Video: Cavs Forward Suffers Gruesome Ankle Injury

The Oklahoma City Thunder visited the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night for a mid-season matchup featuring two teams on complete opposite trajectories.  OKC owns the second-worst record in their conference and has been especially bad as of late, losing their last 4 games in a row heading into last night while the Cavaliers have been one of the more surprising teams this season, holding the 5th spot in the Eastern Conference with a 27-19 record.  Saturday night's game was turning out to be a really competitive affair with the Thunder keeping pace and even taking the lead briefly in the second quarter before a scary play that caused a collective gasp throughout Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse.

Cavs forward Lauri Markannen challenged Thunder star guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander's layup to make it a 41-37 game with 3:47 left in the first half and came down awkwardly on his right ankle, which bends inward at an unnatural angle, causing the 7-footer to grimace in pain and smack the floor in frustration.  

Here is the play in which the injury occurs (WARNING: Not for the squeamish):

Markannen was helped off of the court by his teammates and would not return to the game.  The Cavs went on to win the game 94-87 despite the emotionally jarring moment, but the 24-year-old is a key contributor for the Cavs (13.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg) whose size and shooting ability will be missed if he is out for a long period of time.
Despite the nasty fall, Markannen seemed to be optimistic about the injury:
We will keep you updated on Markannen's injury as more information becomes available. 

Photo Credit: © Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports