Julius Randle, with 22 points and 15 rebounds, was the only bright spot for the Los Angeles Lakers Sunday night during a 103-93 home loss to Dallas Mavericks. Randle stood head and shoulders above his hapless Lakers teammates as the Mavericks cruised to an easy win at Staples Center.
While Lakers suffered their third consecutive loss to begin the new season, Mavs improved to 2-1.
It was interesting to see contrasting performances from two future hall-of-famers, Dirk Nowitzki and Kobe Bryant. While Nowitzki went 10/13 from the field and 3/5 from deep to finish with 25 points and 9 rebounds, Bryant shot a mediocre 3/15 and 2/8 respectively en route 15 points from 31 minutes. Rookie D’Angelo Russell continued to struggle, finishing with 10 points and the lone assist from 27 minutes. Jordan Clarkson had an off-night, finishing with 7 points and 3 assists from 30 minutes. Did the Lakers make a huge blunder by drafting Russell ahead of Jahlil Okafor?
Wesley Matthews drained two early three-pointers and Nowitzki backed it up with another two as the Mavericks ran away with a 15-0 lead inside the first five minutes. “It was fun,” Nowitzki said of the hot start, after the win. “I thought that we really were decent defensively, trying to keep them out of the lane. They’ve got a lot of guys that like to penetrate. We tried to rebound, and then we’d go,” added Nowitzki.
In a great piece of news for the Mavericks, forward Chandler Parsons made a comeback, exactly six months after undergoing hybrid microfracture surgery on his right knee. Parsons played only 12 minutes but it was an encouraging sign. “It felt good. To be out there, it’s been a long time coming and a lot of countless hours of rehab,” Parsons after the game. “Obviously, I got my feet wet a little bit today. I played 11 minutes, but I missed some bunnies, and that’s going to come. You’re going to be a little rusty and you’re going to be tired.”
“You can do all the conditioning that you can in the pool and on the treadmill and everything, but you can’t ever simulate a game. It’s going to take some time, but the good thing is my knee felt fine. Obviously, I could have kept playing, but it’s going to be like this for bit, said Parsons, who averaged 15.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists in his first Dallas campaign last season.