Ja Morant’s sensational return sparks Grizzlies to victory over Pelicans

Ja Morant returned to the court on Tuesday night, leading the Memphis Grizzlies to a thrilling 113-111 win over the New Orleans Pelicans. Morant, who had missed the previous 12 games with a knee injury, scored 34 points, including a game-winning floater at the buzzer.

The Grizzlies trailed by as many as 16 points in the third quarter but rallied behind Morant’s brilliance. The 22-year-old point guard scored 17 points in the fourth quarter, showcasing his speed, agility, and clutch gene. He also dished out eight assists and grabbed three rebounds in 32 minutes of action.

Morant’s final shot was a masterpiece of improvisation and skill. With 1.2 seconds left and the score tied at 111, Morant received the inbound pass from Kyle Anderson near the top of the key. He then spun around his defender, Devonte Graham, and launched a high-arching floater over the outstretched arm of Jonas Valanciunas. The ball swished through the net as the buzzer sounded, sending the Grizzlies bench and the home crowd into a frenzy.

Ja Morant

Morant’s teammates and coach praise his performance and leadership

Morant’s teammates and coach were full of admiration for his performance and leadership. Jaren Jackson Jr., who scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds, said Morant was “unbelievable” and “a superstar”.

“He’s a leader, man. He’s a winner. He’s a dog. He’s everything you want in a point guard,” Jackson said.

Desmond Bane, who added 16 points and five assists, said Morant was “a special talent” and “a special person”.

“He’s a guy that makes everybody better. He’s a guy that everybody loves playing with. He’s a guy that everybody loves being around. He’s a guy that everybody respects,” Bane said.

Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said Morant was “phenomenal” and “inspirational”.

“He’s a competitor. He’s a winner. He’s a leader. He’s a motivator. He’s a catalyst. He’s everything for us,” Jenkins said.

Pelicans fall short despite strong performances from Ingram and Valanciunas

The Pelicans, who had won four of their last five games, fell short despite strong performances from Brandon Ingram and Valanciunas. Ingram scored a game-high 36 points, along with six rebounds and four assists. Valanciunas, who played for the Grizzlies for two and a half seasons, had a double-double of 25 points and 13 rebounds against his former team.

The Pelicans led 87-71 with 2:39 left in the third quarter, but the Grizzlies went on a 19-4 run to cut the deficit to one point early in the fourth quarter. The game was close and tense in the final minutes, with both teams trading baskets and leads.

The Pelicans had a chance to take the lead with 3.5 seconds left, but Josh Hart missed a layup after a steal by Herbert Jones. The Grizzlies then called a timeout and set up the play for Morant, who delivered the dramatic finish.

Morant says he is grateful and blessed to be back on the court

Morant, who was selected as an All-Star starter for the first time in his career, said he was grateful and blessed to be back on the court after his injury. He said he had worked hard to recover and was confident in his game.

“I just trusted the work that I put in. I trusted the plan that God had for me. I trusted my teammates and my coaches. I just went out there and played with joy and passion,” Morant said.

He also said he was happy to help his team win and thanked the fans for their support.

“It feels great. It’s a blessing. I’m thankful for this opportunity. I’m thankful for the fans. They were amazing tonight. They gave us a lot of energy. They helped us get this win,” Morant said.

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