Thunder center Nerlens Noel taken to hospital after injury against Minnesota

OKC's Nerlens Noel appears to be knocked out, stretchered off court after bouncing head off floor

OKC's Nerlens Noel appears to be knocked out, stretchered off court after bouncing head off floor

Minnesota Timberwolves interim head coach Ryan Saunders gestures in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019.

Oklahoma City Thunder big man Nerlens Noel left Tuesday night's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on a stretcher after getting elbowed in the face and falling on the court. The incident appeared to be completely accidental and unfolded as the 24-year-old tried to prevent Minnesota Timberwolves wing Andrew Wiggins from dunking.

The number six overall pick of the 2013 draft is averaging 5.1 points and 4.6 rebounds in 13.1 minutes per game this season. He replaced Tom Thibodeau who was sacked over the weekend.

Saunders, who has been part of the Timberwolves' coaching staff since 2014, was reluctant to take credit for the win.

The Thunder brought the game within two and after a Tyus Jones traveling violation against OKC's full-court press, they had a chance to tie or win the game.

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"I just tried to make an aggressive move and dunk", Wiggins said of the play. "Down the stretch, there were so many times where we could have disbanded and then the crowd could have got into us". He knocked down a pull-up mid-range jumper to give Minnesota a 114-113 lead and then came up with a huge block on a Paul George 3-point attempt to keep it. Westbrook added 25 points and 16 assists while Steven Adams scored 20.

"I don't know what's wrong with him. Hopefully we'll hear some good news back later on".

Wiggins converted both free throws, and when George missed a 3-point attempt on the ensuing possession, the Canadian had the ball in his hands to try and put the game away for the Timberwolves.

Oklahoma's next game is against the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday (Friday NZT).

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