Lakers player grades: LeBron James drops 33 points to beat Nets as Anthony Davis returns

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The Los Angeles Lakers moved to .500 again after taking care of the Brooklyn Nets on the road, 106-96.

Anthony Davis returned to the lineup for the first time since Dec. 17 and left his fingerprints all over the first quarter. Three of his four blocks came in that quarter.

Los Angeles controlled most of this game and that was due to the fastbreak points. The Lakers won that battle, 27-9, thanks to 12 steals and nine blocks.

LeBron James had two dunks in the fourth quarter off of back-to-back steals that essentially iced this game. He had 33 points, which tied James Harden’s output for the most in the contest.

Here is how the Lakers, now 24-24 on the season, graded individually after a solid win:

Russell Westbrook: C

Russell Westbrook now has to acclimate to being the third option with Davis back in the fold. Tonight was a mixed bag of results. Westbrook looked much better playing off the ball in the second half (mostly in the third quarter) than he did in the first half, where he had too many drive-killing turnovers. He finished the game with 15 points on 7-of-14 shooting, six rebounds, four assists and one steal with five turnovers.

Avery Bradley: C-plus

The Lakers ran multiple dribble hand-offs for Avery Bradley to get him mid-range looks, and they rolled in for a nine-point night. He also had a jumbled game trying to defend Harden and the shifty Patty Mills, but there were definitely some positives to be found there. One came in the first quarter when he stripped Harden one-on-one and threw a transition lob to James.

LeBron James: A

LeBron did it again: 33 points, seven rebounds, six assists, three steals, two blocks and zero turnovers. He shot 14-of-21 from the field but struggled from deep with a 2-of-8 clip. The Nets just didn’t have an answer for him. That would’ve been Kevin Durant, but he is out with an MCL sprain. Still, James continues to be on a scoring tear.

Stanley Johnson: B

Stanley Johnson didn’t have success with his shot going 2-of-6 overall and missing his only 3-point attempt, but his defensive versatility definitely came in handy and he also got to close the game. With his final 10-day contract set to expire, him starting and closing is a strong sign he is sticking around longer. The Lakers cannot afford to let him go, especially since Trevor Ariza got a DNP from the coaching staff.

Anthony Davis: B

Davis logged 25 minutes in his first game back. He got into foul trouble that likely hindered his playing time, but he showed the flashes of brilliance at the 5 that the Lakers sorely missed. He blocked four shots, hounded players on the perimeter and served as a petrifying lob threat. He shot looked rusty (3-of-8 FG) but he needs more time to get his legs back under him.

Malik Monk: A

Malik Monk was a sniper from deep in this game. He got back to his high-scoring ways with a 22-point night off the bench to go with five rebounds, two assists and a steal. He shot 6-of-12 from deep and went 1-of-1 inside the arc which came on a transition bucket. Excellent shooting game for the 23-year-old creator.

Austin Reaves: A

Austin Reaves didn’t need to score to leave an imprint tonight. Despite scoring two points, he did just about everything else necessary to get a win. He posted six rebounds, six assists, one steal and a block. Five of his rebounds came on the offensive glass, which accounted for all five the Lakers had in the game; in stark contrast, the Nets grabbed 19 offensive boards. Reaves has developed a reputation for doing all the little things correctly, and those little things were huge tonight.

Carmelo Anthony: B-plus

Carmelo Anthony’s center minutes will likely dissipate with Davis getting more rhythm, but he provided great scoring off the bench. He hit 3-of-7 from downtown en route to a 13-point night to go with three rebounds, two steals, one assist and one block.

Talen Horton-Tucker: F

Talen Horton-Tucker had a night to forget. He had a nice strip down low to prevent a layup against a bigger player, but that was about it. He didn’t score a point after missing all six of his shots, including two from deep. He will need to adapt to Davis’ return similar to Westbrook since both are rim-pressuring ball-handlers more than reliable shooters.

1

1