Basketball / NBA

Grizzlies' Yuta Watanabe plays in second NBA game

Kyodo, AP

Rookie forward Yuta Watanabe made his second NBA appearance on Wednesday in the Memphis Grizzlies’ 116-113 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.

Watanabe did not score but blocked a shot and grabbed two rebounds in 7 minutes and 46 seconds of playing time as the Grizzlies handed the Bucks their first home loss of the season.

Memphis improved to 8-5 and currently sits in fifth place in the Western Conference.

“It was an excellent victory for the team,” Watanabe said. “I think it’s important to gain experience, so I’m studying what I can’t do and then I’ll reflect on it and take what I learned into the next game.”

The 24-year-old rookie showcased his defensive prowess soon after checking into the game late in the first quarter, blocking a layup attempt by veteran Turkish forward Ersan Ilyasova from behind. He attempted one shot, a 3-pointer, in the second quarter.

The George Washington University alum had two points and two rebounds in his NBA debut against the Phoenix Suns on Oct. 27.

In July, Watanabe earned a two-way contract with the Grizzlies and their NBA G League team, the Memphis Hustle. Under the contract, Watanabe is eligible to spend up to 45 days with the Grizzlies.

He has averaged 11.8 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in four NBA G League games.

Pistons 106, Raptors 104

In Toronto, Reggie Bullock made the winning shot as time expired and Detroit rallied from a 19-point deficit to beat the Raptors, giving coach Dwane Casey a win over his former team.

Blake Griffin had 30 points and 12 rebounds, Reggie Jackson and Langston Galloway each scored 13 points and Stanley Johnson had 12 for the Pistons. They had lost six of eight.

Kawhi Leonard scored 26 points and Pascal Siakam and Greg Monroe each had 17 for the Raptors. They have lost consecutive home games after a 7-0 start.

Lakers 126, Trail Blazers 117

In Los Angeles, LeBron James had a season-high 44 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, passing Wilt Chamberlain for fifth place on the NBA’s career scoring list and leading the Lakers over Portland.

James scored 28 points in the second half and vaulted past Chamberlain on a three-point play with 3:55 to go, finishing the night with 31,425 career points.

Damian Lillard had 31 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds for the Trail Blazers.

In Other Games

Mavericks 118, Jazz 68

Celtics 111, Bulls 82

Heat 120, Nets 107

Suns 116, Spurs 96

Timberwolves 107, Pelicans 100

Thunder 128, Knicks 103

Magic 111, 76ers 106

Wizards 119, Cavaliers 95