Los Angeles Lakers power forward Julius Randle is frustrated in his new role alongside the team’s second unit, according to head coach Luke Walton. Randle has a reason to be disappointed as he started 133 of his 155 games in the past two seasons with the Lakers. However, Walton said that he decided to play Randle off the bench because he plays better with the second unit, according to Bill Oram of the Southern California News Group. Walton explained that he made Larry Nance Jr. the starting power forward because he’s been playing well with the first unit.

In their 108-92 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, Nance played 30 minutes, tallying 14 points, 12 boards, and a block. Randle played 18 minutes off the bench, finishing with nine points and six boards.

In their 132-130 win over the Phoenix Suns Friday, Walton again started Nance alongside Brook Lopez, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Corey Brewer. Nance played 22 minutes, recording 14 points, six rebounds, two steals and two blocks while Randle suited up for 13 minutes, finishing with eight points on 2-of-4 shooting from the field. The team’s other power forward, rookie Kyle Kuzma played more minutes than Randle, scoring 15 points in 28 minutes of action as the Lakers (1-1) notched their first win of the season.

Ball misses triple-double by one assist

Lonzo Ball bounced back from a disappointing three-point performance against the Clippers, missing out on his first career triple-double by an assist. He finished with 29 points on 12-of-27 shooting from the floor with 11 rebounds and nine assists in 37 minutes of play. Lopez finished with a double-double with 19 points and 11 boards while Jordan Clarkson added 17 off the bench for the Lakers.

Eric Bledsoe scored 28 points as the Suns (0-2) got double-digit scoring from their starting lineup. Devin Booker almost tallied a triple-double with 25 points, 11 rebounds, and eight dimes, T.J. Warren had 24 points and eight boards, veteran center Tyson Chandler chipped in 13 points, and nine boards and rookie Josh Jackson had 12 markers for the Suns, who dropped their second straight game at home.

Mike James had 13 points off the bench for the Suns.

Lakers escape with close win

The Lakers grabbed a 12-point lead in the fourth, but the Suns stormed back to within 122-119 behind a tip-in by Chandler with 3:22 remaining in the game. Ball then made three layups, and Kuzma added a basket to put the Lakers ahead, 130-122 with 1:35 left to play. The Suns then launched an 8-1 run, capped by a three-pointer by Booker with 5.9 seconds left. After Ingram split his charities, the Suns had one chance to send the game to overtime, but Warren missed two foul shots. He grabbed the rebound, but his attempt was way short as time expired.