Thursday, March 23 2023

One may have thought that the 8-24 Charlotte Hornets coming to town would’ve given the Los Angeles Lakers a prime opportunity to get a much-needed win without Anthony Davis.

Instead, the Lakers’ problems of late continued.

The most glaring stat was the 17 L.A. turnovers that turned into 32 points for the Hornets, as well as their 29 fast-break points versus only 10 for the Lakers. Once again, the Purple and Gold put forth a weak defensive performance, giving up 40 points in the second quarter and falling behind by 16 in the third quarter.

With LeBron James resting midway through the third, the team’s second unit started chipping away at the deficit, and with less than a minute left, the score was tied at 130. But the Lakers botched a fast-break opportunity and turned the ball over with 32.1 seconds left, and they ended up losing 134-130, giving them their third loss in a row.

LeBron James: A

The Lakers wasted a very strong game from James on Friday. He scored 34 points on 15-of-23 shooting and 4-of-8 from 3-point range, making it the sixth straight game in which he has had at least 30 points.

James also added eight assists, and he scored 18 in the fourth quarter when L.A. made its big run. But he and his teammates simply couldn’t get stops when they needed them.

Thomas Bryant: B

Bryant again shot well from the outside, hitting 2-of-3 from downtown, but he took just eight shots overall and made three of them. The Lakers needed a little more offense from him, as well as more interior defense.

But one thing Bryant did very well against Charlotte was control the boards, as he gobbled up 13 rebounds, all of them on the defensive end.

Patrick Beverley: B/B+

Beverley has picked up his shooting of late, and Friday was no exception, as he went 4-of-5 and hit all three of his 3-point attempts to score 11 points, along with six rebounds and three assists.

Defensively, LaMelo Ball went 9-of-22 from the field, but Beverley wasn’t able to do much to slow down Terry Rozier when matched up against him, as Rozier was 9-of-15 overall and 5-of-8 from deep.

Dennis Schroder: C+

After two excellent games, Schroder had something of an off night. He went 4-of-10 and scored just nine points while contributing five assists and four rebounds. Schroder was just 1-of-5 from 3-point land and did not attempt a free throw.

Lonnie Walker: D+

Walker had a bad night, going just 4-of-13 overall for 15 points, along with three rebounds, one assist and one steal. Nine of his shot attempts came from beyond the arc, which was indicative of how he didn’t attack the basket enough or get enough easy opportunities moving without the ball and being set up by teammates.

Wenyen Gabriel: A

With Davis out, the Lakers are very happy to have Gabriel back after he missed seven games with a shoulder injury. On Friday he made all five of his shots, as well as 3-of-4 from the free throw line while getting seven rebounds and blocking one shot in 16 minutes.

Troy Brown Jr.: D

Brown hit a key 3-pointer during the Lakers’ run in the third quarter. Other than that, he made literally no contribution on the stat sheet.

Russell Westbrook: A

When Westbrook came into the game in the first quarter, he quickly committed two careless turnovers. But besides that, he played very well, and he helped spark L.A. when it overcame its 16-point deficit and gave itself a chance to win.

He finished with 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting, including 2-of-4 from downtown, plus five rebounds, seven assists and one steal.

Austin Reaves: A

Reaves returned after being out for two games due to an ankle injury, and he picked up where he left off, scoring a very efficient 20 points. As usual, he used his threat as a 3-point shooter (he went 3-of-6 from that distance) to set up driving lanes for himself.

Max Christie: Incomplete

Christie played a total of 10 minutes, and he missed his only shot attempt. Other than that, his only statistical contribution was one turnover.

Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire

Source: Yahoo Sports


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