MINNEAPOLIS -- Celtics second-year swingman Jaylen Brown tweeted Thursday that he was OK after taking a hard, scary fall on what appeared to be the back of his head and neck late in the third quarter of a 117-109 win over the Timberwolves.
Brown, who walked off the court on his own, later left the arena to undergo a CT scan before rejoining the Celtics for the trip to the airport. Brown also was evaluated for a concussion.
Appreciate everybody I'm ok .. Got a headache tho 🤕 good team win !!— Jaylen Brown (@FCHWPO) March 9, 2018
"I probably had one of the better looks [at the fall]," Celtics big man Al Horford said. "I was right there. It was just tough to see. I was just happy that he was able to get up and walk on his own power. That's probably one of the worst falls I've seen."
There was a strong sense of relief within the Celtics locker room after the game. Players on both teams stood quietly on the floor while Brown was initially checked out.
"He felt pretty good leaving the arena," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. "But he went to get a CT scan and whatever else. So he's in good hands. He's with their team doctor. Obviously the shock of the fall -- I haven't seen the fall again, but our trainer said when he left the locker room he was feeling good, doing OK and in good spirits."
The play occurred when Brown raced to the rim after stealing the ball and dunked it while being fouled by Timberwolves swingman Andrew Wiggins with 1:31 left in the third. When Brown's hands slipped off the rim, he twisted and landed on his upper back near his neck as medical staff from both teams raced over to check on him under the basket.
Horford immediately sat down next to Brown to make sure his teammate knew he was there for him.
"I just kind of wanted to be right there for him," Horford said. "He probably didn't realize how bad the fall was. Our training staff, they were there immediately, and they were the ones telling him, 'Stay down.' We were just there, just kind of around him for support, praying that he was going to get up and be fine."
After a few moments, a stretcher was wheeled to the floor as a hush fell over the Target Center crowd. After a couple of more minutes, Brown sat up and then walked to the locker room under his own power as fans gave him a standing ovation.
"I was terrified," Celtics teammate Marcus Smart said. "I know what that fall was like. I've done it in high school the same way. I was blessed enough to get right back up, but I know exactly the horror that comes with that. It's hard to see that. You don't wish that upon anybody. And then for him to get up, that's a strong kid, it took everything he had. We're just happy to see him on his feet walking off [the court]."
LeBron James weighed in on Twitter with a tip of the cap to Brown.
Prayers sent to you right now and up Jalen Brown!!!! Glad to see you walk off on your own 🙏🏾— LeBron James (@KingJames) March 9, 2018
A few members of the Timberwolves stopped by outside the Celtics locker room to ask about Brown's condition. Brown was escorted to the team bus by a member of Boston's medical staff and still appeared to be walking gingerly.
"It was just a scary fall from everyone's perspective," Celtics guard Kyrie Irving said. "You never want to see a guy go down like that. He was doing a full on backflip after he fell off the rim. Some guys land on their back ... just their hands get slippery or guys [are] just underneath them. Scary falls happen like that. You just never want to see that happen, especially to a teammate of yours."
Brown finished with 14 points and five rebounds in 28 minutes in the victory as the Celtics clinched a playoff berth in the process. It remains to be seen how much time Brown might have to miss, but the Celtics are relieved the injury was not as bad as it initially seemed. The Celtics' next game is Sunday at home against the Indiana Pacers.
"I think we were all standing there, a lot of us were standing there watching him kind of go through the progression that they put him through, which obviously you probably do any time you have a neck injury or the threat of a neck injury," Stevens said. "You felt a little bit better with each progression you saw them go through, so that was good. So we felt like he was going to be OK. Obviously, he'll probably be uncomfortable for a few days."