Before a two-game trip to Las Vegas, the Lakers dropped a preseason game to the Portland Trail Blazers. Here are five takeaways from their 109-106 overtime loss.
1. D’Angelo Russell made only 28.6% of his shots and missed all nine of his three-point attempts. Russell had two good looks as regulation expired that could have won the game. Lakers Coach Luke Walton wants him to keep shooting if he’s open. “It’s just motivation,” Russell said. “Encouragement. I appreciate that. My teammates said the same. Keep shooting.” Walton’s philosophy is that eventually they’ll fall as long as Russell is taking good shots.
2. Everyone hates preseason overtime, except, apparently, Luke Walton. He also realizes he’s on that island alone. When Jordan Clarkson attempted a three-pointer that would have sent last night’s game into double-overtime, Walton hoped he made it. Preseason double overtime is something he’s never wished for before. “As an assistant coach, no,” he said. “As a player, absolutely not. Now as a head coach, yeah. It’s just more opportunities.”
3. The Lakers want to be cautious with Luol Deng’s minutes as he returns from a knee injury he suffered from banging knees with Anthony Brown in practice last week. Deng played 13 minutes and had seven points and three rebounds.
4. Power forward Julius Randle had one of his stronger defensive performances and notched a preseason double-double. Randle’s 13 rebounds led the game. He also scored 13 points and had three assists.
5. Jordan Clarkson’s impact off the bench was solid, once again. The guard scored 15 points and has been a double-digit scorer in all the Lakers’ preseason games.