Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma put his name in the NBA record books with his sensational 38-point, seven-rebound, four-assist performance in the team’s 122-116 upset win over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night.
Kuzma became the first rookie to hit six-straight 3-pointers to start a game since 2015 (he finished with seven triples, a high for all rookies this year). Kuzma was also the first rookie to rack up at least 38 points, seven rebounds and four assists, with seven made 3-pointers since Jason Kidd did so in 1995.
Furthermore, Kuzma is the only rookie to ever do so while shooting above 70 percent from the field.
It was the best game Kuzma has played in the NBA, and he said people would have to go back a lot farther than his college days, where his career-high was 23 points, to find another night he’d played so well, as seen on Spectrum SportsNet:
“The ball just went in the rim. I saw it come early, and just kept my focus. A long time, probably, like, fifth or sixth grade, maybe. For real, no joke. That was the first time in a real, serious game, for sure.”
Kuzma was never expected to score like this, otherwise, he never would’ve dropped to the 27th overall pick, and he certainly wasn’t expected to do so as a rookie.
Kuzma is never going to average 38 points or anything absurd like that, but the way he’s adjusting to the NBA and continuing to dominate even as defenses begin to get scouting reports on him is the latest evidence that the Lakers have found something special in their less-heralded first-rounder.
It’s unknown how good Kuzma will ultimately be, but soon enough nights like his scoring binge against Houston are going to feel a lot more routine, and a lot less unexpected.
Kuzma now has scored in double-figures in seven of the past eight games, including reaching at least 20 points in the last three games.
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