Ja Morant's Stunning Comeback: 34 Points Lead Grizzlies to Victory



by FARUK IMAMOVIC

Ja Morant's Stunning Comeback: 34 Points Lead Grizzlies to Victory
© Getty Images Sport/Chris Graythen

Ja Morant, the electrifying guard for the Memphis Grizzlies, made an astounding return to professional basketball, marking a comeback for the ages. In his season debut, Morant racked up an impressive 34 points, culminating in a spinning dribble and game-winning floater as time expired, leading the Grizzlies to a narrow 115-113 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night.

This comeback was not just any return to the court; it ended a significant 25-game suspension for Morant, which stemmed from social media controversies. During his absence, the Grizzlies had struggled, enduring a five-game skid and a 6-19 record.

However, Morant's re-entry into the game turned the tide dramatically. His dynamic performance included a critical inside basket with 1:22 remaining, propelling the Grizzlies to a brief lead before his final, stunning play sealed the victory.

Morant's Impact and Team Dynamics

Morant's point total set a new NBA record for a player returning from an absence of at least 25 games. His performance drew praise from both teammates and opponents.
"He was able to do whatever he wanted," acknowledged Pelicans forward Zion Williamson.

Jaren Jackson Jr. and Desmond Bane significantly contributed to the Grizzlies' effort, scoring 24 and 21 points, respectively.

This collective effort not only snapped the Pelicans' four-game winning streak but also highlighted the Grizzlies' resilience and capacity for comeback.

On the other side, Brandon Ingram led the Pelicans with 34 points, though Williamson's playtime was limited due to foul trouble. Pelicans coach Willie Green lauded Ingram's performance but conceded that it wasn't enough against the revived Grizzlies.

Morant faced a mixed reception from the crowd, initially met with boos from Pelicans fans, which gradually subsided as the game progressed. His explosive scoring streak, especially in the third quarter, captivated the audience, including notable spectators such as LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels.

Despite showing signs of fatigue and a less successful run with jumpers, Morant's prowess in driving into the paint and finishing plays remained as sharp as ever. His agility and skill in maneuvering through defenses underscored his vital role in the Grizzlies' lineup.

Ja Morant