The Golden State Warriors dominated Game 3 against the Grizzlies on Saturday night, piling up 142 points in a 30-point blowout win to take a 2-1 series lead, but after the game much of the conversation was about Ja Morant’s knee injury that caused him to leave the game for the locker room early in the fourth quarter.
There were a couple of plays in the late third and early fourth that seemed to leave the All-Star guard hobbling a bit, but head coach Taylor Jenkins and the Grizzlies focused on a play in the early fourth that saw Jordan Poole grabbing for the ball but instead pull on Morant’s knee. After Steve Kerr called Memphis out for dirty play in Game 2 headlined by Dillon Brooks’ clothesline of Gary Payton II that left him with a fractured elbow and led to a Brooks suspension, the Grizzlies took this play as some sort of effort at retribution from the Warriors — who unsurprisingly insisted it was incidental.
On Sunday, Jenkins met with the media and offered a less than positive update on Morant, who was continuing to have tests done on his knee and had no official diagnosis, but did note that there was a “really good chance” the star guard will be out for Game 4.
Taylor Jenkins says there is a “really good chance” Ja Morant does not play tomorrow because of his knee injury.
— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) May 8, 2022
That’s obviously a big blow for Memphis, although they did have a stellar record without Morant during the regular season, as Morant was the lone bright spot in the Game 3 loss before he exited. It was always going to be a steep hill to climb for the Grizzlies against the Warriors, but the margin for error gets brought down to effectively nil if Morant is unable to play. Memphis would need a significantly better effort from their other guards, particularly Tyus Jones, if they are to find a way to even the series without Morant — or even if Ja can play but is limited.