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Player Grades: Lakers vs. Bulls

Assessing every Lakers player’s performance from the team’s 141-132 win over the Bulls.

Chicago Bulls v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

The Lakers exploded for their best offensive showing of the season behind a host of unlikely suspects in Jarred Vanderbilt, D’Angelo Russell and Austin Reaves. While LeBron James and Anthony Davis helped seal the win late, it was the aforementioned trio that did the heavy lifting to get them a 20-plus-point lead.

And, obviously, D’Lo being a blow torch yet again is another story. Rumors be damned, Russell is going to keep firing away and at the rate they’re going in, no one should stop him.

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

30 minutes, 14 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 5-8 FG, 4-7 3PT, -2

This is about the best-case scenario for Prince, both in terms of minutes played and efficiency. Naturally, everyone is going to look like a better player when shots go down but anything over 30 minutes feels like a diminishing return on Prince.

Grade: A-

LeBron James

36 minutes, 25 points, 4 rebounds, 12 assists, 2 steals, 10-19 FG, 3-4 3PT, 2-2 FT, +14

I felt for LeBron on Thursday. The man kept attacking the rim, kept getting fouled and the refs kept watching it all unfold while doing nothing.

The notable thing about LeBron is how much he’s willing to defer. He always plays the game the right way and in playing alongside a red-hot D’Lo and a Lakers team that made 20 of their 31 threes, he facilitated to the tune of 12 assists.

Grade: B+

Anthony Davis

36 minutes, 22 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 block, 10-18 FG, 0-1 3PT, 2-5 FT, +14

A quietly dominant game from AD. When the ball got to him, he really had his way against Nikola Vucevic. And some of his jumpers in the second half and fourth quarter were silky. But, again, when you’re hitting 20 3-pointers in a game, the ball doesn’t see the post as much, which is fine.

Grade: B+

Austin Reaves

33 minutes, 20 points, 3 rebounds, 8 assists, 7-9 FG, 2-3 3PT, 4-4 FT, +14

Twenty points on nine shots is wildly good efficiency. It’s nice to see Reaves respond with this game, particularly with his outside shooting. His playmaking was welcome as well.

Now, if he can just stop fouling 3-point shooters.

Grade: A-

D’Angelo Russell

38 minutes, 29 points, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 10-18 FG, 8-13 3PT, 1-2 FT, +7

It’s close to running out of words to describe D’Lo over this recent stretch. His flamethrowing third quarter was remarkable, as was his final make of the night as he’s fading to the right over multiple defenders. Just absurdity.

This isn’t sustainable. Who knows how long it’ll last. But, boy, he’s going to make the Lakers’ decision of whether to trade him a difficult one.

Grade: A+

Max Christie

9 minutes, 2 points, 1 assist, 1 steal, 2-2 FT

Darvin Ham shortened his rotation on Thursday and Christie really only saw one stretch on the floor. I’m not going to grade him on nine minutes because it was a fairly eh run from him. No good, no bad.

Jarred Vanderbilt

27 minutes, 17 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 block, 8-11 FG, 1-1 3PT, 0-1 FT, 0

This is unquestionably as good as it gets for Vanderbilt. In fact, this might be his best game in his Lakers career. He was marvelous offensively by his standards, driving to the rim, knocking down a 3-pointer and turning steals into buckets. He’s the best cutter on the team and LeBron rewarded him for that as well.

Vando is fully back and healthy and needs to be seeing this many minutes regularly now.

Grade: A+

Rui Hachimura

19 minutes, 10 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, 3-3 FG, 2-2 3PT, 2-2 FT, +4

A nice bounceback game from Rui after some struggles against the Clippers. Now, you’d still probably want more from him overall, but if this is a baseline, then you can work with this.

Grade: B

Christian Wood

12 minutes, 2 points, 0-1 FG, 2-2 FT, -4

Another player who didn’t see as much time with the rotation shortened. Like Christie, it doesn’t feel right to give him a grade on that short span.

Darvin Ham

Darvin Ham finally, at least, went back to the lineup that got the Lakers deep in the playoffs last year. Retroactively, I give him an F for not going to that lineup more this year. Tonight, I give him an A+ for doing it. Granted, it was a Vando-less lineup that also made a big run in the third quarter so it wasn’t all tied to him.

Average that out, though, and you get...

Grade: B

Monday’s DNPs: Jaxson Hayes, Jalen Hood-Schifino

Monday’s inactives: Skylar Mays, Maxwell Lewis, Dylan Windler, Colin Castleton, Gabe Vincent, Cam Reddish

You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.

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