Thunder center Nerlens Noel was taken off the court on a stretcher midway through the third quarter last night after his head hit the floor on a hard fall.
Noel was taken to OU Medical Center and will be held there overnight to be evaluated.
Updates on Noel’s status is likely to come Wednesday.
“Noel went up to contest a dunk by Wolves forward Andrew Wiggins, and he caught an elbow to the face and landed hard on his right side. As Noel hit the floor, his head bounced off the hardwood. He was motionless beneath the basket for several minutes, and players and Thunder medical personnel gathered around him with visible concern.” – ESPN
“I just tried to make an aggressive move and dunk,” Wiggins said. “He tried to contest it. I think he fell wrong. I didn’t really see it until I saw him on the ground. Hopefully he’s good. I hope nothing but the best for him. I hope he gets healthy soon and comes back stronger.”
Noel was called for a common foul on the play.
“It was just a really s— play,” Steven Adams said. “It’s unfortunate that it happened. Obviously, Wiggins didn’t mean anything in that — that should be said. He shouldn’t be taking any blame for it whatsoever. It’s just one of those crazy plays that happens. Fortunately, they responded quite quickly, the medical staff and whatnot. It was really good. I felt like he was in the best hands at the time, which was good.”
Said Thunder star Russell Westbrook: “I’d just rather not talk about it.”
A few minutes after Noel’s fall, a skirmish broke out between Thunder guard Dennis Schroder and Wolves guard Jeff Teague.
“I don’t know what’s wrong with him,” Wiggins said of Schroder. “He was acting crazy for no reason. I looked right through it. He’s not someone I see as a problem. Not at all.”
Wolves interim coach Ryan Saunders won in his debut, and players celebrated in the locker room by dumping water on him, leaving Saunders to do his postgame interviews soaking wet.
“One thing about the NBA, things are going to happen,” Taj Gibson said. “Curveballs are going to keep being thrown at you, but you just have to weather the storm, especially on the road. We just relied on [Wiggins], and it went to certain players. Dario [Saric] had a big game. Anthony Tolliver came up big for us. We got stops right when we needed to get them. It was a good collective win for us, but it means a lot for Ryan.”
My prayers out to you 🙏🏾 @NerlensNoel3— andrew wiggins (@22wiggins) January 9, 2019