After making three separate trades in less than 48 hours leading up to the NBA trade deadline, the Los Angeles Lakers were shorthanded against the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday.
Russell Westbrook, Patrick Beverley, Thomas Bryant, Damian Jones and Juan Toscano-Anderson were all outbound, and the team is waiting on D’Angelo Russell, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Mo Bamba and Devon Reed to get fully onboarded.
In addition, LeBron James did not suit up due to left foot soreness, leaving Los Angeles with a lack of available players.
It came out strong, getting out to an 11-point lead in the second quarter. But once Anthony Davis went to the bench in the third quarter with his fourth foul, the game turned in Milwaukee’s favor. It outscored the Lakers 38-23 in the period, and they never caught up, as they lost 115-106.
This was their third loss in a row, and it dropped them to a 25-31 record, which puts them 2.5 games behind the 10th-place Portland Trail Blazers, who they will face on Monday in Oregon.
Anthony Davis: B-/B
Davis started off hot, making four of his first five shots, but he cooled off in the second quarter. He spent much of the second half in foul trouble, and the defensive exploits of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez helped force him to shoot just 9-of-22 overall while causing him to commit five turnovers.
Davis did very well to grab 16 rebounds. But he didn’t block a single shot, and his general performance seemed somewhat underwhelming, especially considering James was out and the Lakers needed an all-hands-on-deck effort offensively.
Rui Hachimura: C
This was the type of game where Hachimura had the opportunity to go off and get a lot of shots up. Instead, he only attempted nine field goals, and even worse, he made just three of them, giving him eight points in 32 minutes.
Once again, the Lakers failed to utilize him offensively in the mid-range area, which is his sweet spot in the halfcourt game. It seems like he has often been relegated to being a spot-up shooter in their set offense.
Troy Brown Jr.: B+/A-
Brown helped the Lakers compete by sticking jumpers. He shot 4-of-9 overall and 3-of-4 from 3-point range, and he finished with 11 points and eight rebounds in 39 minutes.
Dennis Schroder: A
Schroder certainly did his part to pick up the slack with James out. He shot 10-of-17 from the field and scored 25 points while dishing off 12 assists and committing no turnovers in 34 minutes.
He will probably become LA’s second-string point guard once Russell makes his debut, and it could make life a little easier for him, as he will be going up against backup guards more often, rather than premier defenders such as the Bucks’ Jrue Holiday .
Wenyen Gabriel: B-
Gabriel scored six points on 3-of-5 shooting and got four rebounds in 29 minutes. However, down the stretch, he found himself matched up against Atentokounmpo defensively, and he couldn’t contain him. The two-time MVP ended up with 38 points, 11 of them coming in the fourth quarter.
Austin Reaves: A
Reaves was excellent in his second game back from an injured hamstring. He shot 7-of-11 overall and 3-of-4 from beyond the arc, giving him 18 points plus four rebounds, two assists and one steal in 25 minutes.
At one point, he put a brilliant crossover move on Antetokounmpo, a former Defensive Player of the Year, and scored on a layup.
Lonnie Walker IV: B-
Walker helped the Lakers’ cause with 15 points in 31 minutes, but it wasn’t a very efficient night for him, as he shot just 6-of-14 from the field and missed his lone 3-point attempt. The guard added three rebounds and three assists, as well as a blocked shot.
Max Christie, Cole Swider: Incomplete
Although Christie was in the starting lineup, he played just 12 minutes and went scoreless, as he missed both of his shot attempts.
In three minutes, Swider forced a jump ball against Antetokounmpo soon after coming in to start the fourth quarter. But other than that, he made no contributions to the stat sheet.
Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire