A second loss in three days was a lot easier for the 76ers to take, as their short roster fell off fighting the Nuggets.
Philadelphia fell to 7-3 on the season, but it could be very happy about its latest loss, perhaps at odds with Thursday’s loss at the hands of a Nets team that lacks Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
This time, it was the Sixers ‘turn to go without their stars, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, while Seth Curry was absent after testing positive for COVID-19 (Curry was informed of his result during the Los Angeles’ game). Nets).
Get in touch with left coach Doc Rivers with just eight players to choose from, although one of them, Mike Scott, did not play due to a knee problem.
The Nuggets’ 115-103 success wasn’t a surprise, then, but the relatively narrow margin was just a reward for a makeshift team from Philadelphia. The Sixers led the game until the middle of the second quarter and never let Denver get away from them, even if the outcome hardly seemed in doubt.
Gary Harris’ 21 points paved the way for the Nuggets, while Nikola Jokic came close to notching another triple-double with 15 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds.
Three of the Sixers’ five 2020 draft picks were among the seven players involved, and Tyrese Maxey in particular rose to the occasion. He was given the responsibility of leading the team despite Rivers jokingly suggesting before the game that center Dwight Howard would play point guard.
Maxey, a 21st first-round pick from Kentucky, had not previously started in the NBA and had averaged 6.9 points in 15.7 minutes in his first nine games. Surprisingly, the 20-year-old had 39 points in 45 minutes, along with seven rebounds, six assists and two steals.
Maxey not only surpassed his previous NBA record of 16, against Brooklyn, but also his best performance in his only college season with Kentucky (27 points).
Since 1963-64, only Allen Iverson, 11 times in 1996-97, and Andrew Toney, once in 1980-81, had previously scored 35 or more points in a game as a franchise rookie.
Second-round picks Isaiah Joe (13 points in 45 minutes) and Paul Reed (six in 26 from the bench) also enjoyed their unlikely opportunities, showing the depth of Philadelphia.
Rivers spoke before the pre-contest chaos game.
“The last 36 hours have been insane, unsurprisingly,” he said.
“Being held in New York, doing multiple tests, waiting for tests, tracing contacts, then getting the list of guys leaving, going back to Philadelphia at one in the morning, getting home and trying to think, not knowing if you’re playing or not.
“You’re on the phone with your coaches until four in the morning, still not knowing it. We were just trying to come up with some kind of game plan.
“Then coming here, an hour ago they told us we were playing. We have eight active players, and one is injured, in Mike Scott, and I can tell you now that there is no way he is going to play.
“So you can argue that we have seven bodies to shoot. We had a run that I didn’t participate in because I was on a call with the league, so I have a list here that I didn’t even look at.
“We’re going to get them together and Dwight Howard is going to play point guard tonight and we’ll see how it goes.”
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.