SAN FRANCISCO (AP)Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant was out for Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals Monday night against the Golden State Warriors with a right knee injury.
Coach Taylor Jenkins made the announcement during his pregame media session. Just more than an hour before game time, Morant posted on Twitter an emoji of a bear in support of the Grizzlies. Then he later added: ”stand tall. stay solid. – God wouldn’t put something hard in your life if he thought you weren’t strong enough to get thru it.”
Jenkins said Morant would still be considered day to day while undergoing further evaluation and treatment. So his status is unclear for Wednesday’s Game 4 back in Memphis. The team has called it soreness in the right knee for Morant, who missed time during the season with the injury.
”We’re going to continue to work with our doctors on trying to figure out what’s going on,” Jenkins said.
”Obviously he’s disappointed he can’t be out there to play with his guys and represent the city of Memphis, but his spirits are in a good place,” Jenkins added. ”He understands the situation right now. He knows his teammates, and his coaches, and the staff here are going to have his back for tonight’s game. Obviously disappointed not going to be out there to compete with us but his spirits are in a pretty good place.”
The Grizzlies are 20-5 without the All-Star this season. He scored 47 points in Memphis’ 106-101 Game 2 win.
Morant had been listed as doubtful to play after re-injuring his troublesome knee on a play with Jordan Poole that the teams have debated from the Grizzlies’ 142-112 loss Saturday night that gave Golden State a 2-1 edge in the best-of-seven series.
Morant limped off with 6:19 remaining in the game after Poole grabbed at the knee on a play the Warriors guard said was simply an effort to strip the ball.
Afterward, Morant posted and later deleted a video of the play on his Twitter feed with the words ”broke the code,” a reference Warriors coach Steve Kerr had used five days earlier when Dillon Brooks’ hard foul in Game 2 sidelined Gary Payton II.
Kerr tested positive for COVID-19 and wasn’t available to coach. Associate head coach Mike Brown, named Sacramento Kings coach on Sunday, stepped in for Kerr.
More AP NBA coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports