There was little fanfare when the Los Angeles Lakers selected Kyle Kuzma with the No. 27 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. He gained notoriety at the Las Vegas Summer League, earning MVP honors of the championship game, and carried that momentum into the preseason.
But questions remained whether Kuzma would find similar success come the NBA season. That was quickly answered, and for a brief stretch he was in the discussion for Rookie of the Year.
Although Kuzma eventually faded from consideration, he had nothing short of a remarkable first season. One of his better performances came in the Lakers’ upset of the Boston Celtics.
And when asked during an appearance on “Area 21” on TNT, Kuzma pointed to that game as his personal favorite:
“I’m going to say when we played Boston at home. Playing Boston, down, came back in the fourth. I had a real big game. Think I had 17 (points) in the fourth. That was probably my favorite moment, for sure. … I love playing Boston.”
The Lakers clawed out a 108-107 win despite going 21-for-36 from the free throw line, including just 7-for-17 in the fourth quarter. What’s more, they squandered a six-point lead with 26 seconds remaining.
Kuzma finished with a team-high 28 points, and as he noted, 17 of those came in the fourth quarter to help the Lakers mount a comeback. His 3-pointer gave them a 93-91 lead with just under six minutes left, and marked the start of Kuzma scoring seven straight points.
The victory was the Lakers third of four in a row, and part of a stretch in which they won 12 of 16.