Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks has been suspended one game without pay by the NBA for his flagrant foul on Gary Payton II in Game 2 of Memphis' semifinal playoff series against the Golden State Warriors.
Meanwhile, Memphis center Steven Adams has cleared the league's health and safety protocols and could be available for Game 3 on Saturday.
Brooks, who was ejected Tuesday for a flagrant foul 2 that fractured Payton's left elbow, will serve the suspension during Game 3. The NBA announced Thursday that Brooks made "unnecessary and excessive contact" on Payton.
The one-game suspension will cost Brooks $84,138, per ESPN's Bobby Marks.
"It's disappointing. It's an unfortunate circumstance. Obviously, we're going to honor the league's decision, but you know it's a tough play,'' Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said Thursday. "We obviously wish Gary Payton a speedy and healthy recovery. You don't want to see anybody get hurt. It's very unfortunate what happened there.''
Brooks was chasing down Payton from behind on a transition layup 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 approximately a month because of the fractured elbow, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Wednesday. The possibility that Payton could return for the NBA Finals remains, but only if the Warriors advance in the playoffs.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr was livid when the foul happened, screaming at the officiating crew. When Brooks was ejected, Kerr could be heard yelling, "Get the f--- out of here, Brooks!"
"I don't know if it was intentional, but it was dirty," Kerr said after the game, a 106-101 Memphis victory that evened the series at 1-1. "There is a code. This code that players follow where you never put a guy's season [or] career in jeopardy by taking somebody out in midair and clubbing him across the head, ultimately fracturing Gary's elbow ... He broke the code. Dillon Brooks broke the code."
Jenkins disagreed the play was dirty.
"I know there's a narrative out there that was said that between Game 1 and Game 2 that we have to play more physical. Obviously, 'dirty' has been thrown out there, but I look at my locker room, I look at our culture and what we exude, we're the furthest thing from dirty," Jenkins said. "We're competitive, so I want that to be squashed pretty quick here.''
Asked if he objected to Kerr saying the play was dirty, Jenkins replied,
"I said what I said.''
"The word physical and dirty has been thrown around. When I have literally talked to my guys about being physical, it's about `Can we stop giving them 23 second-chance points a game?'`` he said. ``It has nothing to do with the play that happened in Game 2.''
Brooks, 26, is averaging 13.4 points in eight postseason 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 Ziaire Williams, who finished with 14 points and five rebounds in Game 2. The Grizzlies have experience playing without Brooks, who missed 50 games this season because of injury and placement in the league's health and safety protocols.
As for Adams, Jenkins didn't say if his center would play Saturday night in San Francisco and that the team would make a decision after seeing how the 6-foot-11 big man from New Zealand handles activities on Friday.
Adams practiced Thursday after missing the first-round series finale against Minnesota and the first two games against the Warriors.
"He's one of the few guys that's played pretty deep in the playoffs on our roster," Jenkins said. "Obviously, he's got a high IQ. He adds a lot of positives for us."
Adams was ineffective against Minnesota and was replaced in the starting lineup later in that series. He led the NBA with 4.6 offensive rebounds a game this season. Golden State has outrebounded Memphis in the first two games, matching its playoff high with 52 rebounds in each game.
Memphis led the NBA in offensive rebounding, total rebounds and second-chance points during the regular season.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.