Rui Hachimura Comes Up Big For Lakers In Place Of Anthony Davis

Rui Hachimura, Lakers, NBA
Mar 27, 2024; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Rui Hachimura (28) reacts with guard Austin Reaves (15) during a time out during the first half against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers picked up one of the most impressive victories of the NBA season on Tuesday night over the Milwaukee Bucks. Trailing by 19 points in the fourth quarter, they were able to claw their way back and force the game into overtime. It took two overtimes, but the Lakers were eventually able to complete their comeback, winning 128-124.

It was a hard-fought game, but the Lakers kicked off their six-game road trip with a much-needed win. However, for that game to truly mean something, they needed to come out the next night and handle business against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Playing on the second night of a back-to-back is tough enough in the NBA. Doing so after a double-overtime thriller without the help of Anthony Davis, who sat out with a hyperextended knee, made it all the more difficult.

But, the Lakers were happy to get LeBron James back in the lineup, as he recorded a triple-double with 23 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists. The hero of the game, however, was Rui Hachimura.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Rui Hachimura, Anthony Davis, Los Angeles Lakers Updates

He stepped up, taking Davis’s role offensively and did his best impersonation of him. Hachimura scored 32 points with 10 rebounds, one assist and two blocks in 35 minutes without a single turnover. Jaxxon Hayes was inserted into the starting lineup and scored 14 points with seven rebounds in 30 minutes in place of Davis.

Hachimura took full advantage of the kind of defense the Grizzlies were deploying against him. Despite making 40.3 percent of his 3.2 3-point attempts per game, Memphis treated Hachimura as a non-shooter; similar to what they likely would have done with Davis in the lineup.

He would make them pay, knocking down an NBA career-high 7-of-8 of his 3-point attempts. He did a wonderful job of moving around the arc, finding his spots as the Grizzlies collapsed on James, D’Angelo Russell and Austin Reaves off of Hachimura.

They all came in the flow, they all came in rhythm,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said. “If Jaren Jackson was guarding him, we know how on alert he is for anything that’s coming to the paint, so we just told our guys continuously attack the paint, attack the rim, know Jaren is going to be lurking around the area, and if he’s on Rui, just find Rui. Rui will be ready to be shot-ready, shot-aggressive.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Rui Hachimura, Anthony Daivs, Los Angeles Lakers Updates

By the time the Grizzlies adjusted their game plan, it was too late. Hachimura was in the zone and the game was too far out of hand for Memphis to mount a comeback.

Wednesday was the Lakers’ fifth straight win, as they now have a little breathing room between themselves and the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets in the standings for the NBA Play-In Tournament. Los Angeles is as close to the No. 6 seed Dallas Mavericks as they are to the 10th seeded Warriors, setting up for what could be a wild last few games of the regular season.

Knicks Need Slight Adjustment To Offensive Gameplan

The New York Knicks are coming off one of the best offensive performances in NBA history in their last game against the Toronto Raptors. New

Orlando Magic Have Been An Elite Defensive Team

One of the most surprising teams in the NBA during the 2023-24 season has been the Orlando Magic. After a brutal start to the 2022-23

Nick Nurse, Kelly Oubre Jr. Fined For Referee Interactions

The NBA has announced their punishment for Philadelphia 76ers head coach Nick Nurse and forward Kelly Oubre Jr. The 76ers’ duo have each been fined