Tuesday night’s Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals series between the Golden State Warriors and Memphis Grizzlies was a thrilling battle until the final buzzer, but there was a lot of controversy that occurred in this game.
Just about three minutes into the game, Warriors’ guard Gary Payton II went up for a wide-open, uncontested layup when Grizzlies’ wing Dillon Brooks came from his side and made hard, unnecessary contact with Payton midair.
Payton fell hard to the ground, landing on his left arm/elbow and he left the game with what was later deemed to be a fractured left elbow. Dillon Brooks was ejected from the game after receiving a Flagrant Foul Penalty 2.
On Wednesday morning, ESPN’s JJ Redick shared his thoughts on the play made by Brooks.
“I absolutely think that he broke the code. I am not calling Dillon Brooks a dirty player, but this was a dirty play,” Reddick said on SportsCenter.
“When you are on a fast break and you jump and you have that momentum carrying you forward, as a player, you are in a very vulnerable position. You saw this earlier in the year when Alex Caruso goes up for a dunk, Grayson Allen has a follow-through, Alex breaks his wrist. Myself, I had this happen four times in my career. When you jump and you leave your feet, you are in a vulnerable position and Dillon Brooks made a play on the body, he did not make a play on the ball and he hit his [Gary Payton II] head. It is absolutely a dirty play.”
Warriors’ head coach Steve Kerr was irate when the foul happened during Game 2 and called the play by Brooks “dirty” both during and after the game.
Payton is scheduled for an MRI on Wednesday, but it appears as if he is going to be sidelined indefinitely, a big blow to the Golden State Warriors as a whole given that he is one of their best perimeter defenders and drew the assignment on All-Star guard Ja Morant through the first two games of this series.
The Warriors will host the Grizzlies for Game 3 in this Western Conference Semifinals series on Saturday night in San Francisco.
Related stories on NBA basketball
- Disappointing Injury Update About Warriors' Gary Payton II: According to ESPN's Kendra Andrews, Gary Payton II sustained a fractured left elbow in Game 2 against the Memphis Grizzlies and will undergo an MRI on Wednesday. CLICK HERE.
- Here's What Steve Kerr Said After The Warriors Lost Game 2: Steve Kerr met with the media after the Golden State Warriors lost Game 2 to the Memphis Grizzlies. CLICK HERE.