Dillon Brooks OUT for Game Two
The National Basketball Association has suspended Memphis Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks for Game Three of the Western Conference Semifinals.
Brooks was ejected with 9:08 left in the first quarter of Game Two for pushing Golden State Warriors guard Gary Payton II while he was in the air, causing him to land awkwardly and fracture his elbow. Payton will miss the remainder of the series and could be out for three-five weeks.
Brooks’ ejection came after he was issued a flagrant two foul, which the NBA defines as “unnecessary and excessive contact committed by a player against an opponent.” Memphis went on to win Game Two 106-101 behind 47 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists from guard Ja Morant.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the game that Brooks “broke the code” amongst NBA players regarding how to treat one another on the court.
“I don’t know if it was intentional, but it was dirty,” Kerr said after the loss. “And playoff basketball is supposed to be physical, everybody’s going to compete, everybody is going to 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 mid-air and clubbing him across the head, ultimately fracturing Gary’s elbow.”
Brooks has struggled in the postseason, averaging 13.4 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 34.1% from three-point range. These numbers are down on his averages from last year’s playoffs (25.8 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 40% 3PT) and this year’s regular-season (18.4 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 30.9% 3PT).
The 26-year-old Oregon product has also not made much of an impact on his team’s overall success— both of his two highest-scoring performances in these playoffs ended in losses, and Game Two, during which he only played less than four minutes, was Memphis’ first win of the series.
Brooks figures to return in Game Four, the second of consecutive contests in San Francisco before returning to Memphis.