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NBA

Ja Morant hits 52 points as Grizzlies topple Spurs

Morant (22 years, 202 days) is only the 6th player in NBA history to record 45+ points in back-to-back games before the age of 23.

Update:
Feb 28, 2022; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Memphis Grizzles guard Ja Morant (12) reacts after a basket during the first half against the San Antonio Spurs at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
Petre ThomasUSA TODAY Sports

Ja Morant delivered another amazing performance helping his Memphis side scoring 52 points in the victory against San Antonio (118-105), beating his record of points and that of the franchise in passing, all with an excellent address (22/30).

The star of the Grizzlies (3rd in the West) also combined show and efficiency, weaving his "Spider-Man" web in all corners of the FedEx Forum and spending almost more time in the air than on the floor, by dint of acrobatic gestures to make the crowd rise.

Feb 28, 2022; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Memphis Grizzles guard Ja Morant (12) shoots with 0.4 seconds left in the first half against the San Antonio Spurs at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
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Feb 28, 2022; Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Memphis Grizzles guard Ja Morant (12) shoots with 0.4 seconds left in the first half against the San Antonio Spurs at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY SportsPetre ThomasUSA TODAY Sports

His end of the second quarter was impressive in its power and control: not content with stringing together three shots in a row behind the arc, he crushed a huge dunk over the head of Jakob Poeltl, 2.16 m and who gives him 25 cm, before scoring at the buzzer, in an off-center position, by volleying a ball in the air thrown from the other side of the court by Steve Adams in quarterback mode.

With 29 points at the break, Morant didn't stop there as the Spurs fought back going on to score 13 straight points, again taking off on double-passes, to complete the job.

Miami hot in the East

Miami are the in form team in East, led by Jimmy Butler they proved too strong for Chicago in Monday's match-up.

The Bulls that Miami are genuine contenders, as they were powerless (112-99) against the 2020 finalists. Led by Butler (15 pts, 7 rbds, 4 steals), Tyler Herro and Gabe Vincent added 20 points each, as Bam Adebayo posted (15 pts, 7 rbds, 5 assists, 2 counter).

Miami are 41-21 record and face Milwaukee next Wednesday with the Bucks bouncing back from a run of two defeats to beat Charlotte (130-106).

Giannis Antetokounmpo was formidable (26 pts, 16 rbds, 6 assists, 4 counters) and was assisted by Jrue Holiday (21 pts, 8 assists), Bobby Portis (20 pts, 10 rbds) and Khris Middleton (19 pts).

This success allows the Bucks to take the 4th place from Cleveland with the Cavs beaten at home by Minnesota (127-122).

The Hornets, currently in a difficult situation, remain 9th failing to take advantage of Brooklyn (8th) losing to Toronto (133-97) with Scottie Barnes posting (28 pts, 12/14, 16 rbds, 5 steals).

Still deprived of Kyrie Irving (prevented from playing in New York because not vaccinated) and Kevin Durant who could however make his return in the week, after a month and a half of absence due to a sprained left knee, the Nets have lacked offensive impact (38% of success in shooting).

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