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Memphis Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins told reporters Sunday that star Ja Morant is likely to miss Monday’s Game 4 of their second-round series against the Golden State Warriors because of a knee injury.
He suffered the injury on a controversial play in Game 3 when Jordan Poole grabbed his knee.
Jenkins also said Morant missed practice.
The Grizzlies took a heavy 142-112 loss to the Warriors on Saturday. In addition to falling behind 2-1 in the Western Conference Semifinals, Memphis watched its best player suffer a potential knee injury.
Marc J. Spears @MarcJSpears
Ja Morant just walked to the bus on his own power but with a limp. Didn’t take questions. pic.twitter.com/VuawDv7lJF
Jenkins said Saturday that Morant was still getting evaluated. Jenkins also voiced his concern with the actions of Poole, whom he said “grabbed” Morant’s knee and “yanked it.”
Poole denied he had targeted the knee:
Kendra Andrews @kendra__andrews
Jordan Poole said he was going for the ball when he grabbed at Ja Morant’s knee and said it was a basketball play.
“I’m not even that kind of player. I respect everybody. I hope he gets better.”
This has been a physical series.
In Game 2, Draymond Green needed stitches to close a cut around his eye, and teammate Gary Payton II suffered a fractured elbow. Dillon Brooks received a one-game suspension for his hard foul on Payton.
There’s no question as to Morant’s importance to the Grizzlies. The Most Improved Player winner led the team in points (27.4 points) and assists (6.7) while finishing third in rebounds (5.7) in the regular season.
Memphis might have claimed the No. 2 seed in the West but has entered the conference semifinals against the more battle-tested Warriors. Needless to say, this injury to Morant gives the Grizzlies an even tougher road to the next round.