The first quarter of Game 2 between the Golden State Warriors and the Memphis Grizzlies featured some fireworks. In addition to high-quality play from both teams, the night began with a Flagrant-2 foul and an ejection for Dillon Brooks within the first handful of minutes. From there, Draymond Green was bleeding from his face in short order, forcing an eventful trip to the locker room, and Gary Payton II was quickly ruled out after injuring his elbow on the clothesline from Brooks.
In an otherwise typical interview between the first and second quarter, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr made waves by not exactly holding back his thoughts on how things went in the early going. Prompted by TNT’s Jared Greenberg on Kerr’s previous expectations of a highly physical environment, Kerr pushed back and insisted that what the Grizzlies did in the first quarter “wasn’t physical, that was dirty.”
"That wasn't physical that was dirty." – Steve Kerr pic.twitter.com/duDnn10ekD
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) May 4, 2022
This is the kind of thing that will not be well-received in Memphis, but it was also in the heat of battle, which could give Kerr some additional latitude. Brooks’ play certainly appeared to be dirty, as evidenced by the ejection, and the Warriors likely did not enjoy the fact that Green had to head to the locker room before emerging with swelling on his face.
Still, this isn’t an accusation that is thrown around lightly. It will be interesting to see the response on all sides after the game, particularly if the Grizzlies are able to even the series with a home win.