Sixers will have a lot more than 7 players for rematch against Nuggets


The 32-14 Sixers will try on Tuesday to avoid their first losing streak since mid-February.

Here are the essentials for their game against the 28-18 Nuggets: 

  • When: 9 p.m. ET with Sixers Pregame Live at 8:15 p.m.
  • Where: Ball Arena 
  • Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia  
  • Live stream: and the MyTeams app 

And here are three storylines to watch: 

Sixers much less shorthanded than in January 

The Sixers only had seven players available for their Jan. 9 game vs. the Nuggets, a 115-103 loss. Tyrese Maxey scored 39 points on a strange day. 

“I think it showed us that, despite who’s on the floor, whoever we’re playing, we have an opportunity to win,” Dwight Howard said Monday. “We have a very deep team. We’ve got a lot of confidence in each other, and I think it’s built over the season. I think that Denver game really showed a lot of our players that we can compete with anybody at a high level night in and night out.”

Joel Embiid (left knee bone bruise) and George Hill (recovery from right thumb surgery) are the only Sixers out for Tuesday’s game. Denver’s Monte Morris is also sidelined with a left quadriceps strain. The Embiid vs. Nikola Jokic matchup would’ve been the main attraction if both players were healthy. 

With Embiid out, it’s important for the Sixers to take care of the ball better than they did in their last two games. They turned it over 36 times in Los Angeles, with Ben Simmons giving it away 13 times. Denver is No. 2 in offensive rebounding percentage and No. 5 in turnover percentage, per Cleaning the Glass, so the Sixers will likely lose the possession battle if they have turnover problems. 

Time for more Reed? 

Head coach Doc Rivers seemed to imply Monday that Embiid might be available to return this weekend.

For the time being, though, Howard is the team’s only healthy traditional center. Mike Scott, who’s started the last two games, is 4 for his last 26 from three-point range. If there’s an ideal occasion to give Reed minutes in the Sixers’ rotation, it might be now.

Rivers played Reed nine minutes against the Lakers but didn’t use him until garbage time Saturday. Reed grabbed six offensive rebounds in the season's first Sixers-Nuggets game, his first extended NBA action. 

Howard, who was ejected in both Los Angeles games, told an amusing story about the confident rookie. 

“The first day he came into training camp,” Howard said Monday, “the first thing he said was, ‘Call me alley. Throw me alley-oops.’ And I’m like, ‘Who in their right mind comes in and says call me alley?’ You at least say your first and last name and where you’re from. But he told us what he wanted and how he wanted it. I love it, man. I’m really happy for him and I love him like he’s a little brother.”

New Nuggets frontcourt 

Deadline acquisition Aaron Gordon made his Nuggets debut in the team’s win Sunday over the Hawks, posting 13 points in 21 minutes. Jokic also had a relatively light workload in that blowout victory, playing 28 minutes. He’s played in every one of the Nuggets’ 46 games. 

Gordon had a rough game the first time he played the Sixers this season, shooting 1 for 8 in the Magic’s blowout loss on New Year’s Eve. 

He’s guarded Simmons frequently in recent seasons and appears the most likely candidate to get that assignment again Tuesday. 

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