More NBA games called off as contact tracing probes continue
It has been a major factor in the decisions to postpone 20 games so far this season, including the latest three Memphis Grizzlies’ games that the league decided Thursday to push back. The biggest culprits that have led to players being flagged and ruled out during the contact tracing process: meals and shared rides, improper mask usage. “Contact tracing involves a lot of different sources and information,” Weiss said. That decision came one day after the Grizzlies’ game at Portland, scheduled for Wednesday, was also called off. Washington — which will go at least 13 days between games after a half-dozen of its players tested positive — has seen six games called off, and Memphis has now had five of its games pushed back.
Grizzlies lose Morant to ankle injury, beat Nets in overtime
Brooklyn Nets center DeAndre Jordan, left, defends against a shot by Memphis Grizzlies forward Brandon Clarke during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 28, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)NEW YORK – Ja Morant exited with a sprained ankle but the Memphis Grizzlies earned their first victory of the season without him, outlasting the short-handed Brooklyn Nets 116-111 in overtime Monday night. Morant rejoined his teammates on the bench in the second half with his foot in a walking boot. Kyle Anderson scored a career-high 28 points and Dillon Brooks added 24 for the Grizzlies, who had dropped their first two games. The Nets opened a six-game homestand, their longest since playing six straight games at Barclays Center during the 2015-16 season.
Rookie of the Year Morant wheeled off with ankle injury
Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant, right, drives past Brooklyn Nets guard Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (9) as Grizzlies forward Brandon Clarke (15) sets a screen during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Dec. 28, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)NEW YORK – Rookie of the Year Ja Morant left the court area in a wheelchair Monday night after spraining his left ankle in the first half of the Memphis Grizzlies' game in Brooklyn. Morant jumped to block a shot by Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot and appeared to land on the Nets forward's foot. He immediately hopped off the floor in pain and was wheeled to the back, unable to put any weight on his foot. Morant was off to a strong start in his second season, scoring a career-best 44 points in the season opener and following with 28 more in his second game.
Grizzlies' Ja Morant wins NBA's rookie of the year award
(AP Photo/Mike Ehrmann, Pool, File)LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. The first three baskets of Memphis season set the tone for Ja Morants rookie year. Morant was announced Thursday as the runaway winner of the rookie of the year award for 2019-20, the first Grizzlies player to win the award since Pau Gasol in 2001-02. Morant averaged 17.8 points and 7.3 assists this season, picking up three Western Conference rookie of the month awards along the way. 1 pick in the 2019 draft missed much of his rookie season while dealing with injury. Memphis lost the first and only game of that series to Portland, meaning the Grizzlies were just two wins shy of the postseason.
Blazers make playoffs, oust Grizzlies with 126-122 victory
Portland finished eighth in the West, Memphis was ninth, and the Grizzlies needed to sweep a two-game matchup to advance. They had a chance, up eight in the final quarter, before Portland did what Portland does in the bubble find a way at the end. The Grizzlies' 42-point third quarter matched the second-highest scoring period of the season for Memphis and was the second-highest scoring third quarter in franchise history. LOOKING AHEADThe Lakers went 2-1 against the Blazers this season, with the road team winning all three games. Anthony Davis (32.0 ppg) and LeBron James (24.7 ppg) led the Lakers; Lillard (36.0 ppg) and Whiteside (22.0 ppg) led the Blazers.
Celtics keep Grizzlies from clinching spot in play-in series
The Grizzlies missed another chance to guarantee themselves a spot in the Western Conference play-in series, and could fall out of eighth place if Portland beats Dallas later Tuesday. The Grizzlies arrived in Florida with 3 1/2-game cushion over their nearest competitor for the eighth seed in the West. But their struggles have guaranteed the need for a play-in game for that final spot with Portland, San Antonio and Phoenix all still in contention. Memphis will head into its final seeding game against Milwaukee on Thursday needing a win to earn a place in the play-in game. Boston held the Grizzlies to 33% (17 of 51) shooting in the half, including 1 of 13 (7.7%) from the 3-point line.
McCollum, Lillard help Blazers get past Memphis in OT
Lillard finished with 29 points and nine assists as the Trail Blazers boosted their hopes for a seventh consecutive playoff appearance. Carmelo Anthony added 21 points as Portland moved within 2 1/2 games of the Grizzlies for the No. Everybody knew how important that game was," Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. Jaren Jackson Jr. had 33 points and rookie Ja Morant added 22 points and 11 assists for Memphis. It was a weird game," McCollum said.