Taylor Jenkins Says Ja Morant Suffered Injury After Jordan Poole 'Yanked' Knee

Doric SamMay 8, 2022

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 18: Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies warms up before the game against the Atlanta Hawks on March 18, 2022 at State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Adam Hagy/NBAE via Getty Images)
Adam Hagy/NBAE via Getty Images

Memphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant exited Saturday's 142-112 Game 3 loss to the Golden State Warriors late in the fourth quarter and did not return after suffering an apparent leg injury. 

Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins told reporters after the game that Warriors guard Jordan Poole was to blame for the ailment. 

“He is being evaluated right now," Jenkins said. "He was going for a loose ball and Jordan Poole grabbed his knee and yanked it. I’m curious to see what happens with that.”


Ja Morant leaves the game after an apparent leg injury <a href="https://t.co/qGnMxtgAgZ">pic.twitter.com/qGnMxtgAgZ</a>

The 22-year-old had 34 points, three rebounds and seven assists before exiting. 

Morant enjoyed a breakout year for Memphis, but he was slowed by various injuries throughout the season. He missed time early in the year after suffering a knee sprain on Nov. 26 against the Atlanta Hawks. He also sat out a game with a minor back issue.

Despite his extensive absences, the Grizzlies have excelled even when he's out of the lineup. Memphis finished second in the West with a 56-26 overall record and went 20-5 when he was sidelined. 

Morant spearheaded the Grizzlies' surge this season, recording career highs in points (27.4 per game), rebounds (5.7), field-goal percentage (49.3) and three-point percentage (34.4). Memphis won the Southwest Division for the first time in team history.

He has continued that success in the postseason, entering Saturday's game averaging 26.3 points, 8.6 rebounds and 10.1 assists through eight playoff games. 

If the Murray State alum misses any time moving forward, veteran point guard Tyus Jones will be inserted into the starting lineup and De'Anthony Melton will see more significant minutes off the bench. It will likely be up to sharpshooter Desmond Bane and big man Jaren Jackson Jr. to carry the scoring load in that instance. 

That said, the Grizzlies need Morant to be fully healthy if they hope to make a deep run in this year's playoffs. Memphis is among the favorites to emerge from the West into the NBA Finals with him in the lineup. 

With Saturday's loss, the Grizzlies trail their second-round series against the Warriors 2-1. Game 4 is set for Monday, so Morant will have at least one day to get some rest.