Short-handed Thunder without Nerlens Noel (cheek) and Danilo Gallinari (thumb) vs. Timberwolves


Oklahoma City Thunder center Nerlens Noel underwent a procedure to repair a left cheek fracture and missed Saturday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, according to the team. The Thunder were also without forward Danilo Gallinari, who has a sore left thumb.

Noel, 25, briefly went to the locker room during Friday’s win over the Atlanta Hawks but returned to the game and finished with 10 points, his fourth straight contest in double digits. He is averaging 8.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per game this season.

Gallinari was also injured in the 140-111 victory Friday, yet he still managed 25 points, six rebounds and three assists in 28 minutes. Gallinari, 31, has been a key cog in Oklahoma City’s season, and has made the most of his 30.6 minutes per game. He is second on the team in scoring, at 19.1 points per game, and third in rebounding, at 5.8 per game.

Oklahoma City were also without Terrance Ferguson (personal) and Abdel Nader (ankle) vs. the Timberwolves.

The Thunder said an update on Noel’s status will be made next week. Oklahoma City hosts the Dallas Mavericks on Monday before starting a two-game road trip against the Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns on Wednesday and Friday, respectively.

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