Markieff Morris put in a box score line on Tuesday night that you just don't see very often. He fouled out in just 21 minutes, yet scored 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting - including 3-for-3 from three - and grabbed three steals.
No NBA player has had that many points and steals in a game they fouled out after playing less than 22 minutes since at least the 1983-84 season, as far as Basketball Reference's play index can go back. Part of the reason why that is the case, is that usually when a player gets in early foul trouble, as Morris did, they play more cautiously. They dial back their aggression on offense in fear of getting whistled for an offensive foul.
That's what usually happens. Not for Kief, apparently.
"When you have fouls like that, sometimes you are tentative to attack the basket. But he attacked the basket and got to the rim," coach Scott Brooks said. "That's what I like about Kief from night to night. He had foul trouble it seemed right from the jumpball. Right after they threw it up, he was battling foul trouble. But he kept playing aggressive."
Morris picked up his first foul just 1:23 into the first quarter. His sixth and final foul came with 3:58 left in the fourth, right after he hit a pair of three-pointers, and right after he had a big putback slam on a fastbreak to help the Wizards complete their comeback. They stormed back from 18 points down to secure their ninth victory this season after trailing by double digits.
"I can't get anymore techs. So, there was nothing I could do," Morris said of his fouls. "But when I was on the bench I told coach to put me back in the game."
Morris has now scored 15 points or more in three straight games and has reached double digits in his last nine. His three three-pointers matched a career-high.
"He did a really good job of just staying aggressive and not worrying about his fouls. The game rewarded him at the end," guard Bradley Beal said.
With the win, the Wizards moved to 19-18, above the .500 mark for the first time since Nov. 24, 2015. That was a short-term goal for the team, but a milestone for Morris, who joined Washington in a trade last February.
"It was a real big win to be over .500. We haven't been over .500 since I got here actually, so it just feels good," Morris said.