Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant took exception to what he thought was a dirty play during the Golden State Warriors' 142-112 win in Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals on Saturday night.
Morant, who left the game in the fourth quarter with a knee injury, tweeted video of the play with the caption "broke the code" because he believes Jordan Poole was grabbing at his knee while fighting for the ball.
ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk noted Morant left the arena without talking to reporters, but Grizzlies teammate Jaren Jackson Jr. said he didn't think any of the players were trying to hurt each other before adding "you know the code."
"It was a basketball play," Poole told reporters. "I hit the ball. I was going for the ball. … I’m not even that type of player."
The comments from Morant and Jackson are a jab at Warriors head coach Steve Kerr. Dillon Brooks was ejected from Game 2 after receiving a flagrant-2 foul in the first quarter for a hit on Gary Payton II's head that resulted in Payton suffering a fractured elbow.
"Dillon Brooks broke the code," Kerr told reporters after the game. "That's how I see it."
Morant was dribbling the ball when Poole and Andrew Wiggins came out to double team him. He attempted a spin move to create space, but the Warriors players had him trapped and hit the ball loose.
As Morant was fighting to regain possession, Poole made what appeared to be an attempt to swipe at the ball and happened to grab Morant's knee.
"He is being evaluated right now," Grizzlies head coach Taylor Jenkins told reporters after his team's loss. "He was going for a loose ball and Jordan Poole grabbed his knee and yanked it. I’m curious to see what happens with that."
Jenkins added he will speak with Grizzlies general manager Zach Kleiman before deciding if they want to have league officials review the play.
Morant was limping to the locker room when he was removed from the game with 6:19 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Prior to the injury, Morant had 34 points (13-of-21 field goals) and seven assists in 36 minutes.
It remains to be seen if Morant will be available to play in Game 4. The Grizzlies will attempt to even the series on Monday.