Tuesday, October 4 2022

When it was announced that both LeBron James and Anthony Davis would be making their return against the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday, it seemed like the Los Angeles Lakers would find a way to get back on track.

Alas, it didn’t make a difference.

In a back-and-forth contest, the win was there for L.A. to claim, as it led 98-92 with less than eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, but it gave up an 11-5 run in the closing minutes and fell just a bit short, 114-111.

Now the Lakers are in 11th place in the Western Conference and are a full game behind the San Antonio Spurs, who are in 10th place.

Even worse, the Spurs hold the tiebreaker, meaning that L.A. would have to finish ahead of them to reach the play-in tournament.

It’s not over yet for the Lakers, but it’s extremely close to being over.

Avery Bradley: B+

Bradley got the start tonight and produced offensively, hitting 4-of-5 shots and both of his 3-pointers to score 10 points along with three steals in 34 minutes.

But he didn’t do much defensively against CJ McCollum, who put in an efficient 32 points.

Dwight Howard: B-

Howard wasn’t utilized offensively as much due to the return of L.A.’s two superstars, but he did have five rebounds, six points and one blocked shot in 22 minutes.

On the other end though, he wasn’t able to neutralize Jonas Valanciunas, who had 17 points, 12 rebounds and six assists.

Russell Westbrook: C

Westbrook finally came back down to earth with a rough outing. He shot just 5-of-15 from the field and scored just 12 points in 31 minutes, along with four rebounds and five assists.

Anthony Davis: A-

Davis looked very good in his return. He moved around well and didn’t seem to be limited physically or dealing with any discomfort in the sprained foot that had kept him out since mid-February.

He finished with 23 points on 8-of-17 shooting from the field, 1-of-2 from 3-point range and 6-of-9 from the free throw line, along with 12 rebounds and six assists.

LeBron James: B+

Statistically, James seemed like he had a great game with 38 points on 13-of-23 shooting, eight rebounds and four assists.

But he had six turnovers, and down the stretch, when one expects him to take over, he didn’t.

The four-time MVP scored only two points in the fourth quarter, and he took only three shots in the period, making just one and missing the other two in the final 3:19.

He also had a costly turnover with 1:42 left and the Lakers already down by four points.

Bottom line: James failed to come through in money time tonight.

Stanley Johnson: D

Johnson wasn’t able to contribute much, missing both of his field-goal attempts and scoring just four points on free throws, along with one rebound, one assist and two steals in 22 minutes.

Wenyen Gabriel: B

Gabriel got just four minutes tonight, presumably because of Davis’ return, but he did grab four rebounds and score a bucket in that time.

Malik Monk: B+

Monk went 5-of-11 from the field and 2-of-5 from 3-point range to end up with 13 points in 34 minutes. He also added seven assists, five rebounds and two steals.

With Westbrook struggling, the Lakers needed Monk to be a little more aggressive offensively.

D.J. Augustin: C-

Augustin played 16 minutes but didn’t give the team enough. He went 1-of-4 from the field for three points and no zero rebounds, assists or steals.

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Source: Yahoo Sports

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