West Notes: Grizzlies, Ja Morant, Clippers, Ivica Zubac, Mavs

Grizzlies

Star point guard Ja Morant said there’s just something extra special about getting a triple double in Madison Square Garden — a feat he accomplished in the Grizzlies’ win over the Knicks on Sunday.

“It’s just the bright lights, man. Having a triple-double in the Garden is crazy,” Morant said, via Tim Bontemps of ESPN. “Growing up actually watching teams come here and play, watching the Knicks play … everybody loves the Garden. We really called it the bright lights. Everybody is watching.

“So for me to be able to go out and play like I played tonight, was big-time for me.”

Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau admitted there was little his team could do to slow down Morant.

“We were double-teaming him, we were doing a lot of stuff, and his playmaking, he didn’t fight it,” Thibodeau said, via Bontemps. “He just made the right play.

“He’s a fast break unto himself, he’s an offense unto himself, and he reads the game well.”

While Morant had a remarkable night, he forced nothing, Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks suggested.

“Amazing, he did it all,” Brooks said. “He didn’t force no shots. He was trying to get us involved. And then when it’s time to take over, he takes over.”

  • The Grizzles (12-8) swept the two-game season series from the Knicks (9-11), also holding on in the opener back on Oct. 17 in Memphis.

Clippers

Center Ivica Zubac finished the Clippers’ win over the Pacers with 31 points and a whopping 29 rebounds, but that’s not say he was entirely satisfied.

“I was mad at myself because I wanted to get that 30 and 30 so bad. It hurts. It’s definitely not as happy as I should be,” he told reporters. “I was just mad at myself for going for it, but I just I can’t help myself. Every time I see someone trying to get away I try to block it.”

There have been just three 30-point, 30-rebound games in the NBA since 1981. Zubac was one board shy of becoming the fourth.

  • It was also the second-most rebounds in a Clippers game since 1981, per SportsRadar. Michael Cage had 30 in 1988 vs. the Seattle SuperSonics.

Mavericks

The Mavericks are experiencing their longest losing streak since Jason Kidd became coach, having dropped four straight.

But star guard Luka Doncic is staying positive nonetheless.

“We’ve just got to keep going,” Doncic said, via Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News. “There’s 82 games. We’ve just got to keep going. Every day is a new day. Every game is a new game.”

  • Doncic had high praise for Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo after the loss at Milwaukee on Sunday. “It’s hard to go against a guy like that,” Doncic said. “He’s the best player in the NBA right now.”

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