The Oklahoma City Thunder will not have two of their key players available Tuesday against the Brooklyn Nets.
According to The Oklahoman’s Joe Mussatto, Danilo Gallinari is out with a right calf contusion. Nerlens Noel will miss his second straight game because of a left ankle sprain. Noel suffered the ankle injury during the Thunder’s win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday.
The Thunder will play the Nets on the road at 7:30 p.m. EST.
Gallinari and Noel have been part of the Thunder’s effort in exceeding expectations this season. The Thunder are 20-16 and ranked seventh in the Western Conference.
A quality shooter throughout his career, Gallinari leads the Thunder in 3-point percentage, shooting 39.2% from deep this season. Gallinari is also the Thunder’s third-leading scorer behind Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Dennis Schroder.
Noel has been important for the Thunder’s defense. A solid rim protector, Noel leads OKC in blocks. According to NBA.com, Noel is currently 13th in the NBA for blocks per game. He is fourth on the Thunder in rebounding, grabbing 5.1 rebounds a game.
With Gallinari out, the Thunder will need to look more to players such as Abdel Nader, Chris Paul and Dennis Schroder to help with their 3-point shooting. With Noel out, the Thunder’s perimeter defense will need to be productive, as he does well manning the paint.