Extra Pass: George, Morant headline Clippers-Grizzlies duel

Published November 18, 2021, 3:30 PMYoyo Sarmenta

Early MVP candidate Paul George faces rising star Ja Morant as the Clippers play the Grizzlies tomorrow.

Two of the league's top bucket-getters try to outshoot each other in tomorrow's Western Conference matchup. 

Paul George and the Los Angeles Clippers head to Memphis to take on Ja Morant and the Grizzlies, 8:00 AM on NBA TV Philippines (available on Smart’s GigaPlay app and Cignal TV).

George is fourth in the league in scoring, averaging 27.0 points per page as he carries much of his team's offensive load with co-star Kawhi Leonard still out. Proving that he can keep the Clippers afloat in the Wild West, George's scoring average is the highest it’s ever been throughout his 11-year career. He is shooting a stable 44.6 percent from the field, 34.7 percent from deep, and 89.9 percent from the stripe. 

It's not just the scoring that's working for George as he's collecting 8.2 rebounds and 2.2 steals, the most he's had since the 2018-19 season. He's also keeping his teammates involved, maintaining 5.1 assists. 

It's no coincidence that the Clippers are still among the top teams in the West despite the absence of Leonard. After a 1-4 start, they've won eight of their last nine games, losing only to the upstart Chicago Bulls in that span. The Clippers will have a chance to avenge their 120-114 loss to the Grizzlies earlier in the season when they travel to Memphis. 

But the Grizzlies have no shortage of star power on their own, boasting Ja Morant. The third-year man is eighth in the league in scoring at 25.9 points per game. 

This season is certainly making a case for Morant's breakout year especially coming off a stellar playoff debut. He's hitting 49.3 percent of his shots from the field and showcasing a much-improved 3-point arsenal. He was dared in the last postseason to take the outside shot and now he’s making opponents pay for giving him space. He's making 38.2 percent from deep, a huge leap from his 30.3 percentage a year ago. As his scoring game continues to grow by leaps and bounds, his all-around contributions remain deadly, averaging 6.4 boards, 7.3 dimes, and 1.6 steals. 

The Grizzlies own a 7-7 record, inclusive of tough losses to the Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, and Phoenix Suns. However, they can also be proud of winning two consecutive games over the Denver Nuggets and being just one of two teams to have beaten the Golden State Warriors so far this season. 

The matchup between the Grizzlies and the Clippers headline two of the league's premier players and two teams hoping to make a strong splash this season on their way to the playoffs.