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Ex-Wildcat Deandre Ayton misses COVID-19 testing window, doesn't start vs. Thunder

Ex-Wildcat Deandre Ayton misses COVID-19 testing window, doesn't start vs. Thunder

Mavericks Suns Basketball

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton (22) looks to pass against the Dallas Mavericks during the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton wasn't in the starting lineup against the Oklahoma City Thunder after the former Arizona Wildcat missed his COVID-19 testing window. 

Since the results of Ayton's Monday morning test weren't cleared in time, Ayton missed the first quarter in Phoenix's 128-101 beatdown of the Thunder. Ayton played 17 minutes off the bench and finished with 10 points on 5 of 10 shooting and six rebounds. 

Phoenix has been one of the surprising teams in the NBA's Orlando bubble, winning all six of its games, including a buzzer-beater victory over the L.A. Clippers. In Phoenix's previous five contests, Ayton averaged 18.2 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. 

The Suns are a half-game behind the Portland Trail Blazers for the ninth-seed, which would participate in a play-in series for the final playoff spot in the western conference. 

Phoenix will now face the Ben Simmons- and Joel Embiid-less Philadelphia 76ers at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday. 

Contact sports content producer Justin Spears at 573-4312 or jspears@tucson.com. On Twitter @justinesports

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Sports producer

Justin writes stories and produces digital content about UA football and basketball and high school football. A Tucson native, Justin graduated from the UA in 2017 and is the host of the Wildcast Podcast and a radio host on ESPN Tucson.

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