Things are getting nasty in the Western Conference Semifinals.
On Tuesday night, the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Golden State Warriors 106-101 in a game two thriller, tying the series at a game apiece.
Within minutes of game two tipping off, Dillon Brooks of the Grizzlies was assessed a flagrant foul 2, which means an automatic ejection, after hitting Gary Payton II from behind, forcing Payton to exit the game.
GP2 takes a hard fall after getting fouled by Dillon Brooks.
Brooks was given a Flagrant 2 foul and has been ejected from Game 2pic.twitter.com/FPLHkcIkx3
— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) May 4, 2022
It’s the second ejection of the series, with Draymond Green of the Warriors being tossed from game one after being assessed a flagrant foul 2 after hitting Grizzlies big man Brandon Clarke in the face and pulling him down by his jersey.
After game two, it was announced that Payton II suffered a broken elbow on the play, and his timeline for a return is unclear.
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was incensed directly after the play, yelling at the officials as well as Brooks. Following the game, Kerr made his feelings clear on what transpired, calling the play from Brooks “dirty.”
“I don’t know if it was intentional, but it was dirty,” Kerr said after the game. “Playoff basketball is supposed to be physical. Everybody is going to compete, everybody’s gonna fight for everything, but there’s a code in this league. There’s a code that players follow where you never put a guy’s season/career in jeopardy by taking somebody out in midair and clubbing him across the head, ultimately fracturing Gary’s elbow.”
“He broke the code,” Kerr added. “Dillon Brooks broke the code.”
Steve Kerr: “Dillon Brooks broke the code.”
Here is Kerr’s full soundbite on the foul that injured Gary Payton II pic.twitter.com/QALedINMYo
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) May 4, 2022
Payton’s teammates echoed their coach’s thoughts on the play, with Steph Curry calling the play “out of line.”
“It was kind of out of line in terms of a defenseless player going up on a layup, taking a huge windup and everything bad that could have happened in that situation did,” Curry said, according to NBC Sports.“Knocked him out of the game and we’ll see what happens with his injury.”
“Obviously a tough way to start the game,” he continued. “Talk about Flagrant 2s, it was definitely one of those. Made the right call there. You feel bad for GP. This is his time to shine in a series like this, and a play like that knocks him out. It’s tough.”
Despite the loss of Brooks, the Grizzlies best defender, Memphis was carried by Ja Morant, who tied a playoff career-high 47 points in the win. According to ESPN, Morant became just the third player in NBA history to have multiple 45-point playoff games before turning 23-years-old.
“It’s not just the plays,” Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said. “It’s just the force that he plays with, the spirit that he plays with. It’s infectious. I’ve said it since day one. Like, you know he’s going to be built for moments like this, and this is super impressive.”
The series now shifts to San Francisco, with game three scheduled at Chase Center on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to email@example.com.
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