Nightly Grades: Thunder, Jazz take care of business

By Matt Moore | NBA writer

TeamGradeAnalysis
AThe Thunder just did what they've done this year, took care of a team at home. Beat the stuffing out of the Kings and clinched the No. 1 seed in the West. Russell Westbrook was athletic, Kevin Durant was quietly tremendous, and the defense did its work. Pretty great season after the Harden trade supposedly buried them.
AAl Jefferson still has quite a few tricks in his post bag. He delivered big time for the Jazz, who had their backs against the wall. The Jazz are going to take this thing down the wire on Wednesday.
C+They pass. But, man, was it ugly. A sloppy win vs. the Bucks. But in doing so, the Nuggets clinched home court in the first round. They missed a ton of layups, gave dumb fouls, had bad turnovers. But they got the win, on a back-to-back, without two of their starters due to injury. Good teams find a way to win when they play badly. Denver did it when they played badly and badly needed a win.
B-They beat the Cavaliers with Norris Cole and Juwan Howard starting. Sometimes having a winning culture rubs off on players. And for a young guy like Cole, coming one assist shy of a triple-double, missing the clinching free throws, then stripping Kyrie Irving to win the game is a pretty good sign it's rubbing off on him. Even when the Heat don't need good wins, they get them.
FCould have moved themselves into prime position to avoid OKC and possibly get the sixth seed. Instead, they fall apart and the Suns make them pay. They're fighting to avoid OKC on Wednesday. No rest for the Rockets.
AHow about the Warriors smoking the Spurs' B-team at home and pushing their way to the sixth seed again? Huge game, and Stephen Curry is one three away from the record for threes in a season. Monster year for the Warriors.
 
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