Sport NBA playoffs 2021: Morant not interested in records despite history-making 47-point haul
Lakers fall short of escaping play-in tournament as Jazz clinch NBA's best record and Curry wins scoring title
The Los Angeles Lakers will have to go through the play-in tournament, while the Utah Jazz finished with the league's best record.LeBron James – who appeared to tweak his ankle – posted 25 points for the streaking Lakers, who claimed their fifth consecutive victory, however they did not end the regular season high enough in the Western Conference to bypass the NBA's new play-in format involving the seventh through 10th seeds in pursuit of the playoffs.
Memphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant is not interested in records despite making history with 47 points in his side's 141-129 Game 2 defeat to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday.
The Jazz levelled their NBA first round playoffs series at 1-1 despite Morant's remarkable haul, with the 21-year-old having led the Grizzlies to victory in Game 1 with 26 points.
Morant became the second youngest player in playoffs history to score 45 or more points, behind only LeBron James in 2006 (45 points vs Washington).
It also meant Morant scored the most points all-time by a player aged 21 or younger in a playoff game, Stats Perform confirmed.
Morant stars as Grizzlies deny Curry's Warriors playoffs spot
Ja Morant finished with 35 points for the Memphis Grizzlies including two key floaters in their over-time win.The Grizzlies win through to play the Western Conference top seed Utah Jazz, although they blew a 10-point lead with three minutes to go before triumphing in over-time.
Asked about whether he takes anything from such records, Morant told a post-game news conference: "Not at all. I'm blessed to be in a position I'm in and to be able to play the game at the highest level, but that's not on my mind at all. We lost."
Utah led by 20 points at half-time on Wednesday but Morant and the Grizzlies fought back with a 43-29 third quarter, closing within two in the last, before falling short.
Morant was busy throughout, with 15-from-26 from the field, while he was fouled throughout including a few tangles with Jazz center Rudy Gobert, making 15-from-20 from the stripe.
"I'm not afraid," Morant said. "That's the job to protect the rim. My job when I'm attacking the rim is to go finish.
"He [Gobert] made a good block but as you'd seen throughout the game, I was right back in the paint."
'Pretty damn impressive': Curry proud but disappointed with Warriors' postseason exit
Despite missing the playoffs again, Stephen Curry said the Golden State Warriors' late form surge was "pretty damn impressive."The Warriors won 15 of their last 20 regular-season matches, including eight of the last nine down the final stretch prior to the play-in tournament where they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday and were eliminated 117-112 in over-time by the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday.
Ja Morant (21 years, 289 days) is the 2nd youngest player in NBA history to record 45+ points in an— NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) game. The youngest was LeBron James (21 years, 124 days) with 45 points on 05/03/2006.
Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell, who returned from an ankle injury with 25 points, was full of praise for Morant.
"Give credit to Ja, he had 50 ," Mitchell said post-game. "He's a hell of a player. I respect the hell out of his game.
"He fought but we fought. It's 1-1, they came here and stole one. We need to take care of business."
The series now moves to Memphis with back-to-back home games for the Grizzlies.
British Airways to double the space on flights for Avios flyers .
British Airways has handed families and holidaymakers 'great news' in the form of more than 250,000 extra seats for travellers booking flights using Avios points from the end of July. The airline is doubling the minimum number of seats available for those buying short-haul economy and business class flights, and long-haul economy, premium economy and business class flights.No more first-class seats will be made available, but in some classes it means there will be at least eight seats open to reward flight passengers to every destination, with at least 14 available per long-haul flight.