Dillon Brooks struggled in the first half of Game 3 between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Los Angeles Lakers. Brooks scored seven points on 3-for-13 shooting after publicly challenging LeBron James in the immediate aftermath of Game 2, and then, right after the teams emerged from the locker room for the second half, play resumed and Brooks got tossed for hitting James below the belt.
With the Grizzlies trailing, 53-37, James tried to bring the ball up the court while Brooks was providing resistance. Brooks stuck his arm out while James went behind the back, at which point Brooks hit James below the belt. Unsurprisingly, the future Hall of Fame inductee hit the deck in serious pain.
The referees went to the monitor to review the sequence, and it did not take them long to determine that Brooks would be assessed a Flagrant 2 for this. It was a rough end to his evening after the Grizzlies had an especially difficult first half — beyond their 37 points as they entered the locker room, Memphis only scored nine points in the first quarter and found themselves in a historically large deficit after one in postseason history.
The two teams entered Game 3 tied at one game each. In the aftermath of Memphis’ win in Game 2, Brooks spoke to the press about staring down James during the game, saying that “I don’t care — he’s old. You know what I mean? I was waiting for that. I was expecting him to do that Game 4, Game 5. He wanted to say something when I got my fourth foul. He should have been saying that earlier on. But I poke bears. I don’t respect no one until they come and give me 40.”