While Randle was incredibly efficient from the field en route to his third consecutive 20-plus-point outing, his minutes count might have been the most notable takeaway from his stat line. After falling below the 30-minute mark just once in his previous 14 games, Randle was benched for extensive stretches as coach Alvin Gentry ran the hot-shooting Nikola Mirotic alongside Anthony Davis in the frontcourt. With Mirotic healthy again and in strong form, Randle's playing time and overall numbers will likely take at least a slight dip moving forward.
Randle turned in an ultra-efficient performance, extending a heater that's now seen him shoot 50.0 percent or better in eight straight games. The 24-year-old continues to draw starts over Nikola Mirotic, who's still considerably limited after recently returning from an extended absence due to an ankle injury. Randle is supplementing his impressive scoring numbers with strong work on the boards and as a facilitator, as he's averaging 8.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists alongside 20.7 points in six January contests. Given how successful his run as a starter has been, it's certainly conceivable Randle holds onto his first-unit spot moving forward, irrespective of Mirotic's status.
Randle scored 22 points (8-14 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 5-5 FT) while adding 12 rebounds, eight assists and a steal in 33 minutes during Saturday's 133-98 rout of the Cavaliers.
He led the Pelicans in boards and dimes en route to his 20th double-double of the season while tying Jrue Holiday for the team lead in scoring. Randle has dropped at least 20 points in six straight games and 13 of his last 15, averaging 23.9 points, 9.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 0.9 three-pointers over that stretch, and with Anthony Davis commanding most of the defensive attention in the New Orleans' frontcourt, Randle should continue steaming towards a career-best campaign.
Randle had 21 points (8-13 FG, 0-1 3PT, 5-9 FT) and four rebounds in Wednesday's loss to Brooklyn.
Randle continues to hold down the starting power forward job, and it'll likely be his to keep even when Nikola Mirotic (ankle) eventually returns from injury. Randle also added two assists and a pair of blocks.
With Anthony Davis falling ill prior to the contest and ultimately sitting out of the contest, Randle saw an uptick in usage and finished as the game's leading scorer. It was the third game in a row in which Randle recorded at least 20 points and 10 rebounds, but his game-to-game production could soon become more unstable. In addition to the likelihood that Davis will be back for Wednesday's game in Brooklyn, Randle's outlook would take another hit if Nikola Mirotic (ankle) is cleared to return from a nine-game absence.
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