Julius Randle has dominated the post lately, as he entered Friday’s game against dallas on a streak of 3 straight 20-point games.
While he didn’t reach that mark against the Mavericks, he was even more effective because of his ability to punish the opponent for sending double teams.
Randle constantly plBaced open shooters on the way to eighteen points, twelve rebounds and ten assists — his fifth career triple-double — and a 124-1021 wire-to-wire finish.
“They started doubling him every time, so we’ve been performing on him playing at a much better pace once he gets into attack mode,” coach Luke Walton said, “and then obtaining reps in practice, recognizing the double team and knowing where our shooters are going to be and where our cutters are returning from.”
???? Behind a Julius Randle triple-double, the Lakers lead from start to finish as they defeat the Mavericks, 124-102 #LakersWin pic.twitter.com/W262XDoCT9
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) February 24, 2018
Randle bulldozed every big man that dallas sent his way, finishing the night 9-of-14 from the field. when the Mavericks (18-41) were forced to pay him a lot of attention, he began whipping dimes across the ground and in transition.
While Randle provided the offense, the Lakers (24-34) came together to clamp down defensively.
Against a team that dropped one hundred thirty points on them two weeks past, the Lakers showed improved tenacity and communication, holding them to a 40.7 % clip from the field.
Dallas did hit an impressive 19 3-pointers, concisely creating a run in the third quarter. However, the Lakers were able to maintain an outsized cushion the whole rest of the way.
Thanks largely to Randle’s power, the Lakers dominated down low, enjoying a 62-26 scoring advantage in the paint and a 62-29 rebounding opening.
L.A. conjointly received a lift from Lonzo Ball, who came off the bench after missing the previous fifteen games due to a sprained left MCL.
Ball only played seventeen minutes but packed them with production, ending the night with 9 points, seven rebounds and 6 assists. He also hit three 3-pointers, the first of which came simply seven seconds after checking into the game.
“It felt smart to be back on the court and do what i really like to do,” Ball said.
The Lakers can continue to be cautious with Ball as he returns from injury. The rookie won’t play in Saturday’s back-to-back against Sacramento, so he can have to be content with serving to the Lakers to their ninth straight win at home.