West Notes: Grizzlies, Ja Morant, Suns, Timberwolves


Point guard Ja Morant said Wednesday’s close overtime win against the Spurs was actually a good thing.

“Early in the season for us to have a couple games where we go down the stretch or go into overtime and being able to still come out with a win is big time for us,” Morant told reporters. “We know every game is not going to be a blowout. So, having these reps helps us a lot.”

The Grizzlies have now beaten the Spurs seven straight times.

  • Shooting guard Desmond Bane has been fined $15,000 by the NBA for kicking a ball into the stands. The incident occurred Monday in a loss to the Celtics.


The Suns were able to overcome the Timberwolves on the road despite not having injured starting point guard Chris Paul or starting small forward Cam Johnson. That had shooting guard Devin Booker praising the team’s depth.

“That’s what we stand by; playing the right brand of basketball,” Booker told reporters. “We have a lot of talented guys, even when we’re at full roster. There’s really good players that don’t get a chance to play that are in the rotation now. So, everybody’s taking advantage of their opportunities.”

Coach Monty Williams was also clearly pleased with the Suns’ refusal to let the injuries hold them back.

“This was a big game for us,” Williams said. “It’s weird to say that this early in the season, but when you don’t have Chris and you’re coming off of a loss and playing a team in your conference that you want to play well against, it was a big game from a mindset point of view.”


After making the playoffs last season, the Timberwolves have struggled early, with their inability to consistently take care of the ball being one of the culprits.

“The turnovers are killing us, for sure,” Timberwolves coach Chris Finch told reporters. “(Opponents are) cashing in every turnover and they’re kind of deflating at the same time. And first quarter urgency’s just not there.”

  • Against the Suns, the Timberwolves played a possession with just four players on the court after D’Angelo Russell failed to check in for Taurean Prince. “It’s just the sign of a team that’s lacking a little bit of confidence and purpose right now,” Finch said.

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