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The Grizzlies are hotter than the sun

Plus: It’s not ridiculous to say that Nikola Jokic would be deserving of a third-straight MVP.

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Memphis Grizzlies Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Yet another memorable nine-game night in the NBA is in the books, one that brimmed with potential playoff previews and outings that will make perfect cornerstone arguments for All-Star campaigns aplenty. Let’s recap the scores.

Grizzlies down Cavs with late tip-in to win 11th straight, 115-114

The night’s one true thriller ended on a note the purists will love. Steven Adams tipped in a Ja Morant miss with just over 15 seconds remaining to give Memphis the 115-114 lead, but the real game-winner came on the defensive end. Cleveland couldn’t find a look that one might call clean, but Dillon Brooks’ defensive acumen made things much more difficult. He blocked Darius Garland’s last-second attempt to seal Memphis’ franchise-best-tying 11th win in a row.

Desmond Bane scored 25 points and Morant added 24 to lead the Grizzlies, while Darius Garland led Cleveland with 24 points and 14 assists. Caris LeVert had 23, and Evan Mobley added 18 points and 15 rebounds in the loss.

Hawks handle Luka late to beat Mavs, 130-122

Yes, to hold Luka Doncic to 30 points — and just three in the fourth quarter — can be classified as “handling” him. He’s a unicorn; a superhero; le grand fromage. There isn’t a player in the NBA quite like him, at least not one as heliocentrically-pivotal to the success of his team. Perhaps that’s why Atlanta was able to get out of Dallas with a win on Wednesday.

These are two teams of very different styles. Sure, Atlanta has its stars, Trae Young and Dejounte Murray. But eight players finished in double-figures to propel the Hawks to their fourth-straight win, led by Murray’s 30-piece. Meanwhile, the Mavs had four players score 18 or more, but only one of them (Christian Wood, who scored 22) finished with a positive plus/minus on the night. Long story short, the Hawks took advantage of Dallas’ inability to stop anyone. They’re now riding a real win streak, one that is turning heads.

Jazz crush Clippers without Kawhi, PG, 126-103

At least Norman Powell — 30 points in a tick under 30 minutes — can play every night.

I’ll let Jalen Rose handle this one.

Heat blow out Pelicans, 124-98

Wizards never trail, beat Knicks, 116-105

I entered the subway just as a hoard of cursing Knicks fans was exiting and, having not watched the game, immediately knew what I had missed. Of course, these fans at least have Jalen Brunson — who finished with a game-high 32 points — to be pleased about. But never leading against a middle-of-the-road Washington team is certainly cause for grumbling.

New York has now lost two straight, both at home, after previously winning seven out of eight. The Wizards, meanwhile, hope to get back on track after losing five of their previous six. Kyle Kuzma led the way for them with 27 points, 13 rebounds, and seven assists.

Kings drop Lakers to win fifth-straight, 116-111

Ahem, those are the third-place Sacramento Kings to you. Speaking of hotter than the Sun, the Kings are just about on the Grizzlies’ level in terms of winning prowess of late, as they’ve gone 7-3 in their last 10, including five in a row after last night’s win in L.A. De’Aaron Fox dropped 31 points to lead a Domantas Sabonis-less Sacramento team; Harrison Barnes added 20, and Kevin Huerter finished with 18.

LeBron James had 32 to lead the Lakers, who have now dropped four of their last five by a combined total of 10 points. Ouch.

Hornets beat Rockets, 122-117, lose LaMelo in the process

Amid his hottest stretch of the season, too. Let’s hope for the best.

Thunder blowout Pacers, win fourth straight, 126-106

Nuggets beat Wolves behind Jokic’s triple-double, 122-118

I’m just sayin’.