Grizzlies striker Dillon Brooks has been suspended one game without pay from the NBA for a flagrant foul on Gary Payton II in Game Two of Memphis’ semi-final match series against the Golden State Warriors.
Meanwhile, Memphis center Stephen Adams has cleared the league’s health and safety protocols and could be available for Game Three on Saturday.
Brooks, who was sent off on Tuesday for a 2 blunder that fractured Payton’s left elbow, will serve the suspension during Game Three. The NBA announced Thursday that Brooks made “unnecessary and excessive contact” on Payton.
One Brooks game suspension will cost $84,138 per ESPN’s Bobby Marks.
Brooks was chasing Payton from behind in a transition in Game 2 when he hit Payton in the head while in the air with 9 minutes, 8 seconds left in the first quarter.
Payton is expected to miss nearly a month with a broken elbow, sources told ESPN Adrian Wojnarowski on Wednesday. The possibility of Payton returning to the NBA Finals remains, but only if the Warriors advance in the playoffs.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr was furious when the error occurred, and shouted at the responsible crew. When Brooks was fired, Kerr could be heard shouting, “Get the f— out of here, Brooks!”
“I don’t know if it was intentional, but it was sloppy,” Kerr said after the 106-101 win in Memphis that returned the score 1-1. “There is a code. This code that the players follow where you never put the season man in it [or] A career in jeopardy by taking someone out in the air and hitting them with batons across the head, eventually breaking Gary’s elbow…He broke the blade. Dillon Brooks broke the code.”
Brooks, 26, averages 13.4 points in eight post-season games. He was Memphis’ second leading scorer in the regular season, averaging 18.4 points in 32 games.
In Brooks’ absence, Memphis started the second half with Zayer Williams, who finished the game with 14 points and five rebounds in Game Two. The Grizzlies have experience playing without Brooks, who has missed 50 games this season due to injury and poor league health and safety protocols.
As for Adams, Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins has not said if his position will play Saturday night in San Francisco and that the team will make a decision after seeing how the 6-foot-11 New Zealand big man handles activities on Friday.
Adams trained Thursday after missing the first-round final against Minnesota and the first two games against the Warriors.
“He’s one of the few players who played so deeply in the playoffs on our roster,” Jenkins said. “Obviously, he has a high IQ. It brings us a lot of pluses.”
Adams was ineffective against Minnesota and was replaced in the starting lineup later in the series. He led the NBA with 4.6 offensive rebounds in this season’s game. Golden State beat Memphis in their first two games, matching their highest level in the playoffs with 52 rebounds per game.
Memphis led the NBA in offensive rebounds, total rebounds, and second chance points during the regular season.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.