Ja Morant Stunning Game-Winner Impresses LeBron, Draymond, and Others

Morant's return sparks a thrilling, unpredictable showdown on court.

by Nouman Rasool
Ja Morant Stunning Game-Winner Impresses LeBron, Draymond, and Others
© Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Ja Morant's electrifying return to the basketball court after a lengthy 25-game suspension not only revitalized the Memphis Grizzlies but also captured the attention of the NBA community. Making his season debut against the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night, Morant's performance was nothing short of spectacular, marked by a game-winning buzzer-beater that signaled his triumphant comeback.

The Grizzlies, who struggled with a 6-19 record in Morant's absence, instantly felt the impact of his return, clinching a nail-biting 115-113 victory. Morant's presence on the court was transformative, as he led the team to their first win with him this season.

His enthusiasm was palpable as he expressed his excitement post-game, "I'm a dog. I been putting work in, man. I ain't play a game in eight months... basketball is my life and what I love, and I'm excited to be back."

Game of Momentum

The game itself was a rollercoaster of emotions and momentum shifts.

Memphis initially led 25-21 in the first quarter, but the Pelicans surged ahead in the second quarter, outscoring the Grizzlies 39-16. This lead, however, proved to be short-lived. Morant, in a show of resilience and skill, spearheaded a comeback in the third quarter, contributing to 22 of the Grizzlies' 36 points.

His performance crescendoed in the final moments of the game, where he scored three go-ahead field goals in the last 90 seconds, a feat matched only by Luka Doncic in the past 25 years. The climax of the game was Morant's first career game-winning buzzer-beater, rounding off his impressive 35-point, 8-assist, and 6-rebound performance.

Reflecting on the critical moment, Morant revealed his confidence and trust in his team, "I called 12. I really didn't want Coach to call the timeout... They believe in me... I had to deliver for them." Morant's spectacular return was not just a victory for the Grizzlies but also a moment of recognition from his peers.

NBA stars like LeBron James, Draymond Green, and Tyrese Maxey were quick to acknowledge his comeback, signaling Morant's respected status in the league. His display of resilience, skill, and leadership on the court serves as a testament to his role as a pivotal figure in the NBA, and his return is a welcome addition to the ongoing season.

Ja Morant