Ja Morant Happy to Send Lakers Fans 'Home Sad' After Grizzlies Win: 'Go Back to LA'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVDecember 30, 2021

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) celebrates in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Nikki Boertman)
AP Photo/Nikki Boertman

Ja Morant didn't have much sympathy for Los Angeles Lakers fans who traveled to attend Wednesday's game after leading the Memphis Grizzlies to a 104-99 victory at home.

Morant told reporters the win felt even better because the Grizzlies "got to send those people wearing purple and yellow home sad. Go back to L.A."

The Memphis guard was dominant with 41 points, 10 rebounds, two steals, two assists and two blocks while also connecting on six of his seven three-point attempts. It wasn't a one-man effort, as Desmond Bane tallied 20 points, and Jaren Jackson Jr. added 15 points.

It appeared as if the Lakers were going to give their fans a win to cheer for when they jumped out to a double-digit lead in the first quarter and had a five-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.

However, the Grizzlies won that final quarter by 10 and held Los Angeles to a mere 16 points over those final 12 minutes. LeBron James had a particularly poor turnover down three in the final seconds, and Bane iced the win on the free-throw line on the other end.

Despite the turnover, James finished with 37 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists, two blocks and two steals while carrying much of the offensive responsibilities on his shoulders. Russell Westbrook also posted a triple-double of 16 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds as the two All-Stars continue to be in primary roles as they look to make up for the absence of Anthony Davis.

The formula isn't turning into wins, though, as the Lakers are 1-6 in their last seven games and have tumbled to 17-19 overall.

They are sitting in the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference standings after the latest defeat and will be in the play-in tournament if they are unable to climb up to the top six spots.

To hear Morant tell it, the Grizzlies won't be too upset if Los Angeles is eliminated from the playoffs in the early going.