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Nightly Grades 3.15.13: The Ides of March were fun

By Zach Harper | NBA writer

Blake and the Beard is my favorite buddy cop show. (Getty Images)
Blake and the Beard is my favorite buddy cop show. (Getty Images)

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.

Steve BlakeSteve Blake was the biggest key to the Lakers winning in Indiana. No, I haven't been drinking. With Kobe missing the final three quarters because of his ankle, Blake came in and blitzed the Pacers with 18 points, seven assists, six rebounds, four steals and two blocks in 35 minutes. Lakers were +21 when he was in the game.
James HardenIn the first 24:30 of the Wolves-Rockets game, James Harden had 12 points on 3-of-10 shooting and his team was down 20 points. In the final 23:30 of the game, Harden had 25 points on 5-of-6 from the field and 12-of-13 from the free throw line. Rockets won by eight.
Miami's Big 3The 21st straight win for the Miami Heat was fueled by the larger-than-normal trio of players they have invested a lot of money into. LeBron James had 28 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Chris Bosh had 28 points, seven rebounds and two blocks. Dwyane Wade had 20 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds. They are good.
Rudy GayYou saw the monster dunk and smooth crossover from Rudy earlier in the night, and he didn't stop there. Rudy tore the Bobcats apart throughout the night, scoring 28 points on 11-of-16 from the field. Rudy did have six turnovers, but his scoring was efficient and he dominated the Bobs.
Josh SmithIt's kind of weird to say Josh Smith only had 17 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists, three steals, and one block against the Phoenix Suns, but the Hawks' versatile forward probably could have done a lot more destruction if this was even a halfway competitive game. Smoove really took it to the Suns all night.
Ersan IlyasovaIlyasova put up a really valiant effort against the Miami Heat. His 26 points and 17 rebounds led the Milwaukee Bucks in both categories. He didn't record a single assist and made just 1-of-3 from 3-point range. But other than that, it's hard to find a hole in his game.
Pacers' frontlineThe Pacers' frontline did manage to grab 27 rebounds and dish out seven assists among Paul George, David West, and Roy Hibbert. But they scored just 35 points on 13-of-45 against Dwight Howard, Earl Clark and Metta World Peace. Oh, and Antawn Jamison was out there, too. Not a good look.
Larry Sanders Larry Sanders' 10 rebounds are the only thing that kept him from getting an F in this game. He was 2-of-9 from the field, blocked just one shot early in the game, and he got himself ejected after picking up two technical fouls in the game.
Ryan AndersonThe New Orleans Hornets really needed some 3-point shots to fall against the Washington Wizards. They made just 3-of-19 from beyond the arc. The main cog in that broken 3-point wheel was the 1-of-10 effort from Ryan Anderson. You'd think by accident he'd make at least two.
Minnesota TimberwolvesIn the first half of their game against the Rockets, Minnesota forced 15 turnovers and scored 20 points off of those turnovers. They led by 18 at the half and 20 early in the third quarter. In the second half, they forced just three turnovers and didn't score off them. That's not how you hold on to a big lead.
Michael Kidd-GilchristMKG was 2-of-12 from the field and scored just four points in his 28 minutes against the Raptors. Not only that but he couldn't help slow down Rudy Gay at all.

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