Elias Says: Nov. 9, 2016

James held to two points in first half

LeBron James scored only two points in 16 first-half minutes and the Cavaliers went on to suffer their first loss as defending champion, a 110–106 setback against the Hawks. That tied James’ career low in a first half in which he played at least 15 minutes. There were four other such games in his NBA career––all more than a decade ago: three in LBJ’s rookie season (2003–04) and one in December 2005.

Schroder and Bazemore power Hawks upset

Dennis Schroder scored 28 points and Kent Bazemore chipped in with 25 in the Hawks’ upset victory at Quicken Loans Arena. It was the 19th regular-season home loss for the Cavaliers in the three seasons since LeBron James returned, but the first of those 19 games in which two visiting teammates each scored at least 25 points.

Carter is oldie but goodie

Vince Carter, who at age 39 is the oldest active NBA player, scored a team-high 20 points in the Grizzlies’ 108–107 decision over the Nuggets. Only two NBA players older than Carter led their teams in scoring in a one-point win. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did that once at age 41 (1988-89 Lakers) and twice when he was 40 (1987-88 Lakers), and Michael Jordan did so at 40 years old (2002-03 Wizards).

Barnes drops 31 on Lakers in LA

Harrison Barnes scored 31 points in the Mavericks’ victory over the Lakers at Staples Center. Only two other Dallas players scored at least 30 points in a road victory over the Lakers: Mark Aguirre (42 in December 1983 at Great Western Forum) and Monta Ellis (31 in March 2015).

Nets are 3–0 in Lopez’s 25-point games

Brook Lopez scored 26 points in the Nets’ win over the Timberwolves, improving Brooklyn’s record to 3–4. Lopez scored 25 points in a victory against the Pacers in late October and 34 points in a triumph versus the Pistons last week. Lopez is the fifth player in the Nets’ NBA history––and the first since Vince Carter in November 2006––to score at least 25 points in each of the team’s first three wins of a season. The players to do that before Carter were Stephon Marbury (2000), Kendall Gill (1996) and Derrick Coleman (1993).

Lillard passes Vandeweghe

Damian Lillard scored 38 points in Portland’s win over Phoenix at Moda Center, giving him 137 points in four home games this season. Lillard set a franchise record for the most points scored by a player over the first four home games of a season, passing the 132 put up by Kiki Vandeweghe in 1986.

Price ties long-standing team record

Carey Price recorded his eighth win in eight games this season with a 3–2 victory over the Bruins in Montreal in which he made 41 saves. Price has tied the record for the longest winning streak by a Canadiens goaltender to begin a season, matching the mark set by Charlie Hodge when he won his first eight games in 1960–61. Before Price, the last goaltender on any NHL team to begin a season with eight straight wins was Martin Jones for the Kings in 2013–14.

Another hat trick for Laine

Patrik Laine recorded the second hat trick in his 14-game NHL career when he scored three goals for the Winnipeg Jets in their 8–2 win over the Stars. Laine, who also scored three goals against the Maple Leafs on October 19, is the fourth player in the NHL’s “modern era” (i.e., since 1943–44) to produce his second career hat trick no later than his 14th game in the league. The other players to do that were Rob Gaudreau (who posted his second hat trick in his sixth NHL game), Bernie Federko (10th game) and Bernie Nicholls (14th game).

Nash scores milestone goal

Rick Nash scored the 400th goal of his NHL career when he tallied on a power play for the Rangers in the third period of their game against the Canucks. Nash scored his first 289 NHL goals for the Blue Jackets and he’s scored 111 times since Columbus traded him to New York in July 2012. Nash is the sixth man who hit the 400-goal mark while playing for the Rangers. The others are Rod Gilbert, Mark Messier, Pat Verbeek, John MacLean and Theo Fleury.

Jones blanks the Capitals

Sharks goaltender Martin Jones posted his first shutout of the season and 14th shutout in 106 starts during his four-season NHL career with a 3–0 win over the Capitals in Washington. Jones’ average of one shutout every 7.6 starts is the best in the NHL over the last four seasons among goaltenders who’ve made at least 100 starts since 2013–14. Carey Price is second with an average of one shutout every 8.0 starts.

Sheary snaps late tie

Conor Sheary scored his second goal of the game to snap a 3–3 tie with 1:42 left to play in the third period and that goal provided the Penguins with their winning margin in a 4–3 victory over the Oilers. Sheary’s tiebreaking goal was the first go-ahead goal by a Penguins player during the final two minutes of the third period in any game, regular-season or playoffs, since Dec. 31, 2014, when Brandon Sutter snapped a 1–1 tie with 1:42 remaining in regulation time against the Hurricanes. Pittsburgh won that game, 2–1.

Back-to-back shutouts for Budaj

Peter Budaj and the Kings recorded their second straight shutout with a 7–0 shellacking of the Maple Leafs in Toronto on Tuesday, after Budaj doused the Flames by a 5–0 score in Los Angeles on Saturday. This is the first time that an NHL team has racked up consecutive shutout wins, each by at least a five-goal margin since Feb. 25–27, 2003, when the Predators won 5–0 and 6–0 in home games against the Blue Jackets and Penguins. Tomas Vokoun was in goal for Nashville in both games.

Red Wings’ first win in Philadelphia since 1997

The Red Wings’ overtime victory against the Flyers was their first win in Philadelphia since January 25, 1997, when they had four future Hall of Famers in their lineup: Steve Yzerman, Nicklas Lidtsrom, Brendan Shanahan and Slavan Fetisov. Detroit was 0–11–1 in 12 games there since then until their win on Tuesday. This was the second-longest current drought, in terms of time, for one NHL team to go winless on the road against another. The Blackhawks haven’t won in Philadelphia since November 9, 1996 – 20 years ago, almost to the day.

Subban loves to face Ottawa

P.K. Subban scored one goal and assisted on another in the Predators’ 3–1 win over the Senators. Subban has tallied more points (21) and assists (16) versus Ottawa than he has recorded against any other team in his NHL career, and his total of five goals versus the Senators matches his high against one team (also five goals versus Minnesota).

Martinook scores twice in Denver

Jordan Martinook scored a pair of goals for the Coyotes in their win against the Avalanche in Denver. It was the second multi-goal game in the NHL for Martinook, who scored twice in Arizona’s loss at Ottawa on October 18. He’s one of the four NHL players with more than one multiple-goal game on the road this season. The others are Sidney Crosby (3), Matt Duchene (2) and Marcus Johansson (2).