NBA Playoffs: Morant leads huge Grizzlies comeback, Heat and Suns grab wins
Memphis, Tennessee - Ja Morant produced a dazzling fourth-quarter display and game-winning lay-up to earn the Memphis Grizzlies a 3-2 series lead in their first round playoffs against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday.
The Grizzlies came out on top 111-109 over the Timberwolves, led by Morant with 30 points, 13 rebounds, and nine assists.
Morant made the decisive contribution with a play with 3.7 seconds left with scores at 109-109, bucketing a left-handed lay-up from Dillon Brooks' inbound.
Memphis had trailed by 11 points in the last quarter before their rally, with recently crowned NBA Most Improved Player Morant scoring 18 points in the fourth. Morant had sparked after a massive third-quarter dunk. That number is an NBA record for a player in the fourth quarter of a playoff game.
Desmond Bane added 25 points for the Grizzlies, while Karl-Anthony Towns was excellent with 28 points including five three-pointers and 12 rebounds.
The series heads back to Minnesota on Friday.
Miami completes the job, Suns almost there
The Miami Heat completed a 4-1 series victory over the Atlanta Hawks with a 97-94 win, despite the absences of Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry.
The Hawks failed to get a shot away in the final play in the dying seconds to force over-time as the Heat won out, led by Victor Oladipo (23 points) and Bam Adebayo (20 points and 11 rebounds).
Trae Young struggled again with 11 points on two-of-12 shooting from the field, finishing the five-game series with 30 turnovers.
Meanwhile, Mikal Bridges produced a 24-point second half as the Phoenix Suns won 112-97 over the New Orleans Pelicans to move ahead 3-2 in their first round series.
Bridges finished with 31 points for the game while Chris Paul had 22 points, 11 assists and three steals for the Suns who were without Devin Booker (hamstring).
The Suns, who came into the playoffs with the best record in the NBA, led from start to finish. Brandon Ingram top scored for the Pelicans – who had six turnovers in the first quarter – with 22 points.
Cover photo: Collage: USA TODAY Sports