James scores 28 points, Lakers edge Blazers

LeBron James #2 dribbles off the screen of Ja Vale McGee #7 of the Los Angeles Lakers as Harrison Barnes #40 of the Dallas Mavericks defends during the second half of a game at Staples Centre

"We would like to get a couple lineups that are comfortable and know they're going in together but that hasn't been our reality so far this season", Walton acknowledged.

Los Angeles led almost throughout and was up 111-98 with 3:42 to go before the Mavericks went on a 15-2 run to pull even. Luka Doncic tied it at 113 with 7.2 seconds remaining on a jumper from the corner, but on the next trip down the floor James was fouled by Wesley Mathews while shooting a jump shot.

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 Lakers already have sounded some alarms, with team president Magic Johnson calling a meeting with Walton after the Lakers started 2-5. I've been saying [and] we've been saying since the beginning: We're going to be patient. Kyle Kuzma and JaVale McGee each added 12 points.

On the offensive end, the Lakers did a fine job against the Mavericks as they scored 114 points and shot over 50 percent from the field and from behind the arc.

"I think the entire game we didn't shoot the ball really well from three", said Damian Lillard. You guys are going to stay in the game until we finish winning.

Dallas trimmed the margin to 66-59 by halftime. The Trail Blazers would ultimately cut the Lakers lead to 109-104 with just over a minute to play in regulation. The team is set to play a back-to-back against two of the hottest teams in the National Basketball Association, and they should be focusing on that, not Walton's job security.




But forget about the streak, the Lakers needed this win badly.

Jusuf Nurkic got his fourth double-double of the season with 14 points and 13 rebounds to go with two blocks and two assists in 30 minutes.

Two days ago, the floor was falling out from under Walton and the Lakers.

"The first and third quarters defensively we were pretty good and then we had two very bad quarters".

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

On US Halloween night, Rose turned back the clock with a 34-point performance in the second half as the crowd of 10,000 chanted "MVP, MVP" after the final buzzer sounded.

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