Coach Erik Spoelstra stayed away from the Miami Heat on Tuesday, still within NBA health and safety protocols, with the team giving point guard Kyle Lowry the night against the Charlotte Hornets.
Assistant Chris Quinn guided the Heat to the second straight game, having also replaced Spoelstra in Sunday night’s road win over the Toronto Raptors.
The Heat were also without backup center Dewayne Dedmon with a sprained right ankle.
Under NBA rule, Spoelstra must remain isolated from the team for five days after being tested in Toronto on Sunday, unless he produces two negative coronavirus tests.
Quinn said Spoelstra was in constant contact, including a congratulatory text after Sunday’s game.
“Spo was always involved every step of the way,” Quinn said ahead of Tuesday night’s game at FTX Arena. “Even today, getting ready for the game, he’s still doing everything as he normally would, just the distance, the game plan, the preparations, all that.
“I’ve facetimed and zoomed with Spo more in the past 48 hours than probably in a long time.”
Quinn said it was time for a night off for Lowry, 36, a game after his emotional return to Toronto, where he had played the previous nine seasons. Lowry has played in all three games of the Heat’s just-concluded trip, including back-to-back Saturday-Sunday wins at Chicago and Toronto.
“He worked hard,” Quinn said. “Obviously it was a good road trip, back to back, also the emotional toll of the other night, which was really great to be a part of, to be recognized like him, as a champion. So he just needed a day.
Of Dedmon being out, Quinn said, “He twisted his ankle the other night, so he’s dealing with it day to day.”