While the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night, the final minutes of the game brought some concerning news. Ja Morant left the game with just over three minutes remaining after suffering an apparent ankle injury.
Morant went up for a short shot attempt. When he came down, he landed awkwardly and was instantly in pain. He limped his way toward the bench during Oklahoma City’s ensuing offensive possession. As soon as the Grizzlies got control of the ball, play was stopped. Morant was eventually helped off of the floor.
Ja Morant had to leave Friday's game with an ankle injury. The absolute last thing anyone wanted to see. pic.twitter.com/sgA4KSE6Me
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) November 19, 2022
As would be expected, there was a lot of concern about Morant’s health after he left Friday’s game.
i flipped on grizzlies/thunder for 2 seconds and ja morant is being helped off the floor and why is this happening
— Steve Jones Jr. (@stevejones20) November 19, 2022
oh no Ja…🙏 pic.twitter.com/BsLOkfEsIO
— PointsBet Sportsbook (@PointsBetUSA) November 19, 2022
Grizzlies fans seeing Ja Morant injured pic.twitter.com/MVEYwtjfMU
— Blake Garman (@FrostedBlakes34) November 19, 2022
Really hope Ja Morant will be ok!
— Meghan Triplett (@Meghan_Triplett) November 19, 2022
Memphis coach, Taylor Jenkins, didn’t have much of an update immediately after the game but did expect to know more on Saturday.
Taylor Jenkins said the Grizzlies will have more of an update on Ja Morant tomorrow. He noted that Morant tweaked his ankle.
— Damichael Cole (@DamichaelC) November 19, 2022
Morant has been one of the NBA’s best players since winning the Rookie of the Year Award in the 2019-20 campaign. He made his first All-Star Game in 2022, setting a career-high with 27.4 points per game while shooting 49.3% from the field, 34.4% on threes and 76.1% on free throws. Morant earned All-NBA Second Team honors at the end of last season and has been on an even better trajectory this year.
Through his first 13 games of the season, Morant was averaging 29.3 points per game, while shooting 48% from the field, 40.3% on threes and 78.2% on free throws. The latter two would both be career highs. Morant was additionally averaging 6.2 rebounds (which is also a career-high) over the season’s first 13 games.
More will be revealed on Saturday. But Friday was already a bad night for injuries in the NBA. This only made things worse.