Why Luke Walton isn’t on the hot seat

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As the Los Angeles Lakers prepared to play their first game since news emerged of coach Luke Walton's heated meeting with president of basketball of operations Magic Johnson, LeBron James said his focus - and his team's - remains exclusively on winning.

The Los Angeles Lakers have finally conquered the Portland Trail Blazers after falling to them for 16 consecutive games.

"We know where we're going and we know what it takes to get there".

The Lakers scored the first eight points and led by 18 in the first quarter as they went 15 of 23 from the field and made six 3-pointers. "It was one of those night shooting the three, I thought we had a lot of good looks that didn't drop".

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.

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The Lakers haven't posted a winning record since the 2012-2013 season.

Luca Doncic tied it at 113-113 on a jumper, setting the stage for James' game-winning free throw. Is Walton going to be fired? Matthews' driving bank shot pulled the Mavericks to 70-64 before the Lakers went on a 17-4 run - which included 10 points by James - to open their largest lead at 87-68 with 4:40 remaining in the third. James, it should be noted, also gave major props to Lakers reserve big man Ivica Zubac for being ready to answer the call. But all the preparation hasn't prepared Walton for the type of consistency McGee has played with over the first nine games.

Saturday was their first road win of the season against a team with a winning record against a Portland team riding a 3-game win streak and playing some of the best ball in the National Basketball Association over the opening stretch of the season. A person with direct knowledge of the situation confirmed the buyout plan to The Associated Press on Saturday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the Suns had not yet revealed it publicly.

Following practice on Friday, Walton was asked about his standing with the Lakers and he was very confident about his status as the team's coach.

"I like Tyson Chandler", Stotts said. "When you're not shooting the ball, you can't let that impact what you do on the defensive end. 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". From there, they draw the Minnesota Timberwolves in a nationally televised matchup.

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