Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant put on an extremely impressive performance in Game 2 against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night. Morant put up a career playoff-high 47 points — including the last 15 points for Memphis in the fourth — to go along with eight rebounds and eight assists. His production propelled the Grizzlies to a 106-101 win and helped them avoid falling twice at home and into a 2-0 series hole.
What made the performance especially impressive is that a chunk of Morant’s production came while he was battling with blurred vision. Morant was poked in his left eye during the third quarter, and the contact clearly bothered him. He was seen telling his teammates that he couldn’t see, and he received some treatment in the form of eye drops on the sideline. He then proceeded to drop 18 of his 47 points in the fourth quarter while shooting 6 for 11 from the field in the quarter.
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With his production, Morant made some NBA history as he became just the third player ever to record multiple 45-point playoff performances before turning 23 years old. The only other two players to ever accomplish that feat were LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. Certainly not bad company for Morant. After the game, Morant revealed the vision in his left was still impaired while also expressing gratitude for his other eye.
“I still can’t [see],” Morant said when asked about his vision after the game, via ESPN. “I can see on the middle. I can’t see on the outside. I got punched trying to get the rebound. I got another good eye over here — 20-20 vision right here. Thank God for my right eye.”
After missing a potential game-winning layup in the closing seconds of Game 1, Morant entered the second game of the series with some added motivation, as he obviously didn’t want to let his team fall two games behind in a series against a team as experienced as the Warriors.
“Definitely big time,” Morant said of his performance in Game 2. “I felt like this was a must-win game for us. For me, I was frustrated with myself missing that layup in Game 1.”
Morant definitely made up for the missed layup with his monster performance in Game 2. Thanks to his heroics, the series is now tied at 1-1 as it shifts to San Francisco for Games 3 and 4. Having the series tied is obviously much more manageable for Memphis as opposed to being down 2-0, so at this point they have to feel pretty good about their chances moving forward. Plus in Morant, the Grizzlies have the best player in the series, one of the NBA’s brightest young stars and a legitimate closer. The time is now for Memphis.