The Memphis Grizzlies’ Ja Morant has led the team to a record-breaking start, but his offense is still coming in at number three among point guards. With efficiency and scoring ability being two of the most important skills for an NBA player, what does this mean for Morant’s future?
The “nba grizzlies” is a professional basketball team in the National Basketball Association. Memphis Grizzlies’ Ja Morant fuels second-half comeback against New York Knicks with 38 points and 13 assists.
The Los Angeles Lakers seemed to be in command, leading by 13 late in the third quarter, until the Memphis Grizzlies’ Ja Morant almost outperformed them down the line in a 104-99 home triumph on Wednesday.
From the 3-minute, 38-second mark in the third quarter to the final buzzer, Morant scored 16 of his 41 points, leading Memphis to a 37-19 victory.
“It’s going to be difficult to contain a guy like that when you shoot the ball as well as he did tonight from the perimeter, with his speed and athleticism, because he’s doing the whole three levels of scoring,” said LeBron James, whose 37 points, including eight 3-pointers to tie a career high, went for naught. “There’s nothing you can do about it. You are at his beck and call.”
In his two games against the Lakers this season, Morant has scored at least 40 points each times.
On Wednesday, he went 13-for-27 from the field, including 6-for-7 from 3-point range, and 9-for-12 from the free throw line, while also grabbing 10 rebounds, dishing out two assists, and blocking two shots.
As amazing as his last flourish was, he was just as brilliant earlier in the game, scoring 16 points in a row for the Grizzlies to bridge the late second and early third quarters.
“We began fouling, dude,” Lakers guard Malik Monk recalled, “and he went to the free throw line and started watching the ball go in, and he established his rhythm that way.” “And there’s not much you can do when a man gets it going like that.”
After a victory against the Houston Rockets on Tuesday, the Lakers’ 2-0 road trip to move back to.500 was foiled by Memphis’ comeback. Instead, as the season approaches the halfway mark, L.A. (17-19) is eyeing the No. 8 slot in the Western Conference rankings, with Memphis (22-14) tightening its hold on the No. 4 seed.
Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins remarked, “Obviously, Ja, what a tremendous night by him, the tone he was establishing throughout the game.” “When he started going, it just sort of inspired everyone else, and in the third quarter, we just kind of broke free.”
Morant had six turnovers, three of which came in the fourth quarter, but it was the Lakers who were left cursing their 18 turnovers, which led to the Grizzlies scoring 21 points.
Russell Westbrook also had five turnovers, lessening the effect of his third straight triple-double. James had five turnovers, marring his sixth consecutive 30-point performance (16 points, 12 assists, 10 rebounds).
“We recognize that we have a lot of attackers,” James said, “but it’s the thoughtless turnovers, when you literally just throw the ball over with no pressure or cause for it, that puts us in trouble.”
With 6.7 seconds remaining in the game and the Lakers behind by three, James gave the ball away to the Grizzlies, depriving L.A. the opportunity to shoot a game-tying jumper.
“I believe the turnovers and the one more play, where [L.A. failed to execute] the simple play to make one more pass to the open guy,” said Lakers interim coach David Fizdale, who is stepping in for Frank Vogel, who is under the league’s health and safety procedures.
Westbrook, whose turnovers have been a recurring theme in the Lakers’ defeats this season, deflected the responsibility. He said that shot selection was the difference between Los Angeles shutting out the Rockets in the fourth quarter on Tuesday and failing to win against the Grizzlies the next night.
In Houston, the Lakers shot 12-for-21 from the floor in the fourth quarter, including 1-for-5 from beyond the arc. They went 7-for-20 in the fourth quarter at Memphis, including 2-for-10 from three, with James accounting for two of the team’s six points, while the rest of the team went 0-for-4, including a miss by Westbrook.
“You can tell where our shots come from just watching the narrative of the two,” Westbrook added. “There’s not a lot of color in the paint.”
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