The opening weekend for the Los Angeles Lakers would leave the team at 0-3.
The Lakers entered the season with a home game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday, then played against the Sacramento Kings and Dallas Mavericks over the weekend.
Second overall draft pick D’Angelo Russell started in all three games.
Forward Julius Randle showed his strength during the season opening game and the Sunday game against the Dallas Mavericks. He carried the team with 22 points and 15 rebounds on Sunday. Opposing teams so far has held no punches in Randle’s return. The power forward did not back down to 20-year veteran Kevin Garnett’s aggression during opening night. After his performance on Sunday, 17-year veteran Dirk Nowitzki complimented Randle’s playing style.
“He’s going to be tough in this league. He puts the ball on the floor like no one in this league,” said Nowitzki, according to Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters.
The Lakers went scoreless in the first four minutes of the game, allowing the Mavericks a 15-point run.
NBA superstar Kobe Bryant was excused from team Monday practices after publicly showing disappointment of his game play. Randle also was not impressed with his own performance during the Mavericks game, according to insidesocal.com.
Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings led to another loss for the Lakers, 132 to 114. Guard Jordan Clarkson kept the offense pumping with 22 points; he was one of the six players that scored in the double-digits. Forward Nick Young had a big night with 17 points.
DeMarcus Cousins and Rajon Rondo defended their home court from the purple and gold, tying for lead scorer at 21 points.
Wednesday night brought excitement to attendees regardless of the 111-112 loss for the Lakers. The crowd at the Staples Center rejoiced with a deafening roar as Bryant was announced as a starter for the opening game.
Bryant was the leading scorer with 24 points, his offense peaking at the second quarter. Center Roy Hibbert showed teamwork with 4 assists and Randle scored 11 rebounds. Guard Lou Williams earned 21 points, scoring 9 points in the first quarter.
Williams came off the bench and demolished the early lead created by Ricky Rubio. Young pegged nine-point lead at the end of the first quarter with a buzzer beating 3-pointer.
One of Bryant’s jump shots would give the Lakers their highest lead in the game at 16 points during the second quarter.
However, the Timberwolves continued to make a comeback with Shabazz Muhammad and Kevin Martin scoring free throws.
The fourth quarter started with more foul trouble for the Lakers. Rubio pushed the Timberwolves ahead and the Lakers trailed in points for the rest of the game.
The Lakers next home game will be against the Detroit Pistons on November 15.