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Lakers forward Julius Randle works to get a handle on his shooting problems

Julius Randle stayed late after practice. He took shot after shot after shot.

The Lakers power forward put up 14-footers from the left side, 18-footers from the right.

More than anybody, he knows his touch is lacking.

Lakers consultant James Worthy was there, helping out. The team's shooting coach, Tracy Murray, watched and instructed as well.

"Right now I just need to work on my pace. I get in the game, and I get amped up, going fast, and sometimes I rush my shot," Randle said Tuesday after an extra 45 minutes of work. "I'm not sticking to my fundamentals, my technique I've been working on. It's slowing down my shot."

Randle worked briefly on another area of his game. Teams have figured out that he relies heavily on his left hand, so he worked on some up-and-under post moves Tuesday in which he finished with his right hand.

Randle is shooting only 40.5% in his first full NBA season, last among the 21 power forwards eligible for statistical consideration.

It would be one thing if he had as many three-point attempts as New Orleans big man Ryan Anderson, who is shooting 43.9% overall. But Anderson has taken 204 three-point shots, Randle 18.

Randle does well in the rebounding department, averaging 9.4 in only 26.4 minutes a game, but his shaky shot keeps him from scoring more than his 10.6-point average.

The extra work will eventually pay off, he hopes.

"It helps me a lot to feel confident," Randle said.

Trojans fan

Nick Young punched the air in excitement.

"For real?" he said Tuesday after being told his alma mater, USC, was ranked in the top 25 for the first time since November 2008.

"I'm happy to see the guys hop back up," he said, adding that he attended the Trojans' 103-101, four-overtime victory over Arizona earlier this month. "I stayed for the whole thing. Took pictures with them, ran into the crowd with them. And then they killed UCLA. That was the best moment for me."

Young left USC in 2007 as a junior after the Trojans made the Sweet 16. He is the program's sixth all-time leading scorer.

"I laid the groundwork for DeMar [DeRozan] and them to come in, and Taj Gibson," Young said jokingly, naming ex-USC players currently in the NBA. "After Nik [Vucevic] left, that's when I think it started to go down."

USC is 15-3 overall and tied with Washington atop the Pac-12 Conference standings.

Up Next

LAKERS VS. SACRAMENTO KINGS

When: 7:30.

Where: Staples Center.

On the air: TV: TWC SportsNet, TWC Deportes; Radio: 710, 1330.

Records: Lakers 9-34, Kings 17-23.

Record vs. Kings: 0-2.

Update: Sacramento is in pursuit of a playoff spot, half a game behind eighth-place Utah in the West despite its sub-.500 record. Rajon Rondo is having a strong bounce-back season, averaging 11.7 points and a league-high 11.6 assists. Center DeMarcus Cousins had 19 points, 13 rebounds and six assists in a 110-103 road victory over the Clippers last Saturday, and is fourth in the NBA in scoring (25.9) and fifth in rebounds (11.1).

Follow Mike Bresnahan on Twitter @Mike_Bresnahan

Times correspondent Eric Pincus contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
A version of this article appeared in print on January 20, 2016, in the Sports section of the Los Angeles Times with the headline "Randle to give this his best shot - LAKERS REPORT" — Today's paperToday's paper | Subscribe
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