Kyrie Irving was not with the Nets. He is unvaccinated, and he has had limited practice time because of a New York City coronavirus vaccination mandate.
Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons made an offseason trade demand and has not been with the team in the preseason, but his representation at Klutch Sports is working with the team on a possible resolution. Philadelphia president Daryl Morey and coach Doc Rivers have been publicly optimistic since the start of training camp that Simmons eventually would return to the team.
“We’ve said from day one what we’ve wanted,” Rivers said before the game. “We’d love to have him back. Other than that, honestly, there’s nothing to report.”
Simmons, a 25-year-old Australian, still has $147 million and four years left on his contract.
Irving finally practiced with the Nets this past Saturday at an outdoor practice. He joined the Nets for an indoor practice on Sunday after the Nets were told Friday that their training center is considered a private facility.
Nash wouldn’t say how he would handle minutes at the position as he adjusts.
“This is all stuff that we have to figure out, and as I keep saying, navigate because it’s kind of unprecedented,” he said. “And we’re just trying to take our time and not rush into any preconceived judgments of what we’re doing and figure it out as we go.”
There was plenty of star power remaining without Irving and Simmons.
RAPTORS 107, ROCKETS 92
TORONTO -- — OG Anunoby scored all 17 of his points in the first half and Malachi Flynn added 15 points in the second half, including a half-court shot just before the third-quarter buzzer for an 88-64 lead.
Armoni Brooks led Houston’s 28-point fourth quarter with five 3-pointers and 15 points. The rest of the Rockets went 4 for 20 from distance in the game.
HEAT 104, HORNETS 103
MIAMI -- — Javonte Smart converted a go-ahead, three-point play with 7.8 seconds left as Miami rallied from a late 13-point deficit for its fourth straight victory.
Smart dove on the floor for a loose ball and passed it out to Marcus Garrett before getting it back with 11 seconds to play. Smart drove the right side of the lane and made the layup while being fouled.
Miami trailed 101-88 with 4:19 to go before closing on a 13-0 run.
GRIZZLIES 127, PISTONS 92
Morant was 10 of 13 from the field, and he had a game-high five assists.
De’Anthony Melton added 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists, and Tyus Jones made three of Memphis’ 15 3-pointers, finishing with 15 points.
- Ed Malloy
- Aaron Smith
- Simone Jelks