NBA

Morant status 'in jeopardy' for Game 2 despite negative X-ray on hand injury

By Sports Desk April 16, 2023

Ja Morant was left in pain and said his Game 2 availability is "in jeopardy" after suffering a hand injury in the Memphis Grizzlies' 128-112 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1 of their first round series.

Morant shouted in agony as he ran off the floor after his hand slammed into the court as Anthony Davis slid in front of him to draw a charge with 5:48 left in the fourth quarter. Morant's wrist appeared to bend upon landing in a nasty incident.

The All-Star guard writhed in pain on the floor initially before running past the Grizzlies' bench and straight into the locker room.

Morant underwent an X-ray on his right hand that Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins revealed were negative.

However, Morant said his status for Game 2 was "in jeopardy", adding: "I'm in a good bit of pain."

The Grizzlies were down by four points at the time and Morant did not return as they lost at FedEx Forum in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series.

Jenkins was coy on detail, but added: "He's in some pain… taking it one day at a time."

Morant returned to the Grizzlies bench with 4:10 left, but Jenkins said medical staff had informed him that the guard was only available in an "emergency situation".

"Probably the smartest thing was just to hold him out as we continue to go through evaluation," Jenkins said.

Morant came into the game with wrapping on his right hand from an injury sustained in the final week of the regular season.

The Memphis guard scored 18 points with six rebounds in 30 minutes, while Rui Hachimura had a team-high 29 points for the Lakers. LeBron James put together 21 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, and Davis contributed 22 points, 12 rebounds, three steals and seven blocks.

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