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Hawks succeeding when it comes to back-to-backs
By: Corby Yarbrough | 12/23/10, 7:23 PM EST
By the numbers, the Atlanta Hawks have had one of the most difficult schedules in the NBA so far this season. Atlanta and Cleveland have played the most back-to-backs (10) in the NBA this year. Atlanta is 5-5 on first night, 8-3 on second night; Cleveland is 2-8 on first night, 4-7 on second night.
The Hawks (19-12) opened their season with a pair of back-to-backs in their first five games, winning all five. They also played a six-game slate from Dec. 3-10 where it was nothing but back-to-backs, and they posted a 4-2 record during that stretch. Atlanta has won the back end of its last four back-to-backs and five of its last six.
Atlanta begins another back-to-back Sunday when it travels to New Orleans and Milwaukee, but doesn't have another pair of back-to-backs until a Jan. 17-21 run that will ironically end with New Orleans.
Additionally, the Hawks, Miami and New Jersey are the only teams in the Eastern Conference to have played at least 30 games so far this season.
The Celtics are currently on a 14-game winning streak, their fifth such streak since the start of the 2007‐08 season. The longest streak was a franchise‐best 19 games from (Nov. 14-Dec. 23, 2008).
The Bulls are 15-3 this season when they hold their opponents under 100 points and 2-6 when they allow 100 or more points.
Richard Hamilton came off the bench at Toronto Wednesday night to score a game-high 35 points, becoming the first player in Pistons history to score 35 or more points twice as a reserve. He shot 13-of-20 from the field and recorded career highs in 3-pointers made (6) and attempted (10). Hamilton holds the club record for most points by a player off the bench with 38 scored at Milwaukee on Feb. 7, 2009.
LeBron James’ 30-point triple-double (32 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists) at New York on Dec. 17 was the 17th triple-double of his career in which he registered at least 30 points. That marks the most 30-point triple-doubles over the last 25 years in the NBA. It also surpasses Michael Jordan and ties Larry Bird and Magic Johnson on the NBA all-time list for triple-doubles with at least 30 points scored, and James is now only four shy of tying Wilt Chamberlain for second place on the NBA’s 30-point triple-double all-time list. Additionally, James became just the fifth New York Knicks opponent in the last 20 years to have recorded a triple-double at Madison Square Garden. The last opponent to have 30 points in a triple-double in MSG was Chuck Person in 1986.
The Bucks have held eight of their last nine opponents under 100 points and have gone 5-4 in that span. Seven of those nine foes were held under their season average going into the game. Orlando scored 85 and averaged 99.3, Miami 88 and 100.7, Indiana 95 and 100.7, Houston 91 and 105.3, San Antonio 92 and 106.4, Utah 95 and 100.2 and L.A. Lakers 79 and 106.4.
New York is second in the NBA with 6.66 blocks per game after coming off two straight seasons in which it ranked 29th (2009-10) and 30th (2008-09) in the league. The franchise never led the league or finished a season ranked in the top five in blocked shots since the stat began being tracked in 1973-74. The Knicks' best finish was sixth in 1989-90 with an average of six blocks per game. Through 29 games, New York recorded 193 blocked shots — a total that took 45 games to reach last season (Jan. 28 vs. Toronto). The Knicks blocked at least six shots in 20 of their first 29 games after hitting the mark 17 times in 82 games last season. Amar’e Stoudemire (seventh, 2.10), Wilson Chandler (16th, 1.62) and Ronny Turiaf (26th, 1.27) all rank among the NBA’s top 26 in blocked shots.
Dwight Howard has recorded three consecutive games with 20-plus rebounds going into Thursday's game against San Antonio. It marks just the second time in his career that he has accomplished the feat (Dec. 28-31, 2007). The last player with 20-plus rebounds in four straight games was Ben Wallace, who had five such outings from March 12-20, 2003.
Since scoring 100-plus points in five straight games from Nov. 2-10 — the longest span since a six-game stretch from Dec. 14-27, 2005 — the Sixers have scored 100-plus just six times over the past 21 games (93.3 ppg; 1,960 total). Philadelphia has scored below 90 points in three of the past four games and 10 times overall this season (3-7 mark; 3-17 in 2009-10). The Sixers are 6-6 when scoring 100-plus points and 5-12 when scoring below. On the flip side, opponents have scored 100-plus points just four times over the past 18 games (92.6 ppg; 1,667 total) after doing so six times the first 11 games of the season (103.2 ppg). Philly is 11-8 when holding opponents below 100 points this season and 0-10 when giving up 100-plus. Last season, the 76ers were 19-19 when holding opponents below 100 points and 8-36 when the opposition topped the century mark.
Nick Young is providing the Wizards with some offensive power this season. Young is averaging a career-high 14.8 points per game. The fourth-year pro has scored 20 points in a game 12 times this season (nine times off of the bench which leads the NBA). Young scored 30 points against the Lakers Dec. 7 and nailed a career-high six 3-pointers in that contest.
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