Lakers' LeBron James defends coach Luke Walton


"I don't like the way we closed out the game, but for the majority of the game we played well", James said.

LeBron James says he only cares about Lakers winning " 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.

"We know where we're going and we know what it takes to get there". I think this season has to settle in to see where we are with it.

Until things are set, however, Walton will continue to go with his gut feeling, and rely on the Lakers' culture to keep everyone engaged.

Just over two weeks ago, when the Lakers visited Portland for their season opening loss, the scene was quite different than what it was Saturday night.

The Lakers snapped the franchise's 16-game losing streak against the Blazers. "All that matters is what goes on in this locker room both home and away".

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While Lakers head coach Luke Walton dodged direct questions about the move, Stotts likes what Chandler brings to the table for the Lakers.

"I am doing everything just to win. We kind of just let them have their way and that was the obvious time to tighten up - when we wasn't making shots". The Lakers did make it hard on the Blazers dynamic backcourt of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum (30 points each), with their primary defenders, but the effort of their perimeter defense was reinforced by the play of JaVale McGee. "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". "To beat Portland, you can't just come in and win without playing really hard and really well".

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

"I like Tyson Chandler", Stotts said.

The Mavericks, who dropped to 0-5 on the road, are one of seven teams in the National Basketball Association without a win away from home. They got out in transition, hit a few threes, got to the rim, got to the line.

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