Payton was going for a layup when Brooks chased him down and swung his arm, hitting the Warriors guard in the head. Payton went down and immediately grabbed at his left arm with 9:08 left in the first quarter. Officials reviewed the play and quickly ruled it a Flagrant 2, sending Brooks to the locker room.
Brooks missed his first three shots after going 3 of 13 in Game 1. Brooks said after shootaround earlier Tuesday that he knew Memphis likely would’ve won the opener if he shot better.
Memphis’ top perimeter defender, Brooks’ job in Game 2 was to defend two-time NBA scoring champ Stephen Curry.
Payton missed the first free throw and made the second. Then he went to the locker room for X-rays on his left elbow, and the Warriors said he would not return.
Asked after the first quarter during his interview with TNT about the physical play in the period, Warriors coach Steve Kerr said: “No, that wasn’t physical. That was dirty.”
Draymond Green went down shortly after Brooks’ ejection and went to the locker room after he appeared to be elbowed in the face. As Green, who was ejected just before halftime of Golden State’s win in Game 1, walked to the locker room during a timeout, he flashed the middle finger on each hand at the fans.
Green got stitches for a right eye laceration and returned for the start of the second quarter.
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