CLEVELAND — Unable to stop himself, LeBron James launched his 250-pound body into the air, crashing hard into the lap of a courtside spectator unable to get out of his way.
He had no idea he had just plowed over the wife of the golf champion Jason Day.
Scrambling for a loose ball, James flattened Ellie Day, sending her to the hospital during the fourth quarter of Cleveland’s 104-100 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night.
Ellie Day was treated at MetroHealth Medical Center and released early Friday morning, according to a hospital spokeswoman, Tina Shaerban Arundel.
Ellie Day, who gave birth to her second child last month, was carried from Quicken Loans Arena on a backboard, placed on a stretcher with her head immobilized and taken to the hospital. She was accompanied from the building by her husband, who moments before the collision had chipped foam basketballs to the crowd as part of a promotion.
“She squeezed my hand and said she was fine,” James said. “I think she was just a little weary. For me, obviously, her health is very important and hopefully she is doing well. The guys told me she’s doing great now. For me, just going for a loose ball, I tried to keep the possession going, I just hate that that was the end result.”
James was on his way to a 33-point, 11-assist, 9-rebound performance when the collision took place with five minutes left.
An hour after the game, James wrote on Twitter: “Ellie Day I hope you’re doing okay! My apologies! Hope u guys come back to another game soon. Love LJ!”
Jason Day, the No. 2-ranked golfer in the world, won the P.G.A. Championship this year for his first major win on the PGA Tour. On Nov. 11, Ellie Day gave birth to the couple’s second child, a girl named Lucy.
As his wife was being checked by medical staff, a concerned Jason Day looked on as the Cavs and Thunder played a frantic final few minutes.
The Days live in suburban Columbus and have attended Cleveland games in the past. Ellie Day was pregnant when she went to an exhibition game earlier this year. That night on Ohio State’s campus, Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith bought cotton candy for the Days’ son, Dash, while he sat on the bench.
Cavs Coach David Blatt said he did not see the full impact of the collision. Blatt has long been nervous about the safety of fans sitting so close to the action.
“Honestly, the only thing I saw was LeBron diving for the ball to save the ball,” Blatt said. “I kind of got blocked and just saw a sea of bodies. We all hope that she’s O.K. It’s always concerned me, the sideline seats. Always concerned me, because things like that, when you’re talking about players of this speed and physicality and effort level, it’s not a simple thing.
“The powers that be are the ones that really need to decide how to deal with that. He made an honest attempt at the basketball, that’s all, obviously. We all hope she’s O.K.”
Tristan Thompson had 15 rebounds for the Cavs, who improved to 11-1 at home.
Russell Westbrook scored 27 and Kevin Durant 25 for the Thunder, who had won six in a row. Oklahoma City was down 98-89 with three minutes left and closed within 103-100, but both Durant and Westbrook missed 3-pointers in the final 10 seconds.
The Cavaliers were missing guards Mo Williams (thumb), Iman Shumpert (groin) and Kyrie Irving, who could make his season debut Sunday against Philadelphia.