Nuggets beat shorthanded 76ers as virus depletes NBA roster

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Washington (AFP)

The Philadelphia 76ers, so severely exhausted from Covid-19 protocols and injuries that they were forced to activate an injured player, were routed 115-103 by the visiting Denver Nuggets on Saturday.

The shorthanded Sixers were reduced to just seven healthy players, so coach Doc Rivers dressed Mike Scott, who had a left knee injury, just so they could meet the league’s requirement. have a minimum of eight players. Rivers told Scott he wouldn’t have to 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 in Thursday’s loss to Brooklyn.

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 believed it should have been canceled or 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. ”

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 halftime. 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. ”

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