Japanese rookie Rui Hachimura continues to impress early in his NBA career, scoring 21 points for the Washington Wizards in a 113-100 defeat to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday.

While the 2-6 Wizards own the Eastern Conference's second-worst record following the loss, the dynamic play of No. 9 draft pick Hachimura has been a bright spot for fans in Washington.

(Rui Hachimura (8) of the Washington Wizards shoots the ball against the Cleveland Cavaliers)
[Photo courtesy of NBAE/Getty/Kyodo]

In his eighth game, the 21-year-old power forward scored his 100th career point, becoming the quickest Wizards player to reach the milestone since five-time All-Star John Wall.

The Toyama Prefecture native showed no lack of confidence despite a 0-for-5 outing in his previous game, knocking down his first seven field goal attempts on his way to shooting 10-for-13 from the floor at Capital One Arena.

While Hachimura found his offensive groove, he said the Wizards' poor defense put them in an insurmountable position in the opening half.

"It was a tough game...they scored (almost) 70 points in the first half. That can't happen like that -- that's how they get started," he said.

"I think it starts with defense. As a team, our defense was bad today in the first half and that hurt us."

(Rui Hachimura (8) of the Washington Wizards handles the ball against the Cleveland Cavaliers.)
[Photo courtesy of NBAE/Getty/Kyodo]

Hachimura, who also tallied seven rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals, helped the Wizards rally from the big deficit in the third quarter to give home fans hope of a comeback win.

He brought the crowd to their feet with a highlight-reel dunk over Cleveland forward Tristan Thompson late in the quarter as the Wizards went on a 27-9 run.

But the Cavaliers -- led by Thompson, with 21 points and 12 rebounds -- held off the home side to improve to 3-5.

Center Thomas Bryant topped the scoring for Washington with 23 points, while All-Star guard Bradley Beal added 20.

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