NBA 2019

Morant dazzles in preseason debut for Memphis

Associated Press October 07,2019 - 06:43 AM

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant, right, controls the ball against Maccabi Haifa guard Gregory Vargas in the first half of an exhibition NBA basketball game Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, in Memphis, Tenn. | AP Photo

Ja Morant didn’t keep Memphis fans waiting long for his first basket.

Morant, the No. 2 pick in this year’s draft, scored off a baseline drive on the game’s first possession and finished with 10 points and seven assists as Memphis topped Maccabi Haifa 123-88 on Sunday in the Grizzlies’ preseason opener.

Morant played 18 1/2 minutes, shooting 5 for 8 from the floor and adding three rebounds. He checked out for the final time midway through the third quarter.

He showed some flashes of what Grizzlies fans can expect this season, particularly a sequence in the final minute of the first quarter when he had a dunk, then a driving left-handed layup, then found Bruno Caboclo for a 3-pointer to end the period and give Memphis a 26-16 lead.

In the second quarter, Morant had assists on consecutive possessions to push Memphis’ lead out to 17 and the Grizzlies remained in control from there.

Later Sunday, Boston plays Charlotte and the Los Angeles Clippers meet the Shanghai Sharks.

Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant, right, controls the ball against Maccabi Haifa guard Gregory Vargas in the first half of an exhibition NBA basketball game Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

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