New Orleans Hornets All-Star point guard Chris Paul was strapped in a stretcher, immobilized by a neck brace with his teammates and coaches looking devastated Sunday night at Quicken Loans Arena.
The Hornets beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 96-81 for their second consecutive road victory, but all their concern was toward Paul. He collided head first into Cavaliers guard Ramon Sessions in the third quarter, trying to retrieve a loose ball.
Hornets officials said Paul was responsive and aware of his surroundings before he was transported to Cleveland Clinic for precautionary tests. New Orleans Coach Monty Williams revealed that Paul had a Cat-scan taken, and Hornets officials also revealed that Paul suffered a concussion. They added that at no time did Paul lose any feeling at any time.
Williams also said Paul, who gave a thumbs up to the crowd while being taken from the court, was in good spirits.
The Hornets (37-28) close out their five-game road trip tonight at Chicago. The Bulls have won nine of 11 games.
The Hornets are 2-2 on their trip that began March 1 at Toronto. Paul, who rejoined the team at the Arena and accompanied the team on their charter plane to Chicago, won’t play against the Bulls.
“I talked to him on the phone and the people who were in the room with him,’’ Williams said. “He was talking and cracking jokes in the background.’’
Paul’s injury occurred with 4:35 remaining in the third quarter with the Hornets trailing 61-60 after Paul had scored 13 points with 11 assists.
“I thought he was going to get up,’’ New Orleans center Emeka Okafor said, after initially seeing Paul getting administered to on the floor. “Then I saw a whole mass of people gather around him and the stretcher, and I started to get concerned.’’