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LeBron happy to have Chandler with Lakers: 'He's huge'

Andrew D. Bernstein / National Basketball Association / Getty

Tyson Chandler has unexpectedly breathed life into the Los Angeles Lakers' defense, highlighted by a game-saving block in Sunday's 107-106 win over the Atlanta Hawks.

The Lakers added the 36-year-old veteran Tuesday after he was waived by the struggling Phoenix Suns. Los Angeles is 3-0 since he joined the team, a fact that had LeBron James singing his newest teammate's praises after Sunday's victory.

"He's huge," James said. "We had a spot that needed some reassurance, and for us to be able to get Tyson in the fashion that we got him and to be able to implement him in right away, and the impact that he's made in these three games ... is great."

L.A. was 23rd in defensive efficiency before Chandler arrived, giving up 111.5 points per 100 possessions. They've ranked fourth since his Lakers debut, holding opponents to just 97.4 points per 100 possessions.

James believes going from the lottery-bound Suns to a Los Angeles team with playoff aspirations is helping spark Chandler's play thus far.

"I believe for (Chandler) to be playing winning basketball once again, I think those emotions came out," James said. "To make a game-winning block, you don't see that much in our league. You see a lot of game-winning shots, you see a lot of game-winning assists, but for you to see a game-winning defensive block like that, you don't see that much in our league."

The Lakers (7-6) are above .500 for the first time this season and face the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday.

LeBron happy to have Chandler with Lakers: 'He's huge'
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