The NBA game between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the San Antonio Spurs that was scheduled to be played Wednesday night at Mexico City Arena was postponed because a generator malfunction, the league announced.
NBA spokeswoman Sharon Lima said the arena was evacuated about 45 minutes before the start when a generator outside the arena sent smoke into the building.
While the teams were warming up for the regular-season matchup, lights went out in parts of the arena and smoke began pouring out of vents in the upper deck. Spurs guard Manu Ginobili said there was a lot of smoke in the team's locker room.
"I thought they were practicing fireworks," Spurs TV analyst Sean Elliot said, according to the (Minneapolis) Star-Tribune. "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."
Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio told the newspaper, in Spanish, that he did not know why the players were asked to leave the arena.
The Star-Tribune, citing league sources, said doctors recommended against the teams returning to the arena, even if the smoke cleared. The NBA eventually decided to postpone the game.
Players, still in their uniforms, boarded their team buses parked outside the arena. Fans and media were also ordered to evacuate. According to NBA TV, players who attempted to grab belongings were told to stay out of the building. NBA TV said no one was hurt inside the building or during the evacuation.
The league announced that the game would be made up at Target Center in Minneapolis, with the date yet to be determined.