West Notes: Grizzlies, Ja Morant, Lakers, Mavericks


After struggling for much of the first half, star guard Ja Morant and the Grizzlies went on a major tear in Tuesday’s 121-109 win over the Lakers.

The Grizzlies trailed 49-46 at halftime — meaning they scored 75 in the second half. Remarkably, Morant scored 28 of his 39 points in the third quarter.

“I was just feeling it,” Morant told reporters. “I got going and was able to keep it rolling and put us in a good position to win the game.”

Morant’s eruption broke open an otherwise close game.

“Obviously, Ja had a special third quarter,” coach Taylor Jenkins said. “He was just in attack mode.”

Morant added that he did not “flip a switch” in the second half. Instead, he just made shots that he normally makes in the second half, he said.

“At halftime, my teammates just kept encouraging me. Just telling me to keep going,” Morant said. “I told them I wasn’t going to miss too many more.”

  • The Grizzlies have won five straight at FedEx Forum and are 26-5 at home overall.


  • The Lakers played without star forward LeBron James (foot) and starting guard D’Angelo Russell, who missed his second straight game with a right ankle sprain.
  • James’ injured foot is the talk of the NBA. As we relayed here, he is out at least two weeks, perhaps more. “It’s a huge blow to have LeBron injured,” coach Darvin Ham told reporters. “We’re going to keep going, and it’s full steam ahead with the goals we set for ourselves.” 
  • James said he heard a “pop” when he first injured the ankle. “I know when I heard a pop, my foot was broken,” a former NBA player told Hoops Wire. There’s no indication, though, that’s the case with James.


The Mavericks are just 1-4 since trading for point guard Kyrie Irving and pairing him with Luka Doncic.

That includes blowing a 27-point lead to the Lakers over the weekend and a home loss to the struggling Pacers on Tuesday.

“I think we should be talking about the whole team because we play as a team,” Doncic said. “We win, we lose as a team. It’s not just about two players.”

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