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"BIG THREE" DON'T SCORE BIG BUT HEAT WIN ANYWAY
From Elias: LeBron James and Chris Bosh each scored a team-high 19 points and Dwyane Wade added 16 points to lead the Heat to a 106-85 win over the Mavericks. It was only the second game in the Heat's "Big Three" era in which James, Bosh and Wade all played but not one of the three scored 20 or more points. The other instance was a 97-72 win against the Pistons on Dec. 1, 2010. James was the high scorer with 18 points in that game, with Bosh and Wade each scoring 16.
DIMINISHING RETURNS FOR THE MAVERICKS
From Elias: The Mavericks led 29-24 at the end of the first quarter in their loss at Miami, but they scored only 24, 19 and 13 points in second, third and fourth quarters. It was only the fourth time in the shot-clock era that an NBA team scored fewer than 30 points in the first quarter of a game and then had its point total drop by at least five points in each subsequent period. The last team to do that was the Bulls in their 82-74 win against the Heat on March 26, 2003 (29, 24, 17, 12).
GRANGER REACHES POINT MILESTONE IN PACERS WIN
From Elias: Danny Granger passed the 9000-point mark for his NBA career as he scored a game-high 25 points for the Pacers in their 93-89 win over the Wizards. Granger, who's spent his entire career with Indiana, is the sixth player to score at least 9000 points in the NBA for the Pacers. The others are Reggie Miller, Rik Smits, Jermaine O'Neal, Vern Fleming and Chuck Person. Granger has scored 25 or more points in a game 127 times; only Reggie Miller (286) has done that more often in Indiana's NBA history.
THREE NEWCOMERS HIT THEIR FIRST HOME RUN FOR THE A'S
From Elias: Offseason acquisitions Yoenis Cespedes, Josh Reddick and Jonny Gomes each hit their first home run for the Athletics to lead Oakland to a 4-1 win over the Mariners in Tokyo on Thursday. It was the first time in the 112-year history of the A's franchise that three different players hit their first home run for the team in the same game. Before Oakland did it, the last major-league team to have three players hit their first home run for that club in the same game was the Cardinals on Aug. 18, 2006 at Wrigley Field. Preston Wilson, Gary Bennett and Ronnie Belliard each hit their first homer for St. Louis that day.
MARINERS ARE SUNK BY THEIR BULLPEN
From Elias: Seattle had the fewest home runs allowed by relief pitchers in the American League last season (32) but the Mariners' bullpen failed them in their 4-1 loss to the A's, as each of the three relievers they used, Shawn Kelley, George Sherrill and Steve Delabar, allowed a home run. Seattle's relief pitchers allowed as many home runs in Thursday's game (three) as they did in the team's first 38 games last season. There was only one game in the majors last season in which a team used at least three relief pitchers and every one of them gave up home runs. That was Minnesota's 11-1 loss at Milwaukee on June 25, with Twins relievers Anthony Swarzak, Phil Dumatrait and Joe Nathan serving up the gopher balls.
JOSH BAILEY SCORES OR ASSISTS ON EVERY ISLANDERS GOAL
From Elias: The Islanders, who won 5-3 at Pittsburgh on Tuesday, completed a sweep of their home-and-home set against the Penguins with a win by the same score at Nassau Coliseum on Thursday. Josh Bailey had a hand in all five Islanders goals, scoring two and assisting on three. Bailey is the second NHL player to score five or more points in a game this season and record a point on every one of his team's goals. Sam Gagner did that with four goals and four assists in the Oilers' 8-4 win over the Blackhawks on February 2.
DANNY BRIERE'S FOUR-ASSIST GAME
From Elias: Danny Briere set a single-game career high with four assists in the Flyers' 7-1 win at Toronto. Briere is only the third Flyers player to record four assists in a road game over the last 11 seasons. The other Philadelphia players with four assists in a road game since 2000-01 were Mike Richards (Oct. 24, 2008 at New Jersey) and Claude Giroux (Jan. 23, 2011 at Chicago).
BRODEUR GIVES UP FOUR GOALS IN WIN OVER TAMPA BAY
From Elias: Martin Brodeur was not at the top of his game on Thursday night, allowing four goals while facing only 20 shots, including three goals by Ryan Malone, but he still posted a 6-4 win against the Lightning. It was Brodeur's 115th win over the last four seasons but only the second in which he gave up more than three goals. The other one was a 5-4 overtime victory against the Maple Leafs on Jan. 29, 2010.
KOIVU'S GOAL GIVES THE WILD A QUICK OVERTIME WIN
From Elias: Mikko Koivu's goal 15 seconds into overtime earned the Wild a 3-2 win against the Panthers on Thursday. It was the second-fastest overtime goal in an NHL game this season (Washington's Brooks Laich scored at 0:12 of OT on Dec. 3 vs. Ottawa) and the quickest overtime goal in Minnesota franchise history, ten seconds faster than the previous record, 25 seconds by Marian Gaborik at Los Angeles on Oct. 18, 2006.
JOHANSSON REACHES DOUBLE-FIGURES IN POINTS IN MARCH
From Elias: Marcus Johansson scored one goal and assisted on another for the Capitals in their shootout win at Boston. Johansson's two points in Thursday's victory give him a total of 10 points in 15 games in March (2 goals, 8 assists). It's the first time in Johansson's two seasons in the NHL that he's reached double-figures in points for a calendar month.