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Several Golden State Warriors personnel tore into Memphis Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks for a foul that injured Gary Payton II in Game 2 of their playoff series on Tuesday night.
The play happened in the first quarter as Payton went up for a dunk. Brooks came from behind and hit Payton. The Warriors player hit the bridge and seriously injured his elbow. Payton was diagnosed with a broken elbow and could miss the rest of the playoffs.
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Golden State coach Steve Kerr was immediately furious after the game and expanded on his thoughts at the postgame press conference. He said he didn’t think it was intentional, but “it was dirty”.
“Playoff basketball is supposed to be physical. Everybody’s gonna compete. Everybody’s gonna fight for everything. But there’s a code to this league,” Kerr said, via NBC Sports Bay Area. “There’s a code that players follow. You never put a guy’s season/career in jeopardy, like taking someone up in the air and hitting them on the head and ultimately breaking their elbow. Gary.
“He’s a guy who’s worked hard for the last six years, trying to make it in this league. He’s finally found a home, playing his butt this year. Coming into the playoffs, it should be the time of his life. And a guy comes in, hits him on the head, he broke the code, Dillon Brooks broke the code.
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Stephen Curry said it was “a bit out of place in terms of a defenseless player going up on a lay-up, taking a huge sell-out, and whatever could have happened in that situation did. “
Draymond Green was a little more profane.
“It was a bulls foul,” he said.
Brooks was flagged on the play and ejected from the game.
Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins was told Kerr called the foul “dirty” after the game and said he trusted the officials to determine the correct call.
“They looked at it. They made their judgment, obviously (Brooks) made contact with the head. So I’m going to trust what the referees did,” Jenkins said.
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Memphis won the game 106-101.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.