Lonzo Ball misses a short floater, jumper and 3 pointer. 19659038] But after tinkering with lineups and rotations, Walton gets a better feel for which groups s if works best together, and the Lakers become more comfortable with each other.
“We were just in sync,” said the power forward Kyle Kuzma, who looks better in the starting lineup and does not need to play as much backup center. “We knew the playing field and everyone followed it and we had each other’s back. It was a while I was in an iso with Aaron Fox and I knew Rondo was on my left side and he gave me confidence. Chemistry will help .
“The Toronto game kind of kicked us in the butt, but we just have to take it day by day, game for play and I think that’s what we do for the most part and you can see it with the chemical building. “
Another important factor has been the addition of Tyson Chandler. Like a magic look-pass, you may not have seen Chandler buyout and signature with Lakers coming – especially this early in the season. But the results so far have been amazing. 19659002] Chandler seems to be the perfect fit for what the Lakers need – a backup center that does many of the things that JaVale McGee offers. A lobe option of pick-and-roll, leg scratch screens, championship experience, Rondo and J Ames- similar communication skills and a soothing veteran presence in the dressing room.
Before Chandler’s arrival, Walton would either go small with McGee on the bench by putting Kuzma in the center or under-dimensional two-way contract player Johnathan Williams or going to The Still Little Raw Ivica Zubac. Chandler, who grew 12 rebounds and helped limit Willie Cauley-Stein to 12 points and 12 returns a game after helping Karl-Anthony Towns score 13 points and nine rebounds in a victory over Minnesota.
“He just shored up our main court,” James said. “We have a good 1-2 punch now in JaVale and Tyson. JaVale gives us so much to start the game with its ability to protect the edge and also be so effective offensive. And when he comes out the game we do not have no attenuation, no one drop. And Tyson comes in and he gives even more intensity. And it’s only good to have it in our main court. “
Limit Sacramento to 34.8 percent shoot and exceed Kings 52-38 in the painter, actually got the Lakers breathe out in the fourth quarter for once with a double-digit lead. Even though they had a 20-point cushion slipped to 10 at 4:45 left, the Lakers never let it slip anymore. It’s a step forward after they had to continue dear life against Dallas Mavericks, Minnesota Timberwolves and Portland Trail Blazers in their past three wins.
“There is progress,” said Walton. “I’ve said it all the time. I can not win games first but keep them all close and then get wires and not be able to hold on to them but find a way to win at the end. Tonight it was the first time we really took the lead and held on that line.
“We know there will never be a straight line where we are going. We will deal with more adversity, but as long as we continue to work as a group to get better, it will be fine. “
At the end of the game, James’s headache had gone far and he could hear laughing with Ball and chatting it up with Rondo in the locker room.
Rajon Rondo pushes the ball and passes to Kyle Kuzma finishing the fast break with a dunk.
James Building Los Hawks in Los Angeles for Lakers second of a back-to-back back-and-back set knows his team can not afford to fall into the trap of not getting up early how it did last Sunday in the same circumstances against Toronto.
But this Lakers team is playing better than it was a week ago. And that’s the perfect remedy for James’s headache.  “The disc will speak for itself of course, but at the end of the day it’s about how you play at that time,” James said when asked if the Lakers should reach .500. ” And right now we play good ball both offensive and defensive. “