Los Angeles Lakers rookie Julius Randle's fourth-quarter performance Sunday night against the Utah Jazz was just what he needed.
The former University of Kentucky star scored eight points, including three jump shots, to help L.A. rally from 22 down for a preseason win.
He also had five rebounds and two blocked shots in 20 total minutes.
"I thought Julius came in and played great in the second half," Coach Byron Scott told the Los Angeles Times after the 98-81 victory. "His effort was great."
Scott has been touch on Randle at times, calling for a more consistent effort from the rookie.
"His communication on the defensive end was much, much better," Scott told the Times. "Offensively, he was really good. He made some mistakes but it wasn't because of lack of effort, and that's the way he has to play.
"He has a world of talent, it's just a matter of him having that consistent effort every single night."
Randle said his uneven play in the preseason doesn't concern him.
"I'm not frustrated at all," Randle told The Times. "I work too hard. I know eventually I'll have success and I'll figure things out.
"Instead of being frustrated and down, when my name is called, (I'm) excited, ready to go, ready to bring that energy, bring good vibes."
Randle told the newspaper that General Manager Mitch Kupchak recently checked on him to make sure he's in the right frame of mind.
"I said, 'I'm good, (my mind is) clear,'" Randle said. "Mentally being at a good place when my name is called is better than mentally being frustrated."
Teammate Kobe Bryant offered a colorful perspective on the opportunity at hand for Randle with the Lakers.
"He can't [mess] it up, seriously. You [mess] this up, you have to be an idiot," Bryant said.
Randle seconded that.
"Having a coach like Byron, learning from greats like Kobe, (Carlos Boozer), (Steve) Nash, all those guys, and on top of that playing for the Lakers organization, I'm in the perfect situation. I can't mess it up."