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Players Grades: Lakers vs. Thunder

Assessing every Lakers player’s performance from the team’s 112-105 win over the Thunder.

Oklahoma City Thunder v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

The Lakers, for the second time this season, came away with a big win against the Thunder amidst a losing skid. This time, it wasn’t a frustrating loss to the Wolves as part of a four-game losing streak that the Lakers snapped, but it was a streak of back-to-back losses to the Suns and Jazz as the team continues to sputter that they snapped.

And just like last time, it was a balanced attack that took them over the top with six people scoring in double figures and the team tallying 31 assists on 44 makes.

So, let’s grade the win. As always, grades are based on expectations for each player. A “B” grade represents the average performance for that player.

Taurean Prince

31 minutes, 3 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block, 1-6 FG, 1-5 3PT, -1

There were very few bad outings by the Lakers on the night, but Prince had one of them. The odd thing about him is that he’s a legitimately good 3-point shooter at just a tick under 40% and, yet, never looks comfortable taking catch-and-shoot 3-pointers. Those moments of hesitation and pump fakes always throw off his and the team’s rhythm.

Grade: D

LeBron James

39 minutes, 25 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 12-20 FG, 1-2 3PT, 0-1 FT, +2

LeBron looked rejuvenated on Monday, which you would hope for. I also don’t think it’s a coincidence that having D’Angelo Russell and Austin Reaves around him also helped him as you saw him cutting off-ball multiple times.

No more of this LeBron at PG stuff. Put ball-handling around him.

Grade: B+

Anthony Davis

38 minutes, 27 points, 15 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 9-17 FG, 0-1 3PT, 9-10 FT, +8

Something about the Thunder really gets AD going. He’s been really energetic each meeting this year and made it a mission early on in this one to establish himself, getting Chet Holmgren in foul trouble early.

At times when the Lakers were floundering defensively, it was AD who still was flying around or working for boards. His energy level was high after that showing against Utah.

Grade: A-

Austin Reaves

33 minutes, 15 points, 3 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 block, 6-10 FG, 1-3 3PT, 2-2 FT, +9

An energetic performance from Reaves in this one, especially in the third quarter where he scored nine of his 15 points. As a whole, the Lakers were really damn good in the third quarter.

Also, as our friend Raj pointed out, having D’Lo, LeBron and AD around him moves Reaves back into that connector role and makes him extremely valuable once again. I don’t know why we needed to get to Game 41 to get back to this but on that point...

Grade: A

D’Angelo Russell

36 minutes, 14 points, 2 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 5-12 FG, 2-7 3PT, 2-2 FT, +3

Look, D’Lo’s been bounced around a bit this season like everyone else, but getting back to him, Reaves, LeBron and AD right now needs to be the move going forward. This group has a whole lot of familiarity and while there are obvious concerns in the playoffs that we saw against Denver, it’s gotten to a point that they need to rattle off wins to get to the playoffs before we worry about that.

Also, not even counting tonight’s game yet, the Lakers are 7.8 points better per 100 possessions with D’Lo on the floor versus off this season. Just play him.

Grade: B

Max Christie

11 minutes, 1 rebound, 0-2 FG, 0-1 3PT, +5

This is a big stretch for Max. Pregame, Darvin Ham said he was going to run with the starting lineup for a while. Cam Reddish is going to be out for multiple games. If you’re putting the pieces together, then it seems like minutes are going to be hard to come by soon, so Christie needs to prove he’s someone you need on the floor.

On Monday, he did not do that, but this decision also probably shouldn’t be measured in a game-by-game impact. The game grades are though, so...

Grade: D

Rui Hachimura

20 minutes, 12 points, 3 rebounds, 2 blocks, 5-8 FG, 2-3 3PT, +6

That second half looked to be where Rui really found his groove once again. He made all four of his shots, both of his 3-pointers and was part of the group that opened up the lead.

This feels like a really good spot for Rui. His minutes can go up and down depending on LeBron or Taurean’s. It also isn’t a coincidence the Lakers looked their best in the second half when he found his groove.

Grade: B+

Jarred Vanderbilt

18 minutes, 5 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, 2-2 FG, 1-1 FT, +5

Vando very much looks like he’s back to himself and he’s making those type of impact plays that he was known for last year.

Having Rui and Vando able to make impact, winning plays off the bench is what this team was supposed to be coming into the season. Just, please, let them stay healthy.

Grade: B

Christian Wood

14 minutes, 11 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assists, 3 blocks, 4-7 FG, 1-2 3PT, 2-2 FT, -2

It’s really impressive how big of an impact Wood can make in such a short time. His rebounding really stood out tonight, but that might be because the Thunder had so many offensive rebounds. There is no debate at this point what value he brings to this team.

Grade: B+

Monday’s DNPs: Jaxson Hayes, Skylar Mays, Dylan Windler

Monday’s inactives: Colin Castleton, Jalen Hood-Schifino, Maxwell Lewis, Cam Reddish, Gabe Vincent

You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.

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