Friday, January 22, 2021

Ja Morant injures ankle in Memphis Grizzlies’ win over Brooklyn Nets

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Ja Morant came out with a sprained ankle but the Memphis Grizzlies won their first win of the season without him, outlasting the Brooklyn Nets 116-111 in overtime Monday night.

The reign NBA Rookie of the Year was pushed to the back of the arena at the end of the first half after injuring his left ankle when he jumped to block a shot from Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot and landed on the foot of the Nets striker.

Morant joined his teammates on the bench in the second half with his foot in a walking boot.

The playmaker’s injury comes with the already-starless Grizzlies star Jaren Jackson Jr, who is still recovering from a knee injury.

Morant watched Brandon Clarke score the approval basket on a follow-up shot with 41 seconds left in overtime before the Grizzlies put him aside with free throws.

Kyle Anderson scored a career-high 28 points and Dillon Brooks added 24 for the Grizzlies, who had lost their first two games. Clarke had 16 points and Jonas Valanciunas finished with 14 points and 14 rebounds.

Caris LeVert had 28 points and 11 assists for the Nets, who rested Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving while losing for the second straight night.

Brooklyn is also without Spencer Dinwiddie, who will need surgery to repair a sustained partially torn right ACL on Sunday.

TRAIL BLAZERS 115, LAKERS 107

Damian Lillard scored 21 of his 31 points in the second half, and CJ McCollum had 20 points and 11 assists in Portland’s victory over Los Angeles.

Gary Trent Jr. tied his career record with seven 3-pointers while scoring 28 points in the Blazers’ second straight win over the Lakers at Staples Center.

LeBron James had 29 points, nine rebounds and six assists for the NBA champions, who fell to 2-2 on their season opener homestand. Dennis Schröder added 24 points, but the Lakers’ 59-game winning streak taking the fourth quarter lead was broken.

Anthony Davis had 13 points and 10 rebounds in a provisional return from a one-game absence due to a bruised calf.

NUGGETS 124, ROCKETS 111

Nikola Jokic had 19 points, 18 assists and 12 rebounds for the 42nd triple-double of his career, and Denver beat Houston on the shorthand for their first win of the season. Jokic’s 18 assists were the most important for a cross since Wilt Chamberlain in 1968.

Jamal Murray added 21 points before leaving with 4:05 left in the third quarter after a collision in traffic sent him sprawling to the ground.

He held his hand to his head for a few minutes, but stood up and walked on his own to the locker room for a closer look. He was back on the bench halfway through the fourth but did not return to the game.

James Harden had 34 points to lead an understaffed Houston. Christian Wood added 23.

The Rockets have started the season without key items on their roster, including John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Eric Gordon and Mason Jones, who are staying away from the team due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

Houston dressed nine players against the Nuggets and had just dropped two points in overtime to Portland in Game 1 of the season on Saturday.

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