Looks like the Lakers aren’t winning 11 straight to get back to .500.
The Lakers and Jazz battled back and forth all night but with the game tied at 99, the Lakers botched a defensive possession to give the Jazz a wide open three. They would go on to lose 102-100.
The Lakers would get the ball with 14 seconds left on the clock, but D’Angelo Russell did not have ice in his veins this time, launching an airball from deep.
Randle did things
The odds of Julius Randle having a strong game seemed against him. Rudy Gobert was holding down the fort near the rim and Derrick Favors was guarding him the whole game. Despite having those two large human beings in front of him, he still managed to have a great night.
He had a career high-tying 25 points on only 12 shot attempts and even managed to hit a three. He was extremely efficient and had no problems scoring in the paint. His energy was noticeably high and he was a huge reason for how the Lakers stayed in the game. He ended the night with a double double and a line of 25 points, 12 rebounds, and three assists.
D’Angelo played Defense!
Despite being an extremely long guard, D’Angelo Russell isn’t known for being a good defender. He hasn’t put much effort into defending in his NBA career but tonight was different. Russell played great on ball defense and was also showing great awareness off ball. If he can play defense like that then his superstar potential goes up a lot.
Things will be fine
The Lakers have had an up and down season so far. They’ve had some really good moments and some really bad moments. Tonight’s game was both. They battled against the Jazz the entire night without key players and put up an admirable effort against a much more talented team, playing great defense throughout.
Effort helps when playing a talented team but their youth and inexperience ultimately hurt them. The players and the head coach botched a couple of key plays at the end of the game. Luke Walton admitted he messed up the final play call that led to D’Angelo Russell air balling a three.
The players and coaching staff showed off their inexperience and that’s expected. They’re such a young team that are learning new things every day. They’re in a rebuilding phase and losses like this are expected. Things can only get better.