Lakers' LeBron James defends coach Luke Walton

Can we blow somebody out please?’ Lakers show growing pains in close win

I'm the last person to ask about scrutiny or anything of that nature. So if I'm talking, I'm going to explain myself no matter what the situation is. I'd have to go back and look at it, but usually it's two or three things. This game wasn't without its scares as the Lakers once again struggled to hold on to a big lead. What's insane about that stat is James finished with 28 points, seven assists, five rebounds and two blocks. F Michael Beasley missed his second straight game due to personal reasons. They almost blew a 19-point lead to the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday at home.

But after playing to a duel in the second quarter, the Lakers absolutely demolished the Trail Blazers in the 12 minutes immediately following the halftime intermission. If anything, LeBron and this young core of guys were more likely to get off to a tremendously hot start and begin to hit some rough patches a third of the way into the season as the momentum and adrenaline from the new season wore off. "We kind of just let them have their way and that was the obvious time to tighten up - when we wasn't making shots". "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". When they got the team that they have right now, it's even more challenging. Dave McMenamin and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN report that Magic Johnson met with Walton to "admonish" him for the poor performances.

Expectations are obviously sky-high now that LeBron is a Laker, but the team's 3-5 start should not come as a shock. With Saturday's win, they now sit at 4-5.

The Lakers nearly blew a big point lead late but managed to hold on for the win.

James, 33, has averaged 27.8 points and 8.6 rebounds in his first eight games with the Lakers.

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James described snapping the 16-game losing streak to Portland as the Lakers getting "over the hump".

"I love the fact that we're going to get another veteran", he said.

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. - Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton says he believes he has a "great relationship with management" and does not feel like he is "going anywhere".

While the Lakers' starters were poor in this game, for the season they have actually been okay together.

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