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Elias Says ...

2/1/2006 - NBA NHL

A daily glance inside the numbers from the world of sports:

NBA
Kobe Bryant averaged 43.4 points per game in January. It was the highest scoring average in a calendar month by an NBA player since March 1963, when Wilt Chamberlain averaged 45.8 points per game for the San Francisco Warriors.

• Bryant scored an unconventional 40 points Tuesday night -- connecting for seven field goals and 23 free throws. Those seven field goals were the fewest in NBA history by a player who scored 40-plus points. (The previous low was nine by several players.)

Only one other player made 23 or more free throws and seven or fewer field goals in one game: Kevin Johnson, for Phoenix, in an overtime win against Utah on April 9, 1990. K.J. scored 37 points in that game, making, like Kobe, seven shots from the field and 23 from the line. (The difference: Kobe had a trio of 3-point field goals on Tuesday night; Johnson had none in that 1990 game.)