Angry Walton sparks Lakers to 1st win of season
3:46 AM ET
PHOENIX — After an angry Luke Walton held nothing back on his team’s poor defense at the morning team meeting, the Los Angeles Lakers responded to their coach and rode a dominant second quarter to their first victory of the season.
“We could feel his anger,” Lance Stephenson told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin of Walton’s disposition during the morning meeting at the team hotel. “We had to get that W.”
LeBron James earned his first win as a Laker and helped halt a three-game losing streak with a near triple-double of 19 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds in the Lakers’ 131-113 win over the Phoenix Suns.
“It feels great; it’s a win, period,” said James, who got to rest in the fourth quarter with the Lakers up by as much as 27. “But it feels good for us to know what we’ve been doing over training camp [and] in these first few games to continue to get better.”
“We’re very talented offensively,” James added. “But I think it’s always going to start with our defense.”
Lance Stephenson said the Lakers “could feel” Luke Walton’s anger before Wednesday night’s game. “We had to get that W.” Brad Mills/USA