Lakers News: Jaxson Hayes Explains When He Decided To Throw Down Eastbay Dunk
Jaxson Hayes, Lakers
(Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images)

Los Angeles Lakers center Jaxson Hayes got 19 minutes on the court on Tuesday night against the Toronto Raptors, as L.A. won in blowout fashion and the team’s stars got to rest for a majority of the fourth quarter. In that fourth quarter, Hayes got the chance to put together a highlight reel moment when he threw down an Eastbay dunk — going between the legs with the ball — on a one-man fastbreak.

Hayes got out ahead of the Raptors defense and received a perfect cross-court pass from Taurean Prince. After catching the ball at around the free throw line, Hayes quickly rose up, tossed the ball between his legs and completed the dunk. It was easily Hayes’ biggest highlight of the season and was one of the most fun moments in the Lakers’ 128-111 victory.

The Lakers center spoke about what went through his mind when he caught the ball and how quick the decision was to attempt the eastbay, as seen on Spectrum SportsNet:

“Honestly, when TP threw the ball, I knew I was gonna do it because no one was down there with me. It was my second in-game Eastbay. First was vs. the Rockets my third year, second year, something like that.”

Hayes said the game situation and the pass from Prince made it an easy decision to attempt the dunk:

“Yeah. And really like as soon as I saw TP pick up the ball and I saw myself alone with no one back there, I said alright, I’ll try it real quick because we’re up by so much.”

The dunk reminded Hayes of the gifted athleticism he possesses as he downplayed how difficult he was because of that:

“I’m really just 7-foot and god blessed me with a lot of athleticism. I have a 7’5 wingspan.”

Hayes was signed in the offseason to be the third center in the Lakers rotation behind Anthony Davis and Christian Wood, and has gotten a few opportunities to shine throughout the season. Tuesday night was another big moment for Hayes, even if it came in garbage time of a big victory.

Jaxson Hayes not concerned about head injury

Hayes had another dunk on Tuesday night where he fell and hit his head hard. However, he assured that he is feeling OK after the game:

“Chillin’, man. I played football so I’ve taken harder hits than that.”

The Lakers need a healthy Hayes for the final six games of the regular season and the postseason given that Wood remains out of the lineup.

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