Lakers News: Ivica Zubac Reveled In Blocking Julius Randle’s Shot As Payback For ‘Bullying’ Since Rookie Season
Harry How-Getty Images

Playing without JaVale McGee for a third consecutive game, Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton turned to Ivica Zubac to help combat the New Orleans Pelicans’ twin towers in Anthony Davis and Julius Randle.

Tyson Chandler had started the previous two games McGee missed, which in no fault of only his, were back-to-back losses for the Lakers. Davis had another monster performance for the Pelicans, registering game-highs with 30 points and 20 rebounds, and Randle had 21 points and 8 rebounds.

But Zubac held his own, establishing an early rhythm with LeBron James and connecting on his first five field goal attempts. Zubac went on to finish with 16 points and 11 rebounds for his first double-double since Feb. 15.

Zubac punctuated the performance with a block on both Davis and Randle in the fourth quarter. The second of which was particularly satisfying. “It felt really good. He’s been bullying me in practice since I got in the league,” Zubac said.

Randle did have his moments where he overpowered Kyle Kuzma and Zubac, but the Lakers also did well to contest most of his makes.

As for the start, Zubac drew from the 11 made as a rookie, though also conceded Friday’s game brought about different pressure and feeling given the Lakers are now contending to make the playoffs. So he leaned on messages and advice McGee sent via text message.

“He was preparing me for this, and it really helped me,” Zubac said. “He told me to get our film guy to pull up all the videos on how players made Anthony Davis and Julius miss. That really helped.

“In the first half Julius got to the middle a few times but I think I did a better job in the second half of keeping him out of the paint.”

Reminder: Vivid Seats is the Official Ticket Reseller of LakersNation.com. New Customers use “LAKERSNATION” (all CAPS) in the Vivid Seats App on your phone and get 10% off the Lakers v. Warriors game on Christmas Day or any home game for the remainder of the season.

You May Also Like

What Will Lakers Do With Amnesty Provision Regarding Kobe Bryant?

For the last 72 hours people in Los Angeles have been asking…

Kobe Bryant on Kevin Durant Reaching 30K Points: ‘It Seems Possible’

After eclipsing 30,000 career points in the win over the New Orleans…

Lakers News: Larry Nance Jr. Discusses His Expected Role In New Offense

Since being take with the 27th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, Los Angeles Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. has largely been considered a steal thanks to his exciting big play ability, and overall polished game…

NBA Power Rankings Week 4: Knicks, Grizzlies Stay Hot; Lakers Coming On Strong

I’ve been asked to provide the weekly Power Rankings for Lakers Nation…