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Ja Morant to start vs. Lakers in critical Game 3 for Grizzlies

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Dan Patrick sits downs with Tim Legler to discuss ejections in this year's NBA playoffs, Kawhi Leonard's legacy, how LeBron James will perform in Game 3 against the Memphis Grizzlies and more.

LOS ANGELES — Ja Morant will be back in the starting lineup for the Grizzlies in Game 3 against the Lakers Saturday night after missing one game with an injured hand and wrist.

Morant re-aggravated a hand/wrist late in Game 1 on an awkward fall after Anthony Davis attempted to draw a charge on a Morant drive.

Morant left Game 1 (a Grizzlies loss) and then was out for all of Game 2 (a Memphis win to even the series).

It was a collaboration of Morant, the medical staff and the coaching staff that made the call on if he would play, Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said pregame (before Morant’s status was officially announced). Because he had gone through most of a full practice on Friday, it was expected he would play, although how well he can grip the ball — to dribble, pass and shoot — remains to be seen.

The extended time off between games in this series — the Clippers and Suns have completed four games before the Lakers even tipped off their third — gave Morant more time to heal.

“Obviously, in Ja’s situation, more time can only benefit you, you know, from a healing standpoint,” Jenkins said.

Morant averaged 26.2 points and 8.1 assists a game this season for the Grizzlies and is a key part of their pace and halfcourt shot creation.