Julius Randle out with pneumonia as Lakers hit a break in their schedule
Lakers forward Julius Randle will miss at least two to three days because of pneumonia.
Randle was examined by a doctor on Saturday and diagnosed with the illness. The team said he is restricted from all activities and will be re-examined Monday.
The Lakers have a rare break in the schedule, giving Randle some extra recovery time. After Thursday’s game at Utah, which Randall sat out due to the illness, their next game will be Tuesday against the Denver Nuggets.
This season, Randle has started in all but six games. He missed three due to minor injuries, two for the birth of his son and was active but didn’t play Thursday.
Randle was ill during Wednesday’s game in Portland, but started anyway. He scored eight points with five rebounds, an assist and two turnovers in 20 minutes.
The Lakers started backup center Tarik Black in place of Randle on Thursday in order to combat Utah’s size. In the past they have used rookie Brandon Ingram to start in place of Randle, employing a smaller lineup with Ingram at small forward and moving Luol Deng to power forward.
The Lakers (16-34) are 1-5 in games in which Randle has not played. The team is also without starting point guard D’Angelo Russell, who has missed the last three games with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee and a strained right calf muscle.
The Lakers have played 50 games this season, more than any other team except the Houston Rockets, who played their 50th game Friday and will play their 51st on Sunday.
The schedule will lighten soon for the Lakers. With four days between games during the current break, the team got two consecutive days off, to be followed by two days of practice.
“We’re a young team so the more practice time we get, normally we’re pretty sharp after that,” Coach Luke Walton said. “We’ll definitely take advantage as far as that’s concerned and then just getting some of the older guys some rest.”
Walton often says winning is a skill that players need to learn.
His former Lakers teammate Derek Fisher agrees.
“I don’t think anyone is just a winner because they woke up today,” Fisher said Saturday. “… If you’re willing to work at something you can develop the skill to be good at it. I think winning does have that type of attributes. I know from my experience, once you learn how to do it the first time, that’s all that you ever want to experience after that. One championship doesn’t fulfill you the way that more championships will. That’s a message that you try to pass on to players.”
Fisher was a point guard on five Lakers championship teams, in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2009 and 2010. After his playing career ended, he was coach of the New York Knicks from 2014-16. Now a studio analyst with Spectrum SportsNet, Fisher spoke after a basketball camp sponsored by the network that served underprivileged children from two elementary schools.
The NBA on Friday corrected a scoring error. A basket that was counted as a three-pointer for the Indiana Pacers against the Lakers on Jan. 20 at Staples Center was determined to be a two-pointer. The new final score has the Lakers winning, 108-95. … TNT’s national television schedule had included the Lakers’ road game against the Knicks on Feb. 6. The network cancelled its broadcast of that game, replacing it with the Cleveland Cavaliers’ game against the Wizards at Washington.
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