The Return of Ja Morant

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After a four-game absence, the Grizzlies' rookie sensation, Ja Morant, returned to the lineup and led Memphis to a road victory over the Golden State Warriors. Morant scored 13 of his game-high 26 points in the fourth quarter. For the game, Morant had seven assists, three 3-pointers, and a steal, while going 8-for-14 from the field in the 110-102 win.

Morant is tied for third with Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard in NBA fourth-quarter scoring this season. "It was fun — I missed it," said Morant on his return after back soreness. "It was tough sitting there on the sideline, knowing that I wanna be out there. It just felt good to get out there again."

The 20-year-old said about his fourth quarter scoring, "I kinda just like to focus on what I can control and on what happens between those four lines. In terms of all the accolades and awards and numbers, I don’t really pay attention to that stuff. I just take what the defense gives me. I never try to force anything. I feel like they were going under a lot of my screens and it’s either shoot or attack or find the open man. I think that tonight we were able to get stops and play the way that we wanted to. We had a lot of people step up tonight."

Coach Taylor Jenkins was pleased once again with his young guard's performance. He said, "Yeah, there’s a lot of trust with him and when the ball is in his hands. ... We wanted to make sure that he was playing a solid 48 minutes with an attack mentality, knowing that he is 'score first,' but he is also super unselfish and will make the right plays. Had a couple of assists late and had some buckets that we needed in order to kill a run."

Jenkins continued, "As a team we have to get better as a coaching staff when teams are trying to take away Ja (Morant), especially late in the game. But it is certainly a great thing to see early on in his career."



The Murray State product continues to wow with his presence on the floor. As Master P would say, Ja "makes 'em say uhh." Here are a few of his plays from Monday night in San Francisco. 



Here is another angle:


Morant spoke to Grizzlies sideline reporter Rob Fischer after the game. 

Notes

The Grizzlies ended a three game skid with the win.

The Grizzlies were helped by their strong night in transition, as they outscored the Warriors 25-10 in fast break points. It was the sixth time this season that the Grizzlies have shot 50.0 percent or better from the field (41-of-82).

Dillon Brooks was engaged on both ends of the floor and finished with 17 points.  

Jaren Jackson, Jr. added 16 points and a team-high three blocks.

Grayson Allen had 13 first half points and finished the game with 15 points, before leaving with an ankle injury. He went 6-of-8 from the field and 3-of-4 from the three-point line.

Jonas Valanciunas notched his 13th double-double of the season with 13 points, 10 rebounds and four assists on 5-of-7 shooting.

Alec Burks led the Warriors with 18 points, as well as seven rebounds and six assists.

D’Angelo Russell added 18 points, seven assists, and three rebounds for the Warriors. 


Up Next

The Grizzlies will continue their four-game road trip on Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 8 p.m. CT against the Phoenix Suns inside Talking Stick Resort Arena.

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