Portland Trail Blazers second-year guard Nolan Smith was taken off the court on a stretcher after sustaining a blow to the head during the fourth quarter of a Tuesday afternoon Summer League game against the Houston Rockets at the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas.
Update: After further evaluation at a local-area hospital, the Blazers are calling the injury a "concussion" and said that Smith is "alert and talking." He is expected to be released from the hospital soon after a CT scan showed "normal" results and he had a full range of motion. Given that Portland's final Summer League game is on Saturday and the NBA recently established a formal and extensive "return to action" concussion protocol, Smith has almost certainly played his final minutes in Las Vegas.
As Smith attempted a lay-up in transition, he took a hit to the head from Rockets guard Zoran Dragic. Smith yelled a profanity as he came to the ground and bumped up against the basketball stanchion, before losing his balance and falling to the court on the baseline. A Blazers spokesperson said that Smith never lost consciousness, although he lay on the court for more than a minute with his eyes closed and without responding to questions.
Smith finished with 27 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals while shooting 10-for-16 in 37 minutes.
Smith, 23, averaged 3.8 points and 1.4 assists during his rookie season.
Here's video of the hit via CSNNW.com.
-- Ben Golliver | email@example.com | Twitter