Grizz’s Brooks ejected after flagrant 2 on LeBron

  • Joined in September 2009
  • Covers the Dallas Cowboys and Dallas Mavericks
  • Appears regularly on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM

LOS ANGELES — Memphis Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks earned a premature exit in Saturday’s Game 3 for poking the bear below the belt.

Brooks was called for a flagrant 2 only 17 seconds into the second half after he swiped his left hand into LeBron James’ groin area as the Los Angeles Lakers star dribbled the ball up the court.

It was Brooks’ third ejection this season, matching Boston’s Marcus Smart and Sacramento’s Malik Monk for the most this season, including the playoffs, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Another of Brooks’ ejections this season was for striking Cleveland Cavaliers star Donovan Mitchell in the groin area during a Feb. 2 loss.

It is the second career ejection for Brooks in the playoffs. He committed a flagrant 2 foul that injured Golden State’s Gary Payton II in Game 2 of last season Western Conference semifinals and was suspended by the NBA for the next game.

Brooks had been booed by the Arena crowd since his pregame routine more than an hour before tip-off. He drew the wrath of Lakers fans with his trash talk targeting James via the media after the Grizzlies’ Game 3 win Wednesday.

“I don’t care — he’s old. You know what I mean?” Brooks said then of the 38-year-old James. “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.”

James scored 15 points on 7-of-12 shooting before Brooks’ ejection. He finished with 25 points on 10-of-20 shooting, along with nine rebounds, five assists, one steal and one block.

Brooks had seven points on 3-of-13 shooting in 19 minutes.

The Lakers won 111-101 to take a 2-1 lead in the first-round series.

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