scorecardresearch Skip to main content

Robert Williams’s rim-rattling dunk led to a crooked basket and a lengthy delay in the Celtics-Nuggets game

An askew rim led to a 30-minute delay in the fourth quarter of the Celtics-Nuggets game on Sunday night.Matthew Stockman/Getty

The star of the fourth quarter between the Nuggets and the Celtics was a yellow level.

A big dunk by Robert Williams off an alley-oop from Jaylen Brown bent the Celtics’ rim at Ball Arena in Denver midway through the fourth quarter, leading to a delay that stretched past 30 minutes as arena workers with ladders broke out their wrenches to straighten it out.

Players tried everything they could to stay warm during the delay, which came with the Nuggets leading 110-97 with 6:43 remaining.

The arena was soon running out of scoreboard entertainment as multiple attempts to fix the rim were fruitless.


They eventually just started playing the longest songs in the jukebox.

During the break, former Nugget Danilo Gallinari, who has been out all season after tearing his ACL in EuroBasket, caught up with some of his former co-workers, while Grant Williams made conversation with Nuggets players.

“I’ve never been a part of anything like this,” said Brian Scalabrine on the NBC Sports Boston broadcast as workers eventually removed the rim from the backboard and replaced it.

The replacement rim solved the issue and players began warming up to resume the game.

The game resumed at 10:37 after a 40-minute delay, and almost immediately Marcus Smart was whistled for an unironic delay of game.

The Nuggets didn’t let Boston get within single digits the rest of the way, winning 123-111 to snap Boston’s four game winning streak.

Brendan Kurie can be reached at