Nightly Grades 2.5.13: Shorthanded Lakers top the Nets

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. 

Los Angeles Lakers No Dwight Howard, no Metta World Peace, no Pau Gasol for the last four minutes. And yet the Lakers found a way to win on the road in Brooklyn. Considering the circumstances, this might be the best win of the season. Especially when you add in the fact that this team appears to finally be building on something and instead of taking steps backward is actually moving forward. That's six of seven and puts them at 23-26, a record that makes a playoff run much more realistic than it was a week ago.
Houston Rockets What an offensive performance. A 140-point explosion against Golden State, that included 23 made 3-pointers, 35 assists and 50.5 percent shooting. EIGHT players scored in double-figures. Holy Moses.
Brook Lopez His team lost, but Lopez was very good regardless. Taking advantage of a slim Laker frontline, Lopez finished with 30 points and 11 boards, completely controlling the game from the interior. The big knock on Lopez has always been rebounding, but he piled up seven offensive boards against Pau Gasol, a very strong number. It did take 25 shots for Lopez to get his 30, which isn't great, but he was the best player for Brooklyn Tuesday.
Kobe Bryant So much for Passing Kobe. He had four assists, all in the first quarter, and ended the game shooting 9-24 for 21 points. But he had an emphatic dunk in the fourth that sparked the Lakers to a strong close and finished off another bucket to help seal the deal. Not the most efficient performance ever, but Kobe was big in crunchtime and helped L.A. survive on the road without about half its team.
Samuel Dalembert His team lost, blowing a 17-point lead in Denver. So that's why he gets the average mark. But wow, what a performance. Dalembert went for 35 on 17-of-21 shooting and added 12 rebounds to go with it. IN 27 MINUTES.
Brooklyn Nets Boy, they did some dumb things down the stretch. From a botched inbounds play to terrible alignment on a critical jump ball to Deron Williams fouling intentionally with two seconds on the shot clock, the Nets really just killed themselves in the final three minutes against the Lakers.
Memphis Grizzlies Just a terrible loss to the Suns. Since trading Rudy Gay, Memphis is now 1-2 with the win coming against the Wizards. Far too early to draw any conclusions, but Tuesday night's loss definitely looked like a step in the wrong direction.
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