The Philadelphia 76ers were routed 115-103 by the visiting Denver Nuggets on Saturday, with the team so exhausted from Covid-19 protocols and injuries that they were forced to dress an injured player.
The shorthanded Sixers were down to just seven healthy players, prompting coach Doc Rivers to activate Mike Scott, who had a left knee injury, just to be able to meet the league’s requirement. ‘have a minimum of eight players. Scott sat on the team bench but did not play.
“Covid created this, but the concern is not Covid now,” Rivers said. “The problem is the injuries. ”
The Sixers were missing a number of starters, including Seth Curry, who tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday.
Due to contact tracing, Covid-19 health protocols and injuries, several other stars were also missing, including Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris.
Ahead of the game, Rivers said he felt he should have been postponed.
“I don’t think we should (play) but it’s not for me to express it,” Rivers said. “I am worried about the health of our players. ”
Matisse Thybulle, Shake Milton and Vincent Poirier were also missing.
“I trust the league and I trust the doctors when it comes to health,” Rivers said. “I’m more concerned with health on the ground. ”
Saturday’s game had a chance to be the second coronavirus-related game postponement of the season. The Houston Rockets have had their season opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder postponed due to a combination of positive tests and contact tracing for Houston.
Nikola Jokic had 15 points and 12 assists and Gary Harris scored 21 points to lead the Nuggets.
Jamal Murray and Will Barton had 14 points each for the Nuggets, who broke a close game after half-time. JaMychal Green and Monte Morris added 12 points each.
Rookie Tyrese Maxey scored a career-high 39 points on 18 of 33 shots, Isaiah Joe added 13 and Dakota Mathias had 12 for Philadelphia, who lost their second in a row and saw their 20-game winning streak. home interrupted.
Cameroonian star center Embiid was sidelined due to back strain while Australian guard Simmons was absent with a stiff knee.
“With the minutes that we would have to ask (of Embiid), it would be foolish to play him,” Rivers said.
The Sixers started veterans Dwight Howard and Danny Green alongside rookie guards Isaiah Joe, Tyrese Maxey and Dakota Mathias.
The Nuggets were without Michael Porter, who is in quarantine due to Covid-19 security protocols.
“They felt he was safe enough to play,” Nuggets coach Mike Malone said. “To be honest, I think we’ll start to see more. ”
Elsewhere, LaMelo Ball became the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double with 22 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists, and the Charlotte Hornets beat the Atlanta Hawks 113-105.
Ball, 19, is 177 days younger than Markelle Fultz when he set the triple doubles record.
Ball shot nine of 13 from the floor as the Hornets gave the struggling Hawks their fourth straight loss. Ball was the third overall pick in the 2020 draft.
Tim Hardaway also scored 36 points and Trey Burke added a season 29 record to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a 112-98 victory over visitor Orlando Magic.
The Mavericks were deprived of forward Dorian Finney-Smith and guards Josh Richardson and Jalen Brunson due to Covid-19 health and safety protocols.
Hardaway made eight of 13 three-point attempts as the Mavericks beat Magic for the 14th time in the last 18 games.
© 2021 AFP