‘Call me': Ja Morant dependable down stretch, including hitting game-winner, in Grizzlies-Timberwolves Game 5
Ja Morant extended his thumb and pinkie, held his hand to his ear like a phone and yelled, “Tell them to f***ing call me.”
Morant drove for the game-winner with one second left in Game 5 Tuesday, giving the Grizzlies a 111-109 victory and 3-2 series lead over the Timberwolves.
One of several moments that will get replayed repeatedly before Game 6 Friday in Minnesota, Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns hit a 3-pointer to put the Grizzlies up 13 with 9:38 let and shushed the Memphis crowd:
From there, Morant singlehandedly outscored Minnesota, 18-17.
Heck, Morant (who finished with 30 points, 13 rebounds, nine assists, three steals and five turnovers) showed he was already in “Call 12" mode with a jaw-dropping dunk over Malik Beasley at the end of the third quarter:
But the Timberwolves kept testing Morant.
Beyond Towns (28 points, 12 rebounds, three steals, seven turnovers, five fouls) repeatedly shushing (and once again getting egg on his face), Patrick Beverley scored on Morant late and signaled “too small.” Morant scored on the other end and gave the gesture right back:
Prior to Morant’s game-winner, Timberwolves wing Anthony Edwards (22 points) tied the game on a 3-pointer with 3.7 seconds left:
But in a fitting end to this sloppy game, Edwards gambled for a steal and lost on Morant’s game-winning play.
Both teams committed numerous dumb fouls. Memphis big Jaren Jackson Jr. fouled out in just 18 minutes! The Grizzlies had more success with wing Dillon Brooks on Towns (not a compliment to Towns, a center).
Memphis shot just 48% on 2-pointers, 25% on 3-pointers and 67% on free throws – all marks that would rank last among teams in the regular season. But Minnesota committed 22 turnovers and ceded offensive rebounds on about a third of its misses.
Brandon Clarke (21 points and 15 rebounds, nine offensive) particularly feasted on the offensive glass.
Another Grizzly to step up: Desmond Bane (25 points). He ran the court hard, provided at least some outside shooting (3-for-8 from beyond the arc) and played solid defense, including when D’Angelo Russell curiously tried to isolate him in crunch time.
But this game being what it was, Bane was also involved in a weird moment in the first half. Seemingly trying to clear room for an inbound pass, Bane got a technical foul for pushing Timberwolves coach Chris Finch along the sideline: