Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies flew past the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night, picking up a much-needed win at FedExForum.
After putting up 27 points and 14 assists in the 105-88 win — which snapped a five-game losing skid — Morant dedicated his performance to an unusual suspect: A Twitter troll.
“I’m thankful for this guy who tweeted and said I don’t have that fire in my eye no more,” Morant said on the court after the win. “That game right there was for him.”
Morant called out one user specifically, too, who tweeted on Friday: “I liked it when Ja had that fire in his eye. He doesn’t look like he wants it more than others. #NoChip”
Now, trolls are all over social media, whether they’re real people or fake bots. And with someone like Morant, a professional athlete with more than 400,000 followers, he’s likely to be on the receiving end of those tweets constantly — especially after a loss or a rough game.
For whatever reason, though, that one stood out. And it clearly worked, bringing the Grizzlies out of their losing skid which included rough double-digit losses to the Lakers, Clippers and Rockets.
Morant was on fire on Saturday night, shooting an impressive 10-of-16 from the field and 4-of-6 from behind the arc — easily his best shooting night since the All-Star break.
He had plenty of help, too. Dillon Brooks added 24 points in the win, and center Jonas Valanciunas finished with a dominant double-double with 22 points and 20 rebounds. LeBron James finished with 19 points and 10 assists in the loss and was just two assists shy of a triple-double, and Anthony Davis finished with 15 points and nine rebounds. The loss marked just their second in February, snapping a seven-game win streak.
“I feel like we all talk to each other, even the coaching staff,” Morant said, via Fox Sports Grizzlies. “Coach let us play with a lot of freedom, as you can see. Everybody has the green light, so there’s no reason to lack confidence when you have a coach that believes in you every step of the way and just lets you go out there and play your game. We always just preach, ‘Keep shooting, make or miss, and we’re behind you.’”
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