<
>

Brook Lopez, Reggie Evans out Tue.

NEW YORK -- The Brooklyn Nets will be short-handed up front for Tuesday night's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Starting center Brook Lopez will miss his third consecutive game with a mild right foot sprain, while reserve power forward Reggie Evans is also out after coming down with the flu.

"We don't know Reggie and Brook's status for Friday (against Golden State)," Nets coach Avery Johnson said after Tuesday's morning shootaround at Barclays Center.

Lopez underwent a precautionary MRI on his right foot on Monday in New York, but it came back negative. The Nets are listing him as day to day. Johnson wants Lopez to practice before he returns to the lineup, and the 24-year-old center has yet to do so.

Lopez sprained his right foot during the third quarter of Wednesday night's victory over the Boston Celtics and has been out since.

Lopez is playing at an All-Star level this season, averaging 18.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in 14 games for the Nets (11-5).

Backup center Andray Blatche has started the last two games and put up solid numbers: 17 points and 8.5 rebounds. He is expected to make his third consecutive start Tuesday in place of Lopez.

Johnson seemed just as concerned about the loss of Evans, who is averaging 8.4 rebounds in 19.6 minutes and serves as a veteran leader for the team.

"That's a big blow for our team. Reggie is our enforcer, rebounder and best pick-and-roll defender," Johnson said. "And not to have him in the lineup when you've got (Serge) Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins out there, we're gonna miss him, but this will give other guys a chance to play probably a little more. As a team, we're going to have to make up Reggie's rebounding production. We've got to do it collectively. It's a big challenge, but we'll have to overcome it."

Evans posted on Twitter Tuesday that he will be ready to play Friday.

"Sorry I cannot play tonight but I will be ready Friday#BrooklynNets!!!!!!!" Evans tweeted.

Mike Mazzeo is a frequent contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.