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Nightly Grades: Rockets light up the Wolves

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.

TeamGradeAnalysis
A

Just an awesome offensive performance by the Rockets. Four quarters of plus-25 points, with the final three producing 37, 34 and 31. James Harden tremendous with 28 and eight assists, Chandler Parsons had 19 and Donetas Montiejunas added 20.

Dwight Howard sat with an ankle issue after having a cyst removed, and while the Rockets struggled some on the boards, the fact they hit 16 3s kind of solved all issues.

A

The Trail Blazers have been erratic at times, falling at odd times to odd teams. And playing against a solid team, the Blazers showed quality resolve getting 28 from Wesley Matthews and Damian Lillard added 23. The Blazers shot 50.6 percent, had 32 assists and hit 14 3s.

B

Russell Westbrook sat this one, but Kevin Durant did those things he's wont to do. As in, 35 points with 10 rebounds and six assists. The Thunder led big in the fourth -- by as many as 24 -- but may have thrown in the mop-up crew a bit early as the Cavs whittled the lead down to five with a minute left. But Durant and the starters re-entered and put things to bed, earning OKC its 50th win of the season.

B-Winning is better than losing. But yeesh, the Warriors left this one hanging a bit against the Bucks. Stephen Curry had 31 on 9-14 shooting plus 11 assists, but the Warrior defense was basically hapless, especially in the fourth quarter. The Warriors have been spotty, so getting the win is good. But a team that fancies itself a Western contender should play better against ones of the dregs of the East.
C-

A quality comeback against a premier team that fell short. The Cavs were getting shredded pretty good early in the fourth but were able to take advantage of OKC's garbage time unit to make things relatively close. Dion Waiters went for 30, but on 11-25 shooting.

D+

Good effort! Brandon Knight had 27 on 9-16, but the Bucks just didn't have the necessary firepower to hang with the explosive Warriors.

D

The Wizards didn't keep things especially close, though it was a difficult game on the road against a good Western team. John Wall had 24 and 14 assists, but there wasn't much defense, and there wasn't a lot of great support behind him.

F

Positives: Kevin Love had 29 and rookie Gorgui Dieng had 22 points and 21 rebounds (!!!). The negatives: Their defense was horrible. And it's the reason they lost by 23 despite scoring 103.

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