Today, the Los Angeles Lakers faced the Memphis Grizzlies at Memphis in the opening game of their first-round series. The Lakers certainly did not disappoint and went on to create a statement win, stealing one while being the visiting team to defeat the Grizzlies 128-112.
Hachimura and Reaves Take Over
You would think with a big margin of victory, the Lakers two superstars, Anthony Davis, and LeBron James would be the two to lead in points right? Wrong, it was Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura, they combined for 52 points, shell-shocking the Grizzlies on their home court.
The Lakers were up in a tightly-contested ball game, 111-109 with 3:29 to play. Reaves erupted for a nine-point run following that mark. Before the fourth quarter, Reaves only had nine points before detonating for 14 crucial points in the fourth quarter alone. The Lakers as a team went on a 15-0 run to steal the game at FedEx Forum, in Memphis. It is also worth noting is Grizzlies star- Ja Morant left the game with 5:48 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The punishment didn’t stop there as Skip Bayless chimed in after the “I’m him!” assertion in the fourth quarter.
Hachimura on the other hand, led the team in points with 29, to go along with six rebounds and one assist. Hachimura shot 78% from the floor and 83% from three-point range while Reaves shot 61% and 60% from three-point range. Hachimura was red-hot in the second half and helped lead the Lakers to a 37-point third quarter.
If you’re curious as to what the third and fourth leading players for the Lakers did- LeBron James shot 50% from the field, 38% from three, and had 21 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, three blocks, and two steals. Anthony Davis shot 59% from the field and had 22 points, 12 rebounds, three assists, seven blocks, and three steals. They definitely carried their weight and if you have a stat line like that for both James and Davis and they’re not even your top two scorers, look out NBA world, you may have a big problem if they keep that up.
LeBron James Reacts to Teammates Reaves & Hachimura
Speaking to the media following the win, James spoke on Hachimura, “I see the type of player he is, he can become, I just try to stay in his ear and give him positive motivation and messages, let him know how important he is to our team. In order for us to reach the goal that we want to reach, he has to be a huge part of that.”
Next for James was Reaves, saying “It’s not surprising to me, I knew from the first practice that we had that he wasn’t going to be a two-way player for long.” James continued, “I’ve been around the game long enough to know great basketball IQ players and I know the type of players that fit with my game and I knew Austin (Reaves) would be that right away.” James then had to give credit to former Lakers coach- Frank Vogel, “I’ve got to give it a lot of credit to coach Vogel on just throwing him into the fire (last season), letting him learn on the fly, and allowing him to make mistakes.”
Who do you think wins the series, do you think Reaves and Hachimura can not only replicate their success in the series but for the playoffs as a whole? Let us know in the comments below.
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