Steven Adams has widely been praised as one of the toughest men in the NBA.

He's played through elbows to the faces, low blows and out-muscles almost every match up. Now, he's shown his toughness again, playing on as blood gushed from his nose.

Adams picked up a knock to the face on Wednesday inside the opening minutes of the Oklahoma City Thunder's loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a physical contest with his Timberwolves counterpart Karl-Anthony Towns.

After a brief delay in play so Adams could get cleaned up, he returned to action with a tissue hanging from his nose.

"There's no way that's staying in," a commentator said. "How long until that thing's coming out when he's jogging up the floor?"

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The thunder centre was allowed to play with the tissue in his nose, which soon had the attention of another commentator.

"Man, how about the blood that is just collecting in that tissue inside of Adams' nose. You can see the red from here."

Adams played 36 minutes in the match, finishing with 13 points and 11 rebounds in the 131-120 defeat.