NBA

Morant follows All-Star selection with 30-point triple-double: 'It's hard to remember all the stuff he's doing'

By Sports Desk January 29, 2022

Ja Morant made Memphis Grizzlies history in his first game since being named an All-Star starter, but that came as no surprise to team-mate Jaren Jackson Jr.

Morant – a first-time All-Star – was selected in the Western Conference lineup this week after an outstanding start to his third season in the NBA.

The former second overall pick is averaging 25.9 points and broke new ground in recording his first triple-double of the year in Friday's 119-109 win over the Utah Jazz, who slipped further behind the third-placed Grizzlies with a fourth straight defeat.

Morant had 30 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds, making it the highest-scoring triple by a Memphis player. The previous record, held jointly by Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph, was 28 points.

The 22-year-old's Grizzlies team-mates had celebrated his All-Star recognition before the game – and that continued after another outstanding display.

"All-Star starter and his first time being an All-Star at the same time – that's probably a lot to think about," said Jackson.

"I'm glad he was able to come out and perform today, because I imagine there's lots of things to think about, thinking about all the work you put in to get to this point.

"It's really cool to see. We kind of figured, but you just don't know until it happens. I know he was super geeked about it.

"I see more of the work he puts in than anybody else – just because I'm on the same team, I get to see him practice, I get to see a bunch of stuff – so that's money, man."

Jackson, put forward as a Defensive Player of the Year candidate by Morant, had six blocks for a second consecutive game – Brook Lopez, in January 2020, was the last player to enjoy such a streak.

But he was far more comfortable discussing Morant's latest achievement, adding: "I didn't know he did it, I'm just now looking at it. Thirty-point triple-double? That's tough.

"He does it all the time, though. I guess we can celebrate it, I'll celebrate it internally and just be happy for him – that's my dog – but it's hard to remember all the stuff he's doing, because there's too many. My memory's not that good.

"This is historic stuff right here. I'm glad everyone's just enjoying watching it for what it is, because this is special stuff."

Neither the All-Star selection nor this latest piece of history distracted Morant from the task at hand, however.

"It's the same job as before the announcement was made: go out and prove myself," Morant said. "Tonight was another one of those nights, just trying to win the game.

"I think the win was more important, but I guess the triple-double was needed to get the win. All in all, it was a good night."

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