Grizzlies lose Morant to ankle injury, beat Nets in overtime

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Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant, right, wears a boot on his left foot after suffering an injury during the team's NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets, Monday, Dec. 28, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

NEW YORK – Ja Morant could barely stand, needing a wheelchair to take him from the court area after spraining his left ankle.

Having already lost their first two games, now the Memphis Grizzlies had lost the NBA Rookie of the Year and their best player.

“A moment like that can really test you, but our guys just kept on fighting," Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins.

And Morant was there to watch them.

The Grizzlies earned their first victory of the season, outlasting the short-handed Brooklyn Nets 116-111 in overtime Monday night.

Morant was hurt late in the first half when he leaped to block a shot by Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot and landed on the Nets forward's foot. Morant immediately hopped off the floor, then laid on the floor in pain before being wheeled to the back of the arena.

He rejoined his teammates on the bench in the second half with his foot in a walking boot, offering energy and support to carry them through a tense finish.

“He's a team player. He loves his squad,” teammate Dillon Brooks said.