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Deandre Ayton sits 1st quarter vs. Thunder after missed coronavirus test

Phoenix Suns' Deandre Ayton reacts after being charged with a foul during an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP)

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton sat out the first quarter Monday against the Oklahoma City Thunder after missing a coronavirus test.

He entered to start the second quarter of a 128-101 win with Phoenix trailing 37-23 against a Thunder squad that entered the game with several starters on ice due to a back-to-back.

Ayton missed a test Sunday and was tested Monday. He was cleared and arrived to the game late. The broadcast showed Ayton riding a stationary bike to warm up during the first quarter, and he remained out of action through the first 12 minutes.

The starting center is averaging 18.9 points, 11.7 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. He was coming off an 18-point, 12-rebound performance in a 119-112 win over the Miami Heat on Saturday.

Dario Saric started at center in Ayton’s place, and the Suns went small to start the game with no true center available, as backup Aron Baynes remains out of action.

Ayton was back in the lineup to begin the third quarter and finished the day with 10 points and six rebounds.

Oklahoma City, on the second day of a back-to-back, ruled out starting forward Danilo Gallinari (ankle), starting guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (calf contusion), starting center Steven Adams (lower leg contusion) and backup center Nerlens Noel (ankle).

The Thunder remain without guard Dennis Schroder, who is not with the team in the bubble for personal reasons.


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