The Memphis Grizzlies will have to win two games during the Western Conference play-in tournament to advance to the traditional eight-team playoff bracket following Sunday's 113-101 loss to the Golden State Warriors, and Ja Morant was not pleased with his own performance in the pressure-packed contest.
"I have to be better as a player," he told reporters. "In a game like this, very unacceptable for me."
Morant finished with 16 points, nine assists and three rebounds, but he was just 7-of-21 from the field and 1-of-6 from three-point range.
Jonas Valanciunas (29 points and 16 rebounds) and Dillon Brooks (18 points and six assists) were solid for the Grizzlies, but they ultimately didn't have enough firepower to counter Stephen Curry on the other side.
The two-time MVP poured in 46 points to go with nine assists and seven rebounds. He drilled nine three-pointers and electrified the crowd with a late run to all but put the game away.
Fortunately for Morant, he may have another chance at Curry and the Warriors.
Memphis will face the San Antonio Spurs in the matchup between the Nos. 9 and 10 seeds, while Golden State will face either the Los Angeles Lakers or the Portland Trail Blazers in the showdown between the Nos. 7 and 8 seeds.
If the Grizzlies win against the Spurs, they will face the loser of the game involving the Warriors for the right to be the No. 8 seed.
While Morant said he was "unacceptable" during Sunday's game, such a rematch would be far more important and give him an opportunity to shine on a national stage.