Walton’s up-and-down season continues for Lakers

OAKLAND — Luke Walton’s yo-yo season continued in a 72-hour slice of basketball.He couldn’t miss against Seattle last Friday, scoring 17 points on eight-for-11 shooting and adding five rebounds and four assists. Two days later, he had four points and three turnovers against Golden State.

Then on Monday, he was somewhere in between in a rematch with the Warriors — eight points, seven rebounds, three assists.

Coach Phil Jackson could only shrug and smile.

“Well, I welcomed him back as a player after Friday night’s game. I’ll take that back after [Sunday] night’s game,” he said. “He looked like he was back in the fold Friday night, but he really struggled [Sunday] night.”

Why is that?

“His outside shot — right now, they’re just backing off him,” Jackson said. “As a result, he’s trying to get involved in there and it’s tough to do when people just disregard your outside shot. So he has to hit a shot, he has to take a shot, he has to make some shots. . . . If he isn’t, he has to continue to create things for other guys, which he is capable of doing.” – LA Times

Walton says break helped him to heal

Mike Bresnahan, LA Times

Show Luke Walton a chart of the human body and he’ll point out what was hurting.

His ankle, his hip, his lower back.

And his knees too, simply because he was favoring all the other injuries.

His body was malfunctioning, one part at a time, costing him his confidence and his minutes.

“I thought he was rushing things, just putting his head down a lot of times . . . ” Coach Phil Jackson said.

Then came the All-Star break. Walton no longer feels broken.

“I went to San Diego and did nothing but see my physical therapist down there for three straight days,” Walton said. “Everything’s starting to feel a lot better. It’s all connected and it was all hurting.”

The Lakers will need him to be healthy, particularly in the short run.

Walton has returned to the starting lineup in place of Vladimir Radmanovic, who is sidelined because of a strained right calf muscle.

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