During his post-game on-court interview, Ja Morant called for his daughter – who was hanging with her grandpa on the other side of the court – to join him. As the interview continued without her, Morant motioned for her to run, and she arrived quickly. After the interview, Morant put her on his shoulders and took her back to his dad.
Morant has a way of summoning high energy from those around him and carrying them where they need to go.
Morant had 23 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds to lead the Grizzlies to a 124-96 Game 2 win Tuesday. With an onslaught of athleticism and intensity, Memphis tied the first-round series 1-1 entering Game 3 Thursday.
The Grizzlies led by 17+ the final 20 minutes.
The turning point came much earlier.
Memphis starting center Steven Adams – whose strong interior defense proved no match for 3-point-shooting Karl-Anthony Towns and whose own non-shooting cramped spacing offensively in Game 1 – picked up his second foul fewer than three minutes into the game. What a break for the Grizzlies. Adams didn’t return, as Memphis found better options.
Jaren Jackson Jr. (16 points on 4-of-7 3-point shooting) pulled Towns from the paint. Xavier Tilman (13 points on 6-of-7 shooting) used his size and mobility to bother Towns on the other end. Memphis’ rotating cast of centers frustrated Towns into 15 points on 4-of-7 shooting with five turnovers and five fouls.