Lakers player grades: L.A. overcomes big deficit to topple Pacers
After scratching out a close win over the New York Knicks on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Lakers headed to Indianapolis to take on the Indiana Pacers in an attempt to build some momentum.
But for much of the contest, it looked like the Lakers were headed to yet another defeat, as they fell behind by double digits in the first quarter, and they still trailed by 14 early in the fourth quarter.
However, L.A. fought back furiously in the fourth quarter and came up with several clutch plays in order to win, 112-111.
While Indiana killed the Lakers with the 3-point shot, they were able to come back by pounding the offensive boards and getting to the free throw line. They shot 31 foul shots, making 22 of them, while the Pacers went just 5-of-6 from the charity stripe.
Los Angeles also clamped down on Tyrese Haliburton and company, holding them to just 15 points in the final frame after surrendering 96 points through the first three quarters.
It was almost the exact opposite of the first meeting between these two teams when the Lakers blew a 17-point fourth-quarter lead and lost on a buzzer-beater by rookie Andrew Nembhard.
Los Angeles is now 2-2 on this current five-game road trip, and it can finish it with a winning record on Saturday versus the New Orleans Pelicans.
Anthony Davis: A
Davis is apparently back to the dominant form he displayed for about a month before his right foot stress injury.
He scored 31 points on 13-of-27 shooting, grabbed 14 rebounds and added two blocked shots, two assists and one steal, as he played a major role in the victory.
The superstar big man had perhaps the two biggest plays of the game. With 35.3 seconds left and the Lakers down by one, he got the ball down low and converted a difficult fadeaway jumper. Then seconds later he blocked Tyrese Haliburton’s layup attempt to help seal the win.
Rui Hachimura: C/C+
Hachimura’s shot didn’t fall tonight, as he was just 3-of-9 from the field and 1-of-3 from the free throw line. But he grabbed nine rebounds, seven of them coming in the fourth quarter, to help propel L.A.’s comeback.
LeBron James: A
Perhaps James isn’t 100 percent due to some persistent soreness in his left foot, but he shot 11-of-19 overall and 2-of-5 from 3-point range, giving him 26 points plus seven rebounds and seven assists for the game.
He is now just 63 points from passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer.
Patrick Beverley: B
Beverley contributed on both ends of the floor by scoring seven points on 3-of-4 shooting and adding four assists, three steals, two blocks and two rebounds in 29 minutes.
He came up with a key steal late in the fourth quarter that was initially ruled a foul, but head coach Darvin Ham challenged it, resulting in the foul being overturned and giving the Lakers the ball back.
Troy Brown Jr.: C-/C
Brown was almost a non-factor tonight. He had two points, going just 1-of-3 from the field, three rebounds, two steals and one assist in 18 minutes.
Thomas Bryant: A
Bryant played just 12 minutes, but he made an undeniable contribution during that type. He was perfect from the field, hitting all four of his shots including a 3-pointer, and he finished with 11 points, six boards and one blocked shot.
Russell Westbrook: D-/C+
Westbrook was terrible offensively, as he went just 2-of-16 overall and missed all five of his attempts from deep. But his 10 assists helped the lakers’ cause, as four of them came during their fourth-quarter march.
Lonnie Walker IV: B
Walker attempted just two shots in 18 minutes, making one of them, but he got to shoot five free throws, and he made four of them to give him six points on the night.