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Nightly Grades 1.22.13: Thunder handle CP3-less Clips

By Royce Young | NBA writer

Each night, Eye on Basketball brings you what you need to know about the games of the NBA. From great performances to terrible clock management, the report card evaluates and eviscerates the good, the bad and the ugly from the night that was.

Kevin DurantSuch a simple yet devastating performance from Durant. He started the game cold, scoring only a single bucket in the first quarter. But 24 of his 32 came in the second half as he put on a 3-point light show. Durant ended up hitting 5-of-6 from deep, 12-of-19 overall and added seven rebounds and seven assists to go with it.
Kyrie IrvingWhat a special talent. Irving went all Uncle Drew against the Celtics, racking up 40 points on 16-of-24 shooting. He controlled the game and was a cold-blooded closer in crunchtime to shut the door on Boston.
Ersan IlyasovaHis big game against the 76ers needs to be recognized -- 27 points and 16 boards to fuel an underrated Milwaukee squad to a nice win over Philly.
Blake Griffin
With Chris Paul out, Griffin was forced to shoulder the load for the Clippers. And while he filled in admirably, he couldn't carry them. He showed off an array of post moves and fadeaway jumpers and did his usual animalistic work on the boards putting up a solid 31-11 line.
The Clippers without Chris PaulIt's pretty obvious that CP3 is directly related to the success of the Clippers. They're OK without him but not near good enough to hang with the class of the NBA.
Clippers benchThe expectation for the Clippers without Paul was to rely heavily on a terrific bench for help. Especially with the fact that OKC's second unit has been inconsistent all season. The Clips' second unit didn't really produce, especially Paul's stand-in, Eric Bledsoe, who went just 5-of-16 from the floor.
Boston CelticsA loss to the now 11-32 Cavs, whilst shooting 38.1 percent from the floor. Just when the Celtics make you think they've figured things out, they go on a rough losing streak punctuated with a loss like this.
 
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