West Notes: Grizzlies, Ja Morant, Warriors, Steph Curry, Kings


Star guard Ja Morant scored 26 points and dunked on Spurs rookie Victor Wembanyama as the Grizzlies snapped a three-game skid on Tuesday. Earlier, Wembanyama had swatted away Morant at the rim.Ja Morant

“The moment was just like any other moment for me when somebody is guarding me,” Morant told reporters. “I don’t try to dunk on people like I used to. Just get a bucket. Find a way.”

  • Memphis held San Antonio to 42 percent shooting, another sign the Grizzlies’ defense is coming around. “I think we were communicating pretty effectively,” power forward Santi Aldama said. “We were following the game plan discipline, something we’ve been lacking. I think we just let our defense dictate our offense, and we played very hard. When we play that way, it’s very hard to beat us.”


It took several huge shots down the stretch from Steph Curry (who else?), but the Warriors were finally able to again beat an over-.500 team with Tuesday’s home win over the Magic. Curry scored 36 points to lead the way.

“Steph was amazing,” coach Steve Kerr told reporters. “But Steph is always amazing. Even when he doesn’t score 36 points, just the attention he draws defensively, what he does to an opposing defense, the way he opens up the floor, he’s a remarkable player. He really got himself going on a night when we needed it.”

  • It was the Warriors’ first win in three tries during their current seven-game homestand. “We’ve been struggling to get wins,” point guard Chris Paul said. “It’s hard to win in this league. That team is a young team, well coached. They’ve been playing hard all season long, so this was a good win for us.”
  • Golden State is 9-9 this season without forward Draymond Green, who’s missed 10 straight games as the result of an indefinite suspension. “We’ve been giving him his space, he’s been giving us ours,” Kerr said.


The Kings allowed the Hornets to go on a 10-0 run to close Tuesday’s home game, snapping Charlotte’s 11-game skid in one of the biggest upsets of this NBA season.

Along the way, the Kings committed a season-high 21 turnovers, with center Domantas Sabonis committing 11.

“To have 21 turnovers in a ballgame, especially when the turnovers aren’t forced, it just takes away your opportunity to score,” Kings coach Mike Brown said.

  • Sacramento is now 14-1 when leading at halftime. “I think there were times where we just didn’t make shots at the rim,” point guard De’Aaron Fox said. “Obviously, we were trying to tip it in. I just think from the standpoint of a lot of what we did tonight, I don’t think we were good.”

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