The NBA announced Thursday that Memphis Grizzlies wing Dillon Brooks has been suspended for Game 3 of their second-round series against the Golden State Warriors. Brooks was ejected from Game 2 after committing a Flagrant 2 foul on Warriors guard Gary Payton II, which resulted in Payton fracturing his left elbow. Payton is expected to miss at least three weeks with the injury.
The foul occurred early in Game 2, with Payton having a wide-open lane to the basket. When going up for a dunk, Brooks took him down with a hard hit to the head, and Payton fell hard to the floor. Warriors coach Steve Kerr said that Brooks crossed a line: “Playoff basketball is supposed to be physical. But there is a code that players follow where you never put a guy’s season [or] career in jeopardy by taking somebody out in midair and clubbing him across the head, ultimately fracturing Gary’s elbow … He broke the code. Dillon Brooks broke the code.”
Brooks is averaging a career-high 18.4 points per game this season, and he has started all eight playoff games the Grizzlies have played. Memphis will rely on reserve wings DeAnthony Melton and Ziaire Williams to fill in for Brooks.
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