PHILADELPHIA – – The Philadelphia 76ers opened the week with the best record in the NBA – and are now facing an uncertain future with a starting line-up fit for the preseason

Nikola Jokic had 15 points and 12 assists to lead the Denver Nuggets past Philadelphia 115-103 on Saturday, beating a 76ers team that had only seven players

“COVID created this, but the concern now is not COVID,” said Sixers coach Doc Rivers. “The concern is injuries”

The Sixers fell over with no four regular starters – All-Stars Ben Simmons (aching left knee) and Joel Embiid (back) were injured and Seth Curry and Tobias Harris due to virus problems Curry tested positive for the virus on Thursday, and those for it The following health and safety contact tracing and COVID-19 protocols resulted in a number of unavailable players

The team hit the at least eight active players by involving injured striker Mike Scott who actually couldn’t play

Tyrese Maxey, Philadelphia’s first-round pick from Kentucky in 2020, scored 39 points in 44 minutes when he started his career in the 18-of-33 shooting Isaiah Joe had 13 points

“I just had to chase my shot a little more because it was needed,” said Maxey

Gary Harris scored 21 points for the nuggets, which without Michael Porter Jr played (195 points per game) based on health and safety protocols

Danny Green was the only regular on Philly’s starting line-up, along with backups Dakota Mathias, Dwight Howard, Joe and Maxey Mathias and Joe also made their first career NBA starts Mathias, Maxey and Joe all played at least 41 minutes

“It was a good thing for the team, though I still hate losing,” said Rivers

The Sixers are playing in Atlanta on Monday, the first of five games in seven days, and the squad may not change much Curry will miss at least five more games Harris and reserves Shake Milton, Matisse Thybulle and Vincent Poirier might miss because of the protocols miss at least a week

The team had to spend Friday in New York after playing in Brooklyn on Thursday, and underwent additional testing before returning to Philadelphia at 1 a.m. – 14 hours before the afternoon tip

Triggered by Maxey, the understaffed, lively Sixers stayed in the first half when Denver Maxey hit on a fastbreak dunk and Joe hit 3s in a row to finish the game at 26 A 135-point favorite that Nuggets only led 28-26 halfway before bad troubles caught up with Philadelphia

The Nuggets got off to a slow start at 3-5 but had a chance to regroup against the Sixers and took control in the third. Harris hit two 3s, the Nuggets shot 68% (13 of 19) and defeated them Sixers with 35-21

“It seems like every time we get off to a good start and build a lead, we’re going to be a little careless and allow the teams to get back into the game pretty quickly,” said Nuggets coach Michael Malone

76s: Maxey’s 22 points were the highest in the first half for a sixer this season. Howard ranked 13th on the NBA’s list of career rebounds Place

“Joel started complaining about his back which started yesterday,” Rivers said. “And we didn’t know if he was playing or not but honestly, with the minutes we had to ask, it would be crazy to play him tonight ”

Patty Mills empties a 3-pointer and follows it with a midfielder to strike the shot clock as the Spurs beat the Timberwolves in overtime

– Khris Middleton scored 27 points and the Milwaukee Bucks stood up to the absence of twice-reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 100-90 on Saturday night

Charlotte Hornet’s rookie LaMelo Ball had 22 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists against the visiting Atlanta Hawks on Saturday to become the youngest player in NBA history to score a triple-double

76ers, Tyrese Maxey, Nuggets versus 76ers

World news – USA – Nuggets versus 76ers – Game Recap – 9 January 2021 – ESPN