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Player Grades: Lakers vs. Warriors

Assessing every Lakers player’s performance from the team’s 145-144 win over the Warriors.

Los Angeles Lakers v Golden State Warriors Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Lakers won a thriller on Saturday, beating the Warriors in double OT to start this road trip, beating the once mighty but now sub .500 team from Northern California.

Anthony Davis gave a gutsy performance battling a groin injury, LeBron James was LeGoat and the perpetually stuck in limbo guard D'Angelo Russell stepped up late to help make this game a satisfactory victory instead of a devastating defeat.

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.

LeBron James

48 minutes, 36 points, 20 rebounds, 12 assists, 14-25 FG, 2-4 3PT, 6-6 FT, -6

All you can do is marvel at the greatness that is the King. He willed this team to victory, especially in the second overtime when he started by scoring four of the team's first seven points and he put the Warriors to bed for good, hitting a pair of free throws in the Lakers' final possession of the game.

By the numbers, James had 20 rebounds, a career-high and his triple-double again put him in rarified air along with Elgin Baylor and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only Lakers to accomplish such a feat. If that's not an A-plus performance, then nothing is.

Grade: A+

D'Angelo Russell

49 minutes, 28 points, 5 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block, 8-19 FG, 5-8 3PT, 7-7 FT, +12

How do we rate D'Angelo Russell?

On the one hand, he made all his free throws, hit a huge 3-point shot, and played a whopping 49 minutes.

On the other hand, he had four turnovers and a few in overtime that almost cost the Lakers the game. Add it all up and you get a good performance that needed some cleaning up, but ultimately, it was a net positive for the purple and gold.

Grade: B

Anthony Davis

45 minutes, 29 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists, 11-24 FG, 0-4 3PT, 7-9 FT, -2

Midway through the third, Anthony Davis suffered a groin injury. He was seriously hurt but toughed it out and hit his free throws to give himself the chance to return to the game later on.

He slowly limped to the back of the locker room and it seemed his night was done and he would likely miss a few upcoming games. Not only did Davis return in the fourth quarter, he was effective. The Lakers wouldn't have won this game without his rebounding, fourth-quarter buckets, or defensive presence.

Steph Curry got him a couple of times late, but again, he was clearly hobbled and still did a solid job, even with that context.

No one would dare call him soft tonight and frankly, anyone who tries to spew that narrative ever about this player either has an outside motive or doesn't watch basketball.

Grade: A+

Taurean Prince

24 minutes, 0 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 0-2 FG, 0-1 3PT, -22

It's time to send Prince to the bench and keep him there. He was atrocious tonight, and I'm certain only Darvin Ham could find a kind word to describe his performance on Saturday.

His defense was poor, the offense was worse and he rarely played in the overtime periods as Ham finally opted for the Lakers' starting lineup from last season, and lo and behold, that unit got it done.

Prince has outworked his contract overall, but it's time to give him fewer minutes and take him out of the starting lineup.

Grade: F

Austin Reaves

47 minutes, 17 points, 2 rebounds, 6 assists, 4-14 FG, 1-7 3PT, 8-9 FT, +4

Austin Reaves had a gutsy performance against the Warriors. The shooting was poor. The defense had its suspect moments, but he had key baskets throughout the fourth and overtime and went 8-9 from the free-throw line.

He wasn't his best self, but he gave his best effort, which was a key component in the win.

Grade: B

Jarred Vanderbilt

41 minutes, 14 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals, 4-7 FG, 6-8 FT, +30

41 minutes off the bench is ridiculous.

Jarred Vanderbilt continues to make Ham look right and wrong by his mere presence. The Lakers head coach has continued to stress the team isn't healthy pointing out the significance of Vanderbilt and even Rui Hachimura missing action earlier in the year as to why the team has struggled.

Games like tonight make a strong case that he was right. With Vanderbilt out there, the team has shown more and more flashes of being elite. He was everywhere defending at an elite level, made a few field goals, got to the foul line and shot well.

His performance also makes Ham look bad because why isn't he starting him? We will have more on that when we do the coaching evaluations later.

Grade: A+

Max Christie

8 minutes, 2 points, 1-2 FG, 0-1 3PT, -3

Christie only played one shift, but he played fine. He had a nice dunk and that was about it. The main positive for Christie is that even in a high-stakes game, Ham trusts him enough to give him some run.

Grade: B-

Rui Hachimura

18 minutes, 11 points, 4 rebounds, 4-4 FG, 1-1 3PT, 2-2 FT, +6

Solid game from Hachimura. He was perfect from the field and grabbed the occasional rebound. Given his quality, I think you didn't see him play more because the team found rhythm and his defensive weaknesses would've been exposed if he was on the floor.

Grade: B+

Christian Wood

11 minutes, 8 points, 3-4 FG, 0-1 3PT, 2-2 FT, -14

Not many minutes, but he performed well when given the chance. Christian Wood had good chemistry with Russell and finished some dunks with authority. He's earned that backup center role and remains safe with performances like these.

Grade: B+

Darvin Ham

Ham giveth, Ham taketh away. He finally went to the closing lineup fans have been clamoring for, so that's a point for coach.

He also used his challenges well and it felt like he called timeout earlier rather than later.

In OT, he stayed with the guys out there and rode with them instead of giving anyone a breather. It worked and they won the game, so he fell just short of an A for me.

The reason he still has a B? He's still starting Prince and that continues to be the wrong move.

Grade: B

Monday's DNPs: Jaxson Hayes, Jalen Hood-Schifino, Maxwell Lewis

Monday's inactives: Skylar Mays, Dylan Windler, Colin Castleton, Gabe Vincent, Cam Reddish

You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.

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