The Philadelphia 76ers have an NBA-high 7 wins. However, today they were just the Philadelphia 7 as that is all they had available to suit up due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols, and they were no match for the Denver Nuggets. Philadelphia, who were without their star players Joel Embid and Ben Simmons, put up a respectable effort, but it was clear that the short-handed 76ers were gassed in the second half against Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets.
The Denver Nuggets, who have COVID-19 issues of their own and were without Michael Porter Jr. for the fifth consecutive game, produced a strong all-around performance where they had six players score double-digit points.
Nikola Jovic provided another terrific game finishing one assist shy of a triple-double. At the same time, Gary Harris led the team in scoring with 21 points.
Danny Green finished with 11 points and Tyrese Maxey, the game's leading scorer, had 39 points on 18-for-33 shooting for the Philadelphia 76ers.
Tyrese Maxey and the Philadelphia 76ers looked strong in the first half
The Philadelphia 76ers started the game with three rookies and looked to be in for a long night as the Denver Nuggets started the game converting on their first six shots.
However, after a timeout from Doc Rivers, the 76ers were able to bounce back and play a competitive first half of basketball due to the play of their first round draft pick, Tyrese Maxey.
Heading into today's game, Tyrese Maxey was averaging just under 16 minutes a game. He surpassed that today with five minutes still to go in the first half.
Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers frustratedly joked about how Dwight Howard would have to play point guard due to only have seven players available to play.
Tyrese Maxey passed his previous NBA career-high (16) with four minutes to go in the second quarter, finishing the game with 39 points.
All jokes aside, the Philadelphia 76ers, who came into the game today with the best record in the league at 7-2, showed they have tons of talented young prospects in their ranks.
Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets handle business in the second half
The Denver Nuggets came out of halftime rolling by outscoring the undermanned 76ers by 14 points in the third quarter.
Nikola Jokic is averaging a triple-double this season with 24.7 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 11.0 assists, thus making him a favorite to win the MVP.
The Nuggets used more than their normal rotation tonight against the 76ers to ensure fresh legs in their current three-game road trip.
It was a great sign for Denver Nuggets' fans to see Gary Harris produce a strong shooting night from three, as he was shooting just 13.8 percent from behind the arc prior to tonight's game.
There is not much to assess for the Denver Nuggets in the win today against a short-handed Philadelphia side. Still, they will be leaving the arena smiling after adding another victory to their season total.Published 10 Jan 2021, 04:29 IST