Los Angeles: Oklahoma City center Nerlens Noel was carried off the court on a stretcher on Tuesday after a hard fall during the Thunder's NBA loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Noel, 24, took an elbow to the face in the third quarter as he tried to defend Minnesota's driving Andrew Wiggins and crashed to the court, appearing to rap his head on the floor.
As he lay motionless, medical personnel were called. His teammates and fans at Oklahoma City's Chesapeake Energy Arena looked on in concern as he was strapped to a stretcher and wheeled away.
Oklahoma is stunned in silence after Nerlens Noel copped a nasty double hit to the head...
— ProBasketballLive (@ProBBallLive) January 9, 2019
After the contest, Thunder coach Billy Donovan said Noel had been taken to OU Medical Center but he had no further details on the player's condition.
"Just pray for him is all you can do," Thunder guard Terrance Ferguson said. "Just send prayers up and hopefully that he’s all fine. Hopefully, we'll hear some good news back later on."
Things were tense when play resumed and minutes later a scuffle between Thunder guard Dennis Schroder and Timberwolves guard Jeff Teague saw Teague ejected with a double technical foul and Schroder whistled for a technical.
But after the game, Oklahoma City's Steven Adams said Wiggins hadn't intentionally tried to hurt Noel.
"Obviously, Wiggins didn't mean to do any of that," Adams said. "He shouldn't be taking any blame for that whatsoever. It's just one of those crazy plays that happen. Fortunately, they responded quite quickly, the medical staff. We felt like he was in the best hands at the time."
"I just tried to make an aggressive move and dunk," Wiggins said. "He tried to contest it. I hope nothing but the best for him."
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Updated Date: Jan 09, 2019 12:22:17 IST