Lakers player grades: L.A. burns the Trail Blazers to a crisp

Just as they did on Friday against the Brooklyn Nets, the Los Angeles Lakers started off well on Sunday, this time versus the Portland Trail Blazers. Unlike on Friday, this time they finished the job.

They shot a high percentage in the first half and led by as many as 17 points en route to a 67-54 halftime lead. They did plenty of damage in transition by outscoring Portland 19-4 in fast-break points in the first half, which helped them make 55.6% of their field-goal attempts in the first two quarters.

Los Angeles seemed to lose focus and motivation on Friday after forging a 12-point first-half lead and got outscored 68-44 after halftime. But against Portland, it won each quarter and powered its way to a dominant 134-110 win.

Indeed, its transition game was its lynchpin — it finished the game with 35 fast-break points while holding the Blazers to just eight points in that category. The Lakers put forth an excellent offensive performance overall by shooting 54.7% from the field and 39.4% from 3-point range, while Portland could only muster nine makes in 29 attempts from beyond the arc.

Once again, the Purple and Gold have gotten back to .500. They will have a stiff matchup on Tuesday against the red-hot Los Angeles Clippers, a team they defeated just two weeks ago, before taking on four straight opponents that currently have losing records.

Anthony Davis: B-minus

One of the best things about this win was the fact that Davis didn’t exert that much energy. The Lakers didn’t look to get him the ball nearly as much as usual, but when he did get touches, he was efficient. He shot 4-of-7 from the field and made all six of his free throw attempts to score 14 points while grabbing 14 rebounds and three assists in 26 minutes.

Rui Hachimura: D

Hachimura was inserted into the starting lineup after Taurean Prince was ruled out with a knee ailment. He couldn’t find the basket that often, as he shot just 2-of-7 and scored only nine points. The forward contributed two rebounds, two assists and one steal in 23 minutes.

Austin Reaves: B

Reaves had a somewhat quiet first half by taking just four shots, although he managed to score nine points during that span. He turned things up a notch in the third quarter and finished with 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting plus four rebounds and two assists.

The most encouraging aspect of his performance on Sunday was the fact that he made three of his four 3-point attempts. In his previous 11 games he had shot just 22.7% from downtown, and regaining his accuracy from that distance is critical for the Lakers’ playoff hopes.

D'Angelo Russell: A-plus

Russell got off to a torrid start against Portland. He scored 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting in the first half while dropping four dimes, and he remained hot throughout. The guard finished the game with 34 points, which led everyone, while going 14-of-21 from the field and 6-of-11 from beyond the arc.

He also got others involved with eight assists, which was a team-high for L.A.

Coming into Sunday, Russell was averaging 24.2 points and shooting 51.4% from 3-point land in his previous five games. After his slump in December, he deserves credit for ignoring the incessant trade rumors surrounding him to play some of his best basketball as a Laker.

LeBron James: A

James seemed to be somewhat in cruise control against Portland, and it was a good thing, as the Lakers won handily without needing him to do a whole lot in terms of effort or energy. He scored 28 points and shot 50% from the field, and he got to the free throw line for 10 attempts, nine of which were successful.

In his spare time, the four-time MVP also had five rebounds and five assists. Most importantly, he played just 31 minutes because of how lopsided this victory was.

Jarred Vanderbilt: B-minus

Vanderbilt did a little bit of multiple things against the Trail Blazers. In 21 minutes, he scored four points, grabbed four rebounds, got two assists and came up with two steals. One of those steals turned into a breakaway dunk for him.

Cam Reddish: B-plus/A-minus

After missing L.A.’s last three games, Reddish had a nifty outing off the bench on Sunday. Although he missed both of his 3-point attempts, he did a good job of attacking the basket and evading defenders to score multiple times near the rim.

The forward was able to score 10 points in just 21 minutes by shooting 5-of-8 from the floor. He also helped out with four rebounds, two steals and one assist.

Christian Wood: B

Wood only scored four points and got up just three shot attempts, but he helped out in other ways. He grabbed six rebounds, blocked three shots and contributed two assists and two steals.

This game was proof that Wood has been a positive asset for the Lakers lately not only because he has improved his offense but also because he has been helpful in other areas.

Max Christie: D

Christie got 22 minutes of playing time, but he missed all but one of his seven shot attempts. He scored four points and also had two assists, one rebound and one blocked shot.

When he is hitting his shot consistently, his value to the team greatly rises. That will be the biggest key to his development moving forward.

Jalen Hood-Schifino, Jaxson Hayes, Colin Castleton, Maxwell Lewis: Incomplete

All four players got a bit of playing time due to the lopsided nature of this contest. Hood-Schifino missed a clear layup opportunity on a fast break, but he then came back and scored on a drive a little later on. He also came up with one rebound, one assist and one assist.

Hayes scored two baskets and added a rebound, while Castleton scored one bucket and made two free throws. In four minutes, Lewis made no contribution on the stat sheet.

Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire