MEMPHIS, Tennessee (KRON) — Golden State Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr had some choice words for the Memphis Grizzlies Tuesday after a flagrant foul injured one of his players. Starting guard Gary Payton II was ruled out for the game with a fractured left elbow after taking a hard foul from Memphis guard Dillon Brooks.
When interviewing Kerr after the first quarter, TNT’s Jared Greenberg referenced that Kerr had said he expected Tuesday’s game to be the most physical one the Warriors have played all year. Kerr responded, “No, that wasn’t physical. That was dirty.”
Brooks committed the foul as Payton was attempting a layup, raking him across the head and causing him to fall hard on his arm. He was assessed a flagrant foul 2 and was ejected from the game.
Payton fractured his elbow, the Warriors said after the game. Payton will have an MRI Wednesday in San Francisco to determine how long he will be out.
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Payton started the first two games of the series and spent time guarding Grizzlies star guard Ja Morant. He averaged a career-high 7.1 points per game for the Warriors in the regular season after bouncing around several teams since entering the NBA in 2016.
“This is a guy who’s been toiling for the last six years, trying to make it in this league,” Kerr said of Payton. “Finally found a home, just playing his butt off this year, in the playoffs, this should be the time of his life. Guy comes in and whacks him across the head in mid-air. Dillon Brooks broke the code. That’s how I see it.”
Draymond Green also left the game briefly after taking an elbow from Memphis’ Xavier Tilman. Green was ejected from Game 1 of the series for a foul committed against Brandon Clarke.
Golden State lost Tuesday’s game 106-101. The teams will play Game 3 of the series Saturday in San Francisco at 5:30 p.m. PT.