Grizzlies' Ja Morant misses Game 2 win because of sore right hand

MEMPHIS -- Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant missed Wednesday's 103-93 win against the Los Angeles Lakers due to right hand soreness.

The Grizzlies announced an hour before Game 2 tipped off that Morant, who has bruising in the soft tissue of the hand, would not play.

"Still battling some soreness and a little pain," Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said after Wednesday's game. "It was just a collective decision. We all decided that, obviously he's a warrior, he wants to be out there, would do anything to be out there, but we just felt like, given all the testing results, given this game and just with a couple more days in between, we're hopeful with the progress he's making the last couple of days, he'll be back sooner rather than later.

"Can't guarantee when that's gonna be, but it's just one of those things that we just couldn't pull it to have him in tonight. But hopefully over the next couple days there's more significant improvement."

Jenkins said during his pregame media availability that Morant is "feeling a little bit better" but that his status would not be determined until after his warmup routine. Morant did not take the FedExForum floor for his normal pregame routine.

X-rays after the Grizzlies' loss in Game 1 on Sunday were negative. An MRI on Monday revealed an aggravation of soft tissue bruising in Morant's hand. The injury was originally suffered in Memphis' April 7 win over the Milwaukee Bucks, but it was made worse when Morant used his right hand to break his fall after committing a charge against Lakers big man Anthony Davis in the fourth quarter Sunday.

Morant, who averaged 26.2 points and 8.1 assists per game during the regular season, did not return after aggravating the injury with 5:48 remaining in the fourth quarter Sunday. He said after the loss that he was in "a good bit of pain" and described his Game 2 availability as "in jeopardy."

The Grizzlies consider Tyus Jones to be the NBA's best backup point guard and have had success with him filling in for Morant as a starter. Memphis is 32-13 with Jones in the starting lineup over the past two seasons, including 13-9 this season.

The Grizzlies went 6-3 in the nine games Morant missed in March, when he served an eight-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the league, allowing them to maintain their grip on the Western Conference's No. 2 seed despite their superstar's absence. Jones averaged 16.3 points, 8.2 assists and only 1.3 turnovers per game during that stretch.