Magic Johnson tweets support for Luke Walton

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Rookie point guard Lonzo Ball also boasted about his teammate's scoring ability as the focal point of the offense. Undoubtedly, the poisonous Timofey Mozgov contract helped Russell pack his bags.

The NBA moved up its trade deadline before the All Star break to February 8, and plenty of teams are expected to be active to improve their postseason push or offload players to play youth and prepare for the future.

"The guys don't talk about it", Lakers forward said of the drama and speculation surrounding Walton.

Anguished as Kobe was at not playing more than 16 minutes a game in his first season, his father, Joe, a former National Basketball Association player who was at every game, never uttered a peep.

The chance to win the game slipped through Julius Randle's hands.

"Which coach has LeBron (James) Tweeted about most recently?"

Ingram has seen a notable uptick in his scoring taken a significant uptick in his second campaign averaging 16.4 points with also 5.4 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per contest. In Houston on December 20, Randle only played eight minutes.

That triggered a lengthy list of colleagues and players to speak up in defense of Walton. Ball played the controversy down but didn't defend his coach.

Dallas has won six of their last nine games thanks to an electric offense that has the league's second-best offensive rating over this stretch (113.3). However, Lopez was out injured, so the power forward would need to start at center against the 7-foot moster that is LA Clippers center DeAndre Jordan. Bryn Forbes buried his first shot and scored on a layup after jumping in the passing lane to steal the ball from Lonzo Ball.

But the second unit let Sacramento right back into the game, and the Lakers were only up 31-27 at the end of the quarter. Players are aware that all but three or four of them could be outward-bound and morale is already on a precipice. Los Angeles would take the lead back yet again on a three from Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.

After Randle almost turned it over, Ball picked up the basketball and forced up a desperation shot that was well short. The first game with the new unit was far from smooth. Randle had his eighth double-double of the season. Luke was left to fend for himself at a tender moment with a nine-game losing streak, including the 37-point home loss to OKC that followed LaVar's rip, in which Kyle Kuzma said, "We gave up".

Walton used to play for the Lakers from 2003 to 2012 before being traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers the following year.

Lakers: Ball had his ninth career double-double. He finished with five points. The two players complement each other, as Randle's outside shot is not his strong suit.

The Lakers are in the middle of a three-game winning streak, and L.A. appears to have missed a clear window to kick Walton to the curb - for now.

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