NBA: Kiwi Steven Adams leaves early (again) with injury, Pelicans lose

For the second straight day, Kiwi NBA star Steven Adams has been forced off the court injured, smashing a chair, as he left his Smoothie King Center homecourt in New Orleans.

With 2m 25s left in the opening quarter against Portland Trailblazers, the Pelicans centre contested an offensive rebound and immediately fell to the floor in agony, clutching his ankle, before slowly hobbling down the tunnel to his team's locker-room.

As he left, Adams grabbed a chair, which he threw against the wall in frustration. He logged only 10 minutes for two points and three rebounds, while understudy Willie Hernangomez took most of his minutes, contributing 11 points and 17 boards of a 126-124 Pelicans loss.

Ironically, Adams was competing against former Oklahoma City Thunder teammate and fellow 'Stache Bro' Enes Kanter, who was the first to show concern at his buddy's misfortune.

The previous night, the Kiwi exited New Orleans' big win over Memphis Grizzlies in the third quarter with a reported back injury and was immediately considered questionable for the second game of a back-to-back set.

But Adams seemed to bounce back from that twinge, wasn't included on the team's injury report and duly reported for duty next morning.

The Pelicans' latest loss is their fourth in five games, bringing their season record to 12-16 - three games outside the Western Conference playoff picture - and they next host Phoenix Suns on Saturday (NZ time).