Magic Johnson puts pressure on Luke Walton after Lakers' slow start

Magic Johnson puts pressure on Luke Walton after Lakers' slow start

However, he has not fully committed to giving them playing time.

"It doesn't bother me at all because I don't pay attention to it, I don't listen to it", James said Saturday in advance of the Lakers' game against the Portland Trail Blazers, when asked about the noise surrounding his team. But I was pleased with how we came back and got within striking distance. By time the third quarter was over, the Lakers had outscored the Trail Blazers 32-16 on almost 60 percent shooting in the quarter to take an 88-73 lead into the fourth. What can I do to be the best team we can be?

"It just shows that what we're doing is working", Walton said of beating the Blazers for the first time since March 3, 2014. It was Lillard third game with at least 30 points this season.

The Lakers have looked explosive on offense averaging the sixth most points per game in this young season (121.0), but have looked completely lost defensively giving up the fifth most points per game (121.1). "The only thing that matters to me is what goes on inside this locker room, both home and away".

"NBA games are never over and you have to play the game a certain way", Lakers coach Luke Walton said. I can coach them with my eyes closed. "That's not always my philosophy but with this team I'd like to keep one of those guys out there as much as possible". "We know where we're going, we know how to get there, and it takes time and it takes hard work".

The Lakers are 3-5 entering the weekend. Kyle Kuzma and JaVale McGee each added 12 points.

And the timeout might have been just what Portland needed to get back into the game. "It's our choice either to hang on to those, or it's our choice to stay present and focus our energy and time on what we can do to get better".

McGee, who James said is a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year, also had six blocks to add to his league-leading total.

In Los Angeles, LeBron James gave the Staples Centre crowd a fright when he missed the first of two free throws with two seconds left as the Lakers squeezed past the Dallas Mavericks 114-113. When you're not making shots that means you've got to go to the other end and you've got to be really sharp.

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