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Tuesday night NBA grades: Durant gets more points, Hayward will take the win

Jan 8, 2014, 2:05 AM EDT

Oklahoma City Thunder v Utah Jazz Getty Images

Our quick look around the NBA, or what you missed while wakeboarding in a flooded garage….

source:  Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder. No Russell Westbrook. No Serge Ibaka. Nights like this Kevin Durant has to go supernova for the Thunder to have a chance and he did — 48 points overall, 11 in the fourth quarter as he tried to drag the Thunder back into the game against the Jazz. And he would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids! What kids? Well, just keep reading…

source:  Gordon Hayward, Utah Jazz. Early in this game it felt like Utah couldn’t miss — they shot 71 percent in the first quarter, took comfortable lead and in the third quarter the Jazz led by 24. Still, you knew the Thunder run would come, and behind Durant did in the fourth quarter — and Hayward held it off pretty much singlehandedly. Hawyard scored 17 consecutive points in the fourth quarter to ensure the win. Hayward, wearing Durant’s signature shoe, finished with 37 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists. He exploded and the Jazz got their best win of the season.

source:   C.J. Miles, Cleveland Cavaliers. Mark Price never did it. World B. Free never did it. Daniel “Boobie” Gibson never did it. LeBron James never did it (not that you really feared his three when he was in Cleveland). No Cavalier shooter had ever knocked down 10 threes in a game like Miles did against the Sixers Tuesday. He took just 14 threes and finished the game with 34 points. Yes the Sixers defense on him was pathetic (they kept losing him on the arc) but he got open and hit the shots.

source:  Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers. Much like Durant above, he had a big game (41 points) trying to lead his team almost singlehandedly to a comeback win — he had 26 points in the fourth quarter. He also had 7 rebounds and 4 assists. It wasn’t enough, but you have to admire the valiant effort.

source:   DeMarcus Cousins/Rudy Gay, Sacramento Kings. The Kings are maddeningly inconsistent, but on nights like this you can see how the entire thing could come together and make a pretty good team. Specifically the Rudy Gay/DeMarcus Cousins combo. Cousins scored 35 points and had 13 rebounds, while Gay continues to be efficient since the trade and had 32 points on 16 shots, leading the Kings over the Trail Blazers. Assuming Gay doesn’t opt out this summer (he shouldn’t, his pay cut from the $19.3 million would be brutal) this is what the Kings hope to see a lot of next season.

source:   Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks. He gets this grade in part because the man can score — 34 points on 24 shots, 6-of-7 from three where he was fearless on the catch-and-shoot. But we know ‘Melo can score, that’s what he does. Instead ‘Melo gets the “A” because that may be the best defense we’ve seen him play this year, with four steals and a number of other deflections and plays. That you don’t see every day.

  1. moseskkim - Jan 8, 2014 at 2:17 AM

    Shout out to Isaiah Thomas as well. Dude has been straight Ballin since they traded Vasquez away and should deserve all star recognition along with big cuz if he were more widely recognized but I’m sure the coaches that vote for those spots know him quite well.

  2. antistratfordian - Jan 8, 2014 at 2:46 AM

    How does Gordon Hayward not get an A+? Not only did he put up 37-11-7 and score 17 consecutive 4th quarter points hitting all the clutch jumpers – but he also shot 81.25%!

    We haven’t seen at least 37-11-7 on at least 80% shooting since 1990 (that’s a long time ago). He joins Clyde Drexler (1990) and Karl Malone (1988) as the only three players since 1985-86 to put up those numbers in a game.

    But CJ Miles hits 10 threes – something that has happened 15 times since 1985-86 (something that happened 4 times alone in 2013) – and he gets an A+. Hayward does something much more rare and only an A? Boo!

    • theromeo2k - Jan 8, 2014 at 3:06 AM

      Completely agree. This is bogus!

    • bougin89 - Jan 8, 2014 at 8:58 AM

      Thumbs up. It’s crazy Hayward didn’t get an A+ here.

  3. lemfaxx - Jan 8, 2014 at 7:14 AM

    All of their last 17 pts
    Above 80% FG
    Career high
    A win over the top team & durant
    Just A?????????
    How come TD is not here…. 24-17
    Please rewind……

  4. lemfaxx - Jan 8, 2014 at 7:26 AM

    …35+ minutes from the old coyote

  5. shanferg - Jan 8, 2014 at 8:21 AM

    Kurt Helin, Melo playing good defense is something you see every game if you actually took the time to watch the game instead of spouting old stereotypes. This isn’t the first game this season he’s gotten 4 steals. A guy gets labeled and no matter how much he improves his game in a certain category you clowns aren’t professional enough to watch the games and acknowledge it.

    • Kurt Helin - Jan 8, 2014 at 6:20 PM

      I watch a lot of Knicks basketball. If you think he plays good defense your hoops IQ is in question. He’s better than a few years ago, but do not confuse that with good.

  6. indrathegod - Jan 8, 2014 at 8:48 AM

    Hayward definitely deserves an A+…those numbers are absolutely ridiculous no matter who you are.

  7. money2long - Jan 8, 2014 at 9:15 AM


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