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Sun, Feb 7, 2016

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Nightly Grades: Indiana Pacers are still the league's best team

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.

AThe Brooklyn Nets did a terrible job of taking care of the ball with 19 turnovers that yielded 25 points for the Atlanta Hawks. Other than that one stat, it's hard to find fault with anything the Nets did. They put on a shooting display from downtown with 16 made 3-pointers, and hit 58.2 percent of their shots. 38 of their 53 (!) made baskets were assisted. 127 points with only seven free throw attempts too. This was utter domination in London.
D+Shelvin Mack and Mike Scott were fantastic for the Hawks with 17 points each off the bench. Both players shot 6-of-9 from the field. Not a lot of positives to take from this game outside of that if you're a Hawks fan. They just got annihilated from the perimeter and had the worst showing in London since Todd Margaret.
AIt's official. The Indiana Pacers own a bigger percentage of the New York Knicks than James Dolan. They just continue to dominate this matchup. They've now won eight of the past 12 contests between these two teams since the start of the 2012-13 season (including playoffs). Lance Stephenson continued to make his case for the 2014 All-Star Game with a career-high 28 points to go with four rebounds, four assists, and zero turnovers. Pacers turned the ball over just six times and gave up only three points off of them.
D-This is a team that relies heavily on making tough shots going against the best team at denying made shots of any kind. This is just not a suitable match-up for the Knicks. Carmelo Anthony continued to put up points with 28 and Tyson Chandler had a nice game for them. Raymond Felton wasn't bad. Amar'e Stoudemire left the game but is apparently fine. Those are the best positives I can extract from this one.
B+The Oklahoma City Thunder couldn't hit an outside shot and were just seemingly run over by the Rockets' perimeter attack. That didn't stop them from chipping away at Houston's lead and eventually dominating the second half to pull out the victory. The Rockets missed some open shots but for the most part the Thunder smothered them defensively over the final 24 minutes.
CThis is about as even of a grade as I can give the Houston Rockets. They hit 12 3-pointers in the first half and dropped 73points. In the second half, they missed all 14 of their 3-point attempts and scored just 19 points total. They get an A for the first half and an F for the second half. Even Kendrick Perkins outscored James Harden in the second half (2-0).
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