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Nightly Grades: Raptors and Warriors still can't lose

By Zach Harper | 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.

TeamGradeAnalysis
A-The Toronto Raptors have simply forgotten how to lose games since trading Rudy Gay. When the Raptors traded Gay to the Kings, they were 6-12. Since that deal, they've won 10 of their next 13 games. They dominated the game the Wizards by keeping them out of the paint most of the night and making them take contested jumpers. Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan led the effort once again and the team held the Wizards to just 20-of-42 shooting in the restricted area.
D-The Wizards probably deserved an "F" for this game but they managed to hit the offensive glass and make their free throws. It wasn't a complete disaster and they managed to finally slow the Raptors' attack in the fourth quarter to make the score look a lot closer than it actually was.
BThis was a really ugly game for the Golden State Warriors, as they looked pretty exhausted from their current road trip on a second night of a back-to-back. That didn't stop them from charging back in the fourth quarter of this game, dropping 37 points in the final 12 minutes before Andre Iguodala hit the buzzer-beating 3-pointer for the win. Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and David Lee combined for 66 points to help overcome 21 Warriors' turnovers.
B-

The Atlanta Hawks were in total control of this game for the first three quarters. They had the Warriors throwing the ball all over the place and weathered the storm of Klay Thompson's 11 first quarter points. They couldn't stop Curry in the fourth quarter with 14 points and five assists in the fourth quarter charge. Hawks couldn't overcome Paul Millsap's 3-of-14 shooting night.

BThe New Orleans Pelicans managed to finish an emotional road game in which Ryan Anderson left the game in the fourth quarter to get checked for a cervical stinger at a local hospital. Anthony Davis had 23 points and the Pelicans' bench scored an impressive 52 points to overcome 22 offensive rebounds by the Celtics in this game.
B-The Boston Celtics dominated the boards and received big efforts from Jared Sullinger (13 points and 11 rebounds) and Brandon Bass (16 points and 11 rebounds) in the home loss to the Pelicans. The Celtics just couldn't put the ball in the basket against the Pelicans with 34.8 percent from the field. Courtney Lee and Jordan Crawford combined to shoot 3-of-22 from the field.
BJames Harden's 11 fourth quarter points capped off a 37-point effort as the Houston Rockets escaped with a home victory over the New York Knicks. The Rockets' bench only scored 13 points on 13 shots but the entire starting unit had a really good game. Houston dominated the fourth quarter (27-17) to come back and secure the win.
D+Knicks gonna Knicks, everybody.
A-Chris Paul left the game with a shoulder sprain but that didn't stop the Los Angeles Clippers from grinding out a road victory. DeAndre Jordan was used early and often with 25 points and 18 rebounds, while Darren Collison had 20 points in a revenge game against his team from last season. Clippers turned the ball over just 10 times in the game.
BThe Dallas Mavericks scored 70 points in the first half to look like they were ready for another big victory in the Western Conference. But they came out flat in the third quarter and just couldn't make enough plays down the stretch to get the home win. Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Marion combined for 44 points but the team lost the free throw battle 38-14. I wonder if Mark Cuban will have thoughts on the officiating with that disparity?
B-The Memphis Grizzlies seemed exhausted out on the floor but that didn't stop them from giving the Denver Nuggets all they could handle for most of this night. A few lulls in the game ended up being their undoing, but for the most part the Grizzlies fought with good shooting, getting to the line, and taking away the paint from Denver. Zach Randolph led the way with 25 and 13.
BThe Nuggets finally won a game to snap their eight-game losing streak. Big efforts from the bench and another beautiful game from Ty Lawson helped overcome a great effort by the Grizzlies. Six players scored in double figures and the Nuggets outworked and out hustled Memphis to win the rebounding battle.
C-The Utah Jazz made Kendall Marshall look like Steve Nash out there. And not Lakers Steve Nash, we're talking Suns Steve Nash. Gordon Hayward led the way for the Jazz in a nice comeback attempt but it just wasn't enough to overcome a big deficit that showed exactly why Utah has the worst defense in the NBA.
C+Whether it's an abberation or not, you have to be pleased with the Lakers debut for Marshall. He had 20 points and 15 assists, dissecting the Jazz's defense and going around Trey Burke whenever he felt like it. The team had a 33:10 assist-to-turnover ratio.
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