Jaime Jaquez Jr., Miami Heat
Jaime Jaquez Jr. now holds the record for most points in a regular season and playoff game for players of Mexican descent Via @MiamiHEAT on X/Twitter

SEATTLE - He might be a rookie, but on the court he looks like a seasoned veteran. Miami Heat's forward Jaime Jaquez Jr. showed he wasn't afraid of the setting when he set foot on the court of a packed TD Garden to face the top seeded Boston Celtics in the NBA playoffs.

After an excellent rookie season, Jaquez Jr. started and played 36 minutes in his post-season debut. And despite his team's shortcomings in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round, the Mexican-American left his mark.

He finished the game with 16 points on 50% shooting from the field, adding four rebounds and four assists in the Heat's 114-94 loss to the Celtics. Only Bam Adebayo (24) and Delon Wright (17) scored more points than Jaquez Jr. among Miami players.

Jaime Jaquez Jr. first playoff bucket

Jaquez Jr.'s 16 points against the Celtics set a new record for players of Mexican descent in the playoffs, as he surpassed Eduardo Nájera's record of 13 for the Dallas Mavericks, which stood for almost 22 years.

Throughout the history of the NBA, only six players of Mexican descent had seen action in an NBA court before the arrival of Jaquez Jr. The young Miami star didn't need too much time to leave his mark among them, surpassing the regular-season record for most points in a game by a Mexican/Mexican-American in just his 15th game in the NBA.

Jaquez Jr. finished the regular season with nine games scoring 20+ points, with a career-high night of 31 points against the Sixers on Christmas Day.

With Jimmy Butler out for an undetermined period of time due to injury, Jaquez Jr. is expected to continue as one of Miami's five starters against the Celtics. "He gathered himself," said Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra about Jaquez Jr. after the game. "We need him to be aggressive, so it's not all just Tyler and Bam."

The UCLA product has definitely been more aggressive when he starts games. In 20 games as a starter during the regular season, Jaquez Jr. averaged almost five more points than when he came off then bench (15.1 PPG as starter to 10.7 PPG off the bench).

"You could feel the difference from regular season games to playoffs...the intensity level, the fans, the energy, everything is just heightened," Jaquez Jr. said.

And even though it was unchartered territory for the rookie, he managed to score more points in his playoff debut than any of the other players of Mexican descent combined (Gustavo Ayón, Eduardo Nájera, Juan Toscano-Anderson and Jorge Gutiérrez combined for nine points in their playoff debut).

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