Nightly Grades: A different kind of Dwightmare for Orlando

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.

Dwight HowardIn his return to Orlando, Howard's new team not only got a very important win, but he put up a vintage performance. Looking inspired, Howard scored 39 points grabbed 16 rebounds and had three blocks. But the story of Howard's game was at the free throw line. The Magic played the Hack-a-Howard game, putting him on the stripe 39 times where he made 25. Pretty much as in Orlando's face as it could've been.
Miami HeatThey've won 19 straight games now. That's impressive.
Ricky RubioRubio notched his first career triple-double -- 21 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists. And his Wolves torched the Spurs. Good night.
Dallas MavericksThe Mavs topped the Bucks in Milwaukee 115-108, a nice win. But what's very nice is that it's put the Mavs at 30-33, just three back of the eight-seed in the West. And to go with it, Dallas has eight of its next 10 at home. Don't write them off.
San Antonio SpursThey were sitting three of their best players in Tim Duncan, Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker, but they were still worked by 24 in Minnesota, which sort of erases a lot of the good they did last night against Oklahoma City. The Spurs' loss puts the Thunder right back behind them in the race for No. 1. It's the Pop philosophy, but still, it could be a loss that bites them later.
Boston CelticsEvidently Paul Pierce is important. He sat against Charlotte and the Celtics got rocked 100-74 as the Bobcats snapped a 10-game losing streak.
 
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