Warriors Rumors: Gary Payton II out 3-5 Weeks with Injury; Could Return for FinalsMay 5, 2022
Golden State Warriors guard Gary Payton II suffered a fractured elbow in Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday, but he reportedly hasn't ruled out a return at some point this postseason.
Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes reported Wednesday that Payton will be sidelined for 3-5 weeks.
According to Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic, Payton underwent an MRI that also showed some slight ligament damage and has been ruled out for at least three weeks. If the Warriors manage to advance to the NBA Finals, Payton could make his way back to the court.
Payton suffered the injury less than three minutes into the game when he went up for a layup and Grizzlies guard Dillon Brooks clubbed him from behind as he attempted to go for the block. Payton tried to brace himself as he fell out of the air and immediately grabbed his elbow when he hit the floor.
Brooks received a flagrant-2 foul and was ejected from the game. Golden State went on to lose 106-101 after Memphis star point guard Ja Morant went off for 47 points, 18 of which came in the fourth quarter. The series are now tied 1-1.
The Warriors were very vocal about their perception that Brooks committed a dirty play. Golden State head coach Steve Kerr told reporters after the game that Brooks "broke the code."
"It was kind of out of line in terms of a defenseless player going up for the layup and taking a huge windup," Warriors point guard Stephen Curry said. "Everything bad that could have happened in that situation did. Knocked him out of the game."
It is not yet clear if Brooks will receive further discipline from the NBA for the play. But with Payton out, the Warriors will be missing their best defender on Morant for the remainder of the series.