Sports

Morant’s last-second layup offers Grizzlies 3-2 sequence lead | Sports



MEMPHIS, Tenn. — First, Ja Morant gave the Memphis Grizzlies and their followers a much-needed vitality enhance by flying via the air for a giant dunk on the finish of the third quarter.

Then the All-Star guard took over the sport’s last two minutes.

Morant scored the final 11 factors for Memphis, and his layup with a second left capped the Grizzlies’ large rally from 11 factors down within the fourth quarter to edge the Minnesota Timberwolves 111-109 on Tuesday night time and seize a 3-2 lead of their first-round Western Conference sequence.

“Go get a bucket. Ja,” Morant mentioned of the game-winning play.

Morant, named the NBA’s most improved participant on Monday, struggled mightily a lot of the sport. But he turned it on within the fourth quarter, scoring 18 factors — together with 9 of 10 on the free-throw line. His lone 3 of the sport got here with 1:03 left, giving Memphis its first lead because the first quarter.

“Obviously, he had a superb fourth quarter,” Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said.

The Grizzlies point guard came from the low post as the Grizzlies inbounded the ball with 3.7 seconds left and lost Anthony Edwards at the top of the key. That left him an open lane into the paint he’s so rarely had in this series, beating Jarred Vanderbilt with his left hand on an underhanded layup.

Edwards said he wanted to try to steal the ball.

“Dumb mistake,” Edwards said.

Morant finished with 30 and had 13 rebounds and nine assists. Desmond Bane added 25 points, and Brandon Clarke had 21 off the bench for Memphis, and Jaren Jackson Jr. added 12 before fouling out.

Karl-Anthony Towns led the Timberwolves with 28 points and 12 rebounds. Anthony Edwards had 22, and D’Angelo Russell added 12 and Taurean Prince 10.

Game 6 is Friday night back in Minnesota with the Wolves now trying to force a seventh game Sunday back in Memphis.

“It’s a tough pill to swallow,” Towns mentioned. “You really feel such as you acquired it after all of the errors made and all the things like that. We hit a giant 3 to tie the sport up with 4 seconds (left). You really feel good. You be ok with going into additional time and having an opportunity to win the sport. Just a studying expertise.”

The Timberwolves led 99-88 with 6:58 left after three free throws by Towns, and Jackson fouling out for a second straight recreation. The Grizzlies responded with a 10-0 run to arrange an exciting end to what had been an unpleasant, poor-shooting recreation, and outscored Minnesota 37-24 within the fourth.

Edwards tied it up at 109 for Minnesota with a 3 with 3.7 seconds left. That arrange Morant for the ultimate drive to the basket for the game-winner to start out the celebration.

Clarke mentioned he instructed Morant through the hug he thanked God the Grizzlies have him on their group.

“Thank God that you’re as good as you are because we had just fought so hard,” Clarke said. “And hit a extremely robust 3. And I used to be identical to, it’s nice, although, as a result of we acquired 12 and we acquired a participant that may make a extremely, actually big-time end. And I used to be like, ‘Yeah, thank God that we got you, man.’”

Jenkins was fined $15,000 Monday for criticizing the officiating after Game 4, a 119-118 win by Minnesota. On Tuesday, his Grizzlies acquired to the free-throw line greater than Minnesota — they simply didn’t shoot nicely as soon as there, making 26 of 39 in comparison with Minnesota’s 21 of 24.

The Grizzlies opened the sport on a 13-2 run and seemed favored the group that earned the very best seed in franchise historical past.

Then Jackson acquired his second foul on Patrick Beverley’s 3 and went to the bench. The Timberwolves, the NBA’s greatest 3-point capturing group within the common season, began flattening photographs, going 7 of 11 exterior the arc and main 31-28 on the finish of the primary quarter.

Minnesota was up 55-53 at halftime, then outscored Memphis 30-21 within the third. But Morant capped the quarter with a windmill dunk that helped give the Grizzlies some much-needed vitality.

TIP-INS

Timberwolves: Russell got here in 17 of 55 general and 9 of 24 from past the arc on this sequence. He knocked down his first two photographs Tuesday, a pair of back-to-back 3s, and completed 2 of 4 from 3 and 4 of 10 from the ground. … Beverley had their first four-point play within the postseason at 8:14 of the primary quarter.

Grizzlies: Memphis outrebounded Minnesota 53-42, together with 18-6 on the offensive glass. That led to 23 second-chance factors for the Grizzlies. Bane acquired a technical within the second quarter for shoving Timberwolves coach Chris Finch. Bane additionally opened the sport together with his twentieth 3-point on this sequence. … Ziaire Williams performed 4 minutes and didn’t end the sport with a sore proper knee.

ON THE BOARDS

Memphis outrebounded Minnesota 53-42, together with 18-6 on the offensive glass. That led to 23 second-chance factors for the Grizzlies. Clarke had 15 rebounds, 9 offensive.

“He’s all the time in the proper spot on the proper time,” Towns said of Clarke. “You go up for a block, and he magically round proper on the precise spot the place the ball is coming off.”

IN THE CROWD

Pau Gasol and Zach Randolph were former Grizzlies in attendance along with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. Kentucky coach John Calipari sat near the Timberwolves’ bench. Alex Rodriguez, a Minnesota co-owner, also was in attendance, and Usher was available as nicely sitting subsequent to Morant’s father Tee.

———

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports




Source hyperlink

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

close