But after the Lakers dropped to 2-5 following losses in winnable games at San Antonio and Minnesota, Johnson met with Walton. In addition to the streak, Saturday was the Lakers' first road win this season against a team with a winning record.
"He shouldn't be in the conversation", James said. "We want to be as good a team as we can be and win ballgames".
Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum each scored 30 points for Portland.
He made two clutch free throws with 13 seconds left to give the Timberwolves a three-point lead in a tightly contested fourth quarter.
The Los Angeles Lakers came into this season with something they haven't had in a while: expectations.
And the timeout might have been just what Portland needed to get back into the game.More news: Trump Announces Planned Crackdown on Asylum Seekers
An ESPN report on Friday said Walton had come under fire from the Lakers' president of basketball operations over the team's sluggish start to the season.
"A guy who plays hard, and a guy who's very smart, and another champion to add to the champions that we have".
"He's doing a little bit of everything", James said of McGee. He's leading the league in blocks. "And tonight he saved us and covered our defensive mistakes with blocks at the rim".
The Lakers had seven turnovers in the fourth quarter and finished with 20 overall, but they survived their mistakes.
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 bench helped get Los Angeles back into the game in the first half and outscored the Blazers subs 51-26.More news: USA charges financier, former Goldman bankers for 1MDB
"No. It feels good knowing [the Lakers won after] we haven't beaten this team in 16 tries", Walton said.
"It's hard to get a handle around the league where defense is", Stotts said. "That's not where we're at as a group, so a lot of it is feel", Walton noted. "I know the turnovers between one timeout and the next timeout, we had two or three turnovers that they converted right away, and that's when the lead kind of ballooned from 8 to 15". "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".
The headlines from Saturday will lead with the addition of Tyson Chandler.
LeBron discusses the reports of Tyson Chandler joining the Lakers: While the rest of the Lakers organization balked at questions surrounding the reports, LeBron James was more than comfortable to discuss the addition. He's all about winning.
"It feels good knowing we haven't beat this team in 16". After that, the Lakers return home to face the Toronto Raptors on Sunday.More news: Hamilton matches Fangio’s five as Verstappen wins Mexican Grand Prix