Lakers player grades: LeBron James powers L.A. to a win over Wizards

In the first half, the Los Angeles Lakers looked stagnant and somewhat lackadaisical, as they finished the first half down 59-52 to the Washington Wizards.

But they responded well in the third period, and the man who led the charge was LeBron James.

He got hot and stayed hot, turning in one of his best performances of the season and possibly of his four years with the team.

The Lakers not only won, but they won rather easily, pulling away in the final minutes for a 122-109 victory.

Although James gets most of the praise for this win (as he rightfully should), several of his teammates also played well and contributed in a significant way.

Stanley Johnson: B

Johnson played a solid game at both ends of the floor. He recorded two steals, and on the offensive end he was 3-of-5 from the field, while also adding six rebounds in 27 minutes.

Malik Monk: A

Monk gave the team a boost when he re-entered the game in the fourth quarter by hitting back-to-back 3-pointers to push L.A.’s lead to eight. It prevented the Wizards from making a late run and pressuring the Lakers down the stretch.

He has been one of the team’s most consistent offensive weapons all year, and he is a player the Lakers must keep beyond this season at all costs.

The former lottery pick finished with 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting overall and 5-of-7 from 3-point range, along with four assists.

Austin Reaves:

Reaves did an outstanding job of moving without the ball. On several occasions, he lost his man and found himself near the rim for some easy layups off passes from teammates.

Overall, he had 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field, five rebounds and three assists. However, he did miss all four of his shot attempts from downtown.

Russell Westbrook: D+

Westbrook had a horrific offensive outing against Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Kyle Kuzma, two of the men he was traded for last summer. The former MVP missed all but two of his 11 shots and all but one of his free throws.

One thing he did do well was pass the ball. Westbrook finished with nine assists against just one turnover, which is outstanding.

LeBron James: A+

Much like he did less than a week ago against the Golden State Warriors, James went into volcano mode, scoring 50 points on 18-of-25 shooting from the field and 6-of-9 from 3-point land while adding seven rebounds and six assists.

With L.A. trailing by seven at the half, the four-time MVP sparked his team by scoring 12 straight points to get the lead, a lead that the Lakers would not relinquish.

Carmelo Anthony: C

After a nice offensive run in recent games, Anthony just didn’t have it on Friday. He shot just 2-of-6 from the field and 1-of-4 from downtown.

D.J. Augustin: D

Augustin had an almost zero-impact game against the Wizards, missing his only shot attempt. His only contribution on the stat sheet was one rebound in 20 minutes of play.

Talen Horton-Tucker: B+

Horton-Tucker has been playing better since the trade deadline, and it continued on Friday. He did a nice job of consistently attacking the basket off the dribble, which is his trademark.

He finished the game with 15 points, five rebounds, three assists, two steals and a couple of strong, exciting dunks.

Wenyen Gabriel: B

Gabriel showed good energy and activity, grabbing four rebounds and scoring five points in 13 minutes, including a 3-pointer that looked straight as a string out of his hands.

He also did the “little things” fairly well, setting decent screens for the ball handler, winning a jump ball after getting tied up on a drive to the hoop and drawing a foul after hustling after an offensive rebound.

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