After a back-and-forth affair in the first half, including a hot start for DeAndre Jordan, L.A. started to take control in the third quarter despite trailing.
Rajon Rondo and Anthony Davis developed a strong two-man game that kept Los Angeles’ offense flowing, and the Lakers eventually grew the lead to double-digits in the fourth quarter.
However, Los Angeles couldn’t hold its 14-point lead for the duration of regulation. Charlotte made a late run, including five straight free throws for LaMelo Ball after L.A. had three technical fouls called, and the game went to overtime.
The Lakers used a 7-0 run in OT to pull out a win. Here’s how the players graded individually:
Russell Westbrook: C-plus
Russell Westbrook had an extremely polarizing game. His shot improved after a terrible outing against the Portland Trail Blazers, and he also had 14 assists. However, his decision-making, particularly in crunch time, was shaky at best; he finished the game with seven turnovers.
His attempted alley-oop lob to a contested Davis could’ve cost L.A the game, and he deferred to Davis for the big moments in overtime. The Hornets clearly did not respect his ability to shoot either, so the spacing was clogged.
Avery Bradley did his role as a 3-and-D glue guy. He finished with eight points and went 2-of-5 from deep, so he gets a passing grade for the win.
Kent Bazemore played just 14 minutes, mostly in the first half. He logged zero points and missed all four of his shots. Bazemore definitely needs to find his groove again.
Anthony Davis: A-minus
It didn’t always feel like it, but Anthony Davis had a dominant outing. He finished with 32 points, 12 rebounds, five blocks, four assists and three steals in 44 minutes. He had stretches late in regulation where he didn’t touch the ball on offense, and the decision to take a 3-pointer with 23 seconds left was perplexing.
However, he made up for it with crucial shots in overtime to guide L.A. to victory.
DeAndre Jordan: B
DeAndre Jordan played just 11 minutes, mostly in the first half, and finished with 10 points (4-of-4 FG) and eight rebounds. Not bad for his shift, but the fit with Davis clearly doesn’t work.
Carmelo Anthony: A-plus
Carmelo Anthony continues to be extraordinary for the Lakers. He finished with 29 points on 7-of-10 3-point shooting in 37 minutes. Whenever the Lakers needed a big shot, Anthony delivered. The 37-year-old forward had adapted extremely well to this role.
Austin Reaves: B
Austin Reaves didn’t stand out in the box score, but he did the little things on the court that stood out, particularly on defense. He had strong box-outs against bigger opponents like Mason Plumlee, contested shots regularly and made crisp rotations, among others. The undrafted rookie is already a player the team trusts in late-game scenarios.
Wayne Ellington: B
Wayne Ellington had his best game of the regular season with eight points on 2-of-3 shooting from beyond the arc. The Lakers need his sharpshooting presence, and he delivered tonight.
Malik Monk: B
Malik Monk also made big shots throughout the night. Whether it was off-balance layups or half-court shots, Monk helped with timely makes in his 17 minutes. He got revenge against the team that let him walk this summer.
Dwight Howard: B-minus
Dwight Howard played 15 minutes and logged four points, nine rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block, but three turnovers hurt his grade. He had a great defensive possession when he shut down Terry Rozier, who tried for so long to blow by Howard.
Rajon Rondo: A
Rajon Rondo played 12 minutes, the least of any Laker, but he was also ejected after dropping his best game. Rondo’s facilitation of the offense in the third propelled the team in a major way. He didn’t make any shots, but he dished eight assists and logged a steal and a block.
Source: Yahoo Sports