UPDATE: It turns out the blow will not mark the end of Fred VanVleet’s evening. Reports indicate VanVleet received stitches, but does not have a concussion and can come back into the game.
EARLIER: The Toronto Raptors rode a monster third quarter run to pull way out ahead of the Golden State Warriors in Game 4 of the 2019 NBA Finals. As has oftentimes been the case for the Raptors when good things have happened this postseason, reserve guard Fred VanVleet put in a solid shift to play a major role.
But early on in the fourth quarter, VanVleet’s night took an unexpected turn. Warriors guard Shaun Livingston’s elbow accidentally caught him under the eye, which led to him bleeding profusely and laying on the ground in obvious pain. Here’s a video of the incident, a warning that it is a little tough to watch.
VanVleet was tended to immediately, the blood was wiped away, and eventually, he was escorted to the back. But the Raptors’ sparkplug guard left a piece of himself on the floor, as it appeared one of his teeth fell out.
At the time of his departure from the game, VanVleet had recorded eight points, six assists, and four rebounds in 29 minutes off the bench. There is no word on VanVleet’s availability for the remainder of Game 4, or if he suffered an injury that would risk holding him out of any additional Finals games.