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Rui Hachimura Lifts the Lakers with a Career-Best 3-Point Shooting Effort

In a road victory over the Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles forward Rui Hachimura poured in 32 points, including 7-for-8 from 3-point range.

Rui Hachimura had the hot scoring touch, so he kept shooting. 

The Gonzaga University product scored a game-high 32 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in the Los Angeles Lakers' 136-124 road victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night, March 27.

Most notably, Hachimura sank 7 of 8 3-point attempts, making a career-high total from beyond the long-distance arc. And he was 5-for-5 on 3s in the second half.

In his 35-plus minutes, Hachimura finished 11-for-14 from the floor. He also blocked two shots at FedEx Forum.

Lakers frontcourt mate and future Hall of Famer LeBron James had 23 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists to help carry his club to its fifth consecutive victory.

"Rui's ability to shoot and spread the floor was big time for us," James was quoted as saying by The Associated Press. "He just stayed locked in all night."

Hachimura credited his teammates with passing him the ball at opportune times.

"All the passes came at the right time, on the right spot, so I think I was able to have easy shots," said Hachimura, who is averaging 12.8 points per game, according to Kyodo News.

Hachimura picked up the scoring slack with All-Star big man Anthony Davis sidelined. Davis had a 34-point, 23-rebound effort against the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday but also hyperextended his knee.

Rui Hachimura
Rui Hachimura is interviewed after his 32-point performance against the Grizzlies. (NBAE/GETTY IMAGES/via KYODO)

Rui Hachimura Helps Lakers Improve Postseason Outlook

Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said his team's ineffective defensive tactics contributed to the Lakers' latest win.

"Obviously, he was the beneficiary of some great ball movement," Jenkins said, according to The Associated Press. "We adjusted late, but probably a little late on my part."

The Western Conference's ninth-place Lakers, who have nine regular-season games remaining, improved to 41-32, solidifying their position for the NBA Play-In Tournament. The 10th-place Golden State Warriors are 38-34.

Up next: Los Angeles travels to face the Indiana Pacers on Friday.

Teams that finish seventh through 10th in both conferences compete in the play-in competition for berths in the playoffs in their respective conferences. Meanwhile, the streaking Lakers trail the West's sixth-place Dallas Mavericks by 2½ games.

Hachimura, now in his fifth NBA season, had a career-best 36 points on February 14 against the host Utah Jazz in the Lakers' 138-122 triumph. In that game, the Toyama native knocked down 6 of 8 3-point attempts.

Against the Grizzlies (24-49), Hachimura didn't share court time with fellow Japanese NBA player Yuta Watanabe, who was unavailable due to "personal reasons."

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Author: Ed Odeven

Find Ed on JAPAN Forward's dedicated website, SportsLook. Follow his [Japan Sports Notebook] on Sundays, [Odds and Evens] during the week, and X (formerly Twitter) @ed_odeven.

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