MEXICO CITY (AP) — The game between the San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves was postponed Wednesday night because of smoky conditions inside the Mexico City arena.
The matchup will be made up in Minnesota at a later date.
The arena was evacuated about 45 minutes before the scheduled 9:30 p.m. EST tipoff when a generator malfunction outside the arena sent smoke pouring into the building, according to NBA spokeswoman Sharon Lima.
Mexico City Police said in a statement there was a fire in the generator room on the fourth floor of the modern glass-clad arena that opened in 2012.
“What happened was provoked by a short circuit in the room of generators,” the statement said in Spanish.
About 15 minutes after the scheduled start, the Spurs bus pulled away from the building. The Timberwolves bus followed soon after.
While the teams were warming up for their regular-season matchup, lights went out in parts of the arena and smoke began coming out of vents in the upper deck. The court quickly became cloudy.
“I thought they were practicing fireworks, Spurs TV analyst Sean Elliot said. “A lot of teams do that before introductions. But then the smoke just kept creeping and it wasn’t white smoke. It was like a brown dark smoke and it started taking over the whole court. It was surprising.”
Fans had not yet been allowed into the arena for the NBA’s first regular-season game in the country since Houston and Dallas played in Mexico City on Dec. 6, 1997, when the evacuation was ordered. The teams went to their buses, still wearing their practice gear.
Spurs guard Manu Ginobili said there was a lot of smoke in their locker room.
Standing outside the Timberwolves’ bus in shorts and practice shirt, guard Ricky Rubio had no idea what happened.
“They just told us to leave,” Rubio said in Spanish.
Both teams were scheduled to travel home right after the game. The Spurs next host the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night.
The Timberwolves, who play the Miami Heat on Saturday night, were coming off a stretch in which they played a franchise-record 18 games before Dec. 1. The postponement gives them a much-needed break.
Coach Rick Adelman was unhappy that his team had to give up a home game in Minnesota. Now, the Timberwolves will likely make up the game after the return of key bench players Chase Budinger (knee) and Ronny Turiaf (elbow).
Adrian Perez, marketing manager for the arena, said fans will be reimbursed.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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