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Blazers G Nolan Smith Hospitalized After Blow To Head (Concussion)

Blazers trainer Jay Jensen and guard Wesley Matthews help Nolan Smith onto a stretcher.
Blazers trainer Jay Jensen and guard Wesley Matthews help Nolan Smith onto a stretcher.

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.

Team staffers immediately attended to Smith. He was able to move both of his arms and both of his legs and eventually was able to respond to questions from team staffers and medical trainers. His eyelids continued twitching for a few minutes minutes and he shielded his eyes from the light when asked to follow a doctor's finger from side to side.

Medics told Smith they wanted to transport him to a local-area hospital for "precautionary" purposes. His neck was stabilized and he left the court on a stretcher. Blazers guard Wesley Matthews and trainer Jay Jensen helped Smith on to the stretcher. Following the game, a team spokesperson confirmed that he would be hospitalized.

Earlier, Matthews stepped in and requested that cameras that were filming Smith as he lay on the court be turned off.

The incident occurred with 49 seconds remaining in the game. The game was suspended after the medical delay, giving Houston a 99-88 victory.

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

-- Ben Golliver | | Twitter