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Players Grades: Lakers vs. Jazz

Assessing every Lakers player’s performance from the team’s 132-125 loss over the Jazz.

Los Angeles Lakers v Utah Jazz Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

With LeBron James not playing, you shouldn't have expected the Lakers to pull out the victory in Utah versus the Jazz, but somehow, that doesn't ease the pain and frustration of watching this team fall two games under .500.

The Lakers started well in the first quarter and led most of the game, but lost the lead in the third and after Reaves fouled out in the fourth, that sealed their fate.

So, let's grade the loss. As always, grades are based on expectations for each player. A "B" grade represents the average performance for that player.

D'Angelo Russell

41 minutes, 39 points, 8 assists, 3 rebounds, 15-26 FG, 6-11 3PT, 3-3 FT, -2

Easily D'Angelo Russell's best game. He was maniacal, scoring 41 points, running the offense well, distributing the ball, resulting in eight dimes and shooting 6-11 from three.

It didn't result in a win, but Russell feels comfortable and is playing his best basketball of the season in the last two games.

Grade: A+

Austin Reaves

31 minutes, 19 points, 2 assists, 4 rebounds, 7-8 FG, 1-2 3PT, 4-6 FT, -21

Austin Reaves paired well with Russell. Who knew? The duo scored the team's first 19 points, and Reaves only missed one shot. His biggest blemish was on the defensive side of the ball, where he had a lot of trouble defending Jordan Clarkson.

His night ended early, fouling out with five minutes left and if he wants to continue increasing his role, he'll have to do a better job controlling his fouls to make sure he stays out of foul trouble and isn't a defensive liability.

Grade: B+

Cam Reddish

11 minutes, 0 points, 1 rebound, 0-1 FG, 0-1 3PT, +3

It was a disappointing night for Cam Reddish. He had to miss the second half for the second game in a row due to left knee soreness. He didn't play very well offensively during his 11 minutes, but given the injury, it's hard to be too harsh.

Even so, he hasn't been playing very well and with Rui Hachimura back and the lineup close to healthy, it might be time to let Reddish either rest that knee or come off the bench for a bit and give some other players a look with the starters.

Grade: D

Anthony Davis

39 minutes, 15 points, 15 rebounds, 11 assists, 4 blocks, 5-21 FG, 0-1 3PT, 5-6 FT, -12

It was one of the few disappointing games for Anthony Davis as of late. With James out and the Lakers struggling to score all year, the team needed a big game from Davis. Instead, he shot an abysmal 5-21 from the field and was far too passive asking for the ball or getting to his spots so the guards and wings could feed him. It was not an awful display, but on the road with key players missing, 15 points wouldn't cut it.

It's not all about points though and in all other aspects of the game, Davis was good. He had four blocks, cleaned up the glass well with 15 rebounds and distributed well out of double teams with a team-high 11 assists.

Grade: B-

Taurean Prince

30 minutes, 12 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 block, 5-8 FG, 2-4 3PT, -19

Taurean Prince was fine today. He shot well, reaching the 50% mark from three, which puts him over his goal of going 40% from downtown. Granted, he only shot the 3-ball four times, but with the Lakers sub .500, you take the wins where you can get them.

Defensively, Prince was respectable, closing out on shooters and rotating well, but he did accumulate three fouls in the game. I'm still not sure if that's enough solid defense and shooting to be an automatic starter with Hachimura back, but we'll see what Darvin thinks moving forward.

Grade: B

Rui Hachimura

19 minutes, 17 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 6-12 FG, 0-2 3PT, 5-6 FT, +12

Rui Hachimura is back! He played very well coming off the bench, scoring 17 points. It wasn't just the scoring it was how efficient he was and when the points happened. He started the fourth with a steal and a nice dunk and kept the Lakers in the game during the final frame with his performance.

It's his first game of 2024, but barring any further setbacks, I expect Hachimura to return to the starting lineup very soon.

Grade: B+

Jarred Vanderbilt

23 minutes, 5 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 2-2 FG, +4

Jarred Vanderbilt seems to be getting back to 100% health. He's looking faster on the floor, and with 23 minutes of play, he's getting plenty of shifts each game, particularly with the backup units.

On the stat sheet, nothing jumps out, minus his plus-minus of +4. This number reflects the positive impact Vando contributes on the defensive side of the ball to help the Lakers win the minutes he's on the floor. Now, if he can score a couple more baskets, maybe he can be the starting wing in L.A. and play 30 minutes a game.

Grade: B

Christian Wood

22 minutes, 15 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 5-10 FG, 2-6 3PT, 3-3 FT, -4

This is the best Christian Wood has played in a Lakers uniform.

He's stretching the floor with his 3-point shooting, converting on his jumpers and grabbing plenty of rebounds along the way.

His defense will never be great, but he's making an effort and his errors have not been catastrophic. You can't ask any more from Wood and given the options on the bench, he's the best they have at the backup center spot.

Grade: B+

Max Christie

14 minutes, 3 points, 3 assists, 1-2 FG, 1-1 3PT, +9

Not many minutes for Max Christie on Saturday night and when he was on the floor, it was more bad than good.

He struggled to defend without fouling, failed to grab a rebound and didn't look for his shot, passing up some good looks and opting to kick it back out. He had a rough game against the Suns as well and this performance won't instill much confidence in head coach Darvin Ham to play him more.

Grade: B-

Skylar Mays

10 minutes, 0 points, 2 assists, 0-2 FG, -5

Skylar Mays played? Skylar Mays played.

Not just in garbage time either, he received minutes in the third and fourth, but just got some cardio work done.

Hard to judge too harshly, given he just signed a two-way deal with the Lakers, but it wasn't a performance that'll have fans clamoring for more Mays minutes.

Grade: B-

Darvin Ham

What could Darvin Ham have done better tonight? Not much.

He was missing his key star in James and overall, he pushed the right buttons with his rotations. I had doubts about the starting lineup, but they played well in the first and put up 39 points.

He probably should've used his challenge on the fifth Reaves foul and Mays shouldn't have gotten closing minutes even with all the players out. Fans will find a way, but for most reasonable people, this wasn't a game where you could blame Ham for the result. He did a solid job and they didn't lose because of his decisions.

Grade: B

Tuesday's DNPs: Jaxson Hayes, Jalen Hood-Schifino, Colin Castleton

Tuesday's inactives: Gabe Vincent, LeBron James, Maxwell Lewis, Dylan Windler

You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.

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