Morant, who got up and remained in the game after the foul, was driving toward the rim at a high speed when Morris took him down hard. As Morant cocked the ball back on his ascent to the rim, Morris went up to defend the dunk but hit Morant in the face with his open hand, causing him to fall backward onto the court.
After officials reviewed the play, Morris’ foul was upgraded to a flagrant foul 2, and he was ejected with 4 minutes, 22 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
“Regarding the play, I’m not worried about it,” Morant said afterward. “I’m actually cool with Morris brother. You see I got up. I played on concrete all my life.”
Said Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr.: “I was worried about what he was about to do [in reaction to the foul]. I was worried about what was about to go down. But nothing went down. I wasn’t worried about his fall either. He’s a sturdy guy.”
Morant, who is heading to his first All-Star game, finished with 30 points, seven rebounds and five assists in just 26 minutes. Morris left the game with just three points, four rebounds and three assists in 22 minutes.
Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said he thought Morris made “a dangerous play.”
“Obviously, the refs reviewed it and made the correct call,” Jenkins said. “Ja was vulnerable in the air, and you watch the tape, it speaks for itself.”
The Grizzlies led 90-68 at the time of the flagrant foul and coasted to a 135-109 win.