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Down to only 7 players, 76ers lose game that Doc Rivers did not want to be played

Chris Cwik
·2-min read

Ravaged by injuries and health and safety issues, the Philadelphia 76ers were down to only seven players against the Denver Nuggets on Saturday. It did not go well.

The Sixers fell 115-103 to the Nuggets. They were at least able to keep things close for most of the first half, but were well out of striking distance for the entire second half.

The team’s roster was limited to the following players: Isaiah Joe, Tyrese Maxey, Dakota Mathias, Danny Green, Paul Reed, Tony Bradley and Dwight Howard. Maxey, the 21st overall pick of the 2020 NBA draft, led all scorers with a career-high 39 points plus 7 rebounds and 6 assists.

Every player saw at least 23 minutes on the court, and all of them except Reed scored in double figutes.

Here’s why the Sixers only had 7 players

The entire 76ers team had to go into quarantine Thursday after it was discovered a player on the team tested positive for COVID-19. After performing contact tracing, it was determined a number of players would miss Saturday’s game due to the league’s health and safety protocols.

While Joel Embiid was cleared to return by the NBA, he had to miss Saturday’s game due to a back injury. Ben Simmons also missed Saturday’s game due to knee stiffness.

Doc Rivers did not want to play Saturday

The 76ers were technically left with eight players, the minimum number needed to proceed with the game. Rivers, however, explained that forward Mike Scott wouldn’t actually play on Saturday, giving the 76ers only seven active players.

The situation was dire enough that Rivers was joking that backup center Dwight Howard would have to play point guard (the big man finished with 11 points, 11 rebounds and only 2 assists).

Rivers made his thoughts clear on whether he believed the Sixers should have played:

The loss somewhat dims the Sixers’ bright start to the season, knocking them down to a 6-3 record and out of first place in the Eastern Conference. We’ll see if they have a few more hands on deck when they play the Atlanta Hawks on Monday.

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