Lakers player grades: L.A. gets scorched by the Suns in blowout loss

The Los Angeles Lakers won their previous two games coming into their Thursday evening matchup against the Phoenix Suns. They had won all three of their previous matchups against Phoenix this season, and the hope was that they would get a third win in a row to get their season record over .500.

Instead, it was a return to the same type of ineptitude that put them under .500 to begin with.

The Lakers fell behind early by as many as 17 points in the first quarter as they had trouble taking care of the ball and committed five turnovers, which led to easy points for Phoenix. Los Angeles went on a brief run to come to within six points early in the second period before the Suns went up again by 17 with just under four minutes to go in the first half.

Phoenix led 66-52 at intermission, and the difference in the game at that point was turnovers — L.A. had nine to just three for Phoenix, which resulted in 17 points for Phoenix.

Things got even worse afterward for the Lakers when their deficit increased to 31 points in the third quarter behind some hot shooting from Phoenix. The game was never really competitive, as LeBron James and crew lost, 127-109.

This was one of the few times this season that Kevin Durant, Bradley Beal and Devin Booker have all been healthy for the Suns at the same time. While the Lakers held Durant to 18 points, Booker scored 31 points while Beal burned them with 37 points on 14-of-21 shooting and 8-of-10 from 3-point range.

The Purple and Gold are now 19-20 and have fallen back to 10th place in the Western Conference. Despite playing each of their last five games at home, they have lost three of them, and time is rapidly running out for them to turn things around.

Anthony Davis: D-plus/C-minus

Davis has been so consistently dominant lately that it’s odd to see him have the type of anemic game he had on Thursday. The first half was a quiet one for him, as he missed four of his first six shots, and although his marksmanship improved afterward, he never really made much of an impact.

He finished with just 13 points on 6-of-11 shooting, five rebounds, two blocked shots, one assist and one steal in 32 minutes.

Cam Reddish: Incomplete

Reddish bumped his left knee in the third quarter and didn’t return due to soreness in that knee. He played just eight minutes and attempted just one shot while making no positive contribution on the stat sheet.

Taurean Prince: B-minus/B

Prince continues to consistently space the floor for Los Angeles. He knocked down three of his eight attempts from downtown, and overall, he scored 11 points to go along with six rebounds and two assists in 28 minutes.

Austin Reaves: C/C-plus

Reaves made an effort to get his teammates involved early. He made his first two 3-point attempts, which was a good sign given his massive struggles in that category lately. He finished with 13 points and six assists, but he attempted only seven shots in 30 minutes.

The problem for Reaves was the fact that the Suns also made an effort to go at him and target the player he was guarding. He simply couldn’t do much, if anything, to slow down their guards, and the Lakers have to find a way to give him some help on the defensive end when he finds himself on an island.

LeBron James: D

James struggled early, making just one of his first five field goal attempts and missing two early free throws, although he did have eight first-half assists. He never got himself into any rhythm, and he scored just 10 points on 3-of-11 shooting while missing all four of his 3-point attempts and committing four turnovers. His 10 points were a season-low for him.

Because this contest was such a blowout, James played just 24 minutes and sat out the entire fourth quarter.

Jarred Vanderbilt: B-plus

Vanderbilt helped the Lakers soon after entering the game to start the second quarter. He played some effective defense on Kevin Durant, and he even hit a 3-pointer, something he rarely does. Overall, he grabbed nine rebounds, scored six points and came up with two steals in 28 minutes.

D'Angelo Russell: B-plus/A-minus

Russell got himself into a decent rhythm in this game. He made half of his 14 shots and went 3-of-7 from downtown to score 19 points, and he also dished off six assists and had two steals in 27 minutes. It seems like perhaps he has gotten himself out of the slump that afflicted him for most of December.

Jaxson Hayes: C/C-plus

Hayes didn’t play in the Lakers’ previous three games, but he got onto the court for 13 minutes against Phoenix since Christian Wood was ruled out due to a migraine. When Hayes came into the game to start the second quarter, he made a quick impact with three easy baskets and a blocked shot. However, he also got posterized by Josh Okogie off a loose ball, and he picked up four fouls in only four minutes, forcing him to the bench.

Overall, he had six points, two rebounds and two blocks, and he ended up fouling out late in the fourth quarter.

Max Christie: B-plus

In 25 minutes, Christie went 4-of-8 from the field and scored 14 points while grabbing seven rebounds and adding four assists. However, he had trouble guarding Devin Booker, who went off for 23 first-half points. But the meaningful playing time Christie has been getting lately will help him develop and figure things out, especially on the defensive end, where he clearly has potential.

Skylar Mays: A

Mays got his first stint on the court for the Lakers after they signed him just several days ago. He scored two layups off a drive, one of them coming on a fast-break assist from Vanderbilt, and he hit two 3-pointers before getting a dunk off another dime from Vanderbilt.

He finished with a dozen points, one rebound, one assist and one steal in 12 minutes.

Dylan Windler, Jalen Hood-Schifino: Incomplete

Both players got five minutes of playing time at the end of this game. Both scored one basket apiece, and Windler also had one assist.

Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire