Memphis Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks will miss Game 3 of the playoff series against the Golden State Warriors next Saturday after being suspended for a hard foul against Gary Payton II, who suffered a broken elbow.
"Brooks was suspended one game without pay for making unnecessary and excessive contact against Golden State Warriors guard Gary Payton II, which caused a significant injury."announced this Thursday Byron Spruell, president of NBA Operations, in a statement.
The action occurred on Tuesday with just three minutes played in the second game of the Western Conference semifinal between the Grizzlies and the Warriors.
Brooks, who is averaging 18.4 points per game this season, hit Payton II in the head in the air while trying to prevent the Warriors shooting guard from making a layup on the Grizzlies’ basket.
Payton II, an important cog in Golden State’s defensive gear, was on the floor for several minutes with sore left elbow before being taken to the locker room.
Referees ejected Brooks from the game, in which the Memphis won 106-101 to even the series at 1-1.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr strongly protested the move, calling it "dirty".
"Playoff basketball is supposed to be physical, everyone has to compete, everyone has to fight for everything (…) But there is a code that players follow in which you never jeopardize the season or the career of a guy pulling someone out of the air and whacking him in the head"Kerr said.
Payton II, 29, will be out for at least two weeks with a broken left elbow and damaged ligaments and muscles, the Warriors said Thursday.