Lakers 95, Nets 90 Game Grades: So close, and yet…


Deron Williams POINT GUARD

Had what I’d call his best game of the season — abused Darius Morris in the way I expected him to abuse Aaron Brooks, hit shots inside and out, pushed the tempo at the right moments, distributed, and clowned. Deron Williams is a phenomenal basketball player, but it hasn’t always been fun watching him since the trade brought him here. Tonight, he was fun. Gets notched one tick down for that last play — with five seconds on the clock, catching and firing from 28 feet off-balance is way too heroball for me. But for 47 minutes and 56 seconds? Well worth it.


Yet another odd game featuring Johnson as the fifth-most involved Nets starter. Most of his makes came off feeds where he was left wide open. Cut the lead to one late on a fast break floater, which was great, but still waiting on him.

Gerald Wallace SMALL FORWARD

Game ball. Wallace didn’t hit shots, didn’t get a significant amount of rebounds or assists, and a cursory look at the box score would leave your eyes wandering elsewhere. But Gerald Wallace was everywhere, in a way few Nets players have been in the last few years, in any game. Hid defense was exemplary, his energy impossible to overstate. The Nets wouldn’t have been close in this game without his presence.

Kris Humphries POWER FORWARD

Had a relatively standard Humphries game — grabbed boards, played decent man defense, had moments where he outmuscled Dwight Howard on the glass, a couple of dunks and missed jumpers, and some Kardashian jokes from Los Angeles rafters. One troubling fact: 2-10 shooting and no made shots outside of the restricted area. In a game like this, every little bit makes a difference.

Brook Lopez CENTER

Delivered an inspired performance. Sprinkled open jumpers in the first half and attacked all game. Dunked early and often, drove late and effective. He even played defense a little better than you’d expect, and was not the beneficiary of friendly whistles. Against Dwight Howard — a player he historically struggles against — Lopez had a very good all-around game. Now, if only he’d stop bringing rebounds down to his waist…


A rebounding, flailing, flopping machine. He’ll get fined for that “shove-off” when Metta World Peace barely touched him, but I get the feeling he’d gleefully trade $5,000 for a victory against the Lakers, even though it ended in a loss. Quintessential Reggie Evans.


Hit his shots and distributed well. What we’ve come to expect: a quietly efficient game. Didn’t blow away with speed or electricity tonight, but played solid backup point guarditry off the bench.