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Sixers' McConnell to start at point guard vs. Denver

SALT LAKE CITY – T.J. McConnell will be the 76ers' starting point guard on Friday in Denver against the Nuggets with Sergio Rodriguez sidelined with a left-ankle sprain.  Meanwhile, reserve shooting guard Nik Stasukas will serve as the team's backup point guard. All of that is because McConnell is the only healthy point guard on the roster.

Rodriguez suffered the game-ending injury at the end of the third quarter of Thursday's 100-83 loss to the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena. The team's other point guard, Jerryd Bayless, had season-ending left wrist surgery earlier this month.  He only played in three games.

This will mark McConnell's second start of the season due to injuries to Bayless and Rodriguez. The second-year veteran led the Sixers to a 97-79 road win over the Detroit Pistons on Dec. 11 in his first start.

"In a twisted kind of way, I look forward to it," Sixers coach Brett Brown said. "Our recent memory of this game situation was a good one in Detroit. It was our best game we played all year. So we will try to do our best."

Rodriguez said Thursday that he doesn't know how long he'll be sidelined. However, he doesn't expect it to be a long time.

"It's not as bad as we thought in the beginning," he said.

After Friday, the Sixers are off until Jan. 3 against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Wells Fargo Center. Rodriguez said he's unable to play Friday partly because it would be one night after suffering the injury.

Follow and contact 76ers beat writer Keith Pompey on Twitter and on Instagram at PompeyOnSixers.