Nightmarish start for Lakers

October 29, 2014

Kobe’s return is ruined as they fall to the Rockets 108-90 in their season opener and their prized rookie forward Julius Randle goes down with a season-ending injury.

Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle, right, sits on on a stretcher after Randle injured himself on a play during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Los Angeles Lakers forward Julius Randle, right, sits on on a stretcher after Randle injured himself on a play during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

It was probably the worst start imaginable for the Los Angeles Lakers Tuesday night at the Staples Center. Not only did they get blown out in their season opener, their prized rookie went down with a broken leg and Jeremy Lin looked underwhelming.

Kobe Bryant’s comeback game and the Lakers’ return from a 55-loss season went from bad to miserable when their rookie forward Julius Randle broke his right leg in the fourth quarter. The seventh overall pick out of Kentucky collided with two Rockets under the basket and landed awkwardly, collapsing to the court in agony.

Randle’s season-ending injury cast a pall over the night for the Lakers, who are banking on the 19-year-old power forward to become a solid player — perhaps their next star.

His right leg was immobilized before his teammates lifted him onto the stretcher, obvious pain on his face, with Bryant squeezing his hand.

After his own Lakers debut ended somberly, coach Byron Scott described the scene as “heartbreaking.”

Lin didn’t offer much of a help as he made only one of five shots while committing four turnovers. He finished his first game with the Lakers with seven points and six assists.

James Harden scored 32 points, Dwight Howard added 13 points and 11 rebounds before getting into an exchange with Bryant, and the Houston Rockets won 108-90.

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*AP materials were used in this article.

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