Grizzlies' Dillon Brooks tossed for blow to LeBron in Game 3

Memphis Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks, left, shoots as Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, center, and forward Anthony Davis defend during the first half in Game 3 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series Saturday, April 22, 2023, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) (Mark J. Terrill, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

LOS ANGELES – Memphis Grizzlies agitator Dillon Brooks was ejected from Game 3 of their first-round playoff series Saturday night after striking LeBron James in the groin.

Brooks committed the flagrant foul while guarding James near midcourt just 17 seconds into the second half, and James went down in obvious pain. Officials tossed Brooks after a brief video review, leading to a raucous celebration in the Los Angeles stands.

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Brooks had been booed every time he touched the ball in Game 3 because of his behavior during and after Game 2 in Memphis. Most notably, the 27-year-old Brooks called the 38-year-old James “old" while dismissing the impact of the top scorer in NBA history.

Brooks and James were matched up again in Game 3, and James was largely dominating until Brooks' ejection.

James scored 12 points in the first half while the Lakers went up by 29 points early and eventually built a 53-37 halftime lead. Brooks struggled mightily, scoring seven points on 3-for-13 shooting while missing four of his five 3-point attempts.

Brooks led the NBA in technical fouls this season, committing 18. He served two one-game suspensions for his behavior.


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