The Los Angeles Lakers played terribly for nearly three quarters in Tuesday’s game against the Chicago Bulls. Luckily, they were able to mount a huge comeback and head coach Luke Walton believed two people were responsible for turning the tide: Julius Randle and Josh Hart.
Randle scored all 10 of his points in the second half and also added 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season. Hart finished with only five points and three rebounds, but his energy and defense was crucial to the Lakers erasing a 19-point deficit.
“We had to find people to spark us. Once we got sparked, our guys did a great job,” Walton said. “Julius was a big part of that, Josh Hart was a big part of that. As far as changing our aggression and energy level. In the second half we played at a much better level of pace and control of the game.”
“I think it took Julius and Josh getting put in the game, two of our tougher players, to really spark the energy and effort level. Once we got it, we didn’t turn it off.”
The spark was definitely needed, as Walton’s team looked like they were on their way to their most embarrassing loss of the season. The Bulls came into the game with a record of just 3-11, and the Lakers’ body language suggested they believed Chicago would just roll over for them.
Randle has been a spark for the Lakers for much of this season as he has thrived in his reserve role. For Hart, this was a much-needed positive game as he has really struggled offensively and just recently returned from an assignment with the South Bay Lakers of the G League.
Every team needs some players who bring toughness and aggression and Randle and Hart definitely provide that for the Lakers. Perhaps more importantly, on a night it was for them to come out with a victory.
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