Ja Morant very well may have completed the dunk of the year last night. With 4:21 left in the 3rd quarter, Morant crossed over Pacers forward Oshae Brissett behind the 3-point line and erupted towards the basket. Pacers big man, Jalen Smith, was the only thing standing in between Morant and the rim. Smith should have gotten out of the way….
Morant only needed one dribble before lift-off. AND LIFT-OFF HE DID. The Grizzlies bench (and most Pacers fans) could not believe what they just witnessed.
The Memphis Grizzlies extended the NBA’s longest current winning streak to nine games on Saturday night, as they defeated the Pacers 130-112. Ja Morant had a standout performance, scoring 23 points and 10 assists. Desmond Bane also had a solid game, scoring 25 points to lead the Grizzlies. The team tied Denver for the Western Conference’s best record at 29-13.
“That very well may be the best team on the planet right now. They’re very hard to play.” – Rick Carlisle, current Indiana Pacers Head Coach
Morant has been averaging 28.7 points during Memphis’ winning streak, and when asked if the dunk was his best, he replied, “Yeah, easy” because of the difficulty, then added, “It’s what everybody has been waiting for. I finally made it.” Bane also praised Morant’s dunk, saying, “I ain’t seen nothing like that one. That’s probably going to go down as dunk of the year.”
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The Pacers, missing two starters, have lost three in a row. Point guard Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana’s leading scorer and the NBA assist leader, is expected to miss two weeks after suffering a left elbow strain and left knee contusion Wednesday. Center Myles Turner, who averages 17 points, is out with back spasms. Reserve guard Chris Duarte scored 25 points for the Pacers. Rookie Bennedict Mathurin had 16 and T.J. McConnell 13.
Santi Aldama added 17 points and Ziaire Williams 13 for the Grizzlies. “We’re not playing perfect basketball,” said Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins of the streak. “I’m just glad our guys are finding different ways to win, whether we’re playing with a lead or playing from behind. Each game has presented a different challenge for us and our guys have stayed the course.”
If last night’s dunk wasn’t enough, here are 22 minutes of Ja Morant’s best career dunks:
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