The Los Angeles Lakers’ preseason skid extended into the finale with a 98-94 loss to the Phoenix Suns. It was a wild up-and-down game that had more Vegas Summer League to it than regular season, but the end of preseason finally came to its welcome conclusion.
D’Angelo Russell scored a game-high 17 points on 5-of-14 shooting, but supplemented his off shooting night with seven rebounds and six assists. His three-point shot was off the mark, making just one of his six attempts from deep.
Julius Randle had a solid night as well, filling up 15 points and eight boards. More impressive than the numbers was how hard he was running the floor in transition and how dangerous he looked doing it. Jared Dudley nearly met a timely end when he stepped in to take a charge that Randle managed to tip-toe around to find Lou Williams for a corner-three.
Preseason scoring leader Devin Booker was held to just 12 points, without Timofey Mozgov anchoring the paint for the Lakers. Ivica Zubac got the first starting nod of his career, playing 10 minutes. This final game was all about judging the players on the bubble, and Thomas Robinson played his heart out to plead his case. He finished with four points, five rebounds and a stifling block that turned into a fast break bucket for the Lakers after he also miraculously managed to save the possession. Yi Jianlian played 13 minutes, draining one of his two three-pointers.
One of the two is likely going to be a final roster cut, though Luke Walton was still unsure who will be released immediately following the game.
The regular season begins on Wednesday with the Lakers returning to Staples Center to host James Harden and the Houston Rockets. It’s been fun, preseason, but we’ve only just begun.