Nikola Jokic had 15 factors and 12 assists to guide the Denver Nuggets previous Philadelphia 115-103 on Saturday, beating a 76ers group that had solely seven out there gamers due to accidents and Covid-19 protocols.
The Sixers tipped with out 4 common starters All-Stars Ben Simmons (sore left knee) and Joel Embiid (again) because of harm, and Seth Curry and Tobias Harris over virus issues. Coach Doc Rivers stated he didn’t suppose the sport ought to be performed.
“I don’t suppose we should always [play], but it surely’s not for me to precise that,” Rivers stated earlier than the sport. “I do fear about our participant well being on the ground.”
Curry realized of his constructive coronavirus check whereas the group performed Thursday in Brooklyn, and the extra testing, contact tracing and COVID-19 well being and security protocols led to a slew of unavailable gamers.
The group met the minimal eight lively gamers by together with injured ahead Mike Scott, who was not truly in a position to play.
The season-opener between the Houston Rockets and Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder was the one NBA recreation postponed this season.
Tyrese Maxey led the Sixers with 39 factors in 44 minutes on 18-of-33 taking pictures in his first profession begin, and Isaiah Joe had 13 factors.
Gary Harris scored 21 factors for the Nuggets, who performed with out Michael Porter Jr. (19.5 factors per recreation) due to well being and security protocols.
Danny Inexperienced was the one common in Philly’s beginning lineup, joined by backups Dakota Mathias, Dwight Howard, Joe and Maxey. Mathias and Joe additionally made their first profession NBA begins.
The group was compelled to spend Friday in New York and underwent further testing earlier than arriving again in Philadelphia at 1 a.m. 14 hours earlier than the afternoon tipoff.
“The final 36 hours have been nuts,” Rivers stated.
Harris and reserves Shake Milton, Matisse Thybulle and Vincent Poirier may miss no less than per week due to the protocols.
“We don’t know something,” Rivers stated. “I don’t know sufficient about any of this.”
Sparked by Maxey, the undermanned, feisty Sixers caught with Denver all through the primary half. Maxey, a 2020 first-round select of Kentucky, scored on a fastbreak dunk and Joe hit consecutive 3s to tie the sport at 26.
A 13.5-point favourite, the Nuggets led solely 28-26 after one quarter.
However a group with depth points just like the Sixers can’t afford foul hassle and Howard was whistled for 3 within the first half. Mathias and Maxey had two within the first half and Inexperienced picked up his third lower than a minute into the third quarter.
The Nuggets had been off to a sluggish begin at 3-5 headed into Saturday however bought an opportunity to regroup towards the Sixers and took management within the third. Harris hit two 3s, the Nuggets shot 68% (13 of 19) and outscored the Sixers 35-21.