Elias Says ...

2/20/2006 - NBA Golf Soccer + more

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


• Tracy McGrady scored 36 points in 25 minutes in Sunday's NBA All-Star Game. On a points-per-minute basis, it was the greatest scoring performance in the history of the game. The previous high among players on the court for at least 10 minutes was Michael Jordan's 40 points in 29 minutes in 1988.

• Pau Gasol led all players with 12 rebounds, but he failed to score in 14 minutes of playing time. Prior to Sunday, only one player had even half that many rebounds in an NBA All-Star Game in which he failed to score: Darrell Imhoff had seven boards in the 1967 All-Star Game. But Ben Wallace had eight rebounds without scoring on Sunday night.


• Rory Sabbatini won the Nissan Open on Sunday, following second-place finishes earlier this season at the Sony Open and the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Over the last 20 years, only two other golfers posted three top-two finishes over the first seven weeks of the PGA Tour season: Tiger Woods in 2000 and Phil Mickelson in 1996.

• Fred Couples finished fourth at the Nissan Open. It was Couples' 12th top-10 finish in that event, an all-time record. Five other golfers placed in the top 10 at the Nissan Open 11 times: Billy Casper, E.J. Harrison, Sam Snead, Craig Stadler, and Lanny Wadkins.

• Every shot counted down the stretch of the Nissan, with one stroke separating each of the first five positions. The last such tournament was the 2002 Southern Farm Bureau Classic, with Luke Donald (201), Deane Pappas (202), Brad Elder (203), and Chad Campbell (204) taking the first four spots in front of a six-way tie for fifth at 205.

• Ernie Els shot a 4-under 67 on Sunday to rally to a 23rd-place finish in the Nissan Open. Combined with Tiger Woods' withdrawal after two rounds, it marked only the fourth time that both golfers failed to finish in the top 20 in 90 events that they have played together over the past nine seasons. The other three times were all at the Bay Hill Invitational (1999, 2004, and 2005).

• The U.S. national men's soccer team defeated Guatemala, 4-0, on Sunday -- the third consecutive game in which the squad scored at least three goals. The U.S. went 73 years from 1931 to 2003 without such a streak but has scored three or more goals in three straight games once in each of the last three years.

• Eddie Johnson subbed for Josh Wolff at halftime, and he scored before the second half was two minutes old. It was the third time since Bruce Arena was named U.S. manager in October 1998 that a halftime sub scored within the first two minutes of the second half. The others to do it were John O'Brien (in a World Cup Qualifier vs. Barbados in 2000) and Clint Mathis (in a friendly vs. Jamaica in 2002).