MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Memphis forward Dillon Brooks was ejected for a flagrant foul on Warriors guard Gary Payton on Wednesday (PHT) in the opening minutes of Game 2 in their Western Conference semifinal.
After the game, the Warriors announced Payton had suffered a fractured left elbow and would undergo an MRI to further assess the injury.
Payton was going for a layup when Brooks chased him down and swung his arm, hitting the Warriors guard in the head. Payton went down and immediately grabbed at his left arm with 9:08 left in the first quarter. Officials reviewed the play and quickly ruled it a Flagrant 2, sending Brooks to the locker room.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr was blunt about the play, calling it “dirty” during the nationally televised sideline interview between the first and second quarters. After the game he added, “Dillon Brooks broke the code. He broke the code. That’s how I see it.”
“You don’t hit a guy when he’s in midair, club him, and break his elbow,” Kerr said.
Brooks missed his first three shots after going 3 of 13 in Game 1. Brooks said after shootaround earlier Tuesday that he knew Memphis likely would’ve won the opener if he shot better.
Memphis’ top perimeter defender, Brooks’ job in Game 2 was to defend two-time NBA scoring champ Stephen Curry.
Payton missed the first free throw, made the second. Then he went to the locker room for X-rays on his left elbow before ultimately being ruled out for the rest of the game.
Then Draymond Green went shortly after to the locker room after he appeared to be elbowed in the face. Green, who was ejected just before halftime of Golden State’s win in Game 1, went down under the basket soon after Brooks’ ejection.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.