Austin Reaves, on his playoff debut, turned heads with an unimaginable efficiency in Sport 1 of the sequence between the LA Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies. Reaves’ spectacular fourth quarter helped the Lakers steal home-court benefit from the Grizzlies with a 128-112 win.
After the sport, LeBron James had this to say concerning the beforehand unheralded Reaves’ scorching evening:
“It’s not shocking to me. I knew from the primary apply that we had that he wasn’t gonna be a two-way participant for lengthy. … I’ve been across the recreation lengthy sufficient to know nice basketball IQ gamers and I do know the kind of gamers that match my recreation and I knew Austin [Reaves] can be that instantly.
“I gotta give lots of credit score to Coach Vogel on simply throwing him into the hearth and let him study on the fly and permitting him to make errors and let him play by lots of stuff. … It’s not shocking what he’s doing tonight. … I’m extraordinarily joyful for him.”
Austin Reaves was an undrafted rookie in 2021. On Aug. 3 of that 12 months, he signed a two-way cope with the LA Lakers. A month later, the group determined to present him a normal contract.
Within the Lakers’ horrible 2021-22 marketing campaign, the previous Oklahoma standout confirmed glimpses of what he may do. He was toasted by Laker Nation on Dec. 15 when he dropped a game-winning 3-pointer in opposition to the Dallas Mavericks.
Earlier than the Lakers ended their embarrassing season in 2022, Austin Reaves reminded basketball followers that there was extra to come back. He accomplished the primary triple-double of his profession in LA’s 146-141 additional time win over the Denver Nuggets.
Reaves had a then career-high 31 factors, 16 rebounds and 10 assists.
Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura have been the heroes within the LA Lakers’ essential Sport 1 win over the Memphis Grizzlies
The LA Lakers had LeBron James and Anthony Davis wholesome, but it surely was Rui Hachimura and Austin Reaves who made the most important affect. Hachimura scored a team-high 29 factors in half-hour off the bench. The Japanese basketball star made 11-14 field-goal makes an attempt, together with 5-6 from behind the arc.
Hachimura’s 21 factors, the place he missed solely one among 9 pictures within the second half, have been essential. His 4 third-quarter 3-pointers saved the Grizzlies at bay and was a pest on protection.
Over his previous 4 video games, which have been all essential for the Lakers, Rui Hachimura has averaged 16.0 factors, 4.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists. He’s hitting 54.5% of his pictures, together with 44.4% from behind the arc.
Austin Reaves, then again, made a number of clutch baskets in the previous few minutes of the sport. He scored 9 straight factors to snuff out the Memphis Grizzlies’ determined push to tie and doubtlessly win the sport.
Reaves is not unheralded. He shouted “I am Him” on the boisterously hostile crowd after scoring on a fadeaway soar shot.