If anyone had a bet going on which member of the Los Angeles Lakers would have an historic performance that would remind people of Magic Johnson, LeBron James or Anthony Davis would probably be the ones who get the most play. Sunday afternoon, Rui Hachimura said his name should be mentioned in the bets.
In Game 1 against the Memphis Grizzlies in their first round playoff series, Hachimura came off the bench to score a 29 points while shooting 11 of 14 from the field and 5 of 6 from three-point land, helping the Lakers defeat the Grizzlies 128-122 in Memphis.
How historic was Rui Hachimura's performance? Here's the NBA on ESPN's Twitter page to let us know.
Rui Hachimura is the first Laker since Magic Johnson in 1996 with 25 points off the bench in a playoff game 🪄 pic.twitter.com/9Yr4uIs7qI
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) April 16, 2023
One of the things that's great about the NBA Playoffs is people who haven't followed teams as much as their favorite squad (or player) get to see why someone is held in high regard. It's also an opportunity to catch unsung heroes in action.
With the Lakers constantly in the national spotlight, chances are most knew about Hachimura and what he brings to Los Angeles. Having said that, not even the biggest Lakers fans couldn't have thought the forward could come off of the bench and lead the team in scoring.
If Los Angeles is to defeat the Grizzlies and go deep in the playoffs, they will need Hachimura and others to provide James and Davis with as much help as possible. With this performance, Hachimura showed he is ready for the task, and one can be sure Johnson will be on Twitter to give his round of applause.