LeBron James Praises Lakers’ Supporting Cast for Game 1 Win
As Sunday’s Game 1 of the first-round series against the Memphis Grizzlies entered the fourth quarter, the Los Angeles Lakers were holding onto a narrow six-point lead.
LeBron James and Anthony Davis only took one shot each in the first 11 minutes of the fourth quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Rui Hachimura had a standout performance by scoring 9 out of his total 29 points, which tied the record for the most points scored by a substitute player in a playoff game in the Lakers franchise, previously held by Mychal Thompson. Additionally, Austin Reaves was perfect in the fourth quarter, making all five of his shots and scoring nine consecutive points late in the quarter, resulting in a total of 23 points for the game.
“Tonight’s victory was largely due to the efforts of our supporting cast,” remarked James, who contributed 21 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 blocks to the team’s success.
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A Challenging Time :
The Lakers had a challenging time in the first half of the game and had to rely on the exceptional effort from their supporting cast to turn things around. Anthony Davis, who had an impressive game with 22 points, 12 rebounds, 7 blocks, and 3 steals, suffered a stinger to his right shoulder towards the end of the second quarter and was forced to leave the game. It’s worth noting that Davis’ postseason statline was the first of its kind since Tim Duncan accomplished a similar feat almost two decades ago.
At that moment, the Lakers were behind by six points. However, things quickly turned around when Hachimura took the court in the third quarter and made all four of his attempted 3-point shots in just six minutes of play. As a fourth-year forward who joined the Lakers through a trade with Washington earlier this year, Hachimura had been practicing these specific shots in preparation for the series. He credited Lakers assistant coach Phil Handy with identifying the gaps in the Grizzlies’ defense that he could exploit.