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The 5 craziest stats from the Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura game

The Lakers had two unlikely sources in Rui Hachimura and Austin Reaves combine for an impressive road victory to open the playoffs against the Grizzlies, leading to some wild stats on their performances.

NBA: Playoffs-Los Angeles Lakers at Memphis Grizzlies Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Of all the ways the Lakers could have drawn up a victory in Game 1 of Sunday’s contest against the Grizzlies to open the playoffs, precisely zero of them would have followed the formula that played out. Despite LeBron James and Anthony Davis both being healthy, available and on the court, it was Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura that led the Lakers to a win.

No, really.

Reaves scored 14 points in the fourth quarter, Hachimura had nine of his 29 points in the final frame and 21 in the second half and the pair helped the Lakers win going away. For a number of reasons, it was as surreal a playoff win as the Lakers have had in the LeBron-AD era as the two were along for the ride in the quarter.

The absurdity and impressiveness of the performance led to a whole host of incredible stats across the board for Reaves and Hachimura. Here’s a look at five of the craziest ones.

Career-best performance

We’ll start small, because these are quickly going to get more absurd. Hachimura has never been known much for his 3-point shooting. He’s a career 34.7% shooter from range and only shot 29.6% from there in the regular season for the Lakers.

By connecting on five of his six attempts on Sunday, Rui set a new career high.

The one game of Hachimura’s career in which he hit four 3-pointers came in Washington in March of 2021. He only had 15 games with three 3-pointers and none of those even came in Los Angeles.

Joining a franchise icon

In scoring 29 points off the bench, Hachimura set a number of franchise marks. For one, it’s the first time a Laker has scored at least 25 points off the bench in a playoff game since...Magic Johnson nearly three decades ago.

That Magic game came during his brief attempt at a comeback and was the only win the Lakers had in their first-round series against the Houston Rockets. Magic scored 26 points on 7-11 shooting overall and only attempted one 3-pointer, which he made, with most of his work coming at the free throw line where he went 11-13.

Rui’s scoring came a bit differently as he had nearly as many 3-pointers as Magic had field goals but both performances helped their team to a win.

You know, just two franchise icons.

All-time performance

To add full context to Rui’s performance, it was one of the greatest in franchise history for the Lakers. He tied Mychal Thompson for the most points by a player off the bench in a playoff game in franchise history with his 29 points.

Again, that’s a list littered with names of franchise icons and all are NBA champions. For a franchise wit has much postseason history as the Lakers, topping any list means something and also further shows how impressive — and improbable — the performance was.

Hillbilly Kobe joins actual Kobe

After Rui helped the Lakers get to the final minutes with a lead, it was Reaves who slammed the door shut on the Grizzlies. Over a series of late-game possessions, Reaves was given the ball and made things happen, burying a 3-pointer and a pull-up jumper before letting the world know an important trait he has.

Even Damian Lillard took notice of Reaves, perhaps leading to him changing his mind about being a future Laker.

Reaves was a perfect 5-5 from the field in the fourth with two 3-pointers and two free throws for his 14 points. It put him up there with two other franchise icons for dominant fourth-quarter performances.

Now, Hillbilly Kobe and the black Mamba himself can earnestly be mentioned in the same sentence for their accomplishments.

New Showtime Lakers?

The big nights from Reaves and Rui combined with LeBron and AD scoring 21 and 22 points, respectively, means the Lakers had four players eclipse 20 points. And unsurprisingly, that’s something that hasn’t been accomplished often!

What this Lakers team has that very few other teams have had since then is a host of players that can step up on any given night. After being the play-in game hero, Dennis Schröder took a backseat on Sunday. And after being ineffective in the play-in game, D’Angelo Russell finished a point shy of scoring 20 points himself.

Sunday’s performance was a memorable win for the Lakers and hopefully just the beginning of a special playoff run.

You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.

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