Nightly Grades 2.27.13: Steph's big night

Curry went NOVA Wednesday. (USATSI)
Stephen Curry (11 for 13 from downtown) went NOVA on Wednesday night. (USATSI)

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.

Stephen Curry There's something special about putting on a show in the Garden. Even in a loss, Curry was the only reason the Warriors, without their All-Star David Lee, would make this a game. And had he gotten an inch of daylight late (credit to the Knicks' D) he might have pushed this thing to OT and been gunning for 65-plus. But as it stands, a 54-point performance in a loss and still an A for the young fella. Keep shootin', gunner.
Bucks vs. Rockets This game, man. This game was all of the fun. A back and forth contest, the rare efficient effort from Monta Ellis, great work from John Henson and Larry Sanders. Omer Asik dominating the glass, Chandler Parsons making plays, Jeremy Lin wreaking havoc. It was fast, it was fun, it was fluid. It was a stellar February game between two fringe playoff teams. A series of crazy plays at the finish put the bow on top. A stellar game.
Grizzlies' 3rd quarter defense Five points for the Mavericks. Memphis absolutely swallowed Dallas whole in the third, and choked them with turnovers. Two field goals, seven turnovers in the third, and that was the ballgame. Suddenly a Dallas blowout turned into a Grizzlies stampede and the Mavs couldn't stop the bleeding in the fourth. Impressive resolve from Memphis.
Cleveland Cavaliers Without Kyrie Irving, on the fourth game in five nights, they could have laid down against a tough Raptors team. But Dion Waiters hit tough shots, Marreese Speights brought the wood, and the team just hustled and bustled its way to an impressive win. Slowing down Toronto's offense is tough for good defenses, which Cleveland isn't. A tough, strong-hearted win.
San Antonio It's hard to punish the Spurs for a regular-season loss, because they just don't care, but flopping to an OT loss vs. Phoenix when they're still battling with OKC for homecourt advantage is poor. They let Jermaine O'Neal get loose, yet another indication that this whole "Tiago Splitter, defensive stalwart" thing could have disastrous consequences in the playoffs.
Dallas Mavericks Just fell apart mid-way through the second quarter. The third quarter was of course horrible, but they also gave up 48 points in the second half to a bad offensive team. Their offensive rollercoaster could have been survived if they'd buckled down and not turned it over for easy points so much.
CBS Sports Writer

Matt Moore's colleagues have been known to describe him as a "maniac" in terms of his approach to covering the NBA, which he has done for CBS Sports since 2010. Moore prides himself on melding reporting,... Full Bio

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