Julius Randle’s game has matured since leaving the Los Angeles Lakers three years ago in free agency.
The versatile big made the All-Star game for the first time this season. Randle used an array of mid-range jumpers, three-pointers from deep and feathery finishes inside to make quick work of his former team, as the Lakers fell to the New York Knicks 111-96 at Madison Square Garden on Monday.
Randle finished with 34 points and 10 rebounds. Elfrid Payton added 20 points and Derrick Rose chipped in 14 for New York.
The Lakers dropped to 33-21 on the year and 3-3 on the team’s current, seven-game road swing. Los Angeles finishes the trip on Tuesday in Charlotte against the Hornets.
The Knicks improved to 28-27 with the victory.
The Lakers trailed by as many as 15 points in the second half but managed to cut New York’s lead to five points with a little over five minutes left. However, Los Angeles would get no closer as the Knicks put their foot on the gas again offensively to close out the win.
Top player: Dennis Schröder continues to play well offensively, leading the Lakers with 21 points and six assists. Markieff Morris also had a solid performance, finishing with 17 points and four assists.
What I liked: The Lakers had an 11-4 advantage in fastbreak points.
What I didn’t like: Yep, the Lakers got bit by the turnover bug again on the road against the Knicks. L.A. turned it over a season-high 24 times. New York converted those miscues into 29 points on the other end of the floor. Montrezl Harrell finished with zero points on 0 for 4 shooting.
Injuries: Markieff Morris rolled his left ankle in the opening quarter, had it re-taped and returned to the game. Kyle Kuzma (calf), Wesley Matthews (neck) and Marc Gasol (hamstring) were questionable for Monday’s contest but all were available for the game. Kuzma started.
They said it: “Really poor passing, some bad decisions and some of it you have to credit the defense. But as good as we were offensively two nights ago, we were just as bad tonight, and it's disappointing. We had 25 turnovers and we got our shot blocked nine times.” -- Lakers head coach Frank Vogel on his team’s struggles on offense.