Grizzlies' Ja Morant Ruled Out vs. Clippers with Thigh Injury

Doric SamJanuary 8, 2022

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) stands on the court between plays in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks, Friday, Nov. 26, 2021, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
AP Photo/Brandon Dill

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant will not play Saturday against the Los Angeles Clippers due to left thigh soreness, the team announced.

The game will be the 13th contest Morant has missed this season.

The 22-year-old suffered a left knee sprain on Nov. 26 against the Atlanta Hawks. Memphis head coach Taylor Jenkins said Morant avoided any serious injury but was expected to be out for at least two weeks.

He later entered the league's health and safety protocols on Dec. 8.

Morant is one of the best young talents in the NBA. In 28 games played, he leads Memphis with 25.0 points per game to go along with 6.6 assists, 5.8 rebounds, 1.6 three-pointers made and 1.4 steals per contest. Despite his obvious importance to the team, the Grizzlies are 10-2 without him in the lineup this year.

The second overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft, Morant made an immediate impact for the Grizzlies with 17.8 points and 7.3 assists per game on his way to being named Rookie of the Year in 2019-20.

He followed that up last season by leading Memphis to its first playoff appearance since 2016-17 after defeating the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors in the play-in tournament. But the Grizzlies lost in the first round to the Utah Jazz in five games.

In addition to Morant, the Grizzlies will be without guard John Konchar, forward Kyle Anderson and centers Xavier Tillman and Steven Adams on Saturday. Meanwhile, guard Desmond Bane is questionable.

De'Anthony Melton and Tyus Jones figure to see the biggest uptick in playing time for the 26-14 Grizzlies against the Clippers.