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Warriors’ Payton likely out weeks with fractured elbow, Kerr calls Brooks’ foul “dirty”

2022 NBA Playoffs - Golden State Warriors v Memphis Grizzlies

MEMPHIS, TN - MAY 1: Gary Payton II #0 of the Golden State Warriors steals the ball during Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals on May 1, 2022 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

The playoffs are all about matchups — and the Warriors just lost their best defender on Ja Morant.

Morant was a force of nature leading the Grizzlies to a Game 2 win, but Morant scored 44 of his 47 points after Gary Payton II was forced to leave the game following a flagrant foul from Dillon Brooks. Payton was on a breakaway for a transition layup, Brooks tried to go for the block, but he wound up that hit Payton across the head.

Brooks was ejected, but Payton fractured his elbow landing on it after the foul, according to Warriors coach Steve Kerr. The Warriors did not provide details other than to say Payton would undergo an MRI on Wednesday back in San Francisco.

Jeff Stotts of In Street Clothes said that whatever the MRI shows, this will be weeks, not days.

After the game, Warriors coach Steve Kerr called out Brooks for the foul, calling it a dirty play. Via Dalton Johnson NBC Sports Bay Area.

“I don’t know if it was intentional, but it was dirty,” Steve 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...

“He broke the code,” Kerr said. “Dillon Brooks broke the code. That’s how I see it.”

Game 3 in this series is Saturday at the Chase Center in San Francisco. Expect a fired-up Warriors’ crowd to let Brooks know what they think.