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Players Grades: Lakers vs. Clippers

Assessing every Lakers player’s performance from the team’s 106-103 win over the Clippers.

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

The Lakers needed a win in the worst way possible on Sunday, no matter who the opponent was. That it came against a surging Clippers team that has been one of the best in the league in recent weeks was an even greater boost.

And the manner in which the win came was perhaps the most important factor. This wasn’t LeBron James and/or Anthony Davis putting the team on their back to win the game, but instead a whole team effort.

Of the nine Lakers who played, eight scored at least seven points and the only one who didn’t was Jarred Vanderbilt, who had one of his most Jarred Vanderbilt games of the season.

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.

Cam Reddish

20 minutes, 7 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals, 2-6 FG, 2-3 3PT, 1-2 FT, -8

It was a night of highs and lows for Reddish, and they seemed to oscillate between the two. A good steal led to a layup off the bottom of the rim. Helping force a defensive stop led to a rebound bouncing off his hands and out of bounds.

Ultimately, the two 3-pointers he hit were very big and very unexpected. But also of note is that he only played 20 minutes after D’Angelo Russell returned. That seems noteworthy.

Grade: B-

LeBron James

38 minutes, 25 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal, 11-19 FG, 1-3 3PT, 2-3 FT, +5

In a change from the last game, I thought LeBron started pretty poorly in the first quarter and, save for a stretch in the early-to-middle stages of the second quarter, it seemed like he was set for a dud of a game.

He picked it up, though, and made plays on both ends down the stretch. There was a noticeable difference as well defensively on Sunday with how hard he was closing out to Kawhi Leonard and how lackadaisical he was against Jaren Jackson Jr.

Grade: B+

Anthony Davis

39 minutes, 22 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assists, 3 steals, 1 block, 10-15 FG, 0-1 3PT, 2-4 FT, -4

The stats don’t tell the whole story of AD on the night. He, too, came into the game offensively in the second half and hit some really big mid-range jumpers out of ball screen actions with D’Lo.

But his defense was incredible down the stretch. The Lakers deployed him on the Clippers’ wings and he made a number of big stops.

Rudy Gobert ain’t making that play. There’s levels to this.

Grade: A-

Taurean Prince

30 minutes, 13 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 1 steal, 4-8 FG, 3-6 3PT, 2-2 FT, -2

Prince has fallen victim to some sort of skewed viewpoint in which fans focus more on the negatives than the positives. To be fair, this is probably a bad night to point that out as he had a really bad foul on Norman Powell late.

But he also shot 50% from three and hit the biggest shot of the night to redeem himself. And now, for the season, he’s shooting 39.5% from the 3-point line on 5.6 attempts per game. He’s as reliable a role player as the Lakers have had this year.

Grade: A-

Austin Reaves

32 minutes, 8 points, 2 assists, 2-5 FG, 0-3 3PT, 4-5 FT, -4

A pretty quiet night from Reaves as he really struggled offensively. Defensively, I thought he actually played pretty well and did everything he could on a number of occasions, but players — namely Kawhi Leonard on multiple occasions — shot over the top of him. Does that mean he should be downgraded if he can do all he can?

What’s unquestionable is that the expectation for him is significantly higher offensively. And that he should have fouled in the final possession.

Grade: C

D’Angelo Russell

31 minutes, 13 points, 6 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, 5-14 FG, 3-9 3PT, +5

A classic tale of two halves. In the first half, he struggled something fierce despite getting a number of clear looks. He finished 1-5 from the field, 0-4 from the 3-point line and looked like a player with a lot of rust.

But that first half was enough to shake the rust loose and he was a huge catalyst in the second half for the win, hitting four 3-pointers and showcasing his playmaking ability that the Lakers missed. Still, that first half was rough and probably overshadows the second half, but it ended on a high note at least.

Grade: C+

Jarred Vanderbilt

21 minutes, 2 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1-3 FG, 0-1 3PT, +6

As mentioned above, this was about the most Vando game he’s had since returning from injury, an entirely unquantifiable assessment. But his defense was needed and he was used as a roller more, showing some playmaking ability that could be intriguing moving forward.

Grade: B+

Christian Wood

16 minutes, 9 points, 10 rebounds, 2 blocks, 4-6 FG, 1-2 3PT, +7

A really strong Wood game in limited minutes. Against Ivica Zubac, Wood had some big defensive plays and helped clean up the boards to finish off a number of defensive sequences.

Very interesting was the Wood-Vando frontcourt pairing in the non-AD minutes that really feels like there’s some potential there.

Grade: A-

Max Christie

13 minutes, 7 points, 3 rebounds, 2 blocks, 3-6 FG, 1-1 3PT, +10

I’m going to continue banging the drum that there’s no reason Max should be getting fewer minutes than Cam at this point. He’s continuing to flash some really enticing things, whether it’s his ability to rebound from the guard position — something this team lacks — or his willingness to attack the rim on drives — another thing this team lacks — that leads to either big dunks or drawing fouls more often than not.

Grade: A-

Darvin Ham

After a pretty fiery version of Ham on Friday before and after the game, he was back to his normal self in pressers and seemed refocused. The rotations made a lot more sense on Sunday with fewer non-spacer lineups, less Cam minutes, more wood minutes and the aforementioned Wood-Vando pairing.

The only big critique I have is not fouling at the end of the game, but it’s unclear if he told the team not to or if they didn’t execute it. And even that is subjective, to be fair.

All-around, a strong game from Ham.

Grade: B+

Sunday’s DNPs - Jaxson Hayes, Jalen Hood-Schifino, Maxwell Lewis, Dylan Windler

Sunday’s inactives - Rui Hachimura, Gabe Vincent, Colin Castleton

You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.

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