Grizzlies' Ja Morant Discusses Missing Potential GW Layup vs. Warriors in Game 1

Doric SamMay 1, 2022

MEMPHIS, TN - MAY 1: Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies looks on during Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals on May 1, 2022 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. 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 Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

Memphis Grizzlies star point guard Ja Morant came up short on a potential game-winning layup in Sunday's loss to the Golden State Warriors in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals.

After the game, Morant was visibly disappointed in himself because his team was depending on him to deliver in the clutch and he failed.

"Same message every time we're in that situation," Morant told reporters when asked about the final possession. "I just missed the layup."

Morant said the only thing going through his head as he stood under the basket while the Warriors celebrated was, "I missed a shot I normally make... all the time."

Warriors guard Klay Thompson put Golden State ahead by one with a three-pointer with 36.6 seconds left, but he missed a pair of free throws with 6.7 seconds left. Memphis won a jump ball and called timeout with 3.6 seconds remaining.

Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins drew up a play similar to the one that resulted in Morant's last-second layup to win Game 5 in the first round against the Minnesota Timberwolves. But this time around, Morant's left-handed layup went over the rim.

Morant finished with a game-high 34 points to go with 10 assists, nine rebounds and three steals. Grizzlies big man Jaren Jackson Jr. poured in a career-high 33 points, making them Memphis' first pair of teammates to score at least 30 in a playoff game. However, no other starter on the team scored in double figures.

In the Grizzlies' first-round series against Minnesota, they overcame double-digit deficits in each of their final three wins. Memphis entered Sunday's game leading the NBA in fourth-quarter scoring with an average of 33 points. But against Golden State, the two teams were even in the final period at 26-26.

Morant and the Grizzlies will try to bounce back in Game 2 on Tuesday.