Lakers player grades: LA loses another heartbreaker

Three nights after losing in double-overtime to the Dallas Mavericks in a down to the wire affair, the Los Angeles Lakers found themselves in another nail-biter, this time against Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers.

This game went back and forth throughout, and LA gave itself a chance to win by fighting back every time Philly started to try to build a lead. But in the closing seconds, Russell Westbrook’s frantic game-winning attempt was blocked with the team down by just one.

The Lakers’ 113-112 loss drops their record to 19-24, and with a three-game losing streak, they’re slowly slipping away from playoff contention. They’re 1.5 games behind the final play-in tournament spot in the Western Conference and three games behind the sixth-place Los Angeles Clippers.

LeBron JamesA

One game after a 9-of-28 clunker versus Dallas, James’ game was on point on Sunday. He went 15-of-23 from the field, as his perimeter shot inside the 3-point line was consistently falling.

James finished with 35 points, eight rebounds and 10 assists. He did a better job of attacking the rim, especially in transition, against the Sixers than he did against the Mavs.

Troy Brown Jr.: B

Brown started at shooting guard tonight, and he didn’t do too badly, going 5-of-11 overall and 2-of-6 from 3-point range to finish with 13 points in 37 minutes.

He hit a huge trey with 37.1 seconds left in the fourth quarter to bring LA to within one point and gave it a real shot at winning.

Juan Toscano-Anderson: B-/B

Toscano-Anderson made all three of his shot attempts and grabbed four rebounds in 22 minutes. But he hasn’t be hitting from 3-point range, and that’s an area he needs to start contributing in, as it’s a department he has shown some ability in during prior seasons.

Thomas Bryant: B-

Bryant was 5-of-9 for 10 points in 20 minutes, but he managed to get just three rebounds. On the defensive end, he wasn’t able to slow down Embiid, who had 35 points and 11 rebounds.

Dennis Schroder: D/D+

Schroder was just 3-of-9 from the field, with all three made baskets coming in the fourth quarter. It just was n’t his night by him, and it was his third straight poor outing by him after a nice stretch of games earlier in the month.

Wenyen GabrielA

Gabriel took advantage of his energy and activity by going 7-of-11 to score 14 points in 26 minutes while adding two blocked shots. He is showing an adept ability to make himself available in the paint near the basket, and when teammates get him the ball there, he is often able to find a way to score, even in traffic.

The one downside for Gabriel tonight was the fact that he only had one rebound. Although the Lakers and Sixers were tied in total rebounds, LA could’ve used a few more boards, especially defensive boards.

Russell WestbrookA

Westbrook was brilliant tonight from the start, notching a triple-double with 20 points on 7-of-14 overall shooting and 2-of-5 from downtown, 14 rebounds, 11 assists, one steal and one blocked shot.

Prior to Westbrook failing to win the game at the end of the fourth quarter, the Lakers didn’t call a timeout to draw up a play. Head coach Darvin Ham defended that decision during the post-game interview, saying he wanted Westbrook to attack in transition without giving Philly an opportunity to prepare.

Kendrick Nunn: B-

In 20 minutes, Nunn didn’t assert himself much, but he did hit 2-of-3 from the field and finish with four points, three assists and two rebounds.

Max ChristieC

Christie made little or no impact in 15 minutes, going 1-of-4 and finishing with two points and two rebounds.

Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire

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