MIAMI — The NBA suspended Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant eight games without pay on Wednesday after determining that his displaying a firearm at a club in suburban Denver earlier this month was “conduct detrimental to the league.”

Morant will miss his sixth game when the Grizzlies play in Miami on Wednesday night. He will miss the next two games and be eligible to return on Monday when Memphis plays Dallas. The games he already missed will count toward the suspension, and Morant will forfeit about $669,000 in salary.

“Ja’s conduct was irresponsible, reckless and potentially very dangerous,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “It also has serious consequences given his enormous following and influence, particularly among young fans who look up to him.”

Silver met with Morant in New York before announcing the league’s decision. The Grizzlies had no immediate comment; Coach Taylor Jenkins is scheduled to hold his standard pregame availability Wednesday evening in Miami before the game against the Heat.

The league’s investigation, which started almost immediately after the March 4 incident in which Morant livestreamed himself on Instagram, found that he was “holding a firearm in an intoxicated state” — but did not prove that the gun was owned by Morant “or was displayed by him beyond a brief period.”

The league investigation also did not find that Morant had the gun with him on Memphis’ flight to Denver, or that he possessed the gun while in any NBA facility.


Police in Colorado said last week that they looked into the circumstances surrounding the video and concluded that there was no reason to charge Morant with a crime.

“He has expressed sincere contrition and remorse for his behavior,” Silver said. “Ja has also made it clear to me that he has learned from this incident and that he understands his obligations and responsibility to the Memphis Grizzlies and the broader NBA community extend well beyond his play on the court.”

The Grizzlies played at Denver on March 3. At 5:19 a.m. the next day, Morant started a livestream from inside a strip club called Shotgun Willies in Glendale, Colorado. The video quickly went viral, and trouble escalated.

The Grizzlies initially said Morant would miss at least two games. Hours later, Morant said in a statement distributed through the agency that represents him that he takes “full responsibility” for his actions and that he was going to “take some time away to get help.” ESPN reported that Morant sought counseling at a facility in Florida.

The two-game absence was followed by the team announcing last week that Morant would miss at least four more games, a stretch that concludes Wednesday. Morant then met with Silver on Wednesday as the NBA’s investigation was concluding. He knows now when he’ll be eligible to return.

Morant, a two-time All-Star, is averaging 27.1 points and 8.2 assists per game this season.


TIMBERWOLVES: Injured star Karl-Anthony Towns is expected to return to action “in the coming weeks,” the team announced.

Minnesota’s game against Boston on Wednesday night marks the 49th consecutive game missed by the three-time All-Star big man with a severely strained right calf muscle.

Towns was hurt on Nov. 28 in a game at Washington. He recently began ramping up his on-court basketball activity, but there are only 3 1/2 weeks remaining in the regular season with the Timberwolves in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race.

PUNISHMENT: Sacramento Kings forward Trey Lyles was suspended one game without pay and Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez was fined $25,000 for their involvement in an altercation at the end of a game Monday night, the NBA announced.

WARRIORS: Forward Andre Iguodala is set to have surgery next week on his fractured left wrist.

Iguodala sustained the injury Monday night in a home victory over the Phoenix Suns. An update on how long he will be out will be provided after the surgery.



HEAT 138, GRIZZLIES 119: Bam Adebayo scored 26 points, Tyler Herro added 24 and Miami enjoyed a rare easy win by topping visiting Memphis.

Jimmy Butler scored 23 points, Max Strus had 12, Caleb Martin finished with 11 and Kevin Love and Gabe Vincent each had 10 for the Heat.

Miami set a season high for points, and it was only the sixth time — in 38 wins — that the Heat prevailed by more than 10 points.

76ERS 118, CAVALIERS 109: Joel Embiid had 36 points and 18 rebounds and played the final 4:12 after initially being called for his sixth foul, leading visiting Philadelphia to its sixth straight victory.

James Harden added 28 points and Tyrese Maxey had 23 for the Sixers. They were up 108-101 when Embiid was whistled for an offensive charge on Evan Mobley while making a jumper.


As Cleveland fans began to celebrate Embiid’s apparent disqualification, Sixers Coach Doc Rivers immediately challenged the call, which was overturned after a replay review and the superstar was allowed to stay on the floor.

ROCKETS 114, LAKERS 110: Kevin Porter Jr. scored 27 points and host Houston beat short-handed Los Angeles.

Los Angeles scored five points, with a 3-pointer from Rui Hachimura, to get within four early in the fourth quarter. The Rockets countered with an 8-0 run, with the first five points from rookie Jabari Smith Jr., to push it to 96-83.

The Rockets were up by eight with 7.2 seconds to go before Malik Beasley hit a 3 for the Lakers to cut the lead to 114-109. Austin Reaves then got a steal and Porter fouled him with 0.3 seconds remaining. It was ruled a Flagrant-1 foul after a review, but Reaves made just 1 of 2 free throws and Houston held on.

It’s the second straight victory for the Western Conference-worst Rockets, who beat Boston on Monday night.

Already without LeBron James because of an injury, the Lakers were also missing Anthony Davis against Houston. Davis, who had 35 points and 17 rebounds in a win over New Orleans on Tuesday night, isn’t playing both games of back-to-back per doctors’ orders after coming back from a right foot injury.

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