The Brooklyn Nets visited the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday at Crypto.com Arena for the first of two meetings this season. The Nets lost 116-103 and were unable to complete their comeback bid as the team faltered during the fourth quarter.
Nets forward Kevin Durant had a stellar game with 31 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists, but was unable to get somebody to come along for the ride against the Lakers. Nets guard Cam Thomas had 15 points off the bench and guard Edmond Sumner netted 13 points.
Lakers forward Anthony Davis had a monster game with 37 points (season-high) and grabbed 18 rebounds (10 offensive which tied his career-high in the regular season). Davis was big for the Lakers in the third quarter as he scored 15 of his 37 points during the period. Lakers guard Lonnie Walker IV scored 25 points.
This game came down to the second half as Brooklyn was able to rally from 16 points down with a little under four minutes left in the third quarter to a four-point game with a little over 8 minutes left in the fourth quarter before the Lakers ran away with the game.
Brooklyn center Nic Claxton left the game in the third quarter with a left eye injury and did not return to the game. Guard Seth Curry (ankle injury management) did not play and guard/forward Ben Simmons (left knee soreness) did not play either.
The Nets next play at the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday. Here are the player grades for Sunday’s game:
Kevin Durant had a good game shooting the ball and creating for his teammates, but he appeared to falter down the stretch. Durant did what he could to score the ball for the Nets, but he was unable to beat the double-teams once the Lakers committed to doubling him. Durant was spread thin because after Claxton left the game, Durant was the only rim protection that Brooklyn had.
Royce O’Neale was able to provide pressure on the perimeter, but he was unable to hit his shots from the outside. He played the second-most minutes on the team and it appeared that fatigue was setting in for him as well as Durant.
Claxton played well during his time on the floor and was able to provide the length and athleticism to bother Anthony Davis near the rim. However, Claxton left the game in the third quarter for a left-eye contusion and did not return. Claxton made all of his shots and protected the rim like he is expected to.
Harris provided the shooting necessary to help take the pressure off of Durant, but seemed to struggle to keep up with the Lakers’ guards like Russell Westbrook and Lonnie Walker IV. Harris helped out on the boards for the Nets and had some flashes.
Sumner has been playing well ever since he was elevated to the starting lineup to fill in for Kyrie Irving, but Sumner had some struggles in this game. Sumner struggled from behind the three-point line and had some costly turnovers that seemed to stall the Nets’ push late in the game. He also struggled keeping up with some of the Lakers’ guard like Walker IV.
Thomas came off the bench for 22 minutes and had a great game. Thomas is looked to as a microwave as a reserve and he did his part against the Lakers. Thomas helped facilitate the offense when Durant was on the bench and the Nets needed him during that comeback bid at the end of the third quarter.
Watanabe came back from his injury and provided the energy that he is known for throughout his career. Watanabe was everywhere on the floor against the Lakers and had some nice finishes at the rim to keep the Nets in the game.
Morris played 20 minutes against the Lakers and was actually a welcome presence for the Nets since he helped provide some size after Claxton left the game. Morris did not do much scoring-wise, but he was able to chip in with some of the dirty work helping to defend David and helping on the glass as well.
Mills struggled mightily against the Lakers and it looked like he had trouble tracking some of the guards on the Lakers. Mills is known as a shooter and unfortunately, he did not provide that. He missed all four of his 3s and was unable to make much of an impact.