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Nightly Grades: Lakers get one they needed in Memphis

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.

AMake it 22-4 for the Trail Blazers. The Cavaliers haven't been as good as expected, but they've been playing better lately and with this being on the road for the Blazers, it was a dangerous game. And when Cleveland tied it up with seconds remaining, it looked like Portland would be in a tough spot. Except Damian Lillard was ready to ring the bell again, drilling a 30-footer to beat the Cavs. These Blazers, man.
AThe Grizzlies are hurting, but so are the Lakers. Both teams are desperate to get wins where they can, and the Lakers simply made more plays in the fourth quarter to do it. They're now 2-4 with Kobe Bryant back, and he played probably his best game since returning.
BIt was against the Kings, so that's the disclaimer, but the Bobcats won a game they were supposed to. Which counts for something. DeMarcus Cousins went for 30 points and 17 rebounds, though.
CReally tough loss for the Cavaliers. They're trying to dig themselves out, but just can't seem to quite get to the place they should. Kyrie Irving was dynamite and they even made big plays all over in the fourth quarter. The Blazers were just better, and Lillard was cold-blooded. Bad beat tonight for the Cavs.
DSlight forgiveness again because of the injury issues, but losing at home to the worn out Lakers isn't good. This season is starting to slip for the Grizzlies past the point of saving.
FThere's really no shame in losing to the Thunder, but the Nuggets were talking a big game heading in, ready to make a little statement. And OKC just kind of handled them. They bogged down offensively and save a Nate Robinson burst in the fourth quarter, got severely outplayed in the second half. At home.
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