Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant #12 guards Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James #6
Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant #12 guards Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James #6 Getty Images | Justin Ford

Memphis Grizzlies (19-10) star Ja Morant was ejected from Saturday's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder (12-18) after apparently making remarks to Memphis fans sitting courtside that were allegedly derogatory about the officiating.

About 43 seconds before halftime of the 115-109 loss to OKC Saturday at Paycom Center, 2020 NBA Rookie of The Year point guard Ja Morant received his second technial foul and was ejected from the game after receiving his first technical foul 11 seconds earlier to stop the clock and complain about a no-call before the end of the first half.

The crew chief referee John Goble explained after the game why Morant received both of his technical fouls.

"Morant was assessed a technical foul for use of profanity directed at an official," Goble mentioned, who has been officiating in the NBA since 2007. "Morant was assessed his second technical foul for making a comment questioning the integrity of the officials," Goble added.

"I got my first tech for saying I got hit in my (expletive) face. I didn't curse at him,'' said the 2022 NBA All-Star, via ESPN. "Another situation where he's in my conversation and I get another tech for talking with a fan. I feel like when these fans came here, went online to buy these tickets, they didn't say Ray [Acosta's] name to come watch."

In 16 minutes of play Morant scored six points, had five rebounds and two assists, before being ejected with 42.3 seconds left in the second quarter. On his way to the locker room, Morant gave the courtside fan, identified as Lisa in a twitter post, a sign of appreciation and two thumbs up before making his exit.

Morant reportedly FaceTime called his father, who carried a cell phone over to the fan (Lisa) to tell her it is not her fault. Memphis star point guard confirmed he spoke to the fan after his ejection and wanted to thank her for the encouragement.

"They came to support us,'' Morant said after the game. "They came to watch us play. I don't care about getting fined."

Memphis trailed 61-40 when Morant was ejected. The loss snapped the Grizzlies' seven-game winning streak. Despite the loss Memphis remains in first place of the Southwest division in the Western Conference.

The fourth-year veteran was ejected from a game earlier this season on Dec. 1 and was fined $35,000 for his comments about officiating. Morant is now tied for fourth in the NBA with seven technical fouls this season.

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