It was a coming-of-age game as the No. 2 overall pick of the 2019 NBA Draft Ja Morant was matched up with All-Star guard Kyrie Irving.
Morant was in need of a bounce-back game after being out-played by the No. 6 overall pick in his draft class, Coby White, in the Grizzlies' home opener.
To say that Morant bounced back in this one would be an understatement - the rookie guard put together his best performance of his young career, going toe-to-toe with one of the best guards in the NBA today.
Irving has gotten off to an incredibly hot start this season. After dropping 50 points in a loss his first game as a member of the Brooklyn Nets, Irving responded by hitting a game-winning shot in the Battle of the Boroughs against their rival New York Knicks.
In looking to take the Nets to over .500 for the first time this season, Irving stepped up in a big way in Memphis to try and lead his team to victory, but Morant assured he wouldn't let the Grizzlies drop their second home game in a row.
Morant scored 17 of his team-high 30 points in the fourth quarter, including a tough drive to the lane to tie the game with under 10 seconds to go.
It's nearly impossible to stop Irving in a one-on-one situation with the game on the line - just ask rookie R.J.Barrett - but it's even harder when he has the hot hand like he had in this one. Irving was already at a game-high 33 points when he had the ball in his hands and a chance to win the game, but the 19-year-old Morant wasn't phased as he came up with a huge block on the ensuing possession to force overtime.
Ja with TWO straight clutch plays to force OT! 🔥- NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) October 28, 2019
In overtime, the Nets held a two-point lead with under 10 seconds to go. The Grizzlies put the ball in the hands of their young playmaker and he delivered, finding forward Jae Crowder wide open at the top of the key for a game-winning 3-pointer.
Perfect execution here by Morant and Crowder. I'm loving these Bright Future Grizzlies pic.twitter.com/DXgKJ9XhIP- Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) October 28, 2019
Morant finished with 30 points, nine assists, four rebounds, one steal and one block shooting 13-for-22 (59.1%) from the field and 1-for-2 from 3-point land. Irving finished with 37 points, seven assists, seven rebounds, two steals and a block shooting 11-for-27 (40.7%) from the field and 5-for-12 (41.7%) from 3-point range.
👀 @JaMorant (30 PTS, 9 AST) & @KyrieIrving (37 PTS, 7 REB, 7 AST) duel as the @memgrizz top BKN in overtime! #GrindCity pic.twitter.com/pvqBKiWk8M- NBA (@NBA) October 28, 2019