The Rundown: Ja Morant returns, lifts Grizzlies to win over Pelicans

Published April 10, 2022, 2:00 PMPolo Bustamante

After 3 weeks of absence, Ja Morant is back like he never left. He drops 21 points and nine assists in the Grizzlies’ win.


76ers 133, Pacers 120

Grizzlies 141, Pelicans 114

Warriors 100, Spurs 94

Clippers 117, Kings 98

What went down

The last time Ja Morant played before today was March 19. Since then, he’s been sidelined with a sore knee. Most teams would have collapsed if their best player was out for nine games. But this season’s Memphis Grizzlies aren’t like most teams. What did they do with Morant out? They won. And won. And won. And won, and won, and won. And won. They ripped off a seven-game win streak, essentially locking up the second seed in the West.

Coming into today’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans though, the Grizzlies were reeling from back-to-back losses. Morant’s return was exactly what they needed. He didn’t miss a beat. Morant was doing all the fun stuff we’re all used to watching. Like this sick no-look dime:

There was also this savage block that had a kid sitting courtside all hyped:

The rest of the Grizzlies were just as awesome. They dropped a franchise-record 55 points in the third quarter, three shy of the NBA record.

Morant finished with 21 points and nine of Memphis’ 41 assists (ties a franchise record). He got a ton of help from his teammates as six other Grizzlies finished in double figures, led by Dillon Brooks with 19 points.

The Grizzlies are better with Ja back. The NBA is better with Ja back. The world is better with Ja back.

Big-time baller

The last time I wrote The Rundown, I picked Joel Embiid as the ‘Big-time baller’ of that day. Today, I was ready to write about someone else, but Embiid had other plans.

After a game like that, I had to give it to Embiid again, right? You know what? I don’t mind giving the ‘Big-time baller’ segment to him every time I write if he keeps dominating like that.

What he said

“I got you some ice, partner!”

With Morant suiting up today, there was a clear lack of ice on the sidelines. He rocked a ton of bling with his courtside fits during his nine-game absence.

Grizzlies announcer Brevin Knight made sure he and his partner Pete Pranica brought the bling to make up for it now that Morant was blingless on the court.

Did you see that?

When wardrobe malfunctions happen in the NBA, it’s usually a torn jersey, a busted sneaker, or the rare contact lens issue. It’s never the tight-fitting arm sleeve that gets messed up. 

In their game today, Jordan Poole’s sleeve gave him some trouble during a very crucial stretch of the game.

Thankfully for the Golden State Warriors, they got the ball back and Poole was able to straighten out his shooting sleeve and ice the game with two free throws.