Already dealing with a litany of injuries, the Los Angeles Lakers added another to the list as x-rays revealed Julius Randle suffered a mallet fracture on his right ring finger (tip). The injury occurred in the third quarter of Wednesday’s loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
While the Lakers will be without Lonzo Ball (knee sprain) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (strained Achilles tendon) for Friday’s matchup with the Indiana Pacers, Randle will play. “I’ll be fine. Luckily, it’s on my right hand, so it’s not a big deal,” he said at shootaround.
“Obviously, it’s something I can play with. So, I’m not worried about it.” Randle is coming off a night in which he led the team with 16 points, though scored all of those in the first half.
Additionally, he pulled down just one rebound in what was a collective subpar effort by the Lakers on the glass.
Following the loss, head coach Luke Walton specifically mentioned Randle as the player the Lakers want to provide resistance when opponents begin to assert themselves physically, as the Memphis Grizzlies and Thunder did.
“We can be better on the defensive side,” Randle said of what the team can do to snap their two-game losing streak. As for being mentioned as the player responsible to providing physicality for the Lakers, Randle said it’s a discussion he’s had with Walton “multiple times.”
“I’m just controlling what I can,” Randle added. “My energy and effort, and hopefully guys follow.”
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