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Ja Morant posts first career triple-double in Grizzlies’ win vs. Wizards

Ja Morant, Grizzlies

Memphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant continues to add to his Rookie of the Year resume.

Morant notched the first triple-double of his career on Sunday as the Grizzlies defeated the Washington Wizards 106-99 at the Capital One Arena in D.C.

The former Murray State star dominated, the game scoring 27 points on 9-of-17 shooting to go along with 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Morant also finished the contest with the highest plus-minus (+16) of any player that took the floor for either team.

Morant showed his clutch gene late as well. He drilled a contested 3-pointer with just under a minute remaining to put the Grizzlies up nine, essentially sealing the win for Memphis.

While New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson grabbed all the pre-draft headlines this past summer, it is Morant who has risen to the top as the standout rookie in the NBA.

Morant entered Sunday’s contest averaging 17.4 points, 7.0 assists and 3.4 rebounds while shooting close to 50 percent from the field. He leads all qualified rookies in scoring and assists. But more importantly, Morant is starring for a Grizzlies team still squarely in playoff contention.

Memphis improved to 27-26 with the win, and they now hold a three-game lead over the ninth-seeded Portland Trail Blazers. Their success is pretty miraculous considering they were still supposed to be in the midst of a rebuild. Nevertheless, Morant’s excellence has helped the Grizzlies arrive ahead of schedule.

Things get slightly tougher for Ja Morant and the Grizzlies the rest of the way. Four of their first six games after the All-Star break will come against the Los Angeles Lakers (twice), Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets.

However, Morant figures to keep the ship steady if he continues to string together these kind of performances for the young and rising Memphis team.