LOS ANGELES – Memphis Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks was ejected from Game 3 of the Lakers-Grizzlies playoff series after hitting LeBron James in the groin in the second half.
Brooks, the Grizzlies antagonist who called James “old” after Game 2, delivered an open backhand to James’ groin area as the Lakers star dribbled the ball upcourt early in the second half of the 111-101 win. of the Lakers at Crypto.com Arena.
James squirmed on the court and it took several minutes to get to his feet. At the same time, the officials reviewed the play and determined that Brooks had committed a flagrant foul 2, which resulted in an automatic ejection.
The vendors cheered and cheered as Brooks left the floor.
Led by James, the Lakers outscored the Grizzlies 35-9 in the first quarter and Brooks didn’t help. He finished the half 3-for-13 from the floor and had a crowd-pleasing traveling violation.
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But then came the groin strike, and with it came his exit with 11:43 left in the third quarter.
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The Grizzlies could never quite close the gap due to their poor start, but they never quit and were led by Ja Morant. In his return from injury, Morant scored a game-high 45 points and at one point scored 22 straight for the Grizzlies. James finished with 25 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Anthony Davis led the Lakers with 31 points.
Los Angeles leads the series 2-1.
Brooks did not speak to reporters after Saturday’s game. Asked about Brooks’ ejection, all Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said was “The officials made the call.”
James Harden of the Philadelphia 76ers received a similar ejection to Brooks during his team’s Game 3 win on Wednesday. Harden received a flagrant foul 2 after it was determined that he hit Nets’ Royce O’Neale in the groin while trying to create separation on a drive.
Contributor: Jace Evans