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Nightly Grades: Boston's meltdown and Grizzlies' growl

By Matt Moore | 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.

Memphis GrizzliesMemphis traded two key bench players and a prospect to Cleveland for salary relief. But on Friday night, their bench was the difference, along with a superior defensive effort and the overall brilliance of Marc Gasol. They hammered the Nets from the outset. And when they got out in transition, Jerryd Bayless was passing, passsing (!) for big scores. Tony Wroten continues to show he's ready for NBA minutes. and the team's spirits seem lifted with the trade speculation dying down.
Los Angeles LakersThat. Do that. Every time. The Lakers tried, for once, and it turns out that helps. Their offensive execution was better, they attacked passing lanes and rotated better, Dwight Howard was finishing, Kobe Bryant was dishing and Pau Gasol looked like someone who was alive. The Lakers finally put together an impressive performance. Now ... can they do it twice in a row?
Boston CelticsIt was a road back-to-back. A double-overtime loss to a playoff team on a road back-to-back is usually a pretty good or at least acceptable loss. But the Celtics, as their season is defined by, found an unimaginably bad way to lose, dropping a 27-point lead after getting out 19-0. They held the Hawks to 10 points in the first quarter and lost. There is no corner to turn, just more jagged rocks punching them in the face in the deep, dark cave that they're in.
Chicago BullsThe prototypical Bulls win. Just out-executed a Warriors team that was blindsided by their energy, effort and execution. The Bulls' guards are on a huge shooting streak and gunning at a terrific clip. This team's getting better with every step that Derrick Rose gets closer to the court.
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade's second quarterThe dynamic duo outscored the Pistons 26-18 in the second quarter. I don't mean the Heat outscored Detroit that much with them on the floor; I mean, those two, together, just the two of them, outscored Detroit like that. When Miami turns it on, it's game over.
Brooklyn NetsThey keep finding games against serious playoff teams that show how far away they are. They need to get better on defense in a hurry. Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph should not be allowed to work one-on-one all night, and Jerryd Bayless should not be allowed to atack so relentlessly. It was not good for the black and white.
Milwaukee BucksGot comfortable and didn't have the push. The Cavaliers' pathetic bench surged a comeback that erased a 30-point night from Ersan Ilyasova. That's a bad loss for a team that needs wins over bad teams.
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