Lakers player grades from regular-season opener loss vs. Warriors



The Los Angeles Lakers took on the Golden State Warriors in the first game of the regular season but fell, 121-114.

LeBron James came out firing right out of the gate and made his first six shots, while Anthony Davis dominated from the mid-range and paint areas.

Los Angeles held the lead at the half, but Golden State began hitting shots in the third quarter that opened up their offense.

Then Golden State had an even stronger start to the fourth quarter to flip Los Angeles’ double-digit lead.

Avery Bradley entered for the first time and made two triples to bridge the gap, but it was the Warriors who clamped down on defense and punished L.A.’s defense with non-stop ball movement to close it out. Golden State outscored L.A. 38-29 in the final quarter.

Here are the player grades from Game 1:

Russell Westbrook: F

(AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

It was a debut to forget for Russell Westbrook. In 35 minutes, he put up eight points, five rebounds, three assists, four turnovers and four fouls while shooting 4-of-13 overall (0-of-4 3P) and not generating a single free throw.

Westbrook often got lost on defense with his rotations, and he played unusually passive for his style. After a solid outing in the preseason finale, this wasn’t what the Lakers hoped to see from the third star on the roster.

Kent Bazemore: C-plus

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Kent Bazemore had a really solid outing. His grade doesn’t tell the full story because his shooting could’ve been better, but he provided everything the Lakers need from a glue guy on defense.

Bazemore’s perimeter defense gave Stephen Curry, who shot 2-of-8 from deep, fits all game. Bazemore also went 2-of-8 from three himself, which is why his grade dipped.

LeBron James: A

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

James provided pure offense from the moment the game started. He looked comfortable with every release and got to his spots with ease, finishing with 34 points on the night. He went 13-of-23 from the field, 5-of-11 from deep but just 3-of-6 from the charity stripe.

The 19-year veteran added 11 rebounds, five assists, one steal, one block and four turnovers to his stat sheet. The Lakers didn’t run the smoothest offense, but James’ production alleviated those issues.

Anthony Davis: A-minus

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Davis proved again when he can be healthy, he’s extremely dominant. He manned the paint on both ends of the floor and cleaned up several mistakes by the perimeter defenders. On offense, he got his mid-range game going and converted tough shots around the rim.

Davis finished with 33 points, but his 1-of-5 clip from deep and 2-of-7 clip from the free-throw line won’t cut it. He added 11 rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal to his stat line.

DeAndre Jordan: C

It seems DeAndre Jordan’s main role is to start halves with Davis, and once he’s subbed out, that’s it.

Jordan played 13 minutes on the night with stints coming right at the start of the game and the second half. He had two points, two rebounds, one assist and one steal.

Carmelo Anthony: C-plus

(AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

The more catch-and-shoot opportunities Carmelo Anthony has, the better. He made tough isolation shots, but he also took too many. He ended the night shooting 3-of-9 overall but hit 2-of-4 from deep in 26 minutes for nine points. His shotmaking always ignited the crowd.

Rajon Rondo: C-minus

(AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

Rajon Rondo started off strong with his clear chemistry with Davis but made head-scratching plays later on. He forced some passes, attempted deep shots he typically doesn’t make and didn’t do much when penetrating the paint.

Rondo also struggled defensively to contain the perimeter, especially when paired with Westbrook. He ended the night with three points, five assists and two steals.

Malik Monk: C

Malik Monk returned after missing the final three preseason games, so this was more of him finding a rhythm again. He made 2-of-4 triples for six points and stole the ball twice, but he couldn’t defend the perimeter well against Golden State’s shifty guards.

Dwight Howard: C

Dwight Howard also played 13 minutes like Jordan, and he finished with five points and six rebounds. Howard made 3-of-4 free throws but had two turnovers and two fouls in his short playing time.

Avery Bradley: N/A

Avery Bradley, who the Lakers just claimed off waivers, made his debut against the team that released him. Bradley immediately made his imprint with two threes and forced Golden State’s guards into tough shots, but he didn’t play enough time in this context to earn a solidified grade.

It’s clear to see why the Lakers signed him, though.




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