LOS ANGELES – Ja Morant continues to soar to new heights. In Sunday’s 127-119 win over the Lakers, the aspiring Memphis Grizzlies star’s rise was pretty literal, as Morant’s two-handed chase block over Lakers goaltender Avery Bradley left the two teams amazed by the game.
“This is probably the best block I have ever seen live,” said Grizzlies big man Jaren Jackson Jr. “Probably the best block I have ever seen, period. It was crazy. . “
Midway through the first quarter, with Memphis leading early 12-9, Bradley deflected a pass from Morant and blocked the flight over halfway, triggering a quick break opportunity for himself to finish at the other side.
Only Morant had other plans.
The third-year keeper sprinted in defense and caught up with Bradley from behind, jumping past the restricted area to catch Bradley’s layup attempt with both hands as the ball was still coming up.
Morant’s head was close to the edge as he controlled the ball’s path through the top of the square on the backboard, and he retrieved the ball once back on the pitch to trigger a quick break from the Grizzlies towards the other basket.
“Obviously, it starts with timing and also stalking your prey,” said LeBron James, who secured the biggest chase block in league history in the dying minutes of Game 7. the 2016 NBA Finals. “And that’s exactly what Ja was doing this whole play, and I saw it happen.
“I had no idea he was going to do it that way, but he got rockets in his calf muscles, and it was a spectacular game. It was a great game. Hi.”
Morant, who missed the Grizzlies’ win over the LA Clippers on Saturday with a pain in his left thigh, looked great on Sunday. He finished with 16 points, seven assists, five rebounds and, of course, that block.
“I just came back and had an amazing game,” said Morant. “I was just trying to get the ball back. Most of the time on a break like this, if you block it, there might be a player dragging around to get the ball back and put it down. It worked perfectly. for me.
“Now I’m probably all over the internet for this.”
It was just another momentous moment in the personal highlight Morant has had against the Lakers this season after dropping 40 points in each of the teams’ first two meetings.
And that helped the Grizzlies clinch their ninth straight victory, leading them to a Utah Jazz game for third place in the Western Conference standings.
“It was a special game from a special player,” said Lakers coach Frank Vogel. “I don’t know what there is really to say about this.”