When the Memphis Grizzlies needed a hero in Game 2 against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers, Xavier Tillman gladly showed up and helped the team score a series-tying 103-93 win at home Wednesday night.
Xavier Tillman came out of nowhere and poured in a team-high 22 points on 10-for-13 shooting from the field with 13 rebounds and three assists in 32 minutes of floor duty. According to StatMuse, it’s the first time ever in the history of the Grizzlies franchise that someone posted at least 22 points and 13 rebounds in an NBA Playoffs game while also shooting at least 75 percent from the field.
Xavier Tillman tonight:
First Grizzlies player to reach those numbers on 75 FG% in a playoff game. pic.twitter.com/tm348ZrBLe
— StatMuse (@statmuse) April 20, 2023
Xavier Tillman was a very good player in East Lansing during his days with the Michigan State Spartans, but he was definitely not a primary concern of the Lakers heading into Game 2, even if Ja Morant was already ruled out for that contest. After all, Tillman averaged just 7.0 and 5.0 rebounds across 61 games back in the 2022-23 NBA regular season. Moreover, Xavier Tillman coughed up just two points with three rebounds and three assists, and a steal in the series opener.
Tillman also helped another former Spartans star, Jaren Jackson Jr., in making life miserable on the court for Lakers big man Anthony Davis, who only produced 13 points on a salty 4-for-14 shooting from the floor.
The Lakers were blindsided by the surprising eruption of Tillman, with the Grizzlies now also hoping that the former second-round pick in the 2020 NBA Draft will be able to carry that form with him to Game 3 on Saturday.
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