Ja Morant was one of the most electrifying players in college basketball during his two years at Murray State.
It hasn’t taken long for the rookie to make his imprint on the NBA.
The Memphis Grizzlies point guard made critical plays down the stretch to send Sunday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets to overtime, where Memphis prevailed on Jae Crowder’s 3-pointer at the buzzer, 134-133.
While Crowder’s bucket was the final statement in the overtime victory, it wouldn’t have been possible without several big moments from Morant.
Morant saves game in regulation
Morant tied the game at 120 with seven seconds remaining when he knifed through the Nets defense from the top of the key for a layup in traffic.
Nets guard Kyrie Irving then had a chance to end things in regulation. But Morant swatted Irving’s jumper to win the game, sending the game into an extra session.
After the bulk of a back-and-forth overtime session, the Grizzlies found themselves trailing 133-131 with 3.7 seconds remaining and an inbounds play set up in the backcourt.
Sets up Crowder for the win
Crowder took the inbounds pass and dished the ball to Morant who dribbled over halfcourt. Crowder trailed and took a bounce pass from Morant at the top of the 3-point line, where he took and sank the game-winning shot in front of an ecstatic Memphis home crowd.
Breakout moment for Morant
It capped a massive night for Morant, who tallied 30 points, nine assists, four rebounds and that one critical block of Irving.
It was a breakout game for Morant, who averaged 12 points and 4.5 assists with 42.9 percent shooting from the floor in his first two NBA games.
It’s safe to say there will plenty more games like Sunday’s in Morant’s future.
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