The 2014 No. 7 overall draft pick who broke his leg in his NBA debut a year ago pushed the ball up the floor and handled it like a speedy guard, despite his 6-foot-9, 250-pound frame.
The former Kentucky standout pounded his way to the rim using brute strength and his quick feet.
And he threw down several dunks, one of which came on the fast break and made Jim Buss, the Lakers' part-owner and executive vice president of basketball operations, leap from his courtside seat, throw his balled fists into the air and cheer.
Randle finished with 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting, five rebounds, four assists and three steals in 26 minutes in the Lakers' 117-114 preseason overtime loss to the Utah Jazz at the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Stan Sheriff Center.
Afterward, praise poured in from Randle's teammates, especially Kobe Bryant.
"He was excellent," Bryant said. "He played extremely hard. He played extremely well. He put the ball on the floor, he made plays, attacked the rim, offensive glass, moved his feet defensively. He was very sharp."
Randle looked especially sharp after grabbing the ball on the defensive end and then pushing it up the court on several occasions.
"It's not normal to see a guy that size move his feet so well and have such quick hands and be able to push the ball on the break ..." Bryant said. "It's pretty phenomenal."
Any comparisons come to mind?
"He's Lamar Odom in a Zach Randolph body," Bryant said.
Lakers center Roy Hibbert took it one step further.
"Julius is an animal," Hibbert said. "He's the future of this team. He's the future face of the NBA. That boy can play. The things that he does at his size, dribbling the ball up the court, dunking. The sky is the limit. I've never seen anybody like him."
"I don't know if it's a rebirth or what, but he looked really good and just very fluid in his movements," Scott said of Bryant after the Lakers' 117-114 overtime loss to the Utah Jazz on Tuesday at the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Stan Sheriff Center.
Bryant swooshed his first two shots, a midrange jumper and then a 3-pointer from the right wing, and he finished with 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting in nearly 21 minutes.
"I feel fine," Bryant said. "The timing is not perfect yet, but it'll get there pretty quickly."
Bryant scored five points on 1-of-5 shooting in 12 minutes during the Lakers' preseason loss to Utah on Sunday, his first game in nine months since suffering a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder that ended his 2014-15 season after 35 games.
Bryant said that he's past the recovery phase of his injury.
"It's just getting the timing down to feel like myself," he said.
Scott believes that Bryant looked close to his old self Tuesday.
"I thought he looked great," Scott said. "He was very lively, getting up and down the floor defensively. I thought he was fantastic."
Bryant was much more efficient in the second game, finishing with three assists to go along with two rebounds. He added a steal and shot 2-of-5 from 3-point range.
"I talked to him earlier [Tuesday] morning, [and] he said he felt great," Scott said. "Then during the game, I just told him, 'You look great.' You look like you're lively, light on his feet, running well, moving extremely well."
But Scott said the Lakers will stick to the game plan of giving Bryant limited minutes throughout the preseason and basing each decision of playing time on how Bryant feels.
Hibbert approached Booker during a stop in play at the 7:14 mark of the third quarter, and the players got in each other's faces before Booker took an open-handed swing at Hibbert.
But before the two could further engage each other, Hibbert was held back by his teammates. Shortly thereafter, Booker was assessed two technical fouls and ejected from the Jazz's 117-114 overtime win at the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Stan Sheriff Center. Hibbert remained in the game.
"That's what normally happens, but I'm happy to have teammates that will have my back," Hibbert said.
And of Booker?
"I ain't worried about him," Hibbert said "I'm not going to speak on that."
Hibbert, who joined the Lakers in an offseason trade with the Indiana Pacers, finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds in 32 minutes.
"I just wanted to be aggressive," Hibbert said. "It's preseason so you don't really take too much about the wins or the losses, but it's just how you play and just play with aggression and play together like you did. I like what I saw, even though we lost. There was a lot of good things in there."
Withey had a dunk off a pass from Elijah Millsap with 28 seconds left in regulation to tie it at 105.
Lou Williams scored 20 points to lead the Lakers (0-2), who lost rookie point guard D'Angelo Russell to a bruised glute muscle in the first quarter.
In his second game back from rotator cuff surgery, Kobe Bryant scored 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting in just under 21 minutes of action. Bryant played 12 minutes and had five points in Sunday's exhibition opener.
HONOLULU -- Los Angeles Lakers rookie guard D'Angelo Russell, the No. 2 overall pick in this year's draft, left Tuesday's 117-114 preseason loss against the Utah Jazz with a bruised glute that he suffered after crashing to the court in the first quarter.
Russell, who is 6-foot-5, went down after absorbing the brunt of a drive to the hoop from 7-foot-1 Jazz center Rudy Gobert with 7:42 left in the first quarter at the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Stan Sheriff Center.
Russell remained on the court for several minutes while teammates and Lakers trainers gathered around him. He was taken to the locker room soon after.
A Lakers spokesman said that had it been a regular-season game, Russell could have returned, but the team elected to sit him out for precautionary reasons.
"I knew it wasn't that serious when I fell," Russell said. "I was talking to [Lakers trainer Gary Vitti] while I was on the ground. I just couldn't really move. After it kind of loosened up a little bit, I was able to move."
Russell hasn't been ruled out for Wednesday's practice, but the team will monitor how he feels before making a decision.
"He took a pretty good hard fall. I was just hoping there wasn't anything broken," coach Byron Scott said. "The way he came down, I could tell he was going to be sore. I knew it was going to be his hip. Now, it's one of those things: It just depends on how fast the kid can heal."
The Lakers are already on edge when it comes to injuries, specifically regarding their top draft picks. Their 2014 No. 7 overall pick, Julius Randle
HONOLULU -- Injuries have been a nagging issue for the Los Angeles Lakers lately. The team led the league in each of the past two seasons in games missed due to injury. That trend has continued through training camp before the 2015-16 season.
Guards Anthony Brown (right shoulder) and Jabari Brown (right hand) also joined the Lakers' list of walking wounded after suffering injuries in Monday's practice at Manoa's Stan Sheriff Center at the University of Hawaii.
An X-ray on Jabari Brown was negative and he has a contusion of his right hand. An MRI on Anthony Brown was also negative and he has a shoulder strain. Both players are listed as questionable.
Beyond that, Scott said 37-year-old Kobe Bryant "felt good" after playing his first game in nearly nine months Sunday, in which Bryant scored five points on 1-of-5 shooting in 12 minutes, all in the first quarter. Scott said he and Bryant would discuss how many minutes Bryant might play in Tuesday's game against the Utah Jazz here.
Scott said Bryant could play just 12 minutes again Tuesday or possibly more, but Scott said that decision would likely be made Tuesday morning.
Scott said he wouldn't mind if that starting lineup emerged as one he could use throughout the regular season.
"I would love for this group to take this to the next level," Scott said. "The only way they can do that is by playing together a little bit more in game situations and practice."
Scott said Nance practiced Monday and is expected to play Tuesday. He also said veteran forward Metta World Peace is expected to play after sitting out Sunday's game.
Huertas isn't scheduled to play Tuesday, as the team announced he will be absent because he'll be receiving his immigration documents in Vancouver.
They hit the front of the rim.
Typically, a poor shooting night with so many players clanking so many shots off the front iron is a common sign of team-wide fatigue, which seemed understandable as Lakers coach Byron Scott has focused on running his players hard throughout training camp here.
But Scott didn't think fatigue played much of a role in their shooting.
"I think a lot of it is just, we just missed a lot of wide-open shots," Scott told reporters after practice at the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Stan Sheriff Center on Monday.
"I don't know if it has anything to do with tired legs. I think we just missed open shots. You can always say it's tired legs. That to me is an excuse."
Scott doesn't seem too sympathetic to the idea of resting his players much, either.
"I don't necessarily care about tired legs in preseason," Scott said. "I think everything that we've done thus far will pay off at the end of the day. You've got some guys that might have tired legs and [are] a little worn out, but all the running as far as getting into that physical condition that we need to get into, I think in December and January, it will pay off.
"So I'm not necessarily worried about guys having tired legs in preseason. They'll just have to kind of fight through that fatigue part of it. And I think mentally it gets them a little stronger anyway."
Scott used a similar message after his Lakers were drubbed by the Jazz on Sunday, saying, "From what I saw, we've got to do some more running as far as getting back in transition because I thought they looked like they were in better shape than we were."
The Lakers have had several players dinged up lately, including guard D'Angelo Russell (bone bruise in his right foot), forward Larry Nance Jr. (back), guard Nick Young (back), guard Marcelo Huertas (hamstring), guard Anthony Brown (right shoulder) and guard Jabari Brown (right hand).
That streak of injuries continues a recent trend, as the Lakers have led the NBA in games missed due to injury in each of the past two seasons.
HONOLULU -- It was only one game -- and a preseason game at that -- but Los Angeles Lakers coach Byron Scott didn't seem too pleased with his team's effort.
After Sunday's 90-71 loss to the Utah Jazz at the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Stan Sheriff Center, Scott said he told his players that, "We've got a lot of work to do. There's no way in the world we're even close to where we want to be."
The Lakers are coming off their worst season in franchise history, finishing 21-61.
Speaking after Sunday's game, Scott also said that the Lakers "were a step late, it seemed, in every aspect of the game."
He also harped on several defensive mistakes.
"We gave up way too many drives," Scott said. "We gave up way too many baseline dish-offs. Sometimes, [because of] a lack of communication, we gave up some open shots."
Scott has been running his players quite hard in practice during the previous five days, so he said he wasn't all that surprised that some of them seemed tired Sunday.
"From what I saw, we've got to do some more running as far as getting back in transition because I thought they looked like they were in better shape than we were," Scott said.
Kobe Bryant, who played in his first game after injuring his shoulder nine months ago, was encouraged.
"There's a lot of upside," Bryant said. "I think the pieces compliment each other extremely well. It's just a matter of getting in a rhythm, getting some of these games underneath my belt a little bit."
HONOLULU -- D'Angelo Russell had nowhere to go but up after an unimpressive summer league performance, one in which the promising Los Angeles Lakers' rookie guard tallied nearly twice as many turnovers (26) as assists (16) in five outings.
His first game since then, held Sunday night at the Stan Sheriff Center at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, wasn't exactly a huge step forward for the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft.
In the Lakers' 90-71 preseason opening loss to the Utah Jazz, Russell finished with five points on 2-of-8 shooting, including 1-for-4 from 3-point range.
He also had three rebounds, three assists and two turnovers in about 21 minutes.
"Rookie, 19 years old -- that's pretty much to be expected, as far as I'm concerned," Lakers coach Byron Scott said.
Russell did have a few highlights, including one no-look pass to Julius Randle on a fast break that turned heads.
"His vision is astronomical," Lakers guard Kobe Bryant said. "If there's a crack, that ball is to you."
Still, Russell more often than not looked like a player still adjusting to transition from the college ranks to the pro game.
"At the end of the day, it's our first preseason game," Russell said. "We've got a long way to go before the season [starts on Oct. 28]."
Russell had been limited in practice this week by a bone bruise in his right foot, but he said it wasn't an issue during the game.
"I forgot about it once I was out there," he said.
Bryant was 1 of 5 from the field, with his only made basket coming on a 3-pointer from the left corner. He made both of his free throw attempts.
Derrick Favors had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Jazz in the preseason opener for both teams.
LAKERS: Guard Lou Williams, who won NBA Sixth Man of the Year honors with Toronto last season, scored 14 points off the bench. Nick Young was the only other Los Angeles player to score in double figures, finishing with 10 points.
HONOLULU -- Kobe Bryant's first shot in nearly nine months didn't go as planned.
With about 10 minutes left in the first quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers' preseason opener Sunday against the Utah Jazz, the 37-year-old guard fired a contested 3-pointer from the left corner, and it hit the side of the backboard.
The rest of Bryant's brief outing wasn't much better, with the longtime Laker finishing with five points on 1-of-5 shooting in 12 minutes, all of them coming in the first quarter before a Lakers-heavy crowd at the Stan Sheriff Center at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Bryant's lone field goal was a contested 3-pointer from the right corner over Jazz swingman Gordon Hayward.
The Lakers would go on to lose 90-71.
After his first game since late January, when he tore the rotator cuff in his right shoulder, ending his 2014-15 season after 35 games, Bryant said he felt "pretty good" and that it was "good to get out there."
He added that his legs feel strong and that he didn't feel any fatigue.
"It's just getting the timing," said Bryant, whose past three seasons have all been cut short by injury. "Getting timing. Getting acclimated to that again."
Lakers coach Byron Scott seemed pleased with Bryant's performance.
"He was pretty good," Scott said. "He moved well."
Scott said the plan of playing Bryant 12 minutes was agreed upon before the game.
"I told him before we went out, 'Let's just play the quarter and then let's shut it down and see how you feel [Monday]. We'll go through practice and then get ready for Tuesday,'" Scott said.
The Lakers face the Jazz again Tuesday, and Bryant is expected to play limited minutes in that game as well, though Scott said they'll likely increase Bryant's minutes gradually throughout the preseason.
What's the target for how many minutes Bryant would ultimately play? Scott declined to say.
Bryant started at the small forward position, as Lakers rookie and 2015 No. 2 overall draft pick D'Angelo Russell