DETROIT – Michigan native and Los Angeles Lakers rookie Kyle Kuzma is raising eyebrows around the NBA.
Kuzma, a 2017 first round draft pick out of Utah, is averaging 17 points and six rebounds per game in his first NBA season.
On Wednesday night, Kuzma scored 38 points, including seven three-pointers against the first place Houston Rockets - garnering the approval of one Lakers legend.
Kobe Bryant tweeted after the game with a co-sign for the ages.
As for Kuzma, he wasn't all that impressed with his career high performance.
"Why not? I scored 30s in summer league, so...," he said before trailing off.
The stakes were a little higher Wednesday night. Kuzma helped the Lakers overcome James Harden's 51 points and end the Rockets' winning streak at 14 games with a 122-116 victory.
"It's a better team but it's the same mentality," Kuzma said. "I've got the same mentality every time I step on the court. I try to play my hardest and just be locked in."
Houston lost for the first time since Nov. 14, while the Lakers snapped a three-game skid. It was tied before Los Angeles scored 10 straight points — while Houston missed seven shots in a row — to go up 110-100 with about four minutes left.
Kuzma was unstoppable in the first half, making all nine of his shots, including six 3-pointers. He cooled a bit after the break and finished 12 of 17 overall and 7 of 10 from deep.
Kuzma is a Flint native who attended Swartz Creek Community Schools and Bentley High School, where he averaged nearly 18 points and 15 rebounds per game in his junior year.