On Monday night, Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies found themselves in a high-profile matchup with the reigning Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics. Things went down to the wire, with Boston coming away with a victory by a final score of 109-106.
The main reason why the Celtics were able to overcome the Grizzlies was because of the play of Jayson Tatum. The All-Star forward posted a game-high 39 points to go along with three rebounds and two assists.
In an attempt to throw the Celtics star off his game, Ja Morant attempted to play some mind games. However, it did not go as planned.
After the game, Ja Morant was asked about an encounter he had with Tatum at the free-throw line, where the two were seen chatting. The Grizzlies star said he tried to get him to miss the attempt, but the only thing on Tatum’s mind was going home to put his son Deuce to bed that night.
Tatum never lost focus and even elevated his game late when needed. He tallied 11 of his 39 points in the final quarter.
Ja Morant went toe-to-toe with Jayson Tatum
The Memphis Grizzlies might have come up short in this matchup but should feel good about their efforts against one of the Eastern Conference’s top teams. More importantly, Ja Morant was able to go toe-to-toe with one of the league’s top talents.
In 35 minutes of action, he posted a stat line of 30 points, eight rebounds, nine assists, and two steals. On top of that, the All-Star guard stepped out beyond the arc 12 times and managed to convert five attempts.
After taking a big leap last year, expectations have risen greatly for Ja Morant. He continues to inch towards superstardom, and some have already begun putting him in the MVP conversation.
While it’s very early in the year, the Grizzlies should be pleased with how their star was able to battle with another superstar talent in a big matchup.