18 April, 2023
Ja Morant, the standout guard for the Memphis Grizzlies, left the game with a hand injury midway through the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 128-112 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1 of their first-round series. After trying a dunk and connecting with Anthony Davis, a big man for the Los Angeles Lakers, in midair, Morant fell awkwardly on his extended right hand. Morant quickly left the game and went back to the locker room, clearly in discomfort.
He eventually made it back to the Grizzlies bench, but he left the game. When he sat back down on the bench, his hand and wrist looked to be wrapped. Morant is a game-time decision for Game 2 on Wednesday due to a soft tissue bruise, according to information shared by Taylor Jenkins on Tuesday. Below is a video of the injury-causing play:
When Morant left the game, the Lakers had a 105-101 advantage. The remainder of the game saw Memphis outscored 23-11, including a 15-0 run by Los Angeles to end it. The best-of-seven series currently has the Grizzlies down 1-0. Morant played 30 minutes and finished with 18 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals before suffering a hand injury.
Jenkins reported after Game 1 that Morant’s hand X-rays were negative, which is fantastic news for Memphis. The star guard said he’s in “a decent bit of discomfort” and that his availability for the upcoming game is “in peril” to reporters on Sunday.
It goes without saying that Morant’s health is crucial for Memphis going forward. The Grizzlies just cannot afford to lose anyone else for an extended length of time, especially their All-Star point guard, as they will already be without Steven Adams and Brandon Clarke for the duration of their playoff run.