If there was any doubt at all left about what Ja Morant has clearly demonstrated himself to be—an all-star, a transcendent talent, and the best player in franchise history—he removed it tonight, making an incredible game-winning floater while triple-teamed in the lane to give the Grizzlies a thrilling 114-113 victory over the Phoenix Suns on the road. Morant had 33 points on 14-25 shooting along with 4 rebounds and 4 assists.
In the first half, the Grizzlies exemplified the excellence that has characterized them on both ends of the court over their last 15 games.
Desmond Bane, who continued his own rise with a career-high 32 points on 12-22 shooting, started off hot with 10 points in the first quarter and only got hotter as he finished with 19 for the half. Steven Adams - who was entirely unstoppable on the glass in the absence of DeAndre Ayton and finished with 13 points, 16 rebounds, and 7 assists - and Ja Morant helped set the tone defensively as they were rock solid in pick-and-roll defense, holding Chris Paul to 0 points at the half. The Suns made several runs, but the Grizzlies were able to build their 25-24 lead at the end of the first quarter to a 60-48 halftime lead.
And that’s when Ja Morant began to take over. He had 15 alone in the third as the Grizz took a 89-75 lead at the end of the third. The Suns did rally with tenacious defense throughout the the 4th quarter, erasing an 18-point deficit to finally take a 1-point lead off of a three by Devin Booker, who finished with 30 points, with 5 seconds remaining. But it wasn’t enough to stop Morant’s heroics to finally win the game.