August 12, 2022

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Ja Morant leads comeback, Knicks’ late collapse snaps 3-game win streak

MEMPHIS – The Knicks went again to collapsing.

Ja Morant and the upstart Grizzlies ran rampant within the fourth quarter Friday night time at FedEx Discussion board, recovering from a 15-point deficit total and snapping the Knicks three-game profitable streak, 118-114.

Morant was the thrilling catalyst whereas scoring 15 of his 37 factors within the closing interval, because the Knicks offense sputtered and stalled. Julius Randle scored 36 factors for the guests, however solely six within the fourth quarter, when the Knicks succumbed to Memphis’ 36-18 run to finish the sport.

It was a disheartening for the Knicks (28-39) to complete an in any other case encouraging Western Convention swing. With Charlotte and Atlanta each profitable Friday, Tom Thibodeau’s squad is now 4 ½ video games out of the ultimate play-in spot with solely 15 to play.

In different phrases, Friday night time was damaging to the Knicks.

Briefly, although, they regarded prepared for an upset. The Knicks managed the third quarter, constructing that 15-point benefit behind Randle’s bullish offense and an all-around dedicated protection. However that disappeared rapidly — inside about seven minutes of sport motion – and Morant’s lay-up giving Memphis a one-point edge halfway by means of the fourth quarter.

RJ Barrett completed 23 factors on simply 9 of 25 capturing for the Knicks, who end their season-high seven-game highway journey in Sunday in Brooklyn.

The Grizzlies (46-22) signify probably the most thrilling younger workforce within the NBA, a stunning contender led by Ja Morant. They’re ranked second within the West, giving legitimacy to their brash play and proclamations.

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It was a brief transition in Memphis from the Grit-N-Grind Grizzlies, outlined by slow-paced defensive basketball with Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol, to the high-flying model and high-scoring model occupying FedEx Discussion board right now.

“We obtained the blessing of all people earlier than to go forward and switch this factor to the following degree,” Grizzlies ahead Jaren Jackson Jr. mentioned. “Grit and grind was tremendous particular and it was their factor. They know that we’ve obtained to have our factor so we will be particular, too.

“We’re all on the identical web page. Grit-n-Grind by no means goes away actually. It’s type of all the time right here, you see it round. ‘Constructed Powerful’ is the message throughout.”

Nonetheless, the bigger viewers was gradual to return round to the Grizz, particularly the stations that saved them off nationwide TV. Their video games have been lastly beginning to get picked up in February, following a remark from Morant concerning the disrespect.

“There’s just a little extra chatter now. However we ain’t by no means going to be glad,” Grizz guard Desmond Bane mentioned. “They are often speaking about us on each ESPN present they’ve all morning and we’re nonetheless going to that chip on our shoulder. It’s good the Grizzlies are beginning to get just a little extra nationwide recognition however we’re nonetheless hungry for positive.”

CAM AVOIDS SURGERY

Cam Reddish’s shoulder separation has completed his season however received’t require surgical procedure, in keeping with coach Tom Thibodeau.

Reddish suffered the damage in a victory this week in Sacramento, when he braced a tough fall together with his proper arm, and was despatched again to New York. The 22-year-old was acquired for a first-round decide in January. He’s eligible for an extension earlier than subsequent season, and can turn out to be a restricted free agent if no deal is reached.

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“After all you hate to see a participant get injured. We knew it was critical, however we’re happy that he received’t must have surgical procedure,” Thibodeau mentioned. “That’s a superb signal. It’s an unlucky a part of the sport. Simply concentrate on the rehab now.

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