Morant not charged following investigation by Colorado police
Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant will be away from the team for at least four more games, the team said on Wednesday, shortly after police announced that he will not face charges in Colorado related to the livestreamed video is which he appeared to be displaying a gun in a strip club.
“Ja Morant will continue to remain away from the team for at least the next four games,” the team said with no further comment.
That means Morant will miss games against Golden State on Thursday, home against Dallas on Saturday, at Dallas on Monday and at Miami on March 15. The earliest he could play is March 17 at San Antonio, and there’s no guarantee of that.
Meanwhile, the Glendale Police Department said it looked into the video, which was a stream that Morant showed on his Instagram channel while he seemed to be holding a firearm, and found no proof that a crime was committed. Glendale is an enclave surrounded by the city of Denver.
“In this case, it should be noted that on the night in question the GPD did not receive any calls for service at the nightclub regarding a weapon of any type,” police said. “Subsequently, no disturbances were reported, and no citizens of patrons of the club came forward to make a complaint.
“The investigation also concluded that no one was threatened or menaced with the firearm and in fact no firearm was ever located.”
The NBA has said it is also looking into the matter, and has not announced any sanctions — such as a suspension — against Morant.
Police said the investigation confirmed that “the incident” — Morant was not named in the release, which only made reference to “a prominent NBA player” — occurred at an establishment called Shotgun Willies in Glendale. The two-time All-Star streamed the video in the early hours of Saturday, after the Grizzlies played in Denver on Friday night.
The Grizzlies said Morant would be away from the team for at least two games — those were Sunday and Tuesday — and Morant later said that he decided “to take some time away to get help and work on learning better methods of dealing with stress and my overall well-being.”
It is not clear what that means. Morant has not commented further and the Grizzlies have not shared what steps he is taking or why he is seeking help.
AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
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Need to Know: Bruins vs. Senators
BOSTON – The Bruins will be back on home ice on Tuesday night as they return from a lengthy five-game road trip to host the Ottawa Senators at TD Garden. Boston has bounced back to win three straight after a brief lull in its record-breaking season produced a stretch of three losses in four games.
“Hold ourselves accountable,” Matt Grzelcyk said of how the Bruins have rebounded quickly from the downturn. “And I feel like that Winnipeg game, we got a huge goal second shift, I think that just kind of starts getting things going the right way – and having that more attacking mentality offensively, defensively, taking time and space away from them. And I think it was a good transition and that’s when we could kind of overwhelm teams.”
Here’s everything else you need to know ahead of the 7 p.m. ET puck drop on NESN and 98.5 The Sports Hub:
On the Injury Front
Derek Forbort did not take part in the morning skate and is unlikely to play again before the postseason, per coach Jim Montgomery. The blue liner suffered a lower-body injury after blocking a shot on March 16 in Winnipeg.
“We do not expect him back before the end of the regular season,” said Montgomery, who added that Forbort does not require surgery.
Taylor Hall and Nick Foligno, both of whom have been out for nearly a month with lower-body injuries of their own, have resumed skating. Foligno took the ice on his own ahead of Tuesday’s morning skate, while Hall joined his teammates donning a maroon non-contact jersey.
“They’re checking boxes and are progressing well, but there’s no timeline for them yet,” said Montgomery. “I still think they are a ways away. It’s not at the point where I’m starting to think about lines and stuff.”
When they do return, however, Montgomery is eager to have plenty of options up front.
“I don’t think it’s a problem. It’s a great situation,” he said. “You’ll get to see when they get back who plays with who, and a deep lineup is going to get even deeper. So, it’s a great problem to have.”
After sitting out Sunday’s game in Buffalo, David Krejci (soreness) and Dmitry Orlov (defense rotation) will be back in the lineup. A.J. Greer and Jakub Zboril will be the healthy scratches.
The Senators, on the second end of a back-to-back, snapped a five-game losing streak on Monday night with a 2-1 win over Pittsburgh. The recent downturn has pushed Ottawa (34-31-5, 73 points) six points behind Florida for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
After winning the first two games against the Bruins this season – both on home ice – the Senators fell to Boston, 3-1, on Feb. 20 at TD Garden.
“I think they won [on Monday night], so they’re probably feeling pretty good about themselves,” said Grzelcyk. “Every game probably feels pretty close to a playoff game and they haven’t been there in a few years. They’ve got a lot to prove and they’ve got a lot of young talent…a good power play.
“We’ve got to stay disciplined, something we’ve lacked in a little bit recently. I’ve got to be mindful of that and I don’t want to give them any easy opportunities. And they played last night, so get on them early and make them work for it.”
Ottawa is paced by Tim Stutzle, who leads the club with 35 goals and 78 points in 66 games. Brady Tkachuk (30-42-72) has also hit the 30-goal, 70-point plateau, while Claude Giroux (28-30-68), Alex DeBrincat (21-35-56), and Drake Batherson (21-34-55) have reached the 20-goal mark.
Tuesday’s Projected Lineup
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Jake DeBrusk
Pavel Zacha – David Krejci – David Pastrnak
Tyler Bertuzzi – Charlie Coyle – Trent Frederic
Jakub Lauko – Tomas Nosek – Garnet Hathaway
Matt Grzelcyk – Charlie McAvoy
Hampus Lindholm – Brandon Carlo
Dmitry Orlov – Connor Clifton
Linus Ullmark/Jeremy Swayman
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