MEMPHIS — Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant will miss Game 2 of their first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Lakers due to a sore right hand, the team announced ahead of the game tonight, which starts at 7:30 PM ET and will televised live on TNT Network. Watch live streaming online coverage here as well.
Morant injured his hand in the fourth quarter of Game 1, when he landed awkwardly on his right hand after driving to the basket. He finished the game with 18 points and six rebounds, but the Grizzlies lost to the Lakers 128-112.
An MRI on Monday revealed that Morant has a soft-tissue bruise in his hand. He will be re-evaluated on Wednesday, but it is unlikely he will be able to play in Game 2.
Morant’s absence is a major blow to the Grizzlies. He is their leading scorer and playmaker, and he is averaging 27.4 points, 6.7 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game this season.
“Obviously, the stuff that he did throughout the day is different than coming in right before the game — doing his warmup and then what he does in the back with our medical team, all the testing he is doing — grip, dribbling, all that stuff,” Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said.
“It’s just feeling confidence in that right hand. It’s kind of the final tests.”
The Grizzlies will need other players to step up in Morant’s absence, including Desmond Bane, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Dillon Brooks. They will also need to find a way to slow down the Lakers’ high-powered offense, which was led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis in Game 1.
Game 2 of the series is scheduled for Wednesday night at FedExForum in Memphis.