Austin Reaves may not have gone into the opening game of the Lakers first-round playoff series with the Grizzlies having had any postseason experience, but he turned out to be a hero for the visitors in their 128-112 victory.
Austin Reaves #LakeShow
— FADE (@FadeAwayMedia) April 16, 2023
The second-year player scored 23 points in the victory, including 9 consecutive points in the decisive 4th quarter. The Lakers closed the game on a 23-11 run to gain the win on the road and take a 1-0 series lead.
Reaves was pumped up by his own display, and he pointed to himself as he ran back down the court yelling “I'm him,” after hitting a key bucket in the decisive run.
The Los Angeles Lakers, who earned their spot in the NBA playoffs as a result of their play-in victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, jumped out to a 5-point lead after the first quarter, but the majority of the game was a back-and-forth affair.
While Austin Reaves was playing the role of hero for the Lakers, Grizzlies superstar Ja Morant went down with a hand injury late in the 4th quarter that forced him to leave the game.
Morant had injured his hand during the final week of the regular season. He hurt the hand again when he crashed into the floor after charging into Anthony Davis of the Lakers with less than 6 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter.
The 7th-seeded Lakers will attempt to take a significant lead in the series Tuesday night when the two teams meet in New Orleans again. If the 7th-seeded Lakers can take a 2-0 lead on the road, the 2nd-seeded Pelicans will be in major trouble in the series.