Nightly Grades: Wizards and Wolves do good things

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.


Back over .500! That's four straight wins for the Wizards, and whule they aren't of the most impressive variety, tonight's 115-106 triumph over the Magic was solid. John Wall had 27 and the Wizards won. The winning is the most important part.


Officially, the 110-101 win over the Suns tonight doesn't count as a "close" win, because it finished as a nine-point margin. And winning tight games has been a major issue for the Wolves this season. But this one was a close game against Phoenix, and the Wolves executed and made plays down the stretch, on the road, against a good team. This is one to put in their pocket. It's probably too late for a playoff push, but the Wolves have things to play for. They're within a game of .500, and finishing above that mark would be a nice step forward for them.

Oh, and Kevin Love put up a medicore 31 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists. No big.


It was the Mike Dunleavy show as he led the Bulls with 22 in a nice 107-103 road win over the Hawks. Gotta give it up to the Bulls. They just keep getting it done against the odds.


They whipped the Lakers, which isn't so notable, but this was Evan Turner's debut and he was really solid. He played 26 minutes, hit 6-12 from the field for 13 points and had six rebounds and two assists to go with it. And there didn't appear to be much trouble integrating him.

Paul George led the Pacers with 20, and also did this:


DeMar DeRozan led the way for the Raptors with 33 in a quality road victory against the Cavaliers. They used a 31-24 fourth quarter to put away their 32nd win. They won 34 last season.

And now, watch Terrence Ross dunk:


The Blazers have been slipping a bit as of late, so winning on the road in Denver is a solid accomplishment. Damian Lillard had 31 points and nine assists and knocked down a number of big ones in the fourth, as he's wont to do, to hold off the scrappy Nuggets.

Remember: This was without LaMarcus Aldridge, so that makes it pretty impressive. Then again, the Nuggets are a bit of a mess right now, so it's moderately impressive.

BThey oblierated the Kings, and did it behind James Harden's 43. He had 30 at halftime and finished with 43, while sitting the entire fourth quarter.
C-Injuries are to blame, but from No. 3 in the East to now on the fringes of the postseason in basically a month. And a tough, close loss to the Bulls tonight. Rough.
DIt really looks like they're trying. But they just stink. Point blank. New addition Kent Bazemore had 23, which is kind of fun, I guess.

That's a rough home loss to a team you should beat. But the Wolves can be dangerous, especially when Kevin Love is flirting with a triple-double. Still, the Suns need every win they can get as they try and hold on for the postseason.


They were down 42-17 after the first quarter, and DeMarcus Cousins did this:

Not a great night in Sacto.

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