Julius Randle's Monster Overtime Performance
When Julius Randle is playing at his peak capabilities, he’s a problem for just about every team in the league.
Describes as a “genetic giant” by assistant coach Jesse Mermuys (who works closely with Randle), the fourth-year big man shifted into his highest gear in Saturday’s win over Dallas.
Back in his hometown with his mom sitting courtside, Randle racked up 23 points and 15 rebounds, guiding the Lakers to their fourth straight win. He was particularly dominant in overtime, providing key plays on both sides of the floor.
The Lakers hit five shots in OT, and Randle was prominently involved in four of them.
L.A. began the extra period by springing a red-hot Jordan Clarkson open for 3-pointer, and Randle was the one who made the play work by sticking Wesley Matthews on a solid screen.
The Lakers led by one a couple minutes later, and Clarkson found himself hounded by defensive pressure, leaving him to give Randle the ball with the shot clock nearing zero.
Randle went to work overpowering Harrison Barnes to get into the paint, and then exited his comfort zone for an unexpected baseline turnaround.
When the Mavericks answered Randle’s bucket, the Lakers went back to having the big man screen for Clarkson.
This time he was able to hit Matthews with an even more brutal screen, allowing Clarkson to take advantage of center Dwight Powell for the step-back jumper.
Randle was then called upon on the defensive end.
Barnes had forced overtime by scoring on Randle at the end of regulation, but it was time for Julius’ revenge.
The Mavs’ shot clock was winding down when Barnes — Dallas’ leading scorer — tried to drive on No. 30 to no avail. Randle used his quick feet to slide with Barnes and his strength to prevent his drive.
With little time left, Barnes settled on a fadeaway that missed the rim, sounding the 24-second buzzer.
A little while later, the Lakers’ lead had been cut to three with about 30 seconds left. Looking to make it a two-possession game, L.A. had Randle set a screen for Lonzo Ball, drawing a favorable switch.
Powell was left guarding Ball at the top of the arc, while Randle set up on the baseline covered by point guard Dennis Smith Jr.
Ball put a crossover on Powell but couldn’t get his layup to fall. Fortunately for the Lakers, Randle had already tossed aside the 6-foot-3 rookie who was trying to box him out.
Knowing the shot clock was close to expiring, Randle grabbed the board and immediately went up for the clutch put-back.
And then he helped seal the win on the defensive side. Dallas coach Rick Carlisle drew up a nice play to free Yogi Ferrell (a 40.6 percent 3-point shooter).
Barnes set a screen on Ball, forcing Randle to switch onto Ferrell. Then Powell faked a drive and pitched it to Ferrell, while Randle scrambled around him.
Randle saw the pitch coming and was able to leap out for a good contest, icing a fourth straight win for the purple and gold.
The big guy wasn’t perfect. He had seven turnovers, five fouls and a muffed attempt at a game-winner in regulation. But he was just what the Lakers needed in overtime.