Thursday, March 23

Ja Morant scores 52 points to set Grizzlies team record

A game that was supposed to be about Gregg Popovich’s ranking on the all-time coaching wins list turned into an all-time Ja Morant highlight tape.

Logo 3-pointers, poster dunks, buzzer-beaters and and a franchise-record 52 points were on the menu Monday night for the Memphis Grizzlies All-Star.

Morant’s big performance was more than enough for the Grizzlies to defeat the San Antonio Spurs 118-105 at FedExForum.

The crowd went wild and showered Morant with “MVP!” chants as he topped 50 points for the first time in his career, breaking the franchise single-game scoring record he had set two days earlier. The anticipation built after each basket.

The rest of the Grizzlies starters combined to score 18 points. Xavier Tillman let Morant know when he had 39 points, and Morant said Tyus Jones told him to “go ahead and get three layups” when he had 44 points. From that point on, most passes found Morant’s hands from him.

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“Everybody was like, ‘Just run, we’re gonna look for you,’ ” Morant said. “I listened and I scored the ball.”

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