After getting off to a decent start early in the first quarter, the Los Angeles Lakers gave up a massive run for the rest of the first quarter, making the rest of the contest glorified garbage time.
The Suns looked like a lot like a modern version of the dynastic mid-1980s Showtime Lakers, running relentlessly in transition for 28 fast-break points (almost all of which came in the first half) and shooting lights out from 3-point range. L.A. compounded this by committing 19 turnovers, shooting just 44.4 percent from the field and getting outrebounded badly by 14.
This was simply a demolishing of a shorthanded Lakers team that is still without superstar big man Anthony Davis. Head coach Frank Vogel continues to play small lineups, and these lineups are hurting the Lakers defensively and on the boards.
Stanley Johnson: D
Johnson didn’t assert himself offensively at all, and he didn’t do much defensively either. He was just 0-of-2 from the field and had three rebounds in 11 minutes.
Austin Reaves: B
Reaves wasn’t that assertive offensively either, but when he did, he was pretty effective. He shot 2-of-4 from the field and 1-of-2 from 3-point range in 25 minutes while grabbing four rebounds.
One thing he did really well was draw fouls. He shot six free throws, making five of them, leading to 10 points overall.
Malik Monk: B-
Monk was efficient tonight, shooting 5-of-10 from the field and 2-of-4 from downtown for 13 points in 27 minutes. He also added four rebounds and four assists.
But the Lakers needed more from him, especially early on when the game was being decided.
Russell Westbrook: C-
Westbrook’s offensive stat line looked passable (5-of-10 shooting from the field, 3-of-4 from the free throw line, 13 points in 29 minutes), but it was misleading, as his shot selection was questionable at times.
Although he had four turnovers, which is manageable, all or most of them were of the careless variety. He also had just two rebounds and two assists, well under par for him.
LeBron James: A-
Statistically, James did very well in his 30 minutes, scoring 31 points on 10-of-20 shooting from the field, 5-of-11 from downtown and 6-of-7 from the charity stripe while grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out six dimes.
But it was empty calories, as his team was never really in the contest.
On the bright side, James did reach a historic milestone that no one else has ever achieved before.
Avery Bradley: B
In 25 minutes, Bradley did well, hitting 3-of-5 shots from the field and all three of his attempts from downtown. But he didn’t contribute in any other facet of the game.
Dwight Howard: B
Howard got 17 minutes on Sunday and helped the Lakers on the boards with five rebounds, to go along with two assists and one field goal.
Perhaps if coach Vogel had started him, the Lakers would’ve made things a little more competitive thanks to Howard’s size and physicality.
Carmelo Anthony: A-
This was one of those nights when Anthony was hot, although it didn’t seem to make the slightest dent on the outcome. He was 6-of-11 from the field and 4-of-7 from 3-point land, scoring 18 points in 18 minutes.
As usual though, Anthony didn’t put up much resistance on the defensive end, and he grabbed just one rebound.
Wenyen Gabriel: B-
Gabriel got in for 12 minutes and continued to show good energy, getting three rebounds and dishing off two assists.
Offensively he wasn’t great, making just 1-of-3 shots, but his energy and activity led to him drawing three fouls that led to free throws for him. He was just 3-of-5 from the charity stripe, however.
Kent Bazemore: D-
In six minutes of garbage time, Bazemore contributed almost nothing. He missed both of his shot attempts and had one steal.
Wayne Ellington: B
Ellington barely plays, but when he does, he can still be relied upon to hit from the outside.
In nine minutes on Sunday, he made 2-of-3 shots from the field, including 1-of-2 from downtown. He also chipped in two rebounds, one assist and one steal.
Talen Horton-Tucker: D-
Tucker was ice-cold from the field tonight, missing all but one of his eight shot attempts and all four of his 3-point attempts, although he did manage to have three assists.
His three turnovers in 22 minutes hurt the team and were symptomatic of a team-wide problem.
D.J. Augustin: C+
The Lakers’ new backup point guard only got into the contest in the fourth quarter for nine minutes. He missed both of his shot attempts, both of which were 3-pointers, to go along with three rebounds and two assists.