The NBA issued a one-game suspension to Memphis Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks for his flagrant foul against Gary Payton II from the Golden State Warriors in Game 2 of their second-round series. Brooks will sit out Game 3 in San Francisco on Saturday night.
Payton suffered ligament damage and a fractured elbow when he fell hard to the court after Brooks aggressively fouled him three minutes into Game 2. Payton will miss anywhere from three to four weeks, but he could return to the Warriors if they advance to the NBA Finals.
After the foul, officials reviewed the play and issued a flagrant two, which warranted an immediate ejection of Brooks.
“I don’t know if it was intentional, but it was dirty,” said Warriors head coach Steve Kerr.
The Grizzlies won Game 2 thanks to late-game heroics from the unstoppable Ja Morant, who scored the final 15 points for the Grizzlies in a comeback victory to tie the series at 1-1.
Memphis' Dillon Brooks gets tossed for this foul on Golden State's Gary Payton II.
Two games, two ejections between the Warriors and Grizzlies.
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) May 4, 2022
Injury update: Payton out until finals
Payton is the son of former NBA All-Star Gary Payton, who is a former point guard from the Seattle SuperSonics best known as “The Glove” for his defensive prowess.
Payton II spent his first six seasons in the NBA as a journeyman backup with stints with the Milwaukee Bucks, LA Lakers, and Washington Wizards. He appeared in 10 games off the bench last season with the Warriors before becoming an important part of the second unit in the 2021-22 season.
Payton appeared in 71 games this season with the Warriors and started in 16 of them, averaging 7.1 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.1 assists per game. He also shot 32% from 3-point range. In the opening round against the Denver Nuggets, Payton averaged 17 minutes off the bench and scored 6.8 ppg while shooting 35% from 3-point range.
An MRI on Wednesday revealed ligament damage in addition to a fractured left elbow. Fans were miffed that Brooks only got a single-game suspension considering Payton could be out the remainder of the postseason.
Brooks averaged a career-high 18.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game with the Grizzlies this season. He missed more than half the season due to injuries, but appeared in 32 games while starting 31. In the opening round against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Brooks averaged 16.5 ppg and shot 43.3% from 3-point range.
The Warriors are -7 favorites at home for Game 3. Despite the series being tied at 1-1, the Warriors are favorites at -290 odds over the Grizzlies (+235). According to DraftKings’ futures board, the Warriors are +340 odds to win the 2022 NBA championship as the second favorite behind the Suns. You can also back the Warriors at +165 odds to win the Western Conference.
Check out more coverage of the 2022 NBA Playoffs.