on Saturday. It is the only time in modern major-league history (1900 to date) that a team’s starting pitchers won three straight games within one series while recording a double-digit strikeout total in each game.

Big Game James? 

The Padres averted being swept in their three-game series at Dodger Stadium behind the pitching of James Shields, who improved his record to 6-0 this season. Shields is the only pitcher who has won as many as six games for his new club after switching major-league teams during the past offseason. Since 2010, spanning his time with the Rays, Royals and Padres, Shields is 7-0 in 11 regular-season starts in games in which his team was in danger of being swept in a series, and each of those seven wins came on the road.

Historic Failure

Jeremy Guthrie gave up four homers and allowed 11 runs while getting only three outs against the Yankees on Monday. Guthrie is the first starting pitcher in major league history to give up at least four homers and allow 11 or more runs in a game in which he recorded no more than three outs.

Still doesn’t play on Sundays

Andre Ethier‘s solo home run in the eighth inning broke a 2-2 tie and the Dodgers went on to beat the Braves, 6-3, on Monday night. It was career home run #151 for Ethier, 14 of which have been go-ahead homers in the eighth inning or later (9.3 percent).

The only active players with more go-ahead homers than Ethier in the eighth inning or later since 2006 are Albert Pujols (17), Miguel Cabrera (16), Prince Fielder(16) and Chris Young (15). Jose BautistaJustin Morneau and David Ortiz also have 14 such homers since 2006.

Not since…

Prince Fielder went 3-for-5 with a home run in the Rangers’ win over the Indians. Fielder is now batting .365 with nine home runs in 45 games this season. The last Rangers player to have at least nine homers and a batting average of .360 or better over his first 45 games of a season was Josh Hamilton in 2012 (.368 with 20 homers).

Fielder has 11 hits and 12 runs batted in over his last four games. The only other player in Rangers franchise history with that many hits and RBIs over a four-game span is Ivan Rodriguez from July 30 to August 2, 1999. Pudge had 13 hits and 12 RBIs over that four-game span.

Miss me Milwaukee?

Giants’ leadoff batter, Nori Aoki, went 4-for-4 with a home run in their win over the Brewers. Aoki is the fourth Giants player over the last 60 years to go 4-for-4 or better with a home run from the leadoff spot in the batting order. Bobby Bonds, who did it three times (once each in 1971, 1972 and 1973), Marvin Benard (1998) and Randy Winn (twice in 2005) were the other Giants players to do it over that span.

Arenado times two

Nolan Arenado has seven hits and knocked in seven runs over his last two games. Arenado is the first major-league player this season to have that many hits and RBIs over a two-game span and he’s the first Rockies player to do it since Carlos Gonzalez had exactly seven hits and seven RBIs over two games in May 2012.  That is about how long it has been since we have seen anything from CarGo.

Elias Sports Bureau with the assist…