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Nightly Grades: Raptors soar with Rudy Gay

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.

Toronto RaptorsIt's one game, and it came against a wounded and shorthanded Clippers squad, but whoa, the Raptors looked good with Rudy Gay. He played 33 minutes coming off the bench and scored 20 points on 8-16 shooting, which included some serious high-flying moments. The Raptors clearly aren't where they want to be, and the addition of Gay doesn't fix them. But for a debut, it went pretty well.
Lakers first halfThey looked incredible the first 24 minutes against the Wolves, piling up 68 points, making seemingly everything. It was a lightshow from the Lakers, precisely the thing that you want to see from a team trying to bounce back from a terrible loss.
Indiana PacersPlaying like they had something to prove, the Pacers did exactly that, whipping the Heat 102-89. David West went for 30, as the Pacers crushed Miami on the glass and beat them up with physical defense. It's too early to make any sweeping determinations from this game, but it certainly appeared that the Pacers might not be a walkover for Miami in the playoffs.
Tayshaun PrinceThe other debut. Prince also came off the bench, for the Grizzlies against the Wizards, and did his job -- playing 32 minutes and scoring 14 points on 7-11 shooting. Nothing all that flashy, but very steady, solid play from the veteran.
Chicago BullsThe Bulls were extremely shorthanded against the Nets, missing Kirk Hinrich, Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer and, of course, Derrick Rose. It didn't seem likely the Bulls could compete on the road against one of the East's best teams. Except they did, holding a lead heading into the fourth quarter and coming up just short in Brooklyn 93-89. Both Taj Gibson and Luol Deng played all 48 minutes and, despite being completely shorthanded, the Bulls almost pulled it off.
Lakers second halfMuch like against the Suns, the Lakers stumbled in the second half, allowed an undermanned Wolves squad to hang around and crawl back within four a few times, after the Lakers led by as many as 29. They went from 68 to just 43 in the second half. The Lakers outlasted them, but the second half was nearly another meltdown disaster. Lucky for the Lakers, the Wolves only had like three healthy players on the roster.
Orlando MagicThe Magic lost their eighth straight game, dropping them to 14-32. What was once a semi-promising season for a team going through a major transition has kind of fallen apart. But you know what? It's probably for the best. The more lottery balls, the better.
Washington WizardsThe good news: All 10 players who played scored. The bad news: Only one of them -- Nene -- scored in double figures.
Minnesota reboundingThe Wolves allowed 17 offensive rebounds to the Lakers and got crushed on the glass 57-40. Despite being extremely light on their bench, the Wolves could've won this game had they grabbed some boards.
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