Julius Randle holds the ball against the Dallas Mavericks on March 7, 2017.
(Glenn James/Getty Images)

Randle's Triple-Double Not Enough Against Dirk, Mavs

by Joey Ramirez
Digital Reporter

As a kid in Dallas who loved the Lakers, Julius Randle always despised Dirk Nowitzki.

And after his own triple-double was overshadowed by Nowitzki’s historic night, Randle has all the more reason for distaste as the Mavericks’ legend reached 30,000 career points in his team’s 122-111 victory over the Lakers.

Though Randle finished the night by packing the stat sheet with 13 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists, his performance was dwarfed by that of Nowitzki, who poured in 25 points in only 24 minutes, while making it a double-double with 11 rebounds.

“Honestly, I hated Dirk growing up,” Randle said. “As I got older and wiser, obviously I was really able to appreciate his greatness as I learned the game of basketball.”

The 38-year-old entered the game needing 20 points to become the sixth member of the 30,000-point club, and he got there in a hurry.

Nowitzki hit each of his first six shots and racked up 18 points in the first quarter alone. Then, early in the second, he splashed a baseline jumper over Larry Nance Jr. to join Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain as the only players with 30,000.

It was an all-too-familiar moment for Lakers coach and former player Luke Walton, who clearly remembered the night when Nowitzki reached 20,000 against the Lakers on a shot over teammate Lamar Odom.

“Obviously once he saw that first one go in, he was feeling it tonight,” Walton said. “That looked like young Dirk. Those balls weren’t even touching the rim. He’s got 30,000 points for a reason. He’s pretty good.”

Nowitzki sparked a red-hot night for his teammates, as the Mavericks (27-36) piled up 70 points by halftime to take an 18-point lead into the locker room.

The Lakers (19-45), hardly threatened as they trailed by as many as 31 points. And while they used a 37-19 fourth quarter to make the score more respectable, it was far from enough to prevent their eighth straight loss.

“I think teams feel like when they play us right now that we’re kind of a soft team,” Walton said. “That they can come in and get their offensive numbers against us. It’s got to be up to us to change that.”

Nowitzki wasn’t the only Maverick to fill the bucket, as the team put up a season-high 122 points while seven players scored in double figures.

And though Randle became the first Laker with three triple-doubles in one season since Kobe Bryant had five in 2004-05, it came in Los Angeles’ 14th consecutive loss to the Mavericks, who beat the Lakers by a franchise-record 49 points in their last trip to Dallas on Jan. 22.

“We haven’t really won any games that I would say we (faced) adversity,” D’Angelo Russell said. “We might come out on top and then a team hits us back and we go down 15. We never win those games. We’ve got to be better.”

Notes
Russell and Jordan Clarkson both scored 22 points. … Dallas shot 54.2 percent from the field and hit 17 3-pointers. … Nerlens Noel had 11 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks for the Mavericks. … Dallas swept the season series for the fourth straight year. … A sold-out audience of 20,484 filled American Airlines Center.

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