The Lakers are 5-6 on the season and have one of worst defenses in the National Basketball Association as well.
The 114-110 win brought their early season record to an nearly respectable 5-6 to stand 10th in the Western Conference, but it was not guaranteed until the final seconds of the game.
Jimmy Butler added 24 for the Timberwolves, who dropped to 4-8 and remained winless on the road this season.
A native of Los Angeles, Chandler is considered one of the strong, veteran leaders in the league - a welcome addition to a largely youthful Lakers locker room.
James added 10 rebounds and nine assists, just missing out on his second triple-double as a member of the Lakers.
Chandler had been phased out to a limited bench role with rookie Deandre Ayton as the focal point in the frontcourt as the starter.
Tyson Chandler - the veteran big man who just reached a buyout agreement with Phoenix - had a solid debut for the Lakers, grabbing 9 rebound, including two huge offensive boards in the closing seconds.
"I've been on the other side and played the villain, now it's great to be on this side".
Kuzma's fourth 3-pointer put the Lakers up 111-104 with 1:51 to play, but Rose promptly hit back-to-back 3-pointers for the Wolves.
"We have options to go to if he is out or later in the season if people get hurt, we have guys we're very confident can play that point guard position for us", Walton said.
With timely shooting and defensive stops in the final minutes, Minnesota closed out Los Angeles 124-120 in that game.
The Lakers next face the Sacramento Kings on Saturday and then take on the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday.
Typically, veterans on struggling teams like Chandler get waived around mid-season, when we have a good idea of what teams are playoff bound and what their needs are.