Julius Randle shows he can handle whatever Luke Walton throws at him

Julius Randle shows he can handle whatever Luke Walton throws at him
Lakers forward Julius Randle elevates for a dunk against the Warriors during the first half Friday night. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

With 7:25 left in the second quarter Friday, Lakers backup forward Julius Randle took off from inside the free-throw line for an emphatic dunk.

In the six minutes he played in the second quarter at Golden State, Randle scored 10 points, making four of six shots. They were earlier minutes than he saw Wednesday at Houston, and he ended up playing much more than he did that day. In fact, Randle helped rally the Lakers from a 23-point deficit, and his three-pointer with 7:43 left in Friday’s game even gave them a late lead.


That kind of inconsistency is something Randle is learning to accept this season.

“Just try to focus on controlling what I can and my energy and my effort,” Randle said before Friday’s game when asked if he knows what Coach Luke Walton’s plan for him is. “Same thing I’ve been saying all year. I can’t really focus on what necessarily he’s gonna do or what the rotations are going to be.”

Randle has sometimes struggled to handle adversity, like when he lost the starting role he held all last season. So after Randle played only eight minutes in a win against the Rockets, Walton spoke to him to check on his mental state.

“I didn’t anticipate the rotation going the way it did,” Walton said. “He’s been one of our better players all year long, but you know I told him it’s his job to stay ready and be ready when he’s called on.”

Walton said Randle shook his hand and they both moved on. Then Randle went out and gave him 21 points and 10 rebounds in 24 minutes at Golden State.

“From game to game it’s different so I don’t know,” Randle said before Friday’s game. “I was just trying to wait and be prepared whenever my number is called.”

Dick Enberg remembered

Warriors Coach Steve Kerr began his pregame press conference by offering condolences to the family of Dick Enberg, the longtime broadcaster who died Thursday.

The two became friends when Enberg moved to San Diego.

“He really is a voice from my childhood and just absolutely [an] ego-less, talented, special human being,” Kerr said. “Really, really devastating news this morning to read about Dick’s passing. I send my love to his family and friends and offer my thanks for somebody who really made a big impact on my life, so thank you.”

Enberg began his broadcasting career at KTLA in 1965. He was a radio announcer for the Rams and later did UCLA broadcasts during the John Wooden era before a long career as a national broadcaster.

“He was great,” Walton said. “Him and my dad [former UCLA star Bill Walton] were very close. Used to stop by and say hello. He did some of our college games when I was at U of A [Arizona]. Lot of stories from my dad just saying what an unbelievable man he was.”