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Elias Says: October 31, 2017

Butker kicks Chiefs to victory

For the second time this month, Harrison Butker kicked five field goals, as Kansas City defeated Denver on Monday, 29–19. Butker is the first player in NFL history to have two games with five or more field goals in his rookie season, let alone one month. No veteran has had two such games in one month since Miami’s Dan Carpenter in October 2010.

Butker ended October with 18 field goals, the second-highest total in one month in NFL history, two shy of the record set by Miami’s Olindo Mare in October 1999. The previous rookie record was 14 by Pittsburgh’s Jeff Reed in December 2002.

Peters mainly just taketh away

Marcus Peters ran in a Denver fumble for a touchdown and intercepted a pass later in the first period on Monday. Peters now has 21 takeaways over his 2½ seasons in the NFL, tying the highest total for any active player in his first three seasons (with eight games to play this season). Richard Sherman had 21 takeaways in his first three seasons, 2011 to 2013.

Running out of superlatives for Simmons

Ben Simmons scored 24 points in the 76ers’ win in Houston on Monday, and he’s had at least 10 points, five rebounds and five assists in all seven games he’s played in the NBA. The only other player in league history to begin his career with such a streak was Oscar Robertson, who reached those levels (and often far surpassed them) in each of his first 10 games, in 1960.

Only three other players have had a streak of seven-plus games with at least 10 points, five rebounds and five assists at any point during their rookie season: Alvan Adams (1975–76 Suns), Steve Francis (1999–2000 Rockets) and Chris Paul (2005–06 Hornets). Robertson and all three of those players won the Rookie of the Year Award.

30-point Porzingis

Kristaps Porzingis scored 38 points in the Knicks’ win over the Nuggets on Monday and he’s scored at least 30 points in five of his six games this season, as has Giannis Antetokounmpo. Before this season, only two players age 22 or younger in NBA history had reached 30 points in five of their first six games of a season. Rick Barry did it for the Warriors in 1966, at the start of his second season, and Marques Johnson scored 30 points in each of his first six games for the Bucks in 1978, which was also his second professional season.

No other Knicks player (of any age) has scored at least 30 points in five of his first six games of a season.

Celtics run winning streak to five straight

The Celtics, who lost their first two games of the season, improved to 5–2 with a victory over the Spurs on Monday. The Celtics are the first NBA team to reel off a winning streak of five or more games immediately after losing its first two games since they themselves did so in the 2002–03 season. That’s the only other season in which Boston went from 0–2 to 5–2.

Kyrie Irving has scored at least 20 points in five straight games, all wins within one season, for the second time in his NBA career; he had a five-game streak like that for Cleveland to start last season.

Towns makes more than he misses again

Karl-Anthony Towns went 7-for-11 from the floor in the Timberwolves’ overtime win in Miami, and he’s now taken at least 10 shots and made at least half of them in each of Minnesota’s games this season. Towns is the first player to shoot 50 percent or better while taking 10 or more shots in each of his team’s first seven games of a season since LeBron James and Blake Griffin each did it in the 2011–12 season.

Team effort by Warriors

Twelve Warriors players scored at least five points in Golden State’s blowout win over the Clippers on Monday, tying the highest total in one game in team history. The Warriors’ only other game with a dozen five-point scorers was in a 36-point win over Seattle on December 7, 1974, led by Rick Barry’s 26 points.

A rare late comeback win for Hornets and an ever more rare loss for Grizzlies

The Hornets overcame a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter to win in Memphis on Monday, 104–99. Charlotte had only one road win over the past three seasons in which it trailed by 10 or more points in the fourth quarter. And Memphis lost only one home game over the past five seasons in which it led by double digits at home in the fourth quarter, to the Warriors in April 2016. The only NBA teams with as few of those losses as Memphis over the past five seasons were Miami (0) and Washington (1).

Rubio is not throwing away his shot

Ricky Rubio scored 20 points in Utah’s win over Dallas on Monday, after he scored 21 points on Saturday. Rubio has scored 20 or more points in a game 11 times since we turned the calendar to 2017, after he had only 13 games of 20 or more points in his NBA career before this year.

DeRozan’s big first quarter…sound familiar?

DeMar DeRozan scored 15 points in the first quarter of the Raptors’ win in Portland on Monday, just as he did in Toronto’s second game this season, against Philadelphia. No other NBA player has scored 15 points in the first quarter more than once this season.

Davis’s 39 points are for naught

Anthony Davis scored 39 points in a losing effort on Monday, as the Pelicans fell to the Magic. The only other players with so many points in a loss this season were Nikola Vucevic (41) and Davis’s teammate, DeMarcus Cousins (39 on Oct. 24). It’s the eighth time that Davis has scored 39 or more points in a loss, tied with James Harden for the second-highest total over the last three seasons, behind Russell Westbrook (11).

Stamkos and Kucherov finish off hot October

Steven Stamkos tallied two goals and one assist and Nikita Kucherov notched a goal and assist as the Lightning beat the Panthers, 8–5. Stamkos (6–18–24) and Kucherov (13–8–21) rank one-two in the NHL in points this season. They’re the first pair of NHL teammates to each rack up 20 or more points in October in the same season since 1995–96, when Eric Lindros (10–11–21) and John LeClair did that (9–11–20) for the Flyers.

Marchand’s milestone goal

Brad Marchand scored the 200th goal of his NHL and Bruins career in Boston’s 4–3 shootout loss in Columbus. Marchand, whose goal tied the score at 3–3 in the third period, is the 18th different player to score 200 or more regular-season goals for the Bruins, a list that includes his teammate, Patrice Bergeron (260 goals). The only other NHL teams with 18 or more 200-goal scorers are the Canadiens (24) and Blackhawks (20).

Linemates off to a hot start for Islanders

John Tavares scored his 10th and 11th goals of the season as the Islanders closed out their October schedule with a 6–3 win over the Golden Knights. Tavares is the fourth player in Islanders history to produce a double-digit October goal total in one season. Mike Bossy did that three times (14 goals in 1982, 13 in 1984, 11 in 1981), and Mark Parrish (11 in 2001) and Brent Sutter (10 in 1984) once each.

Josh Bailey, who racked up three assists in Monday’s game, leads the Islanders with 11 assists this season. He’s the first Islanders player to register a double-digit assist total in October since Robert Reichel notched 12 assists for the Isles in October 1997.

Drought ends for Arizona

The Arizona Coyotes ended their season-opening 11-game winless streak with a 4–3 overtime victory against the Flyers in Philadelphia, but only after squandering a 3–1 lead in the final minute of the third period. Defenseman Alex Goligoski scored the winning goal for the Coyotes, only the seventh game-winner of his 11-year NHL career and second in the last six seasons. The 2017–18 Coyotes were the fifth team in NHL history to go winless in their first 11 or more games of a season, following the 1927–28 Pittsburgh Pirates (11), 1943 –44 Rangers (15), 1973–74 Minnesota North Stars (11) and 1995–96 Sharks (11).

The Schwartz is strong with this one

Jaden Schwartz scored one goal and assisted on another for the Blues when they beat the Kings, 4–2, on Monday. Schwartz leads the Blues this season in goals (eight), assists (nine, tied with Alex Pietrangelo) and points (17). Schwartz’s eight goals in October tie his career high for any calendar month (he also scored eight goals in December 2013), and his total of 17 points in October easily bettered his previous high for one month (13 three times, most recently in March 2017).

Hudon gets first and second goals on one night

Rookie Charles Hudon and Artturi Lehkonen each scored their first two goals of the season for the Canadiens in their 8–3 win over the Senators in Ottawa. Lehkonen scored 18 goals as a rookie for Montreal last season, but Hudon’s goals were the first two of his NHL career. In the last 17 seasons, the only player besides Hudon to produce a multiple-goal game for the Canadiens in the first NHL game in which he scored a goal is Jacob De La Rose, who tallied his first two goals in a 5–2 victory at Columbus on Feb. 26, 2015.