Nerlens Noel stretchered off court after Andrew Wiggins dunk attempt

By Alex Butler

Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Oklahoma City Thunder big man Nerlens Noel left the court on a stretcher after nearly being dunked on by Minnesota Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins.

The disastrous dunk came in the third quarter of the Timberwolves' 119-117 victory against the Thunder on Tuesday at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City.


Wiggins caught a pass out beyond the 3-point arc on the play before flying into the paint and blowing by Thunder forward Jerami Grant. He then took flight, hovering over the paint and meeting Noel in midair. Noel attempted to contest the throw-down, but fell hard onto the court.

He remained on the floor before being tended to by the Thunder staff. He was then affixed to a stretcher and carried off of the court and through the tunnel.

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Noel was taken to OU Medical Center for further evaluation.

"It's unfortunate that it happened," Thunder big man Steven Adams told reporters. "Obviously Wiggins didn't mean to do any of that. That should be said. He shouldn't be taking any lame for that whatsoever. It's just one of those crazy plays."


Noel had six points and one rebound in five minutes of action. Wiggins scored a game-high 40 points and had 10 rebounds and four assists for Minnesota.

"I just tried to make an aggressive move and dunk," Wiggins said. "He tried to contest it. I think he fell but I didn't really see until I saw him on the ground. Hopefully he's good. Hope nothing but the best for him. Hopefully he gets healthy soon and comes back stronger."

Noel, 24, is averaging 5.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game in 39 contests this season for the Thunder.

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