NBA notebook: Lakers' Buss, Johnson back Walton


Los Angeles Lakers majority owner Jeanie Buss and team president Magic Johnson showed their support for Luke Walton for the first time since LaVar Ball's critical comments a week ago regarding the head coach.

On Saturday, Buss posted a photo of herself, general manager Rob Pelinka and Walton sitting together at a restaurant table while tweeting that she was on her way to Memphis for this weekend's Martin Luther King Jr. events surrounding the Lakers-Grizzlies game on Monday.

"On my way to #Memphis for #Lakers game. Dinner with Rob and Luke tomorrow night. Barbecue!! @Lakers #InLukeWeTrust," Buss tweeted.

A few hours later, Johnson tweeted: "So proud of my @Lakers players and Coach Walton for winning their 4th game in a row against the Mavericks," and then: "Coach Luke Walton has the @Lakers playing some of their best basketball of the season right now."

Sources told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne that Buss became concerned that the situation was escalating after rumors connecting the team to former Grizzlies coach David Fizdale surfaced Friday. Buss wants to reassure Walton of the team's commitment to him as coach now and in the future, according to ESPN.

LaVar Ball, the father of Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball, told ESPN last Saturday that the players "don't want to play for" Walton. Since LaVar Ball's comments, the Lakers (15-27) have now stretched their season-best winning streak to four games after a 107-101 overtime victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday.

--Utah Jazz swingman Thabo Sefolosha is expected to undergo surgery to repair his MCL and miss at least six months after leaving Friday night's game in Charlotte with a right knee injury, according to multiple reports.

Sefolosha did some work on the sidelines Friday night before being ruled out with what the team called a right knee sprain.

The 33-year-old is averaging 8.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.4 steals across 38 appearances in his 12th NBA season, his first in Utah.

--The Dallas Mavericks signed guard Kyle Collinsworth to a 10-day contract, the team announced.

Collinsworth signed a two-way contract with Dallas on Dec. 19, but the 6-foot-6, 210-pound native of Provo, Utah was waived by the team on Jan. 10. He has appeared in four games for the Mavericks this season, averaging 1.0 points and 0.5 rebounds in 5.8 minutes per game.

Collinsworth went undrafted out of BYU in 2016, and has spent the past two seasons with the Mavericks' G League affiliate, the Texas Legends. He has averaged 11.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.7 steals in 35.8 minutes in 18 games this season.

--Field Level Media

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