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NBA

Is Golden State Warriors guard Gary Payton II out for the season?

Golden State Warriors guard Gary Payton II has fractured his elbow after a fall resulting from a flagrant foul by Memphis Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks.

Gidget Alikpala
Update:
Golden State Warriors guard Gary Payton II has fractured his elbow after a fall resulting from a flagrant foul by Memphis Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks.
Noah GrahamGetty

The Golden State Warriors will miss their best defense against Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant, as guard Gary Payton II will be out for about a month due to a fractured left elbow.

An MRI showed that Payton also sustained ligament damage on top of the fracture.

Payton: Possible return in next round

The 29-year-old will be sidelined for the rest of the second-round series of the NBA playoffs against Memphis, but if his elbow heals quickly and the Warriors are able to advance to the next round, he may still be able to catch a part of the Western Conference finals.

The Warriors’ newest starter sustained the injury after a flagrant foul by Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks sent him falling to the floor with his arm extended in Game 2. Brooks hit Payton’s head instead of the ball as he attempted to block his layup.

Golden State coach Steve Kerr was fuming after the Memphis guard’s actions.

“The line is pretty clear. You don’t hit a guy when he’s in midair, club him, and break his elbow. That’s where the line is,” said Kerr.

The play was ruled a flagrant 2 foul, which spelled automatic ejection for Brooks.

The incident took place only minutes into the game at FedExForum, which the Grizzlies won 106-101.

Payton: Best defense against Ja Morant

The Warriors felt the absence of Payton, who only played two minutes before he hurt his elbow. Without him to guard Morant, the 2020 NBA Rookie of the Year sank 47 points.

The Warriors and the Grizzlies are currently tied at 1-1 in the semifinal round of the post-season. Their next matchup will take place on Saturday, May 7 at Chase Center in San Francisco. Tip-off is at 8:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. PT.

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