Randle Drops Career-High As Lakers Fall to Rockets

Watching from the sidelines in the fourth quarter, head coach Luke Walton could do little more than express his frustration while his team didn’t get back on defense on a transition play.

With the score quickly ballooning to a 139-100 Houston victory, Walton felt repulsed by his Lakers’ effort.

“I don’t know if we think we’re too good to have to work like that (or) if we’re not willing to constantly commit,” Walton said, “I don’t know what it is. But I’m not OK with it, because I have a fire burning in me that gets pissed off when you’re down 30-something.

“And to watch (Houston) just grab a rebound, throw it up and get a fast-break dunk while they all laugh and celebrate — I’m not OK with that.”

The Rockets (47-21) constantly showed why their offense is ranked second in the NBA, as they shot 54.9 percent from the field while handing out 37 assists at the Lakers’ expense.

While L.A. (20-48) shot just 3-of-25 on 3-pointers, Houston had no such issues, hitting 18-of-43 from deep.

The disparity resulted in the Rockets leading by as many as 39 points.

“That’s embarrassing,” Walton said. “We need to figure out as a group — not individually, but as a group — how to handle adversity and how to react when things get tough. Because we’ve been doing a lot of blaming other people and we’ve got to look at ourselves.”

The lack of defense and outside shooting wasted a monster effort from Julius Randle, who racked up 32 points — seven more than his previous career-high — and eight rebounds in just 29 minutes.

Randle got what he wanted, shooting 13-of-17 from the field, but Walton also noted that he gave up plenty on the other side of the ball.

“Loved his game offensively,” Walton said. “Defensively, I told him he needs to be better than that. He needs to. He’s too good of an athlete and he’s too good of a basketball player to make some of the mistakes he makes. … But offensively that’s as good as he’s been.”

Randle — who scored the most points by a Lakers forward in five years — shared his coach’s feelings about the game. In particular, he called the fourth quarter “garbage,” as Houston outscored Los Angeles, 46-25.

“It looked like we just gave up,” Randle said.

Meanwhile, the Rockets feasted.

In particular, MVP candidate James Harden assembled his 17th triple-double of the year with 18 points, 12 rebounds and 13 assist. Plus, Lou Williams — who was traded from the Lakers to Houston last month — hit his first seven shots of the night on his way to 30 points, seven 3-pointers and seven assists.

“That’s what (Williams) does,” Randle said. “He scores the ball. I’m happy for him. Sucks that he did it against us.”

Brandon Ingram scored 18 points on 8-of-14 shooting, while Jordan Clarkson matched that scoring output. … The Lakers piled up 70 points in the paint. … Seven Rockets scored in double figures, including Trevor Ariza (20 points, four steals) and Clint Capela (15 points, 10 rebounds). … It was a rough outing for D’Angelo Russell (2-of-10, seven turnovers, fouled out) and Nick Young (0-for-9). … A sold-out crowd of 18,055 packed Toyota Center.