That Lakers draft pick looked pretty strong out there, fluid and gifted, often with a serious look on his face, especially when he went up for that game-winning tip-in with no time left.
Clarkson, a combo guard, timed his jump perfectly to tap in Randle’s miss from 10 feet as the Lakers improved to 1-2.
"I think Clarkson has great explosiveness going to the basket, he has a tremendous pull-up jumper, but the thing about Jordan Clarkson is that he’s always in the right place at the right time," said Mark Madsen, the Lakers’ summer-league co-coach. "It was a soft-touch tip-in and that got us the win."
It was the third solid game in a row for Clarkson, who had 16 points against New Orleans and 21 against Toronto.
Most people predicted he would be a late first-round selection on draft night, but he fell into non-guaranteed contract territory by not being one of the top 30 picks.
He thinks about it. Often.
"I use that as motivation anytime I step out on the court," Clarkson said. "I always had that chip on my shoulder. It’s just a bigger one now that I got drafted low."
Before the tip-in, the only time Clarkson appeared to smile on the court was when he waved Kendall Marshall away to shoot a second-quarter free throw after Golden State was called for a defensive three seconds.
A soon-to-be-rookie taking a free throw instead of a guy with two NBA seasons of experience? Yeah, it happened.
Clarkson made seven of 16 shots and added seven rebounds in 33 minutes. He was a junior last season at Missouri and said he could remember only one other game-winner, sometime in high school in San Antonio.
Randle had 14 points, four rebounds and three assists in 27 minutes. The power forward also had five turnovers, including some mishandles when he tried to dribble the ball downcourt.