Thunder journal: Danilo Gallinari will not travel to Charlotte, Toronto
Thunder power forward Danilo Gallinari (left ankle soreness) will not return until after the Thunder's next road trip at the earliest.
In addition to missing the Thunder's 110-97 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday, Gallinari will not travel with the Thunder to Charlotte and Toronto this coming week, according to OKC coach Billy Donovan.
"He’s going to stay here and just go though some rehab and rest and those kind of things," Donovan said, "but it’s nothing that we’re concerned about structurally at all. It’s just more of a precaution and trying to make sure he’s OK with what we’ve got coming."
A packed January schedule means the Thunder won't have consecutive days off until February. The team plays two back-to-backs in the next week and a half. Gallianri was a late scratch from OKC’s 118-112 win over the Clippers on Sunday.
Gallinari is the Thunder’s third-leading scorer this season, averaging 18 points per game. He’s shooting 39.5% from 3-point range through 27 games.
On Thursday, rookie Darius Bazley earned his third start of the year.
“You definitely feel (more comfortable on defense), especially when you play teams a second time,” Bazley said after shootaround Thursday. “You kind of get a feel for that player, what they like to do. Definitely at the beginning of the year, I wouldn’t say it was discomfort, but it all was new for me. And not that it’s not anymore, but as I’m going into the season more, I am getting a lot more comfortable.”
Bazley scored the Thunder’s first points of the game with a 3-pointer. He finished the night with three points and four rebounds.
Mike Muscala and Deonte Burton shared minutes at power forward off the bench.
“Nobody going in for the rebound,” a Thunder fan complained from the crowd early in the fourth quarter. “Just watching the game.”
While that characterization wasn’t entirely accurate, he had a point. The Grizzlies out-rebounded the Thunder 60-34. The absence of Gallianari contributed to the rebound disparity. He’s the Thunder’s second-leading rebounder, averaging 5.7 per game. But center Steven Adams’ six rebounds Thursday were also below his usual production.
The Grizzlies scored 10 second-chance points.
After making just two 3-point shots in the first quarter, out of 11 attempts, the Thunder used the 3-ball to outscore the Grizzlies in the second period.
OKC took fewer 3-pointers in the second quarter, but it made five of those eight shots. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies, who shot 2-of-6 from 3-point range in the first period, made just two more 3-pointers in the second quarter.
Thunder two-way contract player Kevin Hervey made his NBA debut in the final minute and a half of the game. … Three Thunder players scored 20-plus points: Chris Paul (23), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (21) and Dennis Schroder (20).