Friday, June 2 2023

Grizzlies star guard Ja Morant exited midway through the fourth quarter of Memphis’ 128-112 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1 of the first-round series between the teams on Sunday afternoon after suffering an apparent hand injury. 

Morant landed awkwardly on his outstretched right hand after attempting a dunk and colliding midair with Lakers big man Anthony Davis. Clearly in pain, Morant immediately subbed out of the game and headed back to the locker room. He ultimately returned to the Grizzlies’ bench, but he didn’t re-enter the game. He appeared to have his hand and wrist area wrapped when he was back on the bench. 

You can see the play where the injury occurred below: 

The Lakers led 105-101 when Morant exited the game. Memphis was outscored 23-11 the rest of the way, including a 15-0 run by L.A. to close the contest. The Grizzlies now find themselves down 1-0 in the best-of-seven series. Prior to hurting his hand, Morant played 30 minutes and tallied 18 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals. 

After the game, Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said that X-rays on Morant’s hand came back negative, which is good news for Memphis. Morant will continue to be evaluated over the next couple of days leading up to Game 2 in the series on Wednesday. The star guard told reporters that he’s in “a good bit of pain” and added that his status for the next game is “in jeopardy.” 

Morant’s health is obviously of supreme importance for Memphis moving forward. The Grizzlies are already without key contributors Steven Adams and Brandon Clarke for the entirety of their playoff run, and they simply can’t afford to lose anyone else for an extended period, especially their All-Star point guard. 



Austin Reaves is the 3rd Laker in the last 25 seasons to finish 5-5 or better in the fourth quarter of a playoff game


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