Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton did not start Monday’s crucial game against the Oklahoma City Thunder after missing a mandatory test for the coronavirus, ESPN confirmed.Ayton missed the test on Sunday, according to ESPN and multiple reports, and was not part of Phoenix’s starting lineup. Ayton entered the game in the second quarter.
But Ayton was tested again on Monday and cleared to play, according to ESPN and reports. TV broadcasts of the game showed 6-foot-11 Ayton on a stationary bike near the Suns bench in the first quarter.
Dario Saric replaced Ayton in the starting lineup. The Suns (31-39) entered 11th place in the Western Conference on Monday, but just 1½ games behind Memphis, eighth (33-38) and one game behind Portland, ninth (33-39).
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