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Charlotte Hornets rookie Brandon Miller was taken to the locker room on Friday night after taking a scary fall from a flagrant foul against the San Antonio Spurs. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft was able to get up under his own power, but was immediately placed in concussion protocol. The team later announced that Miller was doubtful to return to the game due to a lower back contusion. In the end, he did not return. 

Early in the second quarter, the Hornets came up with a steal and Miller took off the other way on the break. LaMelo Ball, back in the lineup after nearly missing nearly two months with an ankle injury, fed him with a perfect outlet pass that Miller took in stride. As he exploded to the rim, Keldon Johnson rose with him and hit his arm instead of the ball. The contact sent Miller crashing back to the floor, where he landed hard on his back and had his head snap back violently. 

After a review, the officials upgraded the foul to a Flagrant 1 on Johnson because he came "with speed and delivered unnecessary contact when the player had a potential for injury that was high," according to crew cheif Ben Taylor. Because Miller went to the locker room under the concussion protocol, the Hornets were allowed to pick any player on the court to shoot the free throws. 

Entering Friday, Miller was averaging 14.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists through the first 31 games of his debut season. Among rookies, only No. 1 pick Victor Wembanyama and 2022 No. 2 pick Chet Holmgren are scoring more than Miller. In addition, Miller is shooting 37.9% from 3-point land and was tied for the rookie lead in 3s per game with 2.1. 

Losing Miller for any sort of period of time would be a blow for the Hornets, who just returned Ball to the lineup. Charlotte would end up dropping the game, 135-99, to San Antonio. The loss puts the Hornets at 8-28 for the season, the third-worst mark in the Eastern Conference.