Ja Morant’s record night not enough for Grizzlies against Jazz in Game 2
Ja Morant’s audacity has no limits, but Rudy Gobert tried to prove otherwise. In the second quarter Wednesday, Gobert blocked a Morant dunk attempt and sent him walking backwards.
Morant kept coming, however. He led the Memphis Grizzlies' third-quarter surge by dicing up the Utah Jazz for floaters and layups. He kept coming with a reverse alley-oop dunk in the fourth quarter.
The dust settled with Morant scoring 47 points, a franchise single-game record. But the Jazz got even with a 141-129 win at Vivant Arena to tie the series at 1-1.
Morant had 26 points in Game 1, but his Game 2 performance felt like his true playoff introduction. He had 13 points in the third as he and Dillon Brooks cut Utah's 20-point lead down to two.
USA TODAY Sports' Mark Medina breaks down the Nuggets plan to slow down Damian Lillard.
Nuggets vs. Blazers
The series might be the most wide open of any in the first round, but it's been overlooked a bit despite its star power. While Nikola Jokic and Damian Lillard have put on a show through two games, a major key moving forward will be Portland's defense. It has struggled immensely to get stops all season and could be the Blazers' downfall in the playoffs if they can't tighten it up.
State of the series: Tied at 1-1. Game 3 is Thursday in Portland (10:30 p.m. ET, NBATV).
Nets vs. Celtics
Brooklyn took control early and shot the lights out in Game 2 to take a commanding series lead. The star trio of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden are finding chemistry together and getting solid contributions from the role players around them. Celtics star Jayson Tatum has shot just 27.5% (9-of-32) in the series and left Game 2 after getting poked in the eye.
State of the series: Nets lead 2-0. Game 3 is Friday in Boston (8:30 p.m. ET, ABC).
Clippers vs. Mavericks
Luka Doncic and the Mavericks have the Clippers on the ropes after taking the first two games of the series in Los Angeles. The Clippers have had no answer for Doncic, who is averaging 35 points on 50.5% shooting, including 42% from 3-point range. The same chemistry questions that dogged L.A. in the bubble last year have cropped up again, but they insist they aren't concerned by the deficit.
State of the series: Mavericks lead 2-0. Game 3 is Friday in Dallas (9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).
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