The heat of an NBA game can often get to players but it wasn't enough to see Kiwi basketball star Steven Adams give up a chance to display a true act of sportsmanship.

With a little over eight minutes left on the clock and just six points behind the Denver Nuggets, Adams was set for an easy layup.

With Mason Plumlee ready to defend, Adams faked a shot, causing his opponent to jump early.

Mason Plumlee went over the top of Steven Adams to try and block a shot in the fourth quarter. Photo / Getty
Mason Plumlee went over the top of Steven Adams to try and block a shot in the fourth quarter. Photo / Getty

Plumlee launched himself into Adams and suddenly tumbled toward the court headfirst after knocking his knee on the Kiwi's shoulder.

Advertisement

Things could have gone terribly wrong had Adams done the usual and taken the easy two points while Plumlee fell, but the Oklahoma City Thunder big man turned and grabbed Plumlee's arm to break his opponent's fall.

The Kiwi then also helped Plumlee off the court, before the Thunder eventually lost 109-98.

Earlier this month, Tall Blacks coach Paul Henare confirmed he had been in contact with Adams following New Zealand's success in securing a place at next year's Basketball World Cup.

But Henare said he still didn't know if booking their spot would see Adams finally make his international debut.

"I'm probably none the wiser either way to be honest," Henare told the Radio Sport Breakfast. "Long way away to have that conversation but have stayed in contact with him since I got the job.

"Obviously we'll be doing everything we can to try and make it happen. That decision will ultimately come down to how he's tracking physically and mentally at that time of year."