LAS VEGAS — A scary incident happened on Monday night at the Cox Pavilion during the Portland Trail Blazers game against the Houston Rockets involving second-year guard Nolan Smith. The Duke Blue Devils product needed to be wheeled off the court on a stretcher after suffering what many believe to be a concussion.
Without the benefit of instant replay live at the arena, it looked as though Smith was fouled in the body as he attacked the basket late in the game. Rockets hopeful Zoran Dragic challenged the shot, but didn’t look to make any contact with Smith’s head before the guard walked a few paces past the sideline and collapsed in front of media row.
Head coach Kaleb Canales, teammate Wesley Matthews and front office executive Michael Born (who had been watching from the stands) were among those that rushed to Smith’s side as medical personnel tended to him on the baseline. After going through some tests in which his eyes continued to twitch — though he was responding to the doctor’s requests — he was loaded onto a stretcher and taken to a hospital for precautionary reasons.
The game was called following the delay, awarding the Rockets a 99-88 victory. Smith finished with 27 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals before the injury.