PHOENIX SUNS

Grizzlies star Ja Morant ‘unlikely’ to play in Game 4 vs. Warriors

May 8, 2022, 3:54 PM | Updated: 3:54 pm
Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant brings the ball up against the Golden State Warriors during the s...

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant brings the ball up against the Golden State Warriors during the second half of Game 3 of an NBA basketball Western Conference playoff semifinal in San Francisco, Saturday, May 7, 2022. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Memphis guard Ja Morant is unlikely to play in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals against Golden State on Monday night after injuring his right knee on a play with Jordan Poole that the teams are debating from the Grizzlies’ 142-112 loss Saturday night.

Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said Sunday he doesn’t expect Morant to be available with Memphis trailing the Warriors 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.

“As I said last night, just trying to be matter of fact here, and this is what Ja says, what our medical team has said after reviewing the play, Ja was playing great, feeling great all game and that the grab of the knee is what triggered the potential injury and why we took Ja out of the game. Nothing’s changed from there,” Jenkins said. “That’s the play that triggered this and he’s got further evaluation going on. … There’s probably a really good chance he doesn’t play tomorrow.”

Morant, who limped off with 6:19 remaining in the game, was unable to do any basketball activity Sunday, Jenkins said.

Morant left Chase Center without speaking to reporters but posted and later deleted a video of the play on his Twitter feed with the words “broke the code,” a reference Warriors coach Steve Kerr had used four days earlier when Dillon Brooks’ hard foul in Game 2 sidelined Gary Payton II.

Poole and Andrew Wiggins swarmed Morant as he dribbled at the top of the 3-point arc when Morant struggled to keep possession — and Poole called it a basketball play with him going for the ball.

On Sunday, Kerr shrugged several times when asked about it and said he saw no need to discuss the latest back-and-forth between the franchises.

“I don’t have a take. Nothing to comment on. I watched the tape,” Kerr said. “… No, I don’t take it personally. I watched the play, there’s nothing to comment on.”

Grizzlies guard Tyus Jones called it an “interesting” play but said he didn’t believe Poole had malicious intent to hurt Morant.

“Ja’s spirits are good. Obviously he’s frustrated. Anytime you’re banged up or hurt you’re frustrated,” Jones said.

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