Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, like his players, heard about the NBA’s decision to suspend the season while in the third quarter of their game against the Denver Nuggets.
That ended up being the last game completed in the league Wednesday night, and the Mavericks avoided their first three-game losing streak before the NBA season’s suspension “until further notice” after a Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus.
“Very concerned, but it’s not necessarily about basketball. Obviously this is much bigger than basketball,” Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said.
“This is because of just the league being concerned about the health of fans, players and arena personnel,” Carlisle said. “There’s going to be more meetings and more talk tomorrow about what the next steps are. There’s no timetable.”
Boban Marjanovic had 31 points and 17 rebounds, Luka Doncic scored 28 points and the Mavericks won 113-97, which was secondary considering the entire situation.
Nuggets forward Paul Millsap described it as a “scary situation” and said everybody in their locker room was in shock not really knowing what to think.
“Unfortunate events obviously, but I think it’s a smart move for the NBA to do this,” Millsap said. “The safety of the players and safety of the fans is important, so I think it’s the best thing for us to do right now. We’ll just wait and see what happens.”
Jamal Murray had 25 points to lead Denver, while teammate Will Barton had 23.
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 17 points and Maxi Kleber 15 for the Mavericks, the only team in the league without a three-game losing streak.
Instead of flying to San Antonio as scheduled, the Nuggets were going home Wednesday night.
“We support the league’s decision. Obviously putting the players, officials, the fans, the coaches, the staffs’ best interest at heart,” Denver coach Mike Malone said. “We have to try to get our minds wrapped around what this coronavirus is doing, so we support their decision and we’ll wait to hear word on them as to what this means moving forward because honest to God, I have no idea. And I just hope that we can figure this out and get back to playing basketball in a timely manner when it’s deemed safe.”
Cuban and Carlisle said Mavericks players were told to stay in Dallas. The coach, who is married to an infectious disease doctor, said players were already scheduled to have a day off Thursday, but pointed out that games were suspended, not team activities.
Knicks 136, Hawks 131 (OT)
In Atlanta, Mitchell Robinson scored five of his 16 points in overtime to help New York defeat the hosts.
Julius Randle led the Knicks with 33 points and 11 rebounds, his 30th double-double of the season, and rookie R.J. Barrett finished with 26 points. Mo Harkless added 14 points, six rebounds and six assists.
For Atlanta, Trae Young had 42 points, 27 of them in the fourth quarter, and 11 assists. It was the 11th time this season that Young has scored 40-plus points. John Collins added 22 points and 15 rebounds for his 22nd double-double of the campaign. Jeff Teague and De’Andre Hunter both scored 15.
76ers 124, Pistons 106
In Philadelphia, Joel Embiid scored 30 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lift the Sixers past Detroit.
Embiid returned after a five-game absence caused by a sprained shoulder to propel Philadelphia to its league-best 29th win in 31 home games, including 15 in a row. Al Horford added 20 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, and Furkan Korkmaz contributed 17 points off the bench.
Christian Wood led the struggling Pistons with a career-high 32 points. Svi Mykhailuk added 16 while Langston Galloway and Thon Maker had 13 each.
Hornets 109, Heat 98
In Miami, Devonte’ Graham scored 30 points, including five in the final 2:25, to lead Charlotte to a victory over the Heat.
It was a rare home loss for Miami, which has the NBA’s third-best home record at 27-5.
Heat guard Kendrick Nunn — who had been listed as questionable due to an illness — played and scored a team-high 24 points. Miami also got 23 points from Derrick Jones Jr. and 21 points, a game-high 10 assists and seven rebounds from Bam Adebayo.
In Other Games
Jazz at Thunder — ppd.
Pelicans at Kings — ppd.